10 Creative Ideas of Your 2019 Wedding

Here at BRIDES, we like to dedicate the month of December (hello, engagement season!) to brainstorming creative wedding ideas for the year ahead. What will the dress trends[1] be? Is baby's breath[2] still back? Is there a new food truck[3]? But here's the secret: We're not inventing these ideas out of nothing! Instead, we look to real couples who are throwing real parties, and planners who are doing the same for inspiration. (That is, after all, the whole point of the real weddings[4] on our site.) So while we could easily tell you to scroll through pretty pics from now until 2019 for all the best inspo, we thought we would instead do you a favor by highlighting some of our favorite ideas right here.

Below, you'll find 10 trends/things/thoughts that we're excited for in 2019. And we're revealing all of our best secrets! You'll find decor moments we're obsessed with, practices we want to steal (um, we mean politely borrow), and concepts we can't wait to see couples execute. Basically, these are the ideas that could take your wedding from "cool wedding" to "wedding of the year." And not to brag, but we kinda know our stuff: We look at wedding pictures All! Year! Long!

Keep reading to see exactly what we're talking about, but we hope you take these ideas and create some of your own as well. We'll be right here ready to swoon over your wedding pics when you do!


  1. ^ dress trends (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ baby's breath (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ food truck (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ real weddings (www.brides.com)

55 Beautiful Cakes for Every Wedding Venue

Oftentimes, choosing a wedding cake[1] feels like checking off yet another box on your wedding to-do list. (Bouquet? Check! Dress? Check! Cake? Check!) But, today, it doesn't have to be that way. Rather than ordering some traditional cake for ceremonial purposes, you now have the option to treat it as both a design element and a delicious menu[2] item. So, basically, it's time to get creative!

In terms of the cake's design, it's often smart to start by thinking about your venue[3]. The venue sets the scene for the rest of your wedding and also affects what material the cake can be made of (fondant can be hard in direct sunlight, et cetera). Plus, we think it's fun to have the wedding cake match the venue's aesthetic and the rest of the day's design details. So, if you're into that idea as well, we suggest you start by imagining what exactly you're looking for (five tiers, a single tier, etc.) and thinking about design elements you like ("drip" elements[4], fresh flowers, geometric designs[5]).

As you'll see below, we're especially into recreating textiles in buttercream, using local flora as accent pieces, and even adding fruit toppings. So, to show you exactly what creative ideas we're talking about, we compiled a list of 55 wedding cakes (yes, 55!) that will perfectly fit in at a farm, beach, garden, and more.

Keep scrolling to gather inspo for your own celebration, and remember: You can customize all of the cakes below to your wedding[6], venue, and taste—quite literally!


  1. ^ wedding cake (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ menu (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ venue (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ "drip" elements (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ geometric designs (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ wedding (www.brides.com)

29 Fall Wedding Decor Ideas We’re Loving in 2018

There's something exciting about a change of season, and especially so when that season is fall. With fall comes good weather, great food, and even better company (everyone is back together after summer vacay!). Plus, beyond the general good vibes that come with the season, fall is naturally a beautiful time of year. There are gorgeous leaves on the trees; bright flowers (like dahlias, marigolds, and zinnias) in bloom, and fresh produce[1] (apples, pears, pumpkins) in season.

Basically, all the highlights of fall double as elements of a great (and beautiful!) wedding. So, when gathering inspiration for the season, our editors decided to focus on what exactly makes a fall wedding so special, year after year. (It is the most popular season to say "I do," after all.) And this time, after years of twisting the look of fall with new takes on fall colors, et cetera, we found ourselves drawn to environments and palettes that felt almost stereotypically fall. But not in a cheesy way—there's not a pumpkin or gourd in sight in this gallery. Instead, we thought about the warm hues of the flowers and leaves (reds, yellows, oranges), plus the textures (woods, ceramics) associated with being in the great outdoors. And as you'll see in the gallery we created below, combining these textures and colors can result in gorgeous, natural, and seasonal wedding perfection in every shape and form (from tablescapes[2] to invites and more).

