Friday 23 August 2019

From custom cocktails to wedding pizza - the biggest wedding trends of 2019, according to this Irish expert

Domino's has officially launched its late-night catering service
Keira Doyle arrives for her wedding to Bernard Brogan in 2016. Picture: Colin O'Riordan

Niamh Lynch

We are officially at the height of summer wedding season.

With almost insurmountable options available to couples and trends are changing faster than we can catch up with. Style sat down with wedding expert and author of the Wedding Planner Laura Cunningham to discuss the most popular practices of 2019.

1. Personalised drinks

“Often times there’ll be drinks named after something that means a lot to the couple, they do the same with table names and that kind of stuff,” says Laura.

“If you met each other on a certain continent, you might name it after that, or if you worked in the same place, you might have a nod to that.” 

Laura says this is part of a wider trend of personalised touches that are important to the couple: “Back in the day it was about a formal church ceremony for a lot of people and then you went with whatever your hotel put on afterwards.”

“Now people are building the party from the ground up and it’s very much based on them and everything the couple themselves want.”

2. Less formality overall and more personalised touches


“People are ditching traditions,” she says.

“You get couples walking up the aisle together, they might decide to walk up with their mum instead of their dad. They’re just a lot less formal than they used to be.”

And for the speeches, the ladies are getting a lot more vocal: “The girls are getting a say - finally! - it’s not just the best man or the father of the groom - it’s everyone on both sides.”

Laura continues: “Tossing the bouquet and those things that might be seen to be a little bit outdated and a little bit sexist, they’re being left.”

“Often times people have just decided to ditch whole parts of weddings, they’re just not bothering getting the cake, they’re certainly not doing the photo of them cutting it together, it’s just all a bit more natural looking. It’s more of a party.”

“The whole thing is much more personal, that’s down to the little personalised details.”

3. ’Stens’

Gone are the days of the wild girls and guys parties with the inappropriate decorations to match - Laura says joint hen and stag dos are “very popular” especially when couples are marrying abroad.

“When they have destination weddings, they tend to leave a few days earlier so everyone is out there so they have a bit of a party.”

“I have found that a lot of the time they’d have their separate parties as well but they‘d be a little bit tamer. The bride might have her aunties and her mom, and they might have afternoon tea or a spa day and the lads would head off and do some activity like go-karting and they might just have a big party together. It’s becoming more and more popular.”

4. Wedding pizzas and other late night snacks

Domino's I Do-ugh Pizza Toppers Bride & Groom 3 LR.jpg
Domino's has officially launched its late-night catering service

Laura says that couples are opting for more informal food options: “There’s obviously the whole pizza trend, but there’s a move towards more casual themes in general - family style banqueting is quite popular now, donuts for dessert, a sharing table - that kind of thing.” In fact, Domino's recently launched a competition for 10 engaged couples to have their late-night catering done by the brand due to the rising popularity.

“People are starting to realise they don’t have to follow the rules of weddings anymore. It used to be beef or salmon, first dance - all this sort of stuff,” said Laura.

“You’re spending a whole lot of money on your wedding day so you may as well do it the way you want to and the way you’d enjoy it.”

5. Location weddings

The exotic location wedding remains a popular choice among engaged couple with the majority staying in sunny mainland Europe.

“The most popular one for Irish couples is Italy and Spain. France as well - though it’s not as easy legally to get married in France. People do go to Portugal, Croatia is quite popular and Malta is becoming popular as well.”

“If they’re living out in Dubai or they’re living out in Australia, they might do it there but most of the time it’s because they’re based there. Irish couples tend not to go that far when it comes to destination weddings,” says Laura.

6. Unusual venues

Laura says “basically anything goes now” as more and more couples move away from the traditional church setting for the ceremony.

“People are having a civil ceremony at a registry office because that needs to be done Monday to Friday. So when they’re having their ceremony at the weekend, they’re having either an independent celebrant do it or they’re even having friends.”

“So they get legal stuff caught up during the week. It means they can literally do it anywhere. People are having them in their back garden, on the side of a cliff, on a pier, or even on a boat - anything goes really.

7. Less traditional clothing for the wedding party

Keira Doyle arrives for her wedding to Bernard Brogan in 2016. Picture: Colin O'Riordan

Couples are doing away with the strict traditional dress code for bridesmaids and best men, according to Laura.

“Bridesmaids are no longer wearing identical outfits, which is a relief I’m sure. The obvious trend is towards bridesmaids wearing the same colour but different dresses - that’s been going for a while now.”

“Jumpsuits for bridesmaids is a hugely popular thing. Alternatively, just giving bridesmaids a small budget and saying wear whatever you want is popular at the moment as well because I think they just want everyone to be happy now. They’re not as rigid with it anymore,” says Laura.

“And then for the guys, there’s things like only wearing a waistcoat with no jacket - it’s a bit more casual. For some of these weddings that might be like glamping or in a country estate, the guys might be wearing chinos and a shirt and a waistcoat, instead of three piece suit.”

“It’s becoming less and less formal all the time,” continued Laura, “gone are the days of morning suits or tails or anything like that - unless you’re having a black tie event, but black tie isn’t really popular at all any more.”

8. 'Instagrammable' weddings

With couples spending more money on photographers and videographers than ever before, Laura says the pressure of social media does factor into decision making for the big day.

“It’s definitely something you want - an Instagrammable wedding.”

“Some couples are quite private, they just want them for themselves. But there is a little bit of peacocking going on at weddings but more power to them because everyone wants to see it, everyone wants to be happy for you.”

“All couples put a lot of time into their weddings but brides in particular are the ones agonising over this stuff so it’s lovely for them afterwards to look back and see these things. And of course, half of it is lost on them on the day because they’re so busy and so emotional.”

Pizza-passionistas should email to be in with a chance of winning a Domino's catering package.

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