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Designer Phillipa Lepley says…
Going couture. As always, we’re seeing a very high number of couture clients. We are seeing a year-on-year increase in international clients coming to London for British couture, which is definitely having a moment.
Statement dresses. Brides are also opting to make more fashion statements with their bridal look, from detachable overskirts and trains to a focus on statement sleeves. Clean, sculptural couture looks have also been popular, enhanced with bespoke silk tulle-embroidered veils for extra detail. We have also seen an increasing interest in bespoke minidresses, for brides opting for a second look for dancing or the day before the wedding. Dresses topped with bespoke silk tulle veils with personalised and floral hand embroideries are also looking very popular. A lot of girls are also choosing oversized, really ‘wow’ frocks with multiple layers of tulle and volume – it’s all about elegant drama.
The details. A lot are making fashion statements with their sleeves, while others are focusing on shapes and detailing, with high-neck wedding dresses continuing to be popular.
Lighter, softer fabrics. We are creating dresses using lots of tulle and soft sheer fabrics, which can work for both a traditional and a modern bride. These styles have lots of movement and are ideal for weddings which require a lightweight gown. Brides are also looking for different weights and varieties of lace, from fine chantilly ‘buttercup’ lace, which is very romantic and feminine, to heavy, corded ‘scroll’ lace that makes more of a statement.
Visit at PhillipaLepley.com
Designer Cynthia Grafton-Holt says…
Classic silhouettes with a twist. Timeless silhouettes like A-line and gowns continue to reign supreme, but with a twist. Designers are incorporating unexpected details such as asymmetrical necklines, detachable sleeves, over-bodice separates and billowing overskirts. This gives brides a versatile look, transitioning seamlessly from the ceremony to the reception.
Luxurious textures. Classic silhouettes are also being redefined in 2024 by a focus on luxurious textures. Think sumptuous silk, opulent satin and soft velvet, which can all elevate a gown’s tactile appeal. Brides seeking a modern yet classic look are opting for dresses with subtle sheen and texture, creating a romantic and sophisticated vibe, allowing them to revel in the richness of their gown while maintaining that classic silhouette.
Intricate details and whimsical embellishments. Modern brides are gravitating towards dresses that tell a story through intricate details and whimsical embellishments. 3D floral appliqués, delicate beadwork and ethereal feathers add a touch of magic to the gown, creating a sense of romance that can resonate with a bride's personal narrative.
Subtle patterns and prints. Breaking away from tradition, brides are embracing wedding dresses with subtle patterns and prints. Soft floral motifs, delicate embroidery and watercolour-inspired designs grace the gowns, allowing brides to express their unique style while maintaining an air of sophistication.
Elevated colour palettes. While white and ivory remain timeless, a bold trend in 2024 is the embrace of an elevated colour palette. Blush, champagne and muted pastels add a touch of modernity to the classic wedding gown, allowing brides to make a statement with understated elegance while still exuding sophistication.
Sustainable couture. Eco-friendly options are taking centre stage as designers incorporate organic fabrics, recycled materials and sustainable practices into their creations. Brides can choose gowns that not only make a statement in style but also in their commitment to a more ethical wedding.
Visit at CynthiaGraftonHolt.com
Lettice Events MD Holly Congdon says…
Interactive food stations. For 2024 we are seeing couples opt for interactive food stations during their receptions to provide a fun dining experience for guests – imagine oyster bars and taco stalls.
Nostalgic comfort food. More couples are incorporating their childhood favourites into their wedding menu for a sentimental addition. Whether it’s an old family recipe or a go-to comfort meal, it adds a great personal touch – picture luxe chicken kievs, for example.
Food miles. Couples want food to be seasonal and come from the place they are getting married. For example, in Suffolk that means baron bigod cheese and Sutton hoo chickens.
Smart London wedding lunches. We are seeing modern couples opt for smart London lunches for their wedding. These venues have earlier finish times, so weddings are adapting, starting earlier with lunch, then cocktails and carriages by 10pm.
Tequila cocktails. Tequila is quickly becoming the most popular spirit option at weddings.
Veggie centrepieces. We are seeing more tablescapes involving food itself. Things like a simple vegetable centrepiece can add a beautiful touch to a table.
