Weddings in 2016-17 are all about the 'informalities'.

The biggest wedding trends of 2016 and 2017 have been revealed by Pinterest. (Which is, arguably, the authority in the industry, considering most boards are ruled by brides-to-be.)

It’s all about the ‘informal’ in the 2016-2017 bridal season. Alternate seating; informal programs (apparently ‘formal programs’ were a thing); unplugged ceremonies; and mismatched bridesmaids dresses are just some of the ways trending weddings are moving away from the rigid, formal tradition.

Changed seating arrangements.

First off, guests aren’t being told where to sit anymore – name cards are no longer necessary (budget tick) and people can sit wherever they want. You don’t have to worry about ‘placing’ that crazy aunt; singles can sit with couples; the person you just know will show up in double-denim can hide themselves in the back; and in-laws don’t have to pretend to like each other. It’s all about creating a casual, friendly vibe and skipping the formalities.

Also, alternative seating is not only ‘acceptable’, it’s trending, people. Yes, out with the white plastic chairs, and in with hay bales, rustic wooden benches, on-the-ground cushions, or anything else ‘alty’ that people are able to sit on. Beanbags, anyone?

Finally, Pinterest has seen a massive surge (up 80 per cent) in searches for “circular ceremony seating”. This is a very picturesque, intimate idea for ceremony seating that sees the guest’s seats surround the alter, almost like an amphitheatre. So long as you’re not one for stage fright, it could be a good way make room for more guests, and help everyone feel included and involved in the special day.

Informal programs.

Along with name cards, printed programs (particularly those embossed on gloss paper, with foiled foil printing, and laser-cut embellishment) are no longer needed (bank balance phew).

In-keeping with this year’s informal trend, programs that are more casual – printed on a chalk board or wooden pallet – are in. They can be on show for everyone to see, and can include a cute quote or the wedding’s hashtag (which are also trending) beneath the day’s schedule.

Food trucks.

Yes, you read that correctly. Pinterest searches for food trucks at weddings have gone up by 30 per cent in the last year. From tacos and sliders to ice cream and doughnuts, food trucks are a viable, relatively inexpensive and trendy way to both feed wedding guests and set the mood.

The concept of a food truck means people are up and about, mingling, drinking, talking. The tone is kept informal and social, and the street food vibe is arguably more enticing (and more delicious) than a rigid, sit-down alternating set menu.


Unplugged celebrations.

This is a sign of the times, and it’s where guests are asked to turn off their phones (in some cases turn in their phones) in order to be ‘fully present’ and engaged in the special day.

Guests with their noses buried in their screens; selfie snappers getting in the way of professional photographers; and iPhone photos being released on social media before the official photographs, are just some of the reasons couples are opting for ‘unplugged’ weddings.

Searches for ‘unplugged wedding’ have risen by 600 per cent in the last year on Pinterest, and examples of signage and printables that encourage guests to pocket their devices have been widely ‘pinned’. Ups to that.

Mismatched wedding dresses.

To the relief of bridesmaids-to-be worldwide, matching bridesmaid dresses are no longer a necessity. You no longer have to don the dreaded lilac, or fit you d-cups into a sweetheart cut because every other bridesmaid is built like a bird.

Mismatched bridesmaid dresses are a thing, and searches are up 50 percent on Pinterest. They make for interesting, fun photographs. And there are a few different options to make it happen – you can choose different styles of the same colour; different tones of the same colour; different dresses of different colours within a certain theme (for example, autumn colours); or just completely different dresses (styles and colour) for every bridesmaid. Get creative, and trust your girls to make it happen.

Toss bars.

This is  not what it sounds like. Toss bars are a throw back to the Greek tradition of throwing rice at the married couple as they leave the church (it’s meant to help with fertility). They are a beautiful, happy, photogenic way of celebrating the moment the pair ‘steps out’ as a married couple.

Toss bars are stands filled with anything from rose petals to confetti (water bombs?), where guests can stock up in preparation to take aim. As the wedded couple leave the church, or the ceremony, the guests throw everything they picked up from the toss bar in the air, and onto the couple, making for a laughter-filled, snap-happy, final moment.

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