10 amazing wedding trends for 2017 that are changing the face of weddings

December 30 | Guest post by Mike Allebach

Remember Mike Allebach'sThey ♥ OBB; we ♥ them wedding photographer pet peeves? He's back with more killer insights into wedding trends you'll want to see.

10 amazing wedding trends for 2017
All photos by Allebach Photography

Weddings have changed quite a bit since I started out as a wedding photographer in 2006. Photographing offbeat, LGBT, and tattooed weddings I’ve seen about every imaginable theme, trend, ceremony, and style. Some of my favorites include three weddings I photographed in prisons, several circus themed weddings complete with sideshows, and my fire-breathing groom with the fire-whipping bride. These are some of the biggest changes I’ve noticed in the last few years…

Bridal parties are dead… long live wedding parties

With marriage equality, we saw the death of the traditionally gender-divided bridal party. In 2016, most of my couples had mixed wedding parties, small parties, or no parties at all. Bring on the Best Lady, Man of Honor, gay besties, and friends standing by friends. Needlessly gender-divided parties are a thing of the past.

10 amazing wedding trends for 2017

Get married your own way! The art of not caring what other people think

Join me in a collective sigh of relief for Offbeat Bride. It’s amazing that the book came out almost 10 years ago! Planning a wedding no longer is a rigid process. Throw a wedding your way to celebrate what’s important to you and the person you are marrying. I’ve photographed Star Wars-influenced multicultural gay weddings, un-themed vegan straight edge unions, and every other variation in between. I love celebrating the diversity and creativity my couples bring. So cheers to everyone who is helping to change the wedding industry into one that supports the celebration of couples who dare to walk off the beaten aisle.

10 amazing wedding trends for 2017

Unplugged wedding ceremonies

Walk into any theater, school function, or movie and the first announcement you’ll hear is “turn off your cell phone.” Don’t be that guy. Recently, more and more couples are recognizing that cell phones are a distraction from the ceremony. Stay in the moment. Stay focused. Of course after the ceremony, your guests can #hashtag the night away.

Choosing wedding planners over Pinterest

Lately I’ve seen more couples using wedding planners and day-of planners. Hand a perfectionist Pinterest as a planning tool and watch the meltdown begin. Designing a wedding solely from Pinterest can lead to headaches and heartbreak. While I love a good DIY project, the tyranny of the pre-wedding living room sweatshop can get out of hand quickly. Planners have more access to rental and decor options. Planners exist for the purpose of assisting you in having the best wedding with the least amount of stress.

10 amazing wedding trends for 2017

First looks & reveals

The best trend of the last few years for me is first looks and reveals. A bride seeing her bride for the first time, grooms seeing each other, and a dad seeing his daughter before the wedding. As a photographer, this is one of my favorite things to capture.

'Zillas are on the outs

While the show “Bridezillas” popularized screaming groomzillas, the fight-starting maid of honor, or the bride who can’t be pleased, on the day, it’s passé. Organize the stress out of the wedding before the day (download this checklist). On the wedding day though, couples are keeping it cool.

The garter toss

Can we talk about how weird the garter toss is for a minute? Every year I see less and less of this tradition. Letting a weird stranger, or worse a distant relative, run their hand up your leg with a garter while a DJ is yelling, "another inch another year of luck" …gross.

10 amazing wedding trends for 2017

The bride’s processional

No longer is there ahard rule on who walks the bride down the aisle. I’ve seen brides walk down together, or with grandparents, brothers, sisters, or both parents. And surprisingly, some brides find themselves capable of walking down the aisle alone {sarcasm font}.

Wedding donations in place of favors

More couples are choosing to make donations to a non-profit organization instead of assembling one bazillion wedding favors into raffia-tied burlap sacks. Should you choose to give a gift, consider an immediately consumable one, like food truck pizza or a local favorite food upon exit. Your guests will love you for it.

Let’s Dance

The tradition of wedding dances is here to stay, I'd wager, but I’ve been noticing some great twists lately such as brides choosing to dance with uncles, brothers, their mom, or any important person in their life. My favorite way to end the night? How about the wedding couple dancing together surrounded by everyone who braved the whole wedding reception.

Now it’s your turn, what wedding trends are you seeing lately?

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  1. I still maintain charitable donations are a bad idea for a favor. A favor is a way of saying thank you – and there is no way of knowing which guests support which charities, or which they are opposed to for whatever reason. So it's not much of a thank you to donate money in their behalf to a cause they don't support at all.

    • I agree, it can certainly end up that way!
      That's why I love this idea so much: http://offbeatbride.com/charitable-wedding-favors/
      By giving guests a choice (and trying to be thoughtful as to what variety of choices you offer in regards to your guest list) in how their favor dollars get donated, I think it's possible to avoid that pitfall.
      For example, the vast majority of our guestlist is very liberal, and would happily donate their favor tokens to Planned Parenthood or towards fighting global climate change! However, we also have a few family members coming who'll lean the opposite way. So we plan to have a much more neutral (helping sick kids or something) option included as well. Sure, there could be one or two guests who will somehow manage to be against all of charities we've selected, but I know that the vast majority of our guest list will greatly appreciate their charitable favor tokens.

      5 agree
    • I'd say an evening of free entertainment and food (and sometimes even booze) is sufficient thanks enough. I don't need some crappy tchotchke, which often the guests don't even want and a good portion of then are never even claimed.

      4 agree
  2. I've never even heard about that part of the garter toss, just that the groom removes the bride's garter (with the bride seated on a chair on the dance floor, so everyone can be a voyeur for a minute) often with some "comical" rutting around under the dress, the garter is tossed, and then the guy who caught the garter dances with the girl who caught the bouquet. Your description makes me all the more grateful I've never actually had to bare witness to one.

    2 agree
    • You should see a conservative 40-year-old virgin accidentally catch the garter and having to put it on a hippie princess smelling of pot who caught the bouquet on purpose (at my first wedding). Compound that with the DJ playing "U Can't Touch This". Extremely awkward.

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