San Diego’s Top 50 Wedding Trends

By: Kristen Castillo

Weddings are timeless affairs but it is always fun to try something new or add something different. That’s why San Diego Style Weddings is giving you a glimpse at the year’s top 50 wedding trends. From food styles to fashion picks to photo trends and décor touches, read on for the hot styles for your ceremony and reception.

Leah Marie Photography

1. Soft Colors 

The it-colors for 2015 will “reflect gentle tones of the English garden,” says Haydee Dela Cruz of Haydee’s Creative Flowers, who is spotting pastels like peach, blush pink, lavender, creams and soft whites.

2. Braids 

The popular wedding hair braids aren’t like the ones you wore as a kid. These elegant braids often wrap around the crown of your head. Fishtail braids are a pretty and soft look that can be elegant and stylish too.

3. Small Guest Lists 

Weddings are getting smaller. “Most of my weddings are intimate affairs for 100 or less,” says wedding coordinator and wardrobe stylist Catherine Bachelier Smith of CBS Lifestylist.

4. Wedding Weekend  

Many couples are having wedding weekends, where their wedding party, family and out of town guests celebrate the nuptials for a few days, for instance a Friday through Sunday Weekend affair. Host a welcome party on Friday, like a BBQ, happy hour or rehearsal dinner; enjoy the wedding day on Saturday, complete with the ceremony, reception and after party. Then on Sunday relax with your guests for a brunch, spend some time at the pool and treat yourselves to some spa treatments. Ideally all the guests stay at the same hotel or resort so everyone can conveniently enjoy the wedding weekend activities.

5. Late Night Snacks  

“These snacks are a fun treat for your guests, especially when you have a wider choice of food and sweets,” says Christie Gowdy at Culinary Concepts, who’s seeing orders for foods like carne asada fries, nachos, corn dogs and tater tots.

6. Geometic Patterns 

These days, squares, circles, triangles and other geometric shapes are making their mark at weddings. Use these classic patterns to style your cake, invitations and table décor. Many gowns and accessories feature geometric cutouts and designs too.

7. Double Duty Décor

Couples on a tight budget are repurposing their flowers from ceremony to reception. “Arbor floral sprays and chair embellishments are being used again for the sweetheart or head table décor,” says Dawn Stone of Embellishment Floral & Event Design Studio.


8. Food Focus 

Brides and grooms are paying attention to their big day menu. “They are asking for locally sourced, seasonal and fresh ingredients to showcase what San Diego has to offer,” says Kristin Watkins of Stephanie Rose Events.

9. Fewer Gimmicks & Props

Cutesy wedding photography won’t be as popular, which means a return to more authentic images. “Images will of course still be stylized, but I feel it is getting back to what really makes an image incredible,” says Aaron Feldman of True Photography. “That is the interaction between the couple. Capturing who they really are together.”

10. Roses 

Although they’re always stylish, roses are very popular right now. Dela Cruz notes English Garden roses like the David Austin brand, as well as garden spray roses will be “in great demand.”

11. Radiant Orchid 

Color expert Pantone says Radiant Orchid, which has fuchsia, purple and pink, is the color of the year. The reason? It “blooms with confidence and magical warmth that intrigues the eye and sparks the imagination.”

Equinox Photo

12. Making Guests a Priority 

Couples are serving signature cocktails and tray passed appetizers to guests as they arrive at the wedding. It’s all part of “setting the tone that your guests are VIPs and that the evening will be focused on their experience, not just that of the bride and groom,” says Watkins.

13. Getting Social 

Post photos and wedding memories to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using custom hashtags such as #GinaDerekWedding. You and your friends can share the experience on the wedding day and beyond. Make sure you advertise your hashtag with a sign at the reception or even on your invitation or wedding website.

14. Black Tie 

This formal look is always in vogue but it is really trending these days as grooms are opting for high-style and sophistication.

