Shop Etsy

The Top Creative Wedding Trends for 2017

Apr 6, 2017

by Dayna Isom Johnson

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Planning a wedding is the ultimate expression of your personal style, but creating the vision for your big day is easier said than done: Pinterest is a bridal black hole, people keep asking what your colors are, and what if you don’t like Mason jars? (Cue matrimonial meltdown.)

That’s where I come in. As Etsy’s resident trend expert, I’m always on the hunt for up-and-coming designers and emerging trends—and with more than 1.7 million creative sellers* and millions of unique items, Etsy is where many of today’s most interesting and unexpected products get their start. Since wedding season is just around the corner, I’m here to share the top five creative wedding ideas you’ll be seeing more of this year (and one big prediction for 2018). From gemstone engagement rings to gifting lounges and matte black finishes, these are the unexpected, of-the-moment details that reflect what Etsy artists are making and shoppers are seeking.

Best of all, Etsy’s approach to trends isn’t about blindly following whatever’s popular—it’s about taking fresh ideas and making them your own. So if you don’t see the just-right boutonniere or unicorn favors you’ve dreamed of, have no fear: There’s someone on Etsy who shares your creative vision and is ready to make it a reality.

Now, on to the trend guide.

Clockwise from top left: Peony tulle wedding skirt by Mywony Bridal, $1,250; lightweight poppy dress by Truvelle, $212; dark purple chiffon gown by Baby-doll Shop, $285

Color swapping

Now that every shade of ivory, ecru, champagne, and cream is fair game for gowns (and even blush and subtle metallics have become common options for bridal attire), what’s an envelope-pushing bride to do? Leave behind the standard pale palette for something a lot more vibrant and unexpected. Ever popular on Etsy, “wedding dresses” was the second most searched wedding term so far in 2017, and more and more, design-minded brides are opting to grab the spotlight in colorful gowns—and even patterned pieces—and dressing their bridesmaids in white instead.

Sound counterintuitive? It’s not. The uniform backdrop of solid-white bridesmaids dresses ensures that nothing will distract from the bride’s big statement—and keeps the color palette from getting too complicated. (Fun fact: There’s even historical precedent for all-white wedding-party attire. In the 19th century, bridesmaids wore white to weddings to “protect” the bride from evil spirits.)

It’s not just super-edgy brides who are embracing the shake-up. Today, 11% of brides prioritize finding a gown that’s “unique,” and colorful gowns are the perfect way to stand out from the crowd. With options ranging from hand-painted gowns to dip-dyed bridal skirts, there’s no better source than Etsy for one-of-a-kind wedding-day designs.

Clockwise from top left: Rose-gold morganite ring by By Laris, $385; opal engagement ring by Capucinne, $780; London blue topaz and aquamarine ring by Liesel Love, $630; marquise blue labradorite ring by Shiri Avda, $509; emerald engagement ring by Lex Luxe, $3545

Gemstone engagement rings

With today’s young couples investing more in life experiences (travel, home ownership) and less in over-the-top ceremonies and budget-busting rings, the days of the boulder-size diamond as status symbol are fading fast. On Etsy, searches for “alternative engagement rings” have hit an all-time high, as couples increasingly seek out hued gemstones over something more traditional. From iridescent opals to bold emeralds, colorful gemstones allow couples to fully express their personal style—while also saving money. (The national average cost of a typical engagement ring is estimated to be more than $6,000.)

The settings may be rose gold, yellow gold, platinum, or sterling, with some metals upcycled or recycled. And while many gemstone engagement rings skew modern, that’s not the only aesthetic on offer. Antique and vintage-inspired styles tap into an old-school romantic vibe and make the trend accessible for traditional types. After all: The diamond engagement ring has only been the standard since the 1930s; before World War II, 90% of proposals happened without them. Consider this trend a return to form.

