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Trend Alert: What’s Making an Exit in 2019

In the special events industry, we’ve seen trends come and go year in and year out. One year it’s all about minimalism and the next it’s over-the-top décor. For event professionals, keeping up with the trends can feel like a full-time job! Browsing Pinterest can only tell you so much, so you need to do your due diligence to keep your finger on the market’s pulse.

While you may have some ideas of what’s up and coming, let’s take a look at the trends that are on the way out. After all, you don’t want to be the one proposing burlap table runners in 2019! Here’s what the professionals have to say about the trends that are better left in years past.

Never-ending guest lists

Guest lists are getting progressively shorter as couples realize that they’ll live without inviting their mother’s friend’s cousin to their wedding. Smaller weddings aren’t just making waves for their lower price tag; instead, couples are embracing the opportunity to celebrate their nuptials with only their nearest and dearest. “More couples are wanting that personal, intimate feel for their wedding,” explains Sandra Santoro, founder and owner of Getting Married in Italy. “Because of this, many are choosing to have smaller weddings, especially for destination weddings, having intimate luxury weddings with 30 guests.”

So long, suckers! Candy displays are on their way out. Photo courtesy Kate Anfinson Photography –

Candy bars

It seems like just yesterday that every couple was requesting apothecary jars for their assorted candies. Apparently, those days are ending in favor of a more customized bar. According to Sanya Percic, founder of Ellwed Magazine, “the days of the candy bars are finally passing by and being replaced by more tailored bars or stations, like the cigar bars, cider bars, cheese cutting stations, karaoke lounge, whisky lounge, and anything that truly expresses their personality.”

Pinterest-heavy décor

While Pinterest is still an excellent source of inspiration for to-be-weds, it seems to have become more of a starting point rather than a game plan. Karen Gordon, vice president of GoodShuffle, elaborates: “Couples are catching up with the Pinterest trends and they don’t want to repeat what all their friends have already done. All-white everything, overly rustic and over-produced weddings aren’t resonating as much these days.”

The royal treatment

This year, we’ve seen couples relax in their planning and create casual days to celebrate with their friends and family. “We are finding that our couples are a bit less ‘King and Queen-like’ going into 2019, and wanting to keep their styles a bit more harmonious with the rest of their guests,” explains leading designer Jes Gordon. “They are integrating themselves with their guests by forgoing the sweetheart table and creating communal seating with everyone and they are including more and more of their guests in the picture taking process as well. Overall, I feel like there is less of a ‘Royal Wedding’ vibe in the air going into 2019.”

Favors are no longer favored! Photo courtesy Sunshower Photography –


Wedding favors have been on the chopping block for a while, but they’ve stuck around out of a perceived need to align with traditional etiquette. They’re nice gestures, but couples are realizing that they are short-lived and so instead focus their efforts on making memories. “Favors are out,” confirms destination planner Amy Abbott of Amy Abbott Events. “Couples are using this budget allotment towards ‘experience instead,’ opting for late night snacks, breathtaking dessert tables, and a higher-end bar selection.”

Every couple is unique and has their own set of preferences, but being on top of the latest trends (and what’s out) will keep you ahead of the game. There is no better time for creativity than the present, so get out your notebook and start planning.

Kylie Carlson

Founder / CEO, The Wedding and Event Institute

Kylie Carlson is the CEO of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.