Plus, in addition to our general inspo for the season, we threw in a few surprises from you. Take our new favorite color pairing (spoiler: it's yellow with blue!) and guest-pleasing ideas (think mini beer flights[3]). So keep reading to see what is inspiring us this season—we hope it will inspire your own big day as well. And if you're still seaching for more pretty pics after all these slides, head over here[4] and here[5] for even more seasonal ideas. After all, we wouldn't dare limit our fall wedding inspiration to one post!


  1. ^ produce (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ tablescapes (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ beer flights (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ here (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ here (www.brides.com)

10 Ways to Make Your Wedding Stand Out During Wedding Season

We all know summer is the season for weddings. And if you're like the rest of us, you're probably trekking from city to city, coast to coast, and country to county every other weekend for yet another friend's special day. And as much as we hate to say it, the pattern can start to feel the same. (Ceremony, cocktails, dinner, dancing, you know the drill....) So, with that in mind, we got to thinking: How do you make your wedding stand out among the rest?

Well, first of all, make it about you and your partner. It's your day and your friends and family should leave thinking just that! So if you're sailors, do it by the water. If you're foodies, make the menu a priority. And so on. But beyond all the personalized details[1] (which, believe us, we can't get enough of), there's another secret to making your wedding stand out: And that's to make your guests happy, well-fed, and comfortable.

With those three principles in mind, we curated a list of 10 fun, seasonal ideas[2] that are sure to please every single person on your guest list[3]. But, before we get started, we need to add one final principle: Make it Instagrammable! Cause if your friends' feeds are blowing up with sunset group portraits, boomerangs of signature cocktails clinking, and videos of your killer band on stage, we'd say that your summer wedding was quite the success. And we think your friends will more than agree.

See more: 25 Ways To Personalize Your Wedding Ceremony[4]


  1. ^ personalized details (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ seasonal ideas (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ guest list (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ 25 Ways To Personalize Your Wedding Ceremony (www.brides.com)

5 Cheesy Poses Your Photographer Probably Hates

Wedding and engagement photos[1] aren't as easy as they look. Most of us aren't models (let alone photogenic) so creating a romantic pose with your partner doesn't always come naturally. We get it. But we also know that there are a few poses that you don't need to be an expert to realize they're just bad. You know what we're talking about: that junior high shot of two hands making a heart in front of the sunset. Or that unnecessary groom-crawling-up-the-skirt pose that literally no one, probably not even the couple, wants to see.

But time and time again, wedding photographers[2] are asked to capture these cringe-worthy moments[3] on camera, much to their chagrin. If your photographer is recommending to nix a pose, they probably know what they're talking about. (Remember, these people do this for a living.) So think twice about that beach-front jump for joy—we promise, you'll probably regret it.

These are photographers' five least favorite wedding and engagement photo poses[4], so cross these off your list now.

The Prom Pose


One person behind the other, hands clasped in front in a proto-Heimlich. You know it. You did it.

The Jump for Joy


Please leave the stop motion animation to Wes Anderson.

The Heart Hands


Like a BFF locket sprung to life—or a Taylor Swift[5] concert, circa 2011—your hand makes one half and bae’s makes the other.

See more: The 5 Things Your Wedding Photographer Wishes Every Bride Knew[6]

The Garter Anything


Too many issues to fully enumerate, but here’s a tip: Take a hard pass on anything that entails a camera (or a groom) up your skirt.

See more: What You Can and Can’t Retouch in Your Wedding Photographs[7]

The Kitschy Class Pic


Avoid posed group shots, including hiding your faces with bouquets[8] or showing off matching socks. (We see you, groomsmen.)

The Ultimate Guide to Wedding Photography

Wedding photos offer you both immediate gratification (morning-after IG post!) and lifelong memories (decades from now, your granddaughter will be in awe of your style). With that much pressure, of course you want to capture images you’ll love! To pull that off, first, you need to establish what you like—and what you, um, really hate—in wedding photography[1]. You can do this by checking out Instagram accounts[2] and browsing real wedding[3] features on our site and our social media feeds.