Clockwise from top: Maple candied bacon and ancho chili spiced pecan nougat by Sweetniks, $28; spicy apple eco soy candle by Tuur & Mor, $18; NYC cookies by Simply Sweet, $64

Gifting lounges

Much as they’ve become a staple of 21st-century weddings, stuffing and distributing dozens of welcome bags in the middle of pre-wedding mayhem is exactly nobody’s idea of a good time (yes, even your bridesmaids). Enter: gifting lounges, which preserve the fun part of the process—picking out the just-right mix of sentimental, symbolic, and silly favors—and ditch the assembly-line drudgery. Here’s how it works: Upon arrival at the couple’s hotel, a welcome party, or even at the reception itself, guests can grab a personalized tote or other container and help themselves to a curated spread of memorable goodies. (Think custom-designed cookies referencing the couple’s hometown, treats like maple syrup or fresh apples that are local to the area, and personalized items that tie in with the couple’s love story.)

It’s less effort, more fun, and it also brings a higher level of personalization to the guest experience—which aligns with the shift toward inviting fewer guests to the celebration, but spending more on them. From 2009 to 2015, the average number of wedding guests decreased nearly 10 percent, while the per-person wedding budget rose from $194 to $237. It’s all about offering a more elevated and bespoke experience, and when everyone’s walking away with what they want—and only what they want—that’s the definition of money well spent.

Clockwise from top: Custom wedding portrait by Reani, $350; wedding envelope calligraphy by T Jones Calligraphy, $1; agate place cards by Wander Love Press Co., $5

Going beyond the photo booth

A memento that’s made before your very eyes is one of life’s earliest delights—whether machine-stamped souvenir pennies or balloon-animal hats twisted up in real time. For years, customized photo booths stocked with themed accessories and props have stood in as the wedding-day equivalent—the tangible takeaway that brings you back to the scene in an instant. These days, though, couples are pushing the personalized-souvenir idea one very big step further by arranging for illustrators, calligraphers, and artists to create original works for guests in person, on-site.

The demand for customized wedding guest entertainment, from hand-drawn monograms to freehand portrait sketches, has increased 30 percent over the last eight years, and providing a memorable experience and a meaningful take-home gift has become more of a priority for couples on their wedding day. On Etsy, gifts are one of the fastest-growing wedding categories, with nearly 20% of wedding-related listings now falling into the “Gifts and Mementos” subcategory (2015-16). With sellers around the globe, Etsy is the perfect place to connect with a local artist to create those unique, day-of touches.

Top to bottom: Wedding place cards by Lily and Rose Studio, $1.65; vintage wedding hat boutonniere by Exquisite Threads, $34.42

Back to (matte) black

The next big color trend for weddings isn’t just a color—it’s a finish, too. In a softer, muted matte hue, classic black gets a modern makeover and moves from background standby to a signature shade in its own right. Matte black’s rise may have started with the chalkboard craze, but it has rapidly outgrown its rustic roots to become an elegant, ultra-chic element in a wide array of wedding palettes and styles.

Its versatility is key: Matte black can be used as a base for pops of lush color in a floral arrangement or as a counterpoint to a blush pink bloom (another trending hue) in a boutonniere. Perhaps its most compelling pairing comes from a marriage of matte black and super-shiny metallics—especially gold or copper. On place cards, invitations, and other paper goods, the contrast of foil type on matte stock amps up the drama even more.

Clockwise from left: Linen wide-leg pants by Pixie Won’t Play, $54; Coco flower girl tux by Doloris Petunia, $2,500; satin pantsuit by Lovey by Isha, $1,600

2018 Prediction: Bridesmaids’ suits and jumpers

Whether you credit Solange’s rule-busting 2014 wedding wardrobe (the jumpsuits! the necklines! the capes!) or the rise of Pantsuit Nation, we’re seeing more and more brides forego wedding gowns now. I predict 2018 will officially be the year of the wedding dress alternative—and not just for the bride herself. The whole wedding party is getting in on it. Working with shapes from the tuxedo-inspired to the romper-ish, everyone from the bride to the flower girl can skip the skirt and still stand out.