15. Personalizing the Day 

From color choices to menu options, more couples are focusing on showcasing what they like, such as serving a specific cake flavor or signature drink; playing their favorite music during the reception; and using their vacation photos as table numbers, for example Table Six would showcase pictures from the bride and groom’s trip to San Francisco.

16. Privacy, Please! 

While many couples are using social media throughout the wedding, others want a little privacy. “I suggest you ask the guests to put down their phones and just enjoy the moment with you,” says Feldman. “Let you as a couple be the first ones to enjoy your professional photographs. This will also ensure that when the most important moment is happening the one with the most expensive camera is not being blocked by all the cell phones taking pictures.”

Tim Otto Photography

17. Romantic Luxe 

Tall luxurious florals are making an impact at weddings.  Dela Cruz says the look calls for an “abundance of flowers and no greeneries in soft creamy colors.” She suggests full flowers like hydrangeas and roses.

18. Delicious Desserts 

Prepare your sweet tooth! Trendy desserts include mini cakes, donuts, gourmet ice cream sandwiches and even Rice Krispie Treats.

19. Crop Tops 

“Crop top bridal fashion is perfectly suited for a San Diego wedding on the beach,” says Watkins, noting bridesmaids can wear the trendy tops with a high-waisted skirt, while brides who don’t want to show off their midriff, can wear “a lace crop top over a simple gown.”

20. Dinner for Two? 

Cooking tools top’s wedding registry, including measuring cups, mixing bowls and bakeware sets.

21. Crafted Cocktails

Signature cocktails are still cool but couples are taking things up a notch. Gowdy says brides and grooms are hiring Mixologists, “to create a craft cocktail specifically for them using unique and fresh ingredients.”

22. Comfort Food 

Bring on the BBQ, donuts and s’mores! Have a little fun with your food at the reception or after party. It’s trendy to indulge with tasty snacks and sweets, including treats from a food truck, such as burgers, fries, ice cream and cookies.

23. Branding

Brides love a branded wedding,” says Bachelier Smith. “Every element to the wedding is coordinated and cohesive.”

24. Entertaining Options

Technology is king at weddings, as more couples are showing slideshows of event photos during the party.  It’s also popular to pay your videographer to do a same day video edit to be shown during the reception.

24. Garden Style Flowers 

Bouquets will have a “just picked from the garden” look, says Dela Cruz, explaining the style is natural, romantic and great for outdoor weddings. She suggests using lavender, geraniums, rosemary for aroma and an organic feel.

True Photography

25. Mismatched Bridesmaids 

No your bridesmaids don’t have to match! These days your bridesmaids can choose any dress style, length and design. While most brides ask their maids to have a unifying theme, like the same color, anything goes.

26. Say Cheese! 

Photo booths continue to be well liked. Guests enjoy taking photos with their friends and the photo strips are instant souvenirs too.

27. Navy is the New Black 

Navy is becoming the new wedding neutral, says Watkins who says the color is softer than black but very versatile. “It can be paired with bright colors, pastels, jewel tones and neutrals,” she says.

28. Stripes 

From table runners and napkins to bridesmaids’ dresses and socks for the groomsmen, stripes are making a bold wedding statement. Don’t overdo the look but use it for a punch of pizzazz!

29. Off the Shoulder Gowns

Show off your shoulders with this hot trend! Off the shoulder gowns were all over the runway during bridal fashion week. The look is demure, sexy and a great way to show off your neck.

30. Tulle Overskirts 

Also a trend from bridal fashion week, tulle overskirts add some oomph to your ceremony style and can be removed for your reception. Two bridal looks in one!

31. Untraditional Wedding Parties 

Many brides have a “Man of Honor” instead of a maid of honor, while grooms often have a “Best Woman” instead of a best man. This allows men and women to stand by the bride or groom, regardless of tradition. Plus many couples have five people in the wedding party for example, instead of having six. You don’t need to balance the wedding party.

32. Being Interactive 

Keep the party moving with fun, interactive elements like posing for caricatures, playing trivia games and wine tasting. Guests will enjoy trying new things and mingling during your event.

