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by Emma Hla

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Image by Rebecca Goddard Photography | Planning by Katrina Otter Weddings.

It’s that time of year again – the annual Coco & Kat collaborative Wedding Trend Report is here!

This year you’re in for a mammoth trending treat with not 1, not 10 but 18 jam packed wedding trend predictions!

So, a little re-cap… In 2017 we coveted everything from greenery (before PANTONE announced their colour of the year 2017 #justsaying!) to shades of nude, commissioned illustrations to poly(methyl methacrylate)… aka acrylic and perspex. Several of these turned out to be BIG news in 2017 and will continue to be trending well into 2018 and beyond (we’re not done with greenery just yet!).

And then an annual note / caveat before we begin… The word ‘trend’ has become a bit of a controversial word to use in the wedding industry for fear that it will promote cookie-cutter weddings.

Our report on the other hand is merely a bit of fun before the festive break. A chance to reflect and be inspired. It’s an opportunity for us to sit down with a glass of bubbles and discuss the emerging trends from beautiful real weddings, inspirational styled shoots and the world of fashion, design, architecture and interiors.

What we’re trying to say is that you don’t have to incorporate trends into your wedding and we’re fully on board with the concept of creating your own.

However, if you too are up for a bit of pre-festive break pretty, then read on and take from this what you wish but most of all create a wedding that’s personal and reflects the two of you together.

Shall we begin?

notes from coco & kat

Rethink Pink

We’re kicking off with one of Emma’s personal picks – pink!

Now you’d have to be slightly colour blind not to notice the invasion of pink; from interiors, to fashion to even our coffees courtesy of the pink latte served at Palm Vaults, a (pink) coffee shop in Hackney.

Fuchsia, peony and plaster pink were all listed by a certain high street brand as firm favourites for their Fall Limited Edition collection and given the term “Millenial Pink”, this colour du jour isn’t going anywhere!

We personally dabbled with hot pink back in 2015 for our Tropics in the City styled shoot but our current fave has to be of the dirty variety. This muted, faded shade of pink looks effortlessly cool and can be quite a versatile colour. It sits perfectly against greens, nudes, greys and even chartreuse! Look for ribbons, ring boxes, linens and add touches of colour to your stationery with envelopes. Perhaps you want to wear your pink, why not take inspiration from the buttery leather jacket above. We also love the velvet VOW books by ELMO Paperstories that come in a plethora of pink shades!

Whilst you knock your pink socks off, Emma is trying to figure out how to shoehorn a pink velvet chair into her lounge without having to redecorate the entire house.

Food & Drink Pairings

Earlier this year we were invited to a Moët champagne masterclass and fine dining experience at the Savoy in association with Condé Nast Brides. We’ve always been firm fans of food and wine pairings but from the moment we stepped foot inside the Savoy and sipped our first glass of bubbles we were sold on the concept of pairing champagne and cocktails from the first bite all the way through to those late-night wedding munchies.

To give you a little flavour of the evening our beef tartare starter was paired with a Moët & Chandon Imperial NV Rosé, the cod main with a Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage 2008 and artisan cheeses with a Moët & Chandon Grand Vintage Rosé 2008.

Obviously, you don’t have to go all out and offer champagne on tap, but it got us thinking… why not surprise your guests (we always like the unexpected) and mix things up a little by swapping the red, white and rose for a food / course complimentary cocktail, glass of fizz or even a craft beer. Go on… you know you want to – it’s time to wow your guests’ palates!

On the drinks front our friends at Indulgence Boutique Hospitality say “2017 saw the rise in the ‘Pimp Your Own’ drink stations – and 2018 will see that personalisation move even further… from cocktail hours offering paired snacks and shots of local craft spirits, through to couples bringing personalised alcohol creations for guests to try, such as their own blend of Gin from The Ginstitute. We also love a choice of ice-cubes with berries, herbs, and flowers to infuse your drink choice.”

You can read their thoughts on the 2018 foodie future here.

Small Bouquets

It’s safe to say we adore big bouquets and the trend for them – tumbling, romantic, lush, statement, cascading bouquets with trailing ribbons… yes, we love you.

BUT at the same time, we’ve actually started to miss seeing delicate posy bouquets – do you remember them? You know, the smaller, daintier bouquets that epitomise classic English formality, tradition and endless beauty.