Visit at LetticeEvents.com
Emma Gold, founder of events agency GSP, says…
Eating like a local. More and more couples are asking for hyper-local, provenance-traceable ingredients that speak for themselves on the plate. That means freshly caught fish grilled with Provençal herbs when on the south coast of France; or homemade ravioli with olive oil and locally sourced vegetables when in Italy.
Visit at Gsp-Uk.com
SPOOK LONDON/ MARIA BELL PHOTOGRAPHY
Florist Lucy Vail says…
Maximalist designs. The cautious post-pandemic years of focusing solely on tables are behind us. There is a growing appetite for escapist designs, with a surge in demand for large-scale installations that transform wedding venues into immersive experiences.
Explosions of colour. Departing from traditional pastels, couples are now seeking vibrant and bold additions to their colour palettes. Splashes of bright pinks, blues and oranges are becoming integral elements, injecting a fresh and lively energy into wedding aesthetics.
Ribbons on candles. A trend that's gaining widespread popularity is the artful placement of ribbons on candlesticks. This elegant touch creates a luxurious tablescape, adding a sophisticated dimension to wedding decor.
‘Dutch masters’ opulence. Inspired by the opulent still-life paintings of Dutch masters, clients are bringing fruits into their floral designs. This trend elevates arrangements to a new level of richness and elegance, capturing the timeless allure of classic art.
Sustainability taking centre stage. With environmental consciousness to the fore, clients are more discerning about the origin and post-event destination of their floral choices.
Visit at LucyVailFloristry.com
Bloom & Wild florist Emma Forsey says…
Locally sourced blooms. Local flowers have been getting the love they deserve in the wedding scene, and it looks like they're going to be the go-to choice for UK weddings in 2024. More and more couples are valuing the eco-friendly element of homegrown blooms, appreciating the chance to support local growers.
Cyber Lime and Fondant Pink. Pantone recently announced its 2024 colour of the year: Peach Fuzz, a shade that’s been popular in traditional wedding bouquets for decades. But we’re anticipating a new trend that’ll feature the contrasting hues of Cyber Lime and Fondant Pink. I think the combination of delicate pastel pink flowers with accentuated lime-coloured foliage, within a relaxed and airy arranging style, is sure to be a hit.
Minimalist flower meadows. Recreating wild, unmanicured meadows brimming with a mix of flowers, grasses and foliage has been trending in wedding floristry for a few years now. It’s a look that’s set to evolve in 2024. The result is a setting that exudes both natural charm and sophistication, making it an ideal choice for couples seeking a minimalist yet impactful look for their wedding flowers. Bonus: this style keeps blooming long after the wedding, making it a great choice for couples tying the knot close to home.
AI in wedding design. AI brings the capability to discover fresh, awe-inspiring designs. Moreover, it's poised to reduce waste by enabling florists to envision potential bouquets and floral designs for couples without the need for physical stems.
Visit at BloomAndWild.com
Head of weddings at Lavender Green Flowers, Amelie Marron says…
Masses of white. Clean, minimalistic designs of white florals with only touches of foliage are a big trend as couples look to work flowers into the wider wedding aesthetic, using them to complement other features such as statement bars, ceremony backdrops or soft furniture. Classic varieties such as roses, orchids, delphinium and stocks are the feature stems here for a look that remains classic, stylish and timeless.
Gypsophila is back. Couples are opting for fluffy clouds in different shades, complemented by long-stemmed roses for an impressive, romantic look.
A move away from tradition. We are meeting with more couples who are looking to do things a bit differently. We have bridesmaids walking down the aisle holding handbags of flowers instead of bouquets, fewer couples wanting buttonholes, couples walking down the aisle together and more of a focus on family and the occasion than on traditional protocol.
Natural, effortless styling. We are still seeing a lot of English garden-influenced designs with a focus on seasonality and fragrance. For these weddings, couples will ask for naturally beautiful designs which look like they have been freshly picked and assembled – nothing overthought or over-stylised. Particular popular for marquee weddings, this trend also works wonders in unique venues as the inclusion of fresh varieties serves to soften the often stronger architecture.
Plants and fruit. Playing to the sustainable angle, we are seeing more inclusions of fresh herbs, flowering plants and even fruit styled on tables and within designs. As well as remaining natural, these serve as great design inspiration and allow guests to take home a keepsake from the wedding that they can then plant in the garden and watch grow – the perfect wedding favour.
