2012 Wedding Trends
The following trends have been compiled from hundreds of sources in both North America and Europe to guide your selections and inform you of the vast array of options available.
Multiple layers and textures are prominent themes for 2012 bridal gowns. Brides today choose romantic flowing dresses in floor-length styles with combinations of overlaid soft fabrics (chiffon, organza or tulle), crystal studded bodices, lace sleeves and delicate ruffles and floral details. Open-back dresses, visible hemlines and deep V-necks are also gaining popularity. Many designers have included ball gowns and tea-length styles in their lines as well as dresses in off-white and pastels.
Shorter trains and veils (especially the bird cage veil) are popular as are pretty boleros, and shawls. For colder weather, brides choose wraps of faux-fur, velvet, heavy satin, or pashmina. Light weight fabrics, including organza, lace, tulle and chiffon, make perfect wraps for the Spring or Summer bride and reduce sun exposure on bare arms and shoulders.
Pearls, rhinestones, and crystals remain the top jewelry choice for necklaces and earrings. Crystal brooches are also a popular accent for wearing on the dress, in the hair or on the bouquet handle.
Wedding Hair Styles
There are no clear trends in hair styles, although wearing the hair in long romantic waves or loosely pulled back are chosen for brides with long hair. Hair ornaments such as hairpins, brooches, hair vines, flowers (silk or real) and feather fascinators are also popular choices.
Beautiful tiaras and combs made with either rhinestones, crystals, or pearls have been the trend for many seasons and seem to be getting smaller as more crystal-embellished dress styles take center-stage. Some brides are placing their veils directly on their hair or using a single silk flower for a simple, classic look.
2012 Wedding Color Trends
The table below includes popular wedding color choices:
Ninety five percent of wedding bouquets are hand-tied, where the flowers are gathered together and the stems are wrapped in wide satin ribbon. Brides wanting more glamorous bouquets choose beads,brooches, jewel pins, pearls, crystal/rhinestone picks, and monogrammed or rhinestone ribbon to dress up plain ribbon-wrapped stems and blooms. With the continuing popularity of the beach and garden themes, brides wanting a more rustic and natural look to their bouquet add elements such as shells/starfish, feathers, berries and pinecones.
The rose continues to be the most popular and elegant bouquet flower. Lilies, peonies, hydrangeas, tulips and orchids represent the trendier choices. Arrangements with a just-picked and looser casual look have replaced the more tightly-bound bouquet shapes of previous seasons. Silk flowers are also popular for their versatility and life-like appearance.
Wedding Reception Decorations
Brides are choosing centerpieces that are in the same color tones, but of different sizes. They are also changing the shape of the tables, mixing round with square. These trends give the reception tables a more interesting look and a less “coordinated” feel. Unique vase fillers include glass marbles, sea glass shells, acrylic ice, water absorbing crystals/beads, and fresh fruits such as lemons and limes.
Faux rose petals, diamond confetti and shells/starfish remain the most popular confetti. Also, flowering vines or individually cut flowers are placed directly onto table linens. Reception chairs are decorated with either tulle, fabric overlays, floral swags and/or ribbons. Other popular decorating items include Chinese lanterns, garlands and balloons. Disposable cameras, placed on each table, allow guests to capture candid moments.
An increasingly popular trend is the candy buffet or confection bar. This consists of a variety of candies or treats placed in varied sizes of glass containers and grouped on a table. Pretty silver spoons or scoops in each container allows guests to fill small boxes or bags as take-home favors.
Bolts of economical tulle fabric are typically combined with white lights and/or floral garlands for draping between pews and decorating banisters and ceilings. Click for more tulle decorating ideas.
Candles, always a popular choice for centerpieces, lend a romantic feel to any room. Choices include pillars, tea lights, tapers and floaters. Since some facilities do not allow candles, alternatives include faux tea light candles, battery operated LED lights, and fiber optic lights.