Think the Middleton’s and Kate’s delicate and detailed lily of the valley, hyacinth and myrtle bouquet or Pippa’s equally elegant posy of peonies, sweet pea, astilbe, freesia, wax flower, green bell and alchemilla mollis.

In previous years we’ve been advocates of not being afraid to go big and bold but this year we’re also saying don’t be afraid to embrace your Britishness and go delicate and dainty!

Neon Lights

If you follow any lifestyle or interior Instagram accounts, then I’m sure you’ll know why we’ve included neon light signs in our line-up of 2018 wedding trends. If you don’t, then in a nutshell, neon light signs can be found in pretty much ALL of the most Instagram-worthy abodes.

You’ll also find these typographic beauties on both of our Christmas wish lists!

And why are we so obsessed with them, especially in the context of weddings, well… they’re the latest spin on illuminated letters, they’re insanely cool and they instantly add a touch of personality, individuality, humour and of course love to any wedding space… from ceremony backdrops to dancefloors, welcome signs to DIY photo booths.

You might want to check out The Bell in Ticehurst and Voewood who have their own neon numbers already in situ! Alternatively you can buy, hire or have bespoke creations made at Bag & Bones.

In summary, they’re total Instagram fodder and we wholeheartedly approve of this new wedding trend.

Romantic Botanical

Botanical isn’t going anywhere but there’s a serious injection of romance for this trend. Think Eastern influences, wabi-sabi florals and the softest pinks. Any venue with a glass house, botanical gardens or Chinoiserie wallpaper is a winner!

It’s the mix of old and new, heritage with contemporary touches that makes Emma’s heart sing. If you’re looking for the ultimate venue example for Romantic Botanical then it must be Wilderness Reserve at Sibton Park. There’s even a Millennium pink cottage onsite! SOLD.

We’re also pretty smitten with Sezincote Estate, but as they only host a very small number of weddings a year this is a super exclusive place to marry. Pictured above is the Japan Room at St Giles House, their stunning bridal prep room. If you’re a Chinoiserie fiend then Sandon Hall has a pretty epic bridal suite too.

Aussie Vibes

Emma’s long been crushing on the interiors and wedding inspiration coming from Australia. It’s not unknown for a parcel or three to travel the 10,300 miles to Brighton just to satisfy this lust.

But it’s not just Emma, us Brits in the bridal biz have become a little obsessed with all the gorgeousness that’s happening on the other side of the globe. The Australian wedding bubble is big, bright and pretty darn inspirational. With weddings blogs such as Hello May, The Lane and Nouba making their way into our feeds it’s no surprise we’re crushing on our stylish Antipodean friends.

So when we were invited to the Aussie Bridal Salon at the Town Hall Hotel hosted by Knot & Pop, well we could hardly say no! The Aussie crush is perfectly illustrated by the beautiful bridal designers starting to make their way to our shores – Bo & Luca, Cathleen Jia and Nevenka were the designers showcasing at the event and each label has a distinct signature style and ethos. However, the thread for all three designers is their connection to the forward-thinking, modern bride.

Our fashion partner The Bridal Edit says, “Australian Bridal Designers have well and truely made a huge impact on UK brides. Their style is completely out of this world, pushing the boundaries in bridal fashion. Editorial campaigns are on point and totally style worthy. We will be seeing more Aussie Bridal Designers come over to the UK in the next twelve months that’s for sure. Our crush for the Aussies continue!

Witching Hour

This might not be for everyone… But black is back.

The Witching Hour perfectly sums up everything that’s slightly dark, glamorous and non-traditional. Think sexy black wedding dresses, dark linens, berry-red candles, golden details and delicious black iced cakes (although you might want to check your teeth after taking a bite!)

Halfpenny London launched The Black Edit this Autumn, which is all of Kate’s favourite bridal pieces in black. You can take a look at this new collection right here.

If you love the images above then you can view the full Paint It Black editorial at JJ Media over on Rock n Roll Bride.

Intense Colours With Neutral Undertones

For more than a few years now, wedding colours and colour trends have been firmly rooted in the neutral and pastel camp.

Well, we’re going all out in this year’s report and saying that 2018 will hopefully be the year when we see a movement to intense, statement colours with neutral undertones.

