Planner’s Perspective: 2016 Wedding and Event Trends

DFW Details

At the beginning of a brand new year, we can choose to focus on one of two things: everything that has already passed, or all of the new things to come. Then again…maybe we can do a little bit of both!

photo: Stephen Karlisch | as featured by Inside Weddings

The year 2015—which we dubbed the “Year of Relationships”—was filled with fabulous fêtes (our Chat Outside the Chapel luncheon and this colorful 50th birthday celebration come to mind), featured weddings (like Meghan + Ryan’s multi-cultural “I do,” or Olivia + JW’s beachside reception in Playa del Carmen, both featured by Inside Weddings), and new destinations (from Hilton Head Island to Harbour Island in the Bahamas). We put together countless wedding welcome baskets, packed our bags to coordinate destination events from Aspen, Colorado to the Texas Hill Country (and beyond), and had the privilege of spotlighting some of the valued vendors who have partnered with us to produce countless events. It was a busy, beautiful year, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

Now that we’ve recapped a few of the highlights of 2015, let’s dig into all things 2016! We’re filled with anticipation for the weddings and events to come this year, and all of the fresh takes on design, decor, and entertainment that are sure to follow. Here to share a few of the top trends on our radar is none other than Mary-Frances Hurt, our fearless + fabulous founder and CEO!

photo: Stephen Karlisch | click here to see this destination “I do” on Inside Weddings

In 18 years of doing my business, I have seen things greatly change. When I started my company, there were only three wedding planners in Dallas and the majority of my clients got married at the local church and went on to the country club for the reception. Brides used house chairs, tables, and linens—no one would have thought about bringing in a band from out of town! As for groom’s cakes? They were chocolate with strawberries and chocolate curls. So, let’s start there. In 2016, groom’s cakes or stations will continue to include anything from 3-D models depicting the groom’s college stadium to his favorite doughnuts.

photo: Stephen Karlisch | more of this wedding here

photo: Edmonson Weddings | see more details here

One of the biggest things I hear is, “I want my event to be different.” If you’ve ever said this, then what you’re basically asking for is event branding!  While this was originally accomplished through a monogram or consistent color scheme, in 2016, we’ll see more brides and grooms branding every aspect of their events with custom logos and hashtags that encourage guests to interact on social media throughout the event. A few examples:


This London-meets-Dallas themed party for members of the wedding industry concluded with a surprise performance and cocktails on a rooftop in Downtown Dallas!

DFW EVENTS Ladies Luncheon and Tea2015-12-211FemmeswhoFete-6
photos: John Cain Photography | full event here


We’ve been producing corporate celebrations for Capital for Kids for 11 years, and are constantly re-inventing the look and feel of this event while still incorporating the organization’s core brand.

_0005_CFKFIG046 _0018_CFKFIG006 _0014_CFKFIG024
photos: Caroline Jurgensen | more from this event here


Weddings are a great opportunity for a couple to show off their own personal brand or style. In this case, the bride absolutely loved the Fourth of July, so she chose to have her wedding over the holiday weekend at her family’s vineyard in Paso Robles. From floor to ceiling, the decor at her welcome party was 100% Americana!

0679_LindseyRyan 0733_LindseyRyan 2348_LindseyRyan 2349_LindseyRyan
photos: Elisabeth Millay Photography | see the Inside Weddings recap here

Next, let’s talk food and beverage. Over the years I have seen the formal sit-down dinner move toward a more interactive “foodie” experience. Food stations paired with crafted cocktails have been huge as of late. Think tacos with mini margaritas, homemade pretzels with a craft beer from Texas, a frozen treat from Steel City Popsicles served in a glass of Prosecco, or a branded to-go box of Chinese food paired with ANYTHING.

The Brown Green 60th birthday party at Sixty Five Hundred in Dallas, Tx.
photo: Jason Kindig Photography | more birthday party details here

The late-night snack pass (also known as an “afterglow”) has become a staple. Gone are the days of sending guests home with a picture frame or candle as a favor. The current trend is giving away food at the end of the night. We’ve brought in everything from Whataburger Taquitos, to In-and-Out burgers, to doughnut holes served with chocolate milk or Starbucks.

photo: Jason Kindig Photography | see the party here

Mixology has become just as important as food, and we expect this to continue in 2016. Bartenders have become a source of entertainment, and establishing a dress code for your mixologist has become the norm. On occasion, we’ve hired models just to pour drinks.

photo: Caroline Jurgensen | see more here

photo: Stephen Karlisch | Inside Weddings feature here

Speaking of entertainment, Fusion performances are the must-have musical element of the moment. From four-piece bands, to orchestras, to DJs, the combinations are endless—and endlessly entertaining. This is a whole new dimension of entertainment that I’m looking forward to seeing more of in 2016!

The Brown Green 60th birthday party at Sixty Five Hundred in Dallas, Tx.
photo: Jason Kindig Photography | click here for more from this event

photos: Caroline Jurgensen | full story here

There you have it—a few of the top trends that are on our radar right now! We can’t wait to see how you incorporate these and other trends into your decor, entertainment, and even the look and feel of your wedding invitations!