Wedding trends for 2016 are all about peronsalizing the experience.

Say ‘I do’ to the top wedding trends for 2016

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The question has been popped and the date has been set. Wedding plans can commence—but how? When it comes to the Big Day and wedding trends for 2016, the traditional rules are not only being broken these days, they’re being used to line the budgie cage.

“The number one rule of weddings these days is there are no rules,” says Janine Adamyk, owner of Janine Adamyk Bridal Couture in Ottawa, Canada. “People don’t want to compromise their values for tradition. They are more self-aware and have a solid idea of what’s important to them.”

So you don’t like wedding fruit cake? No problem. Have cupcakes or, in one case Adamyk saw, Beaver Tails. Can’t stand in heels? Try ballet slippers, sneakers or even UGG boots, if that’s what floats your boat.

From the dress and ring to makeup and where to hold your special day, here are the latest rule-breaking innovations and wedding trends.

Wedding trends for 2016 include plenty of lace and a lot less skin.
Sleek but romantic wedding dresses like these from Justina Bridal are hot wedding trends in 2016.


The past few years have seen hyper sexy wedding gown, led by Israeli designers like Inbal Dror, best known for using little more than a few metres of tulle and a kilo of bugle beads. Lately, there’s been less skin and more lace, says couture designer, Justina McCaffrey.

“The sexy looks are harder to wear although a lot of ladies pulled it off. But the 2016 international collections were all about full covered bodies and skirts.”

Within that wedding trend, watch for more mermaid looks and hi-lo hems, adds Semiha Cantas, whose store on Sussex Avenue carries a small bridal collection she hand picks in Europe.

Bo-ho chic dresses that channel the inner flower child are still making an appearance, notes Adamyk, but with long-sleeved lace overtops that are understated and distinctive.


Remember when name-dropping Cartier was the height of sophistication? So last year.

Now couples collaborate with a designer or DIY at ring design workshops to create something individual, says Ania Geerts, co-owner with Alex Jay of Heist (formerly Zahara in Ottawa).

“Some want to recreate vintage, so we’re seeing engraving and stone-setting techniques that haven’t been present in traditional jewelry for years,” she says.

Driven by eco-awareness, many also reuse gold and gems from other pieces or buy from Heist’s collection of ethically or fair-mined gold and gems.

Rose gold or pink diamonds are also hot investments, notes Howard Fine Jewellers sales manager, Don Pettipas.

“Pink diamonds and rose gold have really taken off in the past two years, along with different diamond cuts, like a pear-shape. The coloured is an investment because there are fewer being mined. Their value will double or triple in value in the next few years.”


Stila and Makeup Forever UltraHD are favoured products with MUAs.
Brides are increasingly turning to a more natural, healthy glow look over contouring.

While dramatic maquillage is still very popular with some, the hottest trend is ‘clean beauty’, says makeup artist, Natalie Peachy.

“It’s polished, but fresh and natural,” she says. “Contouring is out. People are starting to realize it makes you appear older. Highlighting is the new contouring, which creates a dewy look.”

Setting the pace are new products like Makeup Forever’s Ultra HD Foundation, a reworking of their standard HD formula, but so sheer and viscous, the result looks photo shopped. Stila’s Aqua Glow Watercolour Blush is another innovation. Used on the apple of the cheek rather than the bone, it gives a healthy, ‘brisk walk’ glow.


Forget marching down the aisle. How about getting hitched next to a landscaped fire pit with your guests reclining on lounge furniture on an 18th century farm?

From Stonefields and Aquatopia to Evermore Weddings and Events, offbeat locations are offering the whole package for weddings.

“Convenience is a huge factor. People want their guests at one place for the whole day. We’re even seeing ministers coming to us, rather than people going to church,” says Joel Schramek, who two years ago bought the home of Dr James Naismith (basketball’s inventor) near Almonte to convert into an event venue.

Rustic charm is a hot wedding trend in 2016.
Evermore Events in Almonte offers an all-in-one location for weddings and receptions.

A professional photographer whose wife, Janice Mathers, is a wedding planner and designer, Schramek says full service venues are taking the market by storm. For example, Evermore not only offers an 18th century renovated barn and commercial kitchen catered by Salt restaurant on Preston Street, there’s a water feature, fire pit, courtyard and bacci court, too.


Ultra-modern sleek or overblown romanticism? As wedding décor trends go, they’re neck and neck, says Sharon Bosley House of Avant-Garde Designs.

“It’s all about giant paper flowers, lace, muted grey-green or grey-pink,” she says. “Then there’s a very contemporary, sleek look with few flowers.”

Everything from seating arrangements to how you ask people to be in your wedding party is also being rethought. Couples now make an event out of putting together their wedding party, like holding scavenger hunts, she says. And with families taking on different forms, formal seating at the ceremony and reception are disappearing.

Lush romanticism or pared back modernity are the two hottest decor trends in 2016, says Sharon House from Avant-Garde Design.
Lush romanticism or pared back modernity are the two hottest decor trends in 2016, says Sharon House from Avant-Garde Design.

“We still do seating plans, but more often, people sit where they want. There are a lot of remarriages, so I’m dealing with two sets of parents each for the bride and groom. It can get very complicated. The result,” she adds, “is that people just do what they want.”

Story appeared in the Ottawa Citizen Style Magazine, Feb. 2016.