17 big wedding reception trends to watch in 2017

Receptions // by Ginny Cumming

WEDDING RECEPTION TRENDS 2017
What’s going to be big in wedding receptions in 2017? We asked some of Queensland’s top stylists and event planners for their predictions.

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1. Personalised Ice Creams

Bride and groom eating icecream on their wedding night.

Trend: Personalised Ice Creams. Photo: Wheel & Spoon

“This is the sweetest trend, in every sense of the word,” says Ashleigh Boileau from Champagne & Confetti Events. “Personalised ice-creams that reflect the favourite flavours of the bride and groom will go down a treat, especially during summer in Queensland. Check out the delish flavours – and gorgeous ice cream tricycle – from Wheel & Spoon.” Signature-flavour ice creams, gelato, waffle cones and sprinkles, all served by a uniformed attendant? Yes, please.

2. Strawberry Towers

Strawberry towers are a trend in 2017.

Trend: Strawberry Towers. Photo: We Are Twine

According to Alysia Bridger from Celebrations by Alysia, strawberry towers will grace dessert tables and lounge bars in 2017. “They’re total showstoppers: elegant, edible art that people also really love to eat.” Covered in things like white chocolate, tiny edible pearls and silver leaf, it’s easy to see why.

3. Coastal Colours

reception trends: Reception table setting with coastal colours.

Trend: Coastal Colours. Photo: Little Gray Station

A raw coastal colour palette is set to be big for 2017 weddings, says Marianne Edmonds from Honey & B. “Think linens and styling features in hues of indigo, stone and olive.” Nicole Smith from Hampton Event Hire agrees: “It’s a colour palette that works in just about every setting, but especially at a beach wedding.”

4. Favourite Favours

reception trends: Wedding favours

Trend: Favourite Favours. Photo: Fotolia

One of the loveliest trend predictions also comes from Marianne from Honey & B – charitable donations in lieu of wedding favours. “The idea is simple,” she says. “Donate the money you might have spent on bomboniere to a cause that means something to you and your groom-to-be.” Aww.

5. Bespoke Backdrops

receptions trends: bespoke backdrops with wallpaper and florals.

Trend: Bespoke Backdrops. Photo:Events and Settings  

“This is a growing trend and an elegant finishing touch that can be completely personalised,” says Helen Sotiris from Events and Settings. “Pretty much any wedding artwork can be transformed into a backdrop, from a stylish motif to a monogram used on invitations and wedding stationery. The trend is not only to place the backdrop behind the bridal table at the reception but also at the entrance or somewhere central so that guests can use it as a photo wall.”

6. Acrylic Tables

Acrylic tables with wedding cakes and florals.

Trend: Acrylic Tables. Photo: Porfyri Photography

Helen from Events and Settings also predicts that acrylic cake and feature tables will be a clear (boom boom) winner for 2017. “They’re a lovely, super-stylish option that look great in any setting, and really let whatever’s sitting on them take centre stage.” Think of them as the bridal version of the iconic Philippe Starck Louis Ghost Chair.

7. Tuk-tuks

reception trends: just married tuk-tuk.

Trend: Tuk-tuks. Photo: Tropix Photgraphy

“When it comes to alternate forms of transport, the Kombi was the king of 2016, but expect tuk-tuks to shine in 2017, with brides looking even further out of the box,” says Jess Lawrence from The Wedding Planners Whitsundays. Tuk-tuks? Fun fun!

8. Desserts in a Jar

reception trends: desserts in a jar.

Trend: Desserts in a Jar. Photo: Ducky Professional Photography

Sweet tooths will love the trend for cakes in a jar, made by The Mason Baker. “They’re the perfect pudding; you can have them instead of cake, and they make gorgeous table decorations and guest gifts, too,” says Alysia from Celebrations by Alysia.

9. Tipis

reception trends: wedding tipis.

Trend: Tipis. Photo: Stories By Ash

“Fun, festive and totally photogenic, tipis are the perfect alternative to a marquee,” says Jess from The Wedding Planners Whitsundays. Marianne from Honey & B agrees: “Taking the indoors out will be a big trend in 2017, with backyard weddings featuring tipi tents and open marquees.” It’s all about harnessing that festival-chic vibe, with live music and a chilled-out atmosphere (but with way better food and portaloos!).