Like many of this year’s trends, it’s all about personal expression, both for the bride and her party. Because while the popularity of bridal parties has not declined—in fact, 99 percent of brides still want a traditional bridal party—two thirds of brides are choosing a personalized approach to bridal party attire, asking their bridesmaids to wear whatever fit or silhouette they prefer, as long as it’s in line with her key color themes. She wants her girl squad to feel their most confident, comfortable, and beautiful on her big day.

Shop the trends

*As of December 31, 2016

55 comments

  • infinitlit

    Farideh Nouri from FlairPaintings said 18 days ago

    Very nice!!! I love your shop :)

  • gardenmis

    Priscilla from Gardenmis said 18 days ago

    Love seeing how each generation brings their own unique sense of style to weddings! Thanks for sharing :)

  • jacobswoodentoys

    Tim and Brigita Cornwell from jacobswoodentoys said 18 days ago

    Beautiful collection! Thanks for sharing.

  • JewelMeShop

    Georgia from JewelMeShop said 18 days ago

    Thanks for sharing this collection!

  • TropicalGarden

    TropicalGarden from TropicalGarden said 18 days ago

    great finds! Thanks for sharing:)

  • Kashuen

    Kashuen Collectibles from Kashuen said 18 days ago

    I love that moon stone ring. What a great trend tips.

  • LadyInPurple

    Jennifer Tyson from LadyInPurpleJewelry said 18 days ago

    I love the idea of the bride in color and bridesmaids in white! Great trend article!

  • BalaBlue

    Megan from BalaBlue said 17 days ago

    Awesome ideas! I wish I could re-plan my wedding once a year. Every year there are new and awesome ways to express yourself through your wedding decor and fashion.

  • GoGoSnap

    GoGoSnap Vintage Invitations and Stationery from GoGoSnap said 17 days ago

    More great ways to get creative and express your own personal style!

  • zhairdzinr

    Gloria Dixon from GloriousRelics said 17 days ago

    Great information!!! We are starting to make new from vintage wedding accessories and this will help us !

  • jamesmansell

    Jimmy Mansell from GalvanizedCreations said 17 days ago

    Wow! What a great Wedding Edition. We agree wholeheartedly. We have seen a huge surge in our wedding medallion business here at GalvanizedCreations. Shiney sanded steel in 24" diameter (under $100 delivered) is one of our best sellers. The personalized medallions far outsell all the other wedding items. Since we found that our customers are far more creative than we are, we've seen some awesome displays, from hanging them on the front door of the wedding venue, hanging in reception halls, to displaying them at the gift card table (lots of good stories on this one), to a forever home display of a family's love. Thank you etsy.com, and all our fabulous customers. We are truly blessed. Jimmy Mansell GalvanizedCrestions

  • ShellsandBlooms

    SharaDelane from ShellsandBlooms said 17 days ago

    Thanks for sharing! :)

  • Aristocrafts

    Aristocrafts from Aristocrafts said 17 days ago

    I love the gifting lounge idea :). Great article, thanks for sharing!

  • marcouxbeyer

    Michele Beyer from MicheleBeyerQuilting said 17 days ago

    I love seeing these new trends. Last year I was asked to make a guest book quilt for a wedding. I was not familiar with this idea but thought it was a great alternative to a paper book. I made the quilt for her and it was beautiful. Simple but classy with their initials monogrammed on it. Since then I have received so many orders. I create the quilts to match their color schemes. I enjoy working with the color schemes they chose.

  • kgarrett1966

    R.M Garrett from ArtisticAcrylics said 17 days ago

    I do love that today there are more choices to make that special day something that's unique to you, and not a cookie cutter look overall that is supposed to represent you and your wedding. Very beautiful and unique ideas! Thanks for sharing!!

  • argentumtime

    Alyona Chernikova from CaprichoCanada said 17 days ago

    Thank you very much! I am taking so many ideas for my shop!

  • RubyJules

    Julie from JuliesHeart said 17 days ago

    Awesome collection of wedding trends and ideas! I find in my shop personalized glasses are bought by guests to gift the bride and groom with a lasting memento of their special day. I find the idea of wedding guests and the gifting lounge intriguing ~ opens up a whole new line of possibilities in personalized mementos.

