This year will unfold a variety of wedding trends, some brand new to the scene and others as imaginative versions of that we saw introduced towards the end of last year. Here are the top ten trends for Kansas City weddings:

1. Customized Invitation Suites

Photo: Marissa Cribbs Photography

Say goodbye to cookie-cutter invites and hello to custom invitation suites. From colors to themes, there are so many options when creating an invitation’s design. With so many talented artists in Kansas City, it is easy for you to work hand-in-hand, and even in-person, with a designer to develop a look that is unique to you and the style of your wedding. Whether you’re in search of simple and understated, or bold and colorful, there is a perfect design to be created for ever couple. The geode-inspired suite above was created by YellowBrick Graphics.

2. Unplug, then Re-Plug

With the rise of sharing personal experiences on social media, guests cannot wait to be the first person to post about your wedding, sometimes before you have even exchanged vows. Therefore, couples are kindly asking guests to unplug during the ceremony. Deanna Johnson, owner and photographer of A Day to Adore Photography says, “I think guests should be fully present in the moment instead of hiding behind a screen. It helps out the photographers because it allows us to focus on anticipating our next shot without worrying about someone getting in the way or having large distracting screens pop up in the photos.” It’s not rude to ask for technology to be put away at the ceremony, but don’t risk being labeled a “stuffy” couple. Welcome back in the use of social media at the reception by incorporating a fun hashtag or geo-filter for guests to tag and use throughout the evening. Or kick it up a notch by having a gif-capable photo booth. Your guests (and you) will enjoy viewing all of the candid shots the next morning!

3. Breaking the Black Tux Mold

Photo: EffJay Photography

For so long, the groom’s attire has taken a backseat to modern style and trends. Last year we saw a slight adaptation in light grey and navy suits, but that will just be the beginning as this trend continues to unfold. Jewel-toned suits, such as burgundy or emerald, have been a trendy addition for style-worthy weddings. Stand out tie designs have also become popular in various floral designs, colors, and fabrics, such as velvet. Remember the days when the men wore silly socks, only to pull them out for one photo and then tuck them away for the rest of the day? Yeah, those days are gone. Groom and groomsmen are now welcomed to add their personal tastes and touch to their attire. We love this addition to the top ten trends for Kansas City weddings.

4. Stateside Elopements

State-Side Elopement

Photo: Lininger Rood Photography

For some couples, having a large wedding surrounded by 200 guests is a scary thought. The anxiety of having to plan for the food, décor, accommodations, etc. can become overwhelming and seem insignificant next to the importance of exchanging vows. Additionally, budget conscious couples are nervous of the expense that comes with hosting a large number of guests for dinner and an evening of entertainment. More and more often, eloping has become the way for couples to release themselves from the pressure of a large wedding to solely focus on their ceremony. With just a few people on a mountaintop in Colorado, on the beaches of Florida, on in a backyard oasis, intimate and meaningful vows can be exchanged, a life-long commitment forged.

5. Ordained Loved Ones

Photo: Sarah Dean Photography

While planning a wedding, one of the big decisions to be made is who will preside over the ceremony. Instead of immediately turning to a preacher or priest, couples have started asking their close friends and/or family members to get ordained to officiate their ceremony. “Couples are trending towards a wedding that is a unique reflection of them, and who is officiating plays such a large role in that!” says wedding planner Rachael Whitehead of Whatever is Lovely Events. Having someone that knows both the bride and groom personally relaxes the stiff formality of the traditional ceremony and allows for a more unique story to be told.

6. Having Some Serious Fun with Florals

Photo: Brianne Elizabeth Photography

Florists have taken on the role as artists for their couples and continue to push the limits of creative design with floral installations. Free-standing altars, suspended arrangements above the head table, and statement floral walls are just the beginning of this trend. Kansas City florist, Ferrell Richardson, from The Cottage Rose explains, “Arbors will always be popular, but we are seeing a shift into more freeform compositions without the use of a built structure.” The nature of the installation, coupled with the chosen greenery and blooms, help to give couples a unique way to express their personal style on the wedding day. A very photographable addition to the top ten trends for Kansas City weddings.

7. Unique Signage

Photo: Brianne Elizabeth Photography

Acrylics have been a hot trend for ceremony welcome signs, reception seating charts, and even as invitations over the past year. But laser-cut wood and neon signs are going to make a big splash in the wedding décor realm. Hand lettering artist Lauren Heim, of Lauren Heim Studio says, “Couples love to have wooden signs designed with their last name or a fun word/phrase.” The signage is used on the head table, or even as a guest book, and then later incorporated into their home décor after the wedding day. For something a bit more eclectic (and electric), a neon sign is the way to go, and we have them here right in Kansas City! Carolyn Campbell-Schwartz, owner of Ultrapom Event Rental notes that “neon signs are picking up steam, and there is so much potential to incorporate them into floral backdrops; something that is just now being seen on the West Coast.”

8. Cake as Art

Photo: Hallie Fry

Frosted in white buttercream with piping around its tiers, the wedding cake has been a traditional wedding element that has stood the test of time. But even the oldest of traditions have to get revamped, and the wedding cake is getting a total makeover this year. Chrystal Traner, the owner and cake artist of Petals & Pastries notes, “I’m finding more and more brides no longer want dessert tables, instead they want a big statement wedding cake.” Cakes have become an artistic staple piece of the reception with designs incorporating bold colors, asymmetrical tiers, and dimensional frosting. And while the outside is so stunningly beautiful that you don’t want to cut into it, the inside flavors will leave you with no other option but to indulge. Chrystal mentions that her couples are straying away from white cake and choosing more unique flavors such as berry compotes, cookie butter, creamy chocolate, emulsified buttercream, and citrusy zests. Um, yes please.

9. Food Focused

A more casual dining experience has led way to creative food stations and food trucks – giving couples the chance to create a custom menu and dining experience for their guests. Mary Green, owner of Marigold’s Food Truck talks of her wedding serving experience, “Some couples are all about the total truck experience, complete with cute little paper boats. Others like to mix it up with a plated salad before hitting the truck window.”

10. A Custom Bar Experience

Photo: M.N.Y. Photography

There are so many different ways to customize the beverage service at your reception, so why settle with something standard? From specialty drinks to champagne bars, and beverage trucks alike, there is always a way to add some fun to the guest’s experience. Additionally, couples are choosing beverages that they enjoy to drink (craft beers, specialty cocktails, theme-related names, etc.) breaking their guests away from the BudLight standard. Katie Currid, owner of Kansas City’s very own Prosecco Truck, Fizzolino shares, “Most of our brides are huge fans of Prosecco, so then they try to balance that out with something fun that the groom likes. We receive a lot of inquires for specific types of beer that represent the couple, instead of just having something that’s a crowd-pleaser.”

Did you enjoy the top ten trends for Kansas City Weddings? Ready to start finding vendors for your wedding? Check out our collection of Kansas City Wedding Vendors.