Wedding Trends for 2018 that We’ll Gladly Get Behind

While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to tradition (hey, no one knocks a royal wedding), it can be refreshing to skip over the formalities and embrace a little bit of fun. From dresses that are neither strapless nor skintight to food that actually satisfies (ahem, loaded mac and cheese), these carefree wedding trends are slated to hit it big in the next year.

Anything But Blush Bridesmaid Dresses

Is it just us or was every bridal party in the past two years decked out in shades of soft pink? Save the blushing for the bride and steer your party toward multiple muted hues instead. You can even take it a step further by incorporating a photogenic mix of textures and patterns. Tip: This works best with larger parties of five or more so nothing is too repetitive or disjointed.

Garland Centerpieces

In 2018, we’ll be seeing fewer formal centerpieces and a whole lot more rustic-inspired table garlands. From magnolia leaves and ferns to herbs and seeded eucalyptus, the minimalist vibe will be gracing guest tables, arbors and even canopies high above your head.

Wedding Bands With Character

Wedding bands are in the midst of a renaissance: Simple and classic (​you know, that traditional ring with no stones) has been replaced by a focus on the unexpected: surprising gems like yellow sapphires or black diamonds, new shapes for the band itself​ and even pavé diamonds​ on an ultra-thin band.

Copper Detailing

This shade of metal has the ability to mesh with glamorous, elegant weddings and rustic, vintage nuptials alike. Expect to see it everywhere next year in the form of serving ware, candle holders, Moscow Mule mugs and even copper wire boutonniere wraps. It’s the little things, folks.

Embellished Wedding Gowns

When it comes to the dress, next year’s top trend will make you feel like a fairy-tale princess. First, it’s all about the neckline: We’re talking everything from plunging V necks to cape tops and even long sleeves (so long, strapless). And while there may be fewer flowers on the tables themselves, you’ll see multitudes of floral appliqués and embroidery on the bride.

Carefully Curated Registries

Many couples these days are opting out of the full-fledged registry and choosing more out-of-the-box items they know they’ll actually use—like a snorkeling trip for the honeymoon as opposed to another cake stand. Registries like Zola let you set up group funds for these experiential gifts, but also let you curate a list of mainstream items to appease the more traditional invitees. (Hey, if Grandma really wants to get you that fancy Kitchen Aid stand mixer, who are you to stop her?)

Comfort Food

Cozy, family-style dinners that actually leave you feeling full—think fancy burgers, roasted chicken and local vegetables—will be a wedding highlight, especially in the cooler months. Though we sincerely hope every wedding we attend from now until forever serves mac and cheese.