2018 wedding trends embrace bold florals, natural elements, donuts, Instagram-worthy table decor, and more.

It's engagement season and we know all of the newly betrothed are pinning, favoriting, and following to collect ideas while planning for their big day. In 2017, Airlie hosted over 70 weddings, and we're currently in the midst of planning many more with our 2018 (and 2019!) couples. You could say we've got the inside scoop on what to expect in the trend department, and even what's on the way out. Read on to learn more. 


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In: Natural Elements

Clean and classic yet bold and elegant, natural elements such as copper, marble, rock, and glass are making their way to the forefront of decor trends. Whether it be used for place settings, photography backdrop, or signage, natural elements definitely have a timeless look that will add the air of sophistication to your big day.

Photo credit: Nicole Colwell



In: Donuts

Not just any ole box of donuts - walls of them! In addition to being a tasty treat for your guests, the donut wall transforms the dessert table from dull afterthought to dominant focal point of the reception. Bonus: can also be used for selfie station. In addition to the donut wall, we're seeing continued personalization when it comes to the sweets. From script cake toppers to themed tables of treats, the possibilities are endless.

Photo credit: Alisandra Photography



Out: Overly Rustic Decor

We enjoyed this trend while it lasted, but we're seeing less and less of the country rustic touches with our 2018 couples. Mason jars, sunflowers, and burlap are making way for more classic decor trends such as wood and other natural elements as mentioned above. Wedding Wire explained the trend shift best coining the phrase, "rustic 2.0," or woodsy.




In: Bold Florals

2017 was all about greenery, including succulents, garland and roping, with accents of white floral. Following along with Pantone's color of the year - Ultra Violet - 2018 will be all about bold, rich color when it comes to floral elements including bouquets and table decor. Grand floral arbors will also be making a return, and we did see a glimpse of that in this year's fall weddings. Either way, we're all about beautiful florals and excited to see how our couples incorporate this most romantic of elements into their celebration.

Photo credit: Birds of a Feather Photography



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(Still) In: Personalization to the Max

Once again, this is a trend that will be here to stay, and we agree. One of the best parts of wedding planning is learning about each couple's unique vision for their day and transforming the ceremony and reception spaces accordingly. Literally no two weddings are the same! Some of our favorite personalization elements from 2017 were program infographics, handlettering on natural elements (glass, wood, and even geodes!), and adding fun elements such as a bounce house and lawn games (think cornhole from the couples' alma mater).

Photo credit: Alisandra Photography


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In: Instagram-worthy Tablescapes

The reception is the perfect time to consider all five senses and how to incorporate the wedding themes into each. Tablescapes incorporate four of the five and allow the couple to convey emotion utilizing color, texture, scent, lighting, and more. Plus, couples tend to be more thoughtful about their table decor since guests spend a sizeable amount of time there during the reception. There are a variety of elements to consider including the table size and style, covering, China, chargers, utensils, glassware, menus, and decor (florals, candles, etc.). The baseline for it all: is it Instagram-worthy? Then you know you're done!

Photo credit: Lieb Photographic
Lead photo credit: Stephanie Messick


Looking for more wedding trend inspo? Visit our Pinterest Boards and Website Galleries. Ready to learn more about hosting your wedding at Airlie? Complete our online form. Congratulations, and happy planning!

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Quaid Coxsey

Written by Quaid Coxsey

Quaid initially discovered his passion for wedding planning when he was asked by a friend to help plan her wedding. Through that experience, he found his niche and started his own company in nearby Culpeper, Virginia. While working together on a styled shoot, Quaid struck up partnerships with both Good Earth Flowers and Bella Giornata Events and Design, and quickly worked for and alongside both companies. During this time, Quaid became well versed in many aspects of special event planning and details from concept through execution. While working with both of these companies, Quaid booked a wedding at Airlie, and while he loved the venue, was unaware that it would change his career forever. Shortly after, he interviewed with Airlie, and with much excitement said yes to joining the catering sales team, of which he has been a member since 2016.


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