If you dare to be different then start with a grounded palette of neutral and earthy tones and textures (Kat is currently crushing on the colour chalk) and then get playful on top with some bolder, brighter and more vivid tones. Some of our current faves being berry-infused purples, pinks (see above!), bright yellow (see below!), teal and forest green shades, burgundy and even mustard tones!

Just summing this trend up with a neat visual bow, check out one of Katrina Otter Weddings recent real-life marquee weddings (above) with urbane chalk linen (and aubergine napkins), neutral tableware (with a sprinkling of purple goblets) and intense blooms courtesy of Jay Archer Floral Design.

Celestial

If wearing a black wedding dress is a little too much for you, then why not embrace all things Celestial.

We love this obsession with the stars and earth and you could include this in a number of ways for your wedding day; from lighting design incorporating fairy lights and disco balls to create the illusion of a night sky, to star encrusted Save The Dates enticing your guests. Adorn yourself with glittering accessories such as a Tilly Thomas Lux tiara or the headpiece featured above by Alial. Perhaps a star emblazoned veil or cape? Create table names from star signs and light a million tapered candles (should your venue allow it!).

The cosmic list is endless…

Twist On Traditional Flowers

Oh gyp, how you’ve had a bit of a rough ride of late. Yes, admittedly you smell like cat pee, but you also used to be seriously on trend. What on earth happened?

Well you know what, we’re predicting BIG things for you, along with lilies and orchids, in 2018.

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not talking about reverting back to giant balls of gyp, but instead, we’ll be seeing varieties of these traditional flowers cropping up in larger arrangements or in slightly unusual formats. Take for example Rodarte, who sent models down the runway with oversized garlands and halos of gyp creating a fresh Midsummer Night’s Dream-esque take on the concept of the floral crown.

And despite some initial hesitation (from Kat), the phenomenal Jay Archer incorporated longiflorum lilies into our latest styled shoot, The Luxe Edit, which when placed against the soft, round-petaled British flowers created a striking and modern juxtaposition.

From that moment on, we (Kat!) were instantly converted!

Weekend Weddings

If there’s one emerging wedding trend that we just can’t get enough of at the moment, it has to be weekend long weddings.

When your wedding is such a special occasion, and such a great opportunity to get your friends and family together, why not extend the celebrations to create a once-in-a-lifetime adventure / party.

Understandably, more and more couples are choosing to do just that and thankfully the industry is following suit.

The key ingredient to planning a weekend-long wedding is of course the venue! To be able to host a wedding weekend, you need a venue that’s totally on board with your plans and thankfully you can find an abundance of these right here on Emma’s wedding venue directory.

You can also find some top tips on how to pick the perfect weekend wedding venue courtesy of the utterly divine country house wedding planner Pudding Bridge.

And for a truly inspirational guide on the creation of a luxurious weekend wedding we’d thoroughly recommend reading the Pocketful Of Dreams guide to Weekend Weddings On Private Estates.

Yellow

We have fashion (the sunny hue was a huge trend for S/S AND A/W 2017 and can literally be found everywhere right now!) oh, and some small, yellow, melodious henchmen to thank for this one!

Yes, that’s right, yellow has made a miraculous comeback and in 2018 we’ll be embracing everything from mustard, saffron, turmeric and sunshine-y gold to wishy-washy sorbet and how can we forget… minion yellow!

PANTONE themselves have even included two pops of yellow-y goodness in their Spring 2018 forecast. Meadowlark (13-0646) is a confident and outgoing bright yellow shade whilst Lime Punch (13-0550) is a sharp and striking citrus.

If you’re prone to going off the beaten track like Emma, then how about pairing a mustard yellow with an unexpected wedding hue like burgundy! These mid-century influenced combinations are striking and modern.

We know that yellow isn’t for everyone and you might need a bit of persuasion when it comes to incorporating this trend into your wedding so, if you’re up for it then we’d definitely recommend experimenting with shades and tones and complimentary colours and always remember that less (by less we mean accents of) is sometimes more!

Iridescence & Pearlized

Metallics are and always will be a classic and the perfect addition to any colour palette.

For a 2018 twist we’re predicting the rise of anything iridescent, pearlized or translucent (courtesy of a super-HOT interiors / décor trend).