  • JamieHansen

    Jamie Hansen from FlourishFamilyCrests said 17 days ago

    Love this post! I love seeing all the color in weddings, a departure from the traditional white.

  • Bepoppy

    Michaela from bepoppy said 17 days ago

    Great article, Thank you! So nice to see ako tej inšpiruje creators!

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 17 days ago

    Great article!

  • husbandfatherfriend

    Carved Accessories from CarvedAccessories said 17 days ago

    Awesome, we have some gifts and products for the Groom, Best man and Groomsmen.

  • mascollected

    Carol from MasCollected said 17 days ago

    Thoroughly enjoyed this article. Thank you. I'm looking forward to these new trends coming in a proliferation of interesting choices for new brides. El amor todo lo puede.

  • homemadeglass87

    Debbie Applegate from glasscarving said 17 days ago

    The agate place card is the greatest idea

  • BerlinGlam

    Heidi from BerlinGlam said 17 days ago

    Thank you for sharing these awesome wedding ideas! Brides and bridesmaids will look amazing with these fresh ideas For the grooms and their groomsmen your can find matching accessories here:   https://www.etsy.com/shop/BerlinGlam?ref=pr_shop_more&section_id=13341812

  • lisabmeyers1

    Lisa B Meyers from GwendalysaArts said 16 days ago

    It's about time that the wedding dress becomes colorful again after the white trend that started in 1840. I also LOVE the colored engagement rings. How wonderful to not feel locked in to white and diamonds.

  • linasomma

    Lina B from ThePartyGirlBoutique said 16 days ago

    Thanks for sharing these articles. Love the different styles and colours. It allows each bride to make her special day unique in her own sense!

  • GTDesigns

    renee and gerardo from GTDesigns said 16 days ago

    Lovely nuptial trends and ideas!! Love the drawing and the cookies : ) TFS!!!

  • genevievephelps

    Jenny from JusticeSafetyPinCo said 16 days ago

    A trend I'm starting to see is the socially conscious wedding party wearing color coordinated fashion safety pins. I see a lot of interest from my buyers in making a statement in solidarity with the vulnerable as part of the wedding celebration.

  • joycefeldmiller

    Joyce Feldmiller from MidnightFlorist said 16 days ago

    It's always interesting to see trends. Thanks.

  • joycefeldmiller

    Joyce Feldmiller from MidnightFlorist said 16 days ago

    It's always interesting to see your trends you've come up with. Thanks

  • winsomeyim

    WINGSUM YIM from fabricAsians said 15 days ago

    Thanks for sharing! Pretty dress!

  • lovingmelosingu

    lovingmelosingu said 15 days ago

    I just would like to get the word out! If you all come across this seller DO NOT PURCHASE ANY OF HER PRODUCTS! She took my money and I have yet to receive my product! it says that it shipped but I have yet to see the package arrive! How do you tell a paying customer that you will be on vacation until further notice and use that as a default mail whenever you receive an email from someone! I spent a little over $50 bucks! it may not seem much to you Ms. Aubrey, but its the principle! I know this is a blog about a totally different vendor, However I did not see any other way I could contact people except through this! Aubrey Campie from Videnda sent you a conversation on April 7, 2017. Re: Order #1183139112 on Mar 31, 2017 FAMILY EMERGENCY, will be on vacation mode until further notice! Thank you for understanding! -Aubrey

  • goldeluxe

    Libby from goldeluxe said 15 days ago

    That gifting lounge is a genius idea! If only I weren't already married.

  • mzirovcic

    Maja Zirovcic. from WeddingShuz said 15 days ago

    Great ;)

  • bedouin

    Nicole from bedouin said 15 days ago

    Love is in the air ~ Beautiful selections ! I really like the Linen wide-leg pants by Pixie Won’t Play !

  • RandMhandmade

    Renee from RandMhandmade said 14 days ago

    Thank you for sharing!!