Kate Headley[4], a photographer in Washington, D.C., says three major styles are trending right now: classic (lots of composed shots with natural lighting), artsy (dark contrasts and filters), and truly creative, meaning the approach is unique to the photographer. (Headley calls those “the true gems.”) Decide which style best fits your personality and aesthetic, then start asking around for recs—and make newlywed friends your first stop.

“I get most of my inquiries from word of mouth,” says Headley, who even booked a bridesmaid from a wedding she shot last year. “She remembered how I worked—she’s like, ‘You were so fun!’—and, honestly, that was the most flattering compliment,” she says.

After you’ve narrowed down what and whom you like, send inquiries to all prospects. Feel free to blast emails (not texts) to multiple photographers, and be sure to mention how you heard of them and include your wedding date[5], guest count, and venue. (Knowing the scale and place helps the photographer figure a rough quote, which subsequently helps you determine if she’s in your budget[6].)

“This is just an information exchange,” Headley says. “We’ll get to know each other later!” Once you have a few finalists, ask to see three full photo galleries of events that are similar in size to your wedding. “Always ask for a rainy gallery,” she emphasizes, since finessing the lighting on soggy days separates the women from the girls. Looking at a full gallery helps you assess her consistency over hundreds of shots and proves she didn’t just get lucky with the half dozen snaps on her Insta.

Finally, schedule a time to get to know this person (talk on the phone, grab a coffee), and then discuss numbers in detail, such as rates, travel expenses[7], and hours of coverage. On average, couples shell out 12 percent of their total budget on photography—but remember, there’s no hard rule on that. (Your wedding, your priorities.) If there was ever a time to make a decision based on personality more than money, your photographer pick is it: This is a person who is going to see you at your most stressed/Spanxencased/emotional/happy. Don’t you want to sit next to someone you like on that roller coaster?

Is This Photographer The One?

Ask these questions to gauge whether you and a photographer will click…or not.

What should I tell you about us?

When San Francisco-based Sylvie Gil[8] meets clients, she asks them as many questions as they ask her. “A photographer needs to be a little bit in love with her couples,” she says. “That’s how I create my best work.”

How did you capture this shot that I love?

You’re attracted to photos that feel natural, but those pics don’t just happen—that’s the mark of a good photographer. Ask what his secret is, whether it’s adjusting your hair or telling jokes, says Dallas-based Ryan Ray[9].

Can I see your favorite Instastory?

“Instagram stories are a great way to get to know each other,” Gil says. Social media helps you get familiar and friendly before the wedding—and feel comfortable together on the big day.

How do you help make the day run smoothly?

“The last thing a wedding needs is to become school picture day,” Ray says. “Efficiency is key. Your photographer should have a system that works and that people love.”

Will you fix my zits?

Find out how much editing the photographer does, like touchups and filters (and if it costs extra).

What You Get For Your Money

Photographers usually have standard packages plus add-on expenses. Here’s a look at what you can reasonably expect.

Communication: You may book up to a year in advance, but don’t expect to be in constant contact, says Brooklyn-based photographer Chi-Chi Ari.[10] After you sign the contract, you probably won’t really hear from her until the month before the wedding. Then meet to put together a list of must-have pics (like group shots with Grandma). But remember the best pics are candid, so don’t load her down with too many guidelines.

Package: A standard job usually includes 8 to 10 hours of coverage, with prices ranging greatly, depending on the photographer’s location and experience. Our recent survey found the national average is $2,100, while the high end tends to be about $20,000 and up to (are you sitting down? Is your dad?) $60,000. Each additional hour is about $500, as is a second shooter for a full day of work.

Delivery and deadline: You’ll get a few preview photos the next day—for your Instagram, obvi!—but expect to wait about eight weeks for the full edited gallery. A digital, downloadable gallery is standard; if you want prints, expect to pay at least $7 for each one, and an album could run an additional $1,800, says Los Angeles-based photographer Rebecca Yale[11].

