Wedding trends for 2016

Getting married in the Lowcountry is a classic decision that never goes out of style. Sunsets on the beach, live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, Southern plantation clubhouses overlooking perfectly manicured grounds — couples would be hard-pressed to find more romantic wedding venues than the area we’re lucky enough to call home.

If you’ve already chosen to tie the knot on Hilton Head or in Bluffton, we thought we’d help you plan by highlighting some of 2016’s early wedding trends. From macaroons to ombre hues, this year’s brides and grooms are having tons of fun making their wedding dreams come true in unique and surprising ways. Here’s the best of what we found.


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Rose gold is still trending hard, as are blush and other shades of muted pink. You’ll see these colors not only on bridesmaid gowns but also wedding dresses, cakes, table linens and, of course, flowers. Other hot colors this year are raspberry, midnight blue and the lighter shade of navy, a local favorite among brides. Ombre hues are also popular for gowns, cakes or as a wedding hair “wow.” And if you’re looking for a neutral that goes beyond boring beige, try caramel, gray or café au lait.

When picking colors to highlight and wear, experts advise brides and grooms not to just pick a favorite shade or something that’s on trend, but to choose colors that complement the venue or are inspired by the season.


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The strapless wedding gown has been a highly popular choice for many years, but our eyes are on the striking bateau neckline, which is popping up more and more on fashion runways and wedding aisles. Gowns that depart from the standard ivory or cream continue to be on trend as well, with blush the most popular, followed by subdued tones of nude, taupe and silver; even subtle floral prints have been making their ways down the aisle.


The beach, with its sand, surf and seashells, and the Lowcountry landscape, with its grasses and Spanish moss, will always work their ways into many of our local wedding themes. But there are plenty of other themes couples are using as inspiration. The garden theme is popular, with tons of greenery and loose flower bouquets, or there’s the relaxed vibe of a bohemian wedding. To pull that off you’ll want flower crowns, lots of lace, flowing dresses, layered jewelry and whimsical touches.

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The rustic chic look with burlap and chalkboards has been getting a facelift, with more sparkle and a more refined edge than in previous years. (So take those chalkboards and put beautiful frames around them!) Finally, we loved the idea of geodes and crystals serving as inspiration, using muted colors with just a bit of sparkle, jagged-edged invitations, geode and crystal centerpieces and a wedding cocktail with salt or sugar-rimmed glasses.


wedingtrends2016 04Technology is now firmly ingrained in our everyday lives, so it makes sense that couples are taking their nuptials to the next level too. A few of our favorite new ideas include having a charging station at the reception, creating a custom wedding hashtag for collecting photos on Instagram, and hiding a Go Pro camera in the bridal bouquet. Another fun reception addition is the selfie stick on every table, along with some fun picture-taking props and spots.

A few apps to try include Evernote or OneNote for organizing ideas and appointments, All Seated to help you come up with the perfect floor plan and build the guest list, Wedding Happy 2.0 for budgeting assistance, and Wedding Party for wedding pic sharing, organization and fun.


wedingtrends2016 05There are tons of creative little touches trending for this year’s weddings, and we’re hoping we see some of them right here on Hilton Head. Late spring and summer brides can cool down guests with frozen cocktail treats, which are all the rage. (Nonalcoholic ones are great, too!) And a separate table (or take-home bags) of treats in addition to the traditional wedding cake continues to be popular; regional favorites include donuts, macaroons and ever-popular pralines.

More brides and grooms are opting to have the traditional favor pull double duty as a place card, affixing name tags or flags to the gifts on a table near the entrance that gives everyone a personalized treat and a table number in one fell swoop. Finally, bridal bouquets and centerpiece arrangements are including more varied textural elements, incorporating berries, ribbons, pods and grasses with in-season, local blooms for a more eclectic, interesting look.

Happy planning!