The look and feel of an event can say a lot about the hosting couple, individual, or brand. Design matters, and every year or two the events industry cycles through different looks. I hate to use the word “trend,” because people give it the negative connotation of things that go out of style. I think of it as what is HOT for this upcoming year. Obviously don’t think too kitschy when thinking of an event theme or aesthetic. Think timeless. When hosting an event, you don’t want to do everything that has been seen before. Everyone to some degree wants their event to be different and special. So let’s think out of the box and look through the top 11 event ideas that will be hot in 2019.
For the past few years, light blush and champagne tones were really hot. However, in 2019 you will see more and more events with deep saturation of rich jewel tones. Colors that resemble gemstones such as ruby, amethyst, emerald, and sapphire will take center stage. For high impact, overloading a particular color will immerse your guests in a rich environment. This can be achieved through both dress and linen textiles, florals, and lighting.
For those that think the party favor is on the outs, guess again! There have been recent trends of charitable donations in lieu of favors. This is still a wonderful idea, but only if the charity is meaningfully connected to the hosts of the party. If you choose to go this route, your guest should be provided a little note with an explanation of that connection. In 2019, however, more party hosts will revert to tangible gifts to thank their guests that traveled both near and far to be there. We’ll also see more creative packaging and presentation of the favors.
Unexpected floral placement will be huge in 2019. We’ve already been seeing florals represented as bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces. We are moving to larger “wow” pieces such as full floral walls, live tables covered in flowers, floral bars, and garlands draped off furniture and architecture. We will even see more florals worn as hair pieces.
Whether for a sweet 16 or a wedding, you’ve probably seen letter monograms on screens or with gobo lighting (think stenciled images and letters projected onto surfaces). For a budget-friendly, high-impact effect, think outside the realm of just letters. Projections and vinyl printing have opened the door to allow large space transformations on a dime. Abstracts, florals, sceneries, shapes, textures: pick a design you like, and you can transform your space. You can also run that same pattern or design through many facets of your event such as the dance floor, wedding party outfits, foods, and tablecloths, as well as on printed items such as menus and stationary.
Having an outdoor event can be beautiful if the weather is on your side. However, party hosts will be moving back towards the idea of a fully indoor event space that can host their guests inside for the duration of the event. No matter the type of venue—hall, hotel, restaurant, or non-traditional space—having the event indoors alleviates the need for weather plans and worry. It also frees up the hosts to create a unique space using drapery, furniture, and lighting. You can build the event you want to have and not be limited by daylight, weather, or outdoor scenery.
The most basic of objects can become an impressive installation when enough of them are accumulated together. Consider large groupings of balloons, boxes, candles, florals—anything you can present en-masse. It will create a large, beautiful statement piece. You can stack, drape, or hang them. Let your imagination run wild with this one!
Think of portrait studio stations as “photobooths 2.0.” In a traditional photobooth, a few people get together, wear silly props, take several timed photos, and receive printed photo strips immediately afterward that they don’t ever meaningfully use again (I know that I don’t use them—they end up on my fridge). Now imagine that you set up a small lounge area with a few chairs or love seats. Instead of one of your photographers roaming around all night taking candid photos, you ask them to stay at the portrait studio station that you created. Renting a nice sofa for the evening including drop-off and pick-up services for your portrait studio station can cost about the same as renting and staffing a photobooth. Your guests will thank you when you send them the digital copies of beautiful family portraits which they can use however they like and for years to come. This is a more upscale photoshoot that your guests won’t be able to resist.
Service as Entertainment
From the moment the guest exits their car to the time they leave the party, there are missed opportunities to wow them with service. Why not hire a few butlers to help them out of their car, hold an umbrella in the rain, or carry their gifts? Why not serve champagne by a model wearing a champagne dress? People like experiences more than things. Yes, the champagne is nice, but they are offered champagne at every party. When they leave your party, they will have a story about how they never experienced anything like that before.
The “rustic” vibe has been running rampant the past few years with the concept of the barn wedding. It’s time to elevate rustic to Tuscan. Add muted colors, hints of metallics, beautiful urns, and candles to bring a more international Tuscany feel to that rustic charm. As far as the furniture, change up the traditional round table to long family-style tables, and trade your cocktail tables for wine barrels. For florals and centerpieces, ditch the baby’s-breath, and go for olive leaves, sunflowers, citrus trees, lemons, tomatoes, basil, grapes, foliage, corks, and wine bottles instead. Favors such as olive oil, limoncello, spice mixes, and sauces are practical and provide a continuation of the theme.
Elegance does not mean expensive. Often I find that people want to save a buck and they cut corners to do so instead of spending thoughtfully. Think of ways to change what you already have in order to create a more elegant atmosphere. Is your venue providing all the table cutlery and plates? Why not ask if there are options for the look. Some venues may carry gold and silver cutlery. They may offer 2 different styles of wine glasses. They may be able to create a more detailed place setting at no additional cost. Perhaps you want to create a multi-course meal. You want your guests to feel they went through a culinary experience while dining. Ask your venue chef if there is a small palate cleanser they can serve in between the starter and main, and this could provide that small buffer and a more elegant feel. As far as an uber elegant aesthetic, pick simple, clean lines and neutral color schemes (nothing too bright). Don’t forget textures; you could have tablecloth overlays in lace or crushed velvet, drapery, or crystals, and they allow the eye to catch many things as it pans the room. Ambiance is greatly changed with lighting, centerpiece pin lighting, and candle centerpieces to create an elegant mood.
For years, celebrities have been showing us these chic all-white-on-white wedding party outfits. From Kim Kardashian to Kate Middleton, the white wedding trend is gorgeous and here to stay. Gone are the days of only the bride wearing white. Even if you are super traditional and strongly feel that white should be reserved for only the bride (or if you are not planning a wedding), then you can still pull off the white wedding look. Consider the other option of creating an all-white affair: You could pick white and off-white shades of linens, florals, and accents to achieve that same chic look. To add a little depth, you could make white your primary color and filter in metallic, grey, or even black for a more modern look.
So here is the recap of the top 11 ideas that are going to be hot at 2019 events:
- Rich bold colors
- Meaningful party favors
- Fun and unexpected florals
- Graphics instead of just monograms
- Fully-indoor events
- Large-scale installations
- Portrait studios instead of photobooths
- Service as an entertainment piece
- Tuscany instead of rustic
- Uber elegance
- White on white, or with an accent color
Pick one or combine a few of these ideas to keep your 2019 event looking fresh and innovative!
Special thanks to Andrea Eppolito Events for their amazing presentation on “Surprising Trends for Next Year” at the Wedding MBA Conference in Las Vegas last month. You can follow Andrea on Instagram here if you liked this list, and be sure to subscribe to Amarvelous Event blog for more posts each week!