How To Be Photogenic, Even if You’re Camera-shy

Stop being the person who hates how you look in photos and smile like you mean it. And communicate. Tell your photographer what makes you self-conscious. “If I know a bride is uncomfortable about her arms, then I’m mindful of that,” says KT Merry[12], a Miami photographer. Trust the pro to guide and position you. Foundation is your friend. “So many brides want a natural look, so they skip base and load on the concealer,” says Tiffany Patton[13], a makeup artist with White Rose Collective[14], a beauty service in NYC. “Flash photography turns that into a reverse raccoon eye.” The fix? An even canvas of tinted moisturizer, which looks flattering in every light. (We like the Sephora Collection Bright Future Skin Tint[15].)

Remember, you’ll be smiling a lot. “Consider what your face looks like when you’re smiling,” says Patton, and apply makeup with that in mind, concentrating blush on the apples of your cheeks, drawing a long swoop of liner on upper lids, and adhering false lashes at the eyes’ outer corners. Fake it till you make it. Grinning on demand can feel awkward, so Merry says, “I ask my clients to give me their best fake laughs. It feels so goofy that real laughter quickly follows.”

See more: How to Look Supermodel-Stunning in Your Wedding Photos (Even If You Don't Think You're Photogenic)[16]

Quick Video Tips

Keep it short.

“Our best videos are three to five minutes max,” says Forged in the North[17]’s Heidi Browne.

Make it personal. But not TMI.

Imagine strangers watching it— do they want to see you making out?

Share it.

Include emotional, crowd-pleasing moments like the vows exchange and first dance.


  1. ^ wedding photography (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ Instagram accounts (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ real wedding (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ Kate Headley (www.kateheadleyweddings.com)
  5. ^ wedding date (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ your budget (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ travel expenses (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ Sylvie Gil (www.sylviegilphotography.com)
  9. ^ Ryan Ray (www.ryanrayphoto.com)
  10. ^ Chi-Chi Ari. (chichiarilove.com)
  11. ^ Rebecca Yale (rebeccayalephotography.com)
  12. ^ KT Merry (www.ktmerry.com)
  13. ^ Tiffany Patton (www.tiffanyleighpatton.com)
  14. ^ White Rose Collective (www.whiterosecollective.com)
  15. ^ Sephora Collection Bright Future Skin Tint (www.sephora.com)
  16. ^ How to Look Supermodel-Stunning in Your Wedding Photos (Even If You Don't Think You're Photogenic) (www.brides.com)
  17. ^ Forged in the North (www.forgedinthenorth.com)

10 Creative Details Inspired by the Royal Wedding Reception

While we were not invited to the ultra-exclusive royal wedding reception[1], we are thankful that details are (finally!) emerging from it. And they do not disappoint. Epic toasts? You know it. Fireworks? Naturally. Serena Williams playing (and winning) beer pong? Oh, hell yes. Basically, Meghan and Harry's royal wedding reception sounds like the Best. Reception. Ever.

And surprisingly, it's not the stately venue[2] or celebrity guests[3] that made this party the talk of the town. Instead, it's the creative touches the couple put on their own celebration. From a signature cocktail inspired by their first meeting to late-night burgers (a nod to the bride's American roots) and more, it's clear that Harry and Meghan, like any bride and groom, were quite involved in planning and personalizing their wedding reception. Which is good news because even if you can't get Elton John on stage or George Clooney to RSVP, you can copy the 10 creative ideas below. And, of course, you don't want to emulate Harry and Meghan exactly, however tempting that may be. Instead think about highlighting an aspect of your relationship, serving your go-to drunk munchies, and showcasing your favorite cocktails to throw a epic celebration that feels customized to you and your partner. We think Harry and Meghan would agree that your wedding day is all about just that—showcasing your love, your relationship, and your future life together—whether you're a royal or not!


  1. ^ royal wedding reception (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ stately venue (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ celebrity guests (www.brides.com)