33. Beachy Hair 

San Diego is a beach community so why not embrace the look with trendy beachy waves? The loose curls are sexy, free flowing and definitely camera ready.

34. Matte Magic 

Flush mount albums, where the picture is the page, are still fashionable but matted albums are making a comeback too. “A matted book with timeless images, stands the test of time,” says Feldman, noting “duo” books are popular too since they have some matted pages and some flush pages. “It’s a nice mix of timeless meets contemporary.”

35. Hot! Hot! Hot! 

Fans of sriracha, hot sauce and chiles can rejoice. Spicy foods are making their way onto wedding menus.

36. Hair Details 

Bridal hair accessories like beaded clips are back. The stylish looks can be soft and sophisticated with a bit of sass too.

Eisenhower Photography

37. Food Favors 

For wedding favors, snacks are trendy. Think edible treats like cookies, candies, honey or tea.

38. Rustic Glam 

Combining outdoor venues and great weather with glamour and sophistication is a priority for couples this year. “There is nothing more romantic than an outdoor evening ceremony under chandeliers with bone china and crystal wine glasses sparkling in candlelight,” says Watkins, who calls rustic glam an “ideal San Diego style.”

39. Timeless Fashion 

A “timeless and classic” look is popular, says Bachelier Smith, who is seeing flowy, less stiff gowns and accessories that are “sparkly and delicate.”

Leah Marie Photography

40. Naked Cakes 

without icing on the sides and top of the cake are trendy. While the dessert has icing between the layers, it does appear naked on the outside. It’s a fit for casual weddings.

41. Romantic Elegance

This look is “classic and traditional,” says Stone, explaining romantic elegance continues to trend because “it can be reviewed in a few years and the bride and groom won’t cringe and laugh at themselves.”

42. Lighting 

A reception spotlight is on lighting. Couples are setting the mood with chandeliers for a luxurious feel, candles for romance and uplighting for drama.

43. Educated Food Choices

Look for artisan cheese stations and family style dining, says Gowdy, who’s also seeing more gluten free, vegetarian and vegan menus.  The reason for the trend? Brides and grooms “are more educated than ever about different types and varieties of foods,” she says.

44. Ruffles 

This detail adds texture to gowns, décor and even cakes. Ruffles are fun but don’t overdo the trend – a little bit makes a big statement.

45. Seasonal and Local 

Brides and grooms are being mindful of the season when they plan many wedding elements, using seasonal flowers for décor (Gerber daisies in the fall) and seasonal fruits (lemon in summer!). Being seasonal and local is great for your budget and the environment too, since you don’t have to pay to ship items from all over the world.

46. Lace 

This fabric is a classic for weddings and has been really making a statement on runways and down the aisle. Use soft lace detailing in a variety of ways including in your gown and on your invitations.

47. Signage 

It’s popular to keep your guests informed at the wedding with cool signage, such as chalkboards indicating where the bar is or menu cards at each place setting. Have fun with your color scheme or theme when creating your signs.

48. Photo Album Simplicity 

Forget over-styled wedding albums. Instead let the photographs tell the story, says Feldman.  “Have a simple, clean album that supports your amazing photographs,” he says, “You don’t need a ton of fluff when you have awesome pictures.”

49. First Dance Songs 

John Legend’s “All of Me,” Sara Bareilles’ “I Choose You” and Beyonce’s “XO” are some of the most popular song choices for first dances.

50. Headpieces 

From floral crowns to gem-encrusted headbands, headpieces are getting a lot of attention this year. The looks range from vintage, to sophisticated, to bohemian.



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Your Ultimate Southern California Wedding Guide

Whether you're looking for the latest trends in decor, themes, or floral arrangements, this section is your go-to resource for creative concepts that will make your wedding truly stand out.

Dive into this treasure trove of inspiration to find unique elements that resonate with your vision and elevate your big day to a masterpiece of personal expression.