For weddings this trend can be incorporated in everything from our 2017 trend obsession with acrylics to iridescent and holographic stationery. You might like to drape yourself in a pearl encrusted dress whilst shimmering fresh make-up adds a modern twist.

Emma is particularly crushing on Lunaria (also known as Honesty) and would love to see a bride adorned with a shimmering crown made from this overlooked floral.

Clear/Glass Marquees

This beautiful marquee alternative has been popping up across the pond for a while, but late to the party we’ve started to embrace the clear marquee in all it’s glory! With uninterrupted views during the day and twilight dancing at night, there’s so much to love about this venue choice.

To give Pippa Middleton a little nod once again, the epic glass marquee she chose for her reception was all sorts of #goals. These budget-busting structures can be found here and also at The Wedding Gallery in London.

Our favourite way to decorate a clear or glass marquee – all the foliage! It’s the perfect space to bring the outside in. You might want to refer to Romantic Botanical for some décor inspo.

Wedding Chairs

The time has come to celebrate the array of wedding chairs finally on offer in the UK – from farmhouse to Louis, Ghost to church pews – we have them all! Some of our personal favourites comes courtesy of the likes of Wedhead, Virginias Vintage Hire, Hire Love and Hire It.

And do you know why we’re so excited about this?

Well, in a wedding nutshell, chairs take up a considerable area of your ceremony and reception and their design can have a significant impact on the overall style of your day BUT for some reason they’re also one of the most overlooked details. Upgrading or mixing up your choice of chair is one of the quickest and easiest ways to enhance your wedding décor, compliment your overall design and / or vibe and even add your own personal touch such as foliage heavy thrones!

So, if you’re not on board with your venues’ in-house chair or you’re hiring a dry-hire venue then go forth and explore the vast number of options available to hire.

Bridal Fashion

The fashion… the exciting bit right?

The influence of the High Street is still strong with more and more brands launching bridal lines – A welcome relief to the relaxed bride or those on a budget.

But for us, we will always lust after the bespoke designers – from the glamour of Suzanne Neville to the intimacy of Hermione de Paula. So with tassel earrings, floral appliqué and crowns on our hot list, here’s a round-up of some of our favourite and lust-worthy bridal trends…

  • Statement cuffs
  • Thigh-high splits
  • Large earrings (tassel or crawler!)
  • Off-the-shoulder
  • 3D floral applique
  • Going casual (dramatic skirts with jumpers)
  • Denim jackets
  • Embroidered leather jackets
  • Two piece dresses
  • Crowns and tiaras
  • Touches of black
  • Personalised embroidery on dresses (names, initials or wedding dates)

Laura from The Bridal Edit adds, “It’s important to remember there is something for everyone out there depending on budget and personal choice. For us we are truly dedicated to style curated designers. 2018 bridal trends will see these designers mixing it up with fabrics, style (some named above) and ultimately giving brides the freedom of choice to add personality to their looks. This may include layering, bridal separates and even mixing it up with fashion brands when it comes to completing the look whether it by with the accessories or personalised biker leathers! Come and explore some of our curated designers at The Bridal Edit.” 

Circular Floral Backdrops

A wedding backdrop that frames rather than hides a venue’s beautiful surrounds that can also double up as Instagram-worthy photo op – do we even need to explain why this one made it on to the 2018 Wedding Trend Report?!!!

Just looking at these images alone and we’re sold! The beautiful floral arch has been given an upgrade for 2018 and we’re loving the circular floral backdrop as an alternative. If you loved the Witching Hour or Celestial trends above then why not look at creating a crescent moon instead?

Velvet

If you go in to any high street shop at the moment you’re bound to notice an abundance of velvet.

This trend has already permeated our wardrobes, making it one of the most promising and luxurious trends for the year ahead.

For weddings, velvet can be incorporated into your design as little or as much as you like (and your budget allows) – from a simple velvet ribbon adorning your bouquet or button holes to bold coloured velvet linens, napkins, shoes, heirloom ring boxes, blazers, escort cards (you get the drift) in all their strokeable opulence and regalness!

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Emma Hla

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Emma Hla

Emma is the founder & curator of these award-winning pages. Passionate about venues, interiors and a good Whiskey Sour. You'll also find Emma working as a Creative Director consulting for wedding venues around the UK.

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