10. Top Table Toppers

reception trends: top table toppers.

Trend: Top Table Toppers. Photo: We Are Twine

There are certain items that are staples on a wedding table, but according to Alysia from Celebrations by Alysia, 2017 will take luxury linens and beautiful stationery to a whole new level. “The glam factor will be well and truly amped up – it’s all about luxe details.”

11. Platters & Grazing Stations

reception trends: food platter and grazing station.

Trend: Platters & Grazing Stations. Photo: Shutterstock

“Because who doesn’t like a big table filled with food?” says Ashleigh Boileau from Champagne & Confetti Events. “This is a great sharing option, which is much more relaxed than the traditional three-course alternative drop. And while food stations tend to focus on one particular dish, theme or cuisine, these are all-encompassing and decadent.”

12. Make Your Own Bomboniere

a DIY floral bomboniere

Trend: Make Your Own Bomboniere. Photo: Fotolia

No, we’re not talking about a craft session in the lead-up to your big day: a hot trend for 2017 is DIY bomboniere stands for guests at your actual wedding. “It’s a great way to fill in the hour or so when the wedding party is having photographs taken,” says Marianne from Honey & B . Suggested ideas? “Anything from make-your-own flower crowns and buttonholes to make-your-own fragrances and olive oil infusions.”

13. Brunch Weddings

a brunch wedding and table setting

Trend: Brunch Weddings. Photo: Fotolia

“This is a great choice, especially for a destination wedding,” says Marianne from Honey & B. “Why choose a venue with a stunning view in a faraway destination if you can’t even see it at night?” A daytime wedding also lets you go to town on fabulous, elaborate brunch-style food and drinks: “Think bagels, ham stations, antipasto platters, gorgeous seasonal fruit, parfait bars, mimosas and Bloody Marys galore,” says Marianne. No problems there!

14. Custom Cocktails

customised cocktails at a wedding reception

Trend: Custom Cocktails. Photo: Todd Hunter McGaw

Forget standard drinks from a normal bar: according to Marianne from Honey & B, 2017 is all about signature cocktails that are in keeping with the wedding theme and served from a custom bar. “Once formalities are over, opening a spirits bar is a great way to get people up from their tables and moving around the venue. It creates an ice breaker for guests and gets them chatting and mingling as they share in a drink chosen or concocted especially for the wedding.”

15. Food Stations

a popcorn and cotton candy food station at a wedding reception

Trend: Food Stations. Photo: iStock

“Food stations will again be big, depending on your venue and if they can handle special requests,” says Ashleigh from Champagne & Confetti Events.

“They’re a great way to show your individual style, serve interesting and amazing food, and make things fun for your guests.” Jess from The Wedding Planners Whitsundays agrees: “Food stations and unique menu options are well and truly here to stay for 2017”. Marianne from Honey & B says the key is for food and drink stations to be creative: “Think gourmet coffee stations, build-your-own taco stands and carnival food.”

16. Intimate Dinners

Bride and groom at an intimate dinner reception

Trend: Intimate Dinners. Photo: Tropix Photgraphy

According to Jess from The Wedding Planners Whitsundays, elopements and intimate weddings are set to go through the roof in 2017. “With a smaller guest list, the options are endless and budgets a bit more flexible. So expect to see some extraordinary intimate dinners.”

17. Room Reveals

A room reveal at the Brisbane Powerhouse

Trend: Room Reveals. Photo: Studio Impressions. Venue: Brisbane Powerhouse

Alysia from Celebrations by Alysia says another new trend is room reveals (yes, we’re talking weddings, not The Block). Everyone – including the staff – leaves the room and the couple get a moment on their own to see the result of everything they’ve been planning for so long. “The day goes by in a flash, so it’s lovely for couples to have a moment to themselves to take it all in before the guests arrive. It’s really special and most of the time we’re all in tears!”


With thanks to Alysia Bridger from Celebrations by Alysia; Ashleigh Boileau from Champagne & Confetti Events; Helen Sotiris from Events and Settings; Nicole Smith from Hampton Event Hire; Marianne Edmonds from Honey & B and Jess Lawrence from The Wedding Planners Whitsundays.

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