Visit at LavenderGreen.co.uk
VENUES, EVENTS & MORE
Wedding planner Alice Wilkes says…
Extended welcome events. The welcome evening is now an exciting event in itself, becoming a must-not-miss occasion that sets the tone for the rest of the celebrations. We are really enjoying finding unusual locations to wow guests on the arrival evening for a party to remember.
Personalisation. We’re noticing couples are far more concerned with ensuring their guests come away from their wedding feeling special and unique, with couples looking at items such as hand-drawn table placing, handmade tapestries and artwork produced on the day. To create these bespoke moments, we are collaborating with artisans. A particular favourite of mine is embroidered details on napkins or ribbons.
Statement aisles. An important moment for the wedding is the aisle, with couples increasingly rethinking the stereotypically straight option. Why not challenge tradition and opt for a curved aisle or even a circular ceremony format?
After-parties. In 2024 we are expecting to see even more exciting after-parties for those left standing. This could include speakeasy vibes, where guests discover new hidden rooms that add another injection of fun until the early hours, or perhaps everyone can meet for a sunrise dip at the end of the night as a celebration for making it to the end.
Dramatic tablescapes. It’s all about the detail and ensuring elements such as layering, vibrant colours and bespoke touches are seen across the table.
Visit at AliceWilkes.co.uk
Emma Gold says…
Destination weddings. More couples are choosing to host nuptials in far-flung destinations. Vineyards in Italy and villas in France are now the norm, so couples are looking for the biggest and best new destinations further afield – the more unusual the better. Couples are planning multi-day extravaganzas on the Turkish coast or Mallorcan mega-parties. All of that said, destinations in the south of France and Tuscan hills never lose their spots at the top of the destination hit list.
The hotel buyout. Couples are keen for total exclusivity and privacy for their guests. It is no longer enough to simply take a few rooms or the events spaces for the day or the weekend. Couples are taking over entire hotels. Clients of ours this year had the Maybourne Riviera for the weekend. One event was hosted there, with best friends and family all accommodated in the hotel. It means the celebrations never stop, and it allows guests to spend quality downtime together too. From a logistical perspective, it’s hugely helpful in ensuring guests are in the right place at the right time but, ultimately, what a dream to be able to have all your loved ones in one place.
Tessa Haskell, styling & events manager at Penn Creative Collection, says…
Colour blocking. We’re seeing colour blocking trends coming through within florals and styling. For years, we have seen a real mix of colours interspersed with an abundance of greenery, but the focus is now on floral hues from one main colour. Colours such as Apricot Crush – WGSN and Coloro’s colour of the year for 2024 – are being used as the key primary tone to which all other floral colours stem from. Tablescapes on a base of either neutral or total linen are a good choice for enhancing the colours further. And it’s not just the florals in palette tones – we’re also seeing coloured candles, tonal vessels and vases, even cut fruits to really bring that colour through. You can also bring this trend through to other elements, selecting a palette for your bridesmaids, considering the tones of your stationery and, if you’re feeling brave, having fun with the colours of your drinks or cocktails.
Visit at ThePennEstate.co.uk
The team at stationery company Papier says…
Modern illustrative designs. This trend involves incorporating conversational prints and event-inspired illustrations throughout the suite. It's characterised by using contemporary artistic elements, such as playful graphics or trendy visuals, that reflect a more current and engaging style. The focus here is on incorporating illustrations that are lively, thematic and reflect the essence of the event or occasion. These designs aim to be visually stimulating and can often involve a mix of different illustration styles to create a vibrant and dynamic suite. It’s definitely set to be a trend for 2024 based on our research.
Modern photos. The emphasis here is on a classic aesthetic. The wedding stationery suite usually features photos as the central visual elements, potentially showcasing the couple or key moments. Typography plays a significant role, often using elegant and traditional fonts to convey information in a sophisticated manner. Additionally, the use of elevated colour blocks – typically a refined and limited colour palette – adds a sense of sophistication and emphasis. This approach relies on clean lines, balanced layouts, and a sense of traditional elegance through carefully chosen visuals and design elements.
Visit at Papier.com