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Experts Explain Why Wedding Trends Change So Often

It can be hard to keep up!

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Emily Elyse Wehner

The moment when your significant other gets down on one knee and asks for your hand in marriage? Miraculous. The next six (or eight or 12) months? Hectic. Wedding planning, while a special time in every couple's relationship, also brings plenty of stress and pressure. From selecting a date and a venue to finding a wedding dress and determining exactly who gets an invitation, tying the knot requires a good deal of work. And some of that work includes analyzing the latest trends. Wedding planning becomes that much more intense when a couple tries to follow every trend—especially when things like wedding colors, styles, and approaches are constantly changing.

 

As wedding experts explain, many factors influence modern shifts in this industry, requiring brides and grooms to really evaluate what's most important to them and how they want to remember their big day. Will they be glad they picked mason jars because they were Instagram-worthy at the time, or will they wish they had gone with something a little more timeless? For some perspective, consider this insight from wedding planners, photographers, and more who explain why what's in right now might not be popular in a few years.

 

Related: Modern Wedding Trends Your Parents Just Don't Understand

 

The trends don't begin until mid-year.

Though the turn of a calendar page isn't a heavy lift, it sure does bring on the inspiration for change. But unlike New Year's resolutions, Jeff Farlow, executive chef at Wente Vineyards, a popular wedding spot, says wedding trends don't begin to shift until the months have come and gone. "Early in the year, you're going to see trends linger, with many of last year's influences still impacting couples' choices. As you make your way into the summer and fall weddings, however, there is a shift," he notes. "Oftentimes, these couples are planning in the New Year and are eager to differentiate their celebration from those attended more recently."

 

The cycle changes every eight to ten years.

If you're still giving your mom a hard time for tossing her 80s jeans that would be so popular right now, make sure you hold onto your wedding gear for your future daughter or son. Kevin Dennis, owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, explains wedding trends cycle every eight to ten years, with subtle differences each season. "Oftentimes, you'll see a theme play out over several years but it will evolve over time. For example, shabby chic and rustic were two prevalent themes years ago and they haven't disappeared completely. Instead, couples are inspired by newer trends, such as industrial, and decide to pair the two together for a fresh look," he says.

 

Trends go from fashion to home to events.

While you'd probably never admit the fodder for your wedding invitations came from place settings you found on sale at your favorite department store, wedding planner Jacqueline Hill explains trends take shape through stages—starting in fashion on the runway, flowing through home décor, and eventually moving to events like weddings. "Trends continue to evolve and take on new shapes each year. As an example, we have seen agate for a few years now and that trend is evolving into marble. By the end of 2018 agate will be out and marble will be in full use," she shares.

 

Social media has a big impact.

Wedding planner CeCe Todd credits social media as the reason why wedding trends spread so quickly. While it used to take at least a few seasons for trends from major metros to find their way to the Midwest, that timeframe is now much shorter. "The time that it takes for these trends to manifest themselves in these areas has dramatically reduced thanks to the ability of designers to see new inspiration online," she says. Just how quickly? Wedding photographer Keith Phillips explains while cities like New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles usually dictate what's popular, their influence only takes 12 to 18 months to spread nationwide. In the past, it would take three to five years.