Head tables are replaced with a small table for just the bride and groom. Many couples plan weekend weddings that start on Friday and go for the entire weekend. Dove releases and add drama and excitement to the event. Butterfly releases, despite the environmental issues, also remain popular.
Today’s couples most often pay for their own weddings and make their own decisions about what they want for their wedding day. Using a budget calculator allows them to allocate their money and prioritize wants and needs. They want to enjoy a wedding that is uniquely theirs, and one that displays their own sense of style and personal taste. Personal touches appear throughout the entire wedding, and can be found in attire, favors, decorations, stationery, photography, themes, flowers, gifts, and locations.
Although completely optional, couples now choose more unusual, useful, and personalized favors to thank their guests for coming. In many cases, the favors do double-duty as place-card holders, table decorations, and even centerpiece arrangements where larger favors are grouped together in the center of the reception tables.
Favors can be ready-made items or hand-made and embellished with ribbon and accents that coordinate with the wedding theme or color scheme. This is definitely an area of weddings that has gone DIY in recent years.
Flower girls are sporting fairy wings and cute wands, although baskets of rose petals, posies, pomanders and dainty purses remain popular. A-line dresses and dresses accented with chiffon overlays steal the show. Floral head wreaths or dainty tiaras finish the look.
The tuxedo is still the most popular choice for the ring bearer. Ring pillows often come in colors, other than just white and ivory, and include bead, pearl, ribbon or floral accents. Popular fabrics include velvet, lace, and satin.
Limousines, exotic cars, and horse-drawn carriages are top picks for wedding transportation. More unconventional choices include motorcycles, horses, two-person bikes, hot-air balloons, and sleighs.
Mansions, churches, beaches, country clubs, resorts, hotels, public gardens, museums, yachts, and private homes are still the most popular locations for weddings.
A current trend is for couples to walk down separate aisles during the ceremony and meet together in front of their guests. They write their own vows and incorporate their children in the case of second marriages. Pets are also part of the day. Brides riding their horse in outdoor weddings or walking their dog to the altar are not unusual. Grooms typically escort their mothers down the aisle. Brides are escorted by both father and/or stepfather, or by her mother, mother and father together, or grandparents or by a significant person in their life.
Traditional guest books remain popular, however, a trend that has been around for many years is to display the couple’s engagement photograph on an easel at the ceremony entrance. The photo is matted, framed without glass and takes the place of a guest book when guests sign the matting. Some couples ask their guests to sign a scroll which they later have framed.
Wedding inspiration boards are increasing in popularity as they are a great tool for helping brides focus their wedding ideas, color schemes and decorating details. Choosing a wedding motif is also helpful in coordinating the overall wedding day decor or theme.
Wedding cakes decorated with handmade icing flowers, shells/starfish and delicate dots and scrollwork remain popular. Couples are choosing cakes that fit with the location, theme and season of their wedding. Four to five layers is the average size for a wedding of 150-200 people.
Buttercream or smooth fondant frostings are most common. Popular cake flavors include lemon, chocolate, carrot, spice and “white” although some couples are choosing non-traditional flavors such as gingerbread, espresso and hazelnut. Flowers, sculptures, and large monogrammed letters are replacing the traditional bride and groom cake top.
The photo-journalistic (candid) approach to wedding photography is preferred by many brides to the traditional posed shots. Capturing the day’s events as they happen helps tell the story of your wedding. Naturally, posed pictures are still enjoyed and requesting that some of the photos be black and white is common.
Currently, the top wedding themes are “beach”, “garden”, “winter wonderland”, “vintage glamour”, “woodland or rustic”, and “sparkling diamonds.” Destination and ethnic-influenced celebrations also remain popular choices.
Stationery adorned with ribbon, beach, feather, rhinestone buckles, or floral accents remains in high demand. Ribbon is used for decoration, or to simply hold the invitation together. Handmade stationery is a more personal, and with the popularity of scrap booking, stamping, and various computer programs available, there are endless creative options. Many couples choose to add this personal touch to their wedding.