  • threesidedorchid

    threesidedorchid from threesidedorchid said 14 days ago

    I'm a little confused what the big difference is between traditional welcome bags and the 'gifting lounge' idea? It sounds like it's just about when/where/how the guest picks up the bag - you're still stuffing the bag with goodies (personalized or not), so what am I missing?

  • foofoogal54

    foofoogal54 from GracefulVtgClothing said 14 days ago

    Love unique Weddings. Like the idea about a jumpsuit. I have a lovely deadstock white one on my shop that I think would be so nice for a informal Bride.

  • TreasuredMemoryLane

    TreasuredMemoryLane from TreasuredMemoryLane said 14 days ago

    Lovely new wedding trends! Thanks for sharing these lovely ideas!

  • MarzycardsUK

    MarzycardsUK from MarzycardsUK said 13 days ago

    Lovely showcase!! Thanks for sharing!!

  • mschussman

    mary schussman from EndlessBlossoms said 13 days ago

    Great collection of wedding items and ideas

  • ohboyloveitDigital

    Mary Veluz from OhBoyLoveItDigital said 13 days ago

    Great article, love the creative momentos you can find on Etsy, the chalk board craze was one of my favs for multiple events :)

  • rachbing

    Rachel Bingaman from BingArt said 11 days ago

    Love the custom wedding portrait- so clever and a lovely way to capture the day. :)

  • OliviaEwing

    Olivia Ewing Obercian from OliviaEwingJewelry said 11 days ago

    Yes, I love that you're calling out alternative engagement rings! Beautiful examples. I've been doing more and more gemstone rings, definitely a hot (and colorful) trend right now :) xox

  • girlygeek0101

    Mary Margaret from EufloriaDesigns said 11 days ago

    Alternative engagement rings galore can be found here: www.Etsy.EufloriaDesigns.com

  • thorh34hill

    thorh34hill said 11 days ago

    Wow! I didn't realise I was so "on trend" when 52 years ago I chose a coloured gem stone engagement ring. A really interesting article- thank you so much.

  • 74dianab

    Diana Sian Crafts from DianaSianCrafts said 11 days ago

    Great article - thanks for sharing - I am loving the current trend for an alternative wedding - for those who aren't really into the rustic look I have made some gorgeous paper flower bouquets from everything from comic books to sheet music paper. Etsy provides inspiration, ideas and products to suit any style from classic to geek <3 <3 <3

  • DisguisedDimensions

    Marilyn from RegalRabbitVintage said 11 days ago

    I wish the colored bridal gown and everyone else all in white was in vogue in my days of 1963, but alas, it was not. I think it's a brilliant idea and guests could get in on wearing all white too!

  • beverlygirolomo

    Beverly Girolomo from VintageWeddingChic said 10 days ago

    Gorgeous collection, thanks for sharing. VintageWeddingChic.Etsy.com

  • wendyJ86

    Wendy from DrevanM said 10 days ago

    Nice update....I had no idea about some of these trends. Thanks for sharing

  • Solnechkina

    Nataly from TheArtOfStitching said 10 days ago

    Thanks for sharing!

  • FieldsOfVintage

    Fields Of Vintage from FieldsOfVintage said 8 days ago

    Lovely story. Lovely gift ideas!

  • gaamundsen

    Grace Amundsen from SquishyWizard said 8 days ago

    Great article! I'm bringing a splash of vibrant color to my own wedding attire, so I think it's safe to say I like some of these trends. I see the strong theme of personal expression underlying a lot of these- something I see in people buying custom geeky (dragons and dinosaurs and video games, oh my) cake toppers in my shop, Squishy Wizard, too.

  • cheryllee75

    Cheryl Lee from SeaglassGemsbyCherie said 8 days ago

    My daughter is getting married in June outside with a natural Colorado landscape theme mixed with a traditional wedding and bridesmaid dresses. I been given the honor of being able to make jewelry pieces fopr the bride and her bridesmaids. The wedding colors are lavender and sage. Beautiful colors to work with.

  • joannhofer

    Joann Hofer from XchocolArt said 7 days ago

    Love it. Thanks for sharing!

Sign in to add your own