Destination weddings in Ireland and DC/MD USA. Your Irish wedding planner – styling and coordination to die for weddings since 2006. Based in Dublin and Maryland.

Stylist’s Corner: What I Want To See For 2018

Waterlily Weddings is excited to feature our new STYLE & DESIGN service for your wedding planning needs!  As part of that feature, we’ll showcase some styling tips, tricks, and advice on the BLOG to help get you started on conceptualizing your dream destination wedding in Ireland!

“With so much information out there, it can be really easy to get overwhelmed and get sucked into a Wedding Planning Vortex,” resident  Waterlily Weddings stylist Mishy says. “There’s no real guidance out there about what’s trending now, what was popular 7 years ago, and even less on the direction weddings are going in for the future.  Add to that translating your vision, wants, and likes to work somewhere 3000+ miles away in Ireland can be a daunting task for some.” But don’t worry! We’re here to help! We sat down and asked Mishy her top favorite trends going into 2018, what she’s sick of seeing on the wedding scene, and what she wants couples to think about for their 2018 wedding! Here we go!



What It Is:  incorporating formal details and/or creating a formal setting for your wedding day’s reception space

Mishy Says: “One of the most important trends for 2018 is a steady return to a formal, well-designed and executed wedding.  This is the kind of wedding where details are purposeful, there is composition, the table setting is more formal, stationary is formal, and there’s a general sense of thoughtfulness about the wedding leading up to and on the day. The general rule for this is everything needs to have a purpose, have a point, and make sense throughout the wedding scheme. You can still do whimsical or modern or even have casual elements, but they need to be defined and presented with some sense of formality. You don’t have to give up having doughnuts as part of your dessert table, or even mini sliders served with the cocktails, for example; just consider a more formal and elegant way of presenting them!”

There are many ways to express a more formal tone to your wedding day.  Top of the head includes:

  • attire = formal suits, dresses, even tuxedos are making a major comeback in 2018;  this extends to guests as well!
  • stationary = invest in the good quality hard stock paper; letter-pressed and calligraphy are always beautiful choices
  • flowers = formal arrangements with clear lines, clear voice and presentation are a must for 2018
  • place setting = adding details like the perfect charger plate, menu, place card, renting the right choice for glassware and cutlery can instantly elevate the place setting from drab to elegant and make the event space stunning and memorable
  • a proper wedding cake = even if it’s small, having a proper wedding cake on display can both decorate the space and add that perfect formal touch!

Jenya and Steven’s beautiful Luttrellstown wedding is an excellent example of merging that formal tone with a modern voice. Card stock stationary embossed with an ostrich emblem and script in brassy gold was the perfect formal touch that still kept their sense of humor (there’s a story behind the ostrich for them!). Adding the gold-rimmed glassware to their tables helped to tie in the floral arrangements and offset against the beautiful and modern navy table linens. It doesn’t take much, but these little details can be the difference between a nice table and a gorgeous one.

And remember: formal doesn’t mean stuffy!!! There are so many cheats and tweeks we can do to decorate and design the wedding day that has that formal feel without being intimidating or stuffy. Even if you don’t consider yourself fancy people, there is still something about adding a touch of formality to your wedding day that will set it apart and make you and your guests feel special. Mishy advises, “If I had to pick one trend to focus on for 2018 couples, it’d be this.  I want couples to focus on picking and presenting wedding details impeccably and having pride in the presentation.”



What It Is:  You know the adage and whether you want to incorporate the “something blue” tradition on your wedding day or not, it’s worth considering for your 2018 wedding.  Many couples traditionally have a blue garter, blue shoes, maybe something blue hidden or snuck into the bouquet or undergarments for their wedding day. But think of actually embracing the tradition and going farther with it…

Mishy Says:  “Consider using ‘something blue’ in a cheeky or unexpected way on your wedding day. Not hidden where no one can see it, but rather embrace the tradition and actually use it as a feature!  Desserts is a perfect way to make your ‘something blue’ into something everyone can share in as well as a major focal point of your reception. Consider a beautiful cake using the color blue, or details in the rest of the dessert table.  Table settings, flowers, stationary are all wonderful areas where ‘something blue’ can be incorporated in. I especially love this idea because blue is also a traditional color of Ireland, so it’s perfect on another level for those looking to incorporate an Irish detail into their day.  And honestly the color spectrum for blue is so forgiving — the right shade can be found easily to compliment the rest of your color scheme in a way that will enhance, not distract.”

We love these cake examples from Cupcakes and Counting, Dublin-based cake atelier and uber-talented cake artist Jen Rojas. This menu by Barry Malone Designs is super elegant and a slam-dunk choice to add that something blue to your table setting.

“I’d love to see clients actually use blue as a neutral or base point for their color palette. Navy, for example, is the new black going into 2018.”


The Sweetest Thing

What It Is:  Desserts are big for 2018, from huge traditional wedding cakes to funky whimsical childhood favorites, focusing on the sweet ending to your dream wedding day is something all 2018 wedding couples should consider.

Mishy Says: “Nothing will replace a gorgeous centerpiece wedding cake. Even if you’re not a dessert person yourself, chances are the majority of your guests actually are. You’d be surprised how many people attending weddings actually look forward to the cake part — I have heard so much feedback on this topic it’s almost comical: you can design a spectacular, fun unique wedding that the guests will love and when it’s time for the dessert they realize there’s no wedding cake and it literally will sour the entire experience for them. Ridiculous? Probably. But you don’t mess with dessert!”

Don’t think of this as another expense or element you can gloss over. Rather, embrace it as a really fun part of the wedding planning process! “Let’s be honest, a lot of grooms don’t get much input on wedding details but the food and booze is where they can shine,” Mishy says. “Dessert can be really fun a chance to go down memory lane for you both. The trick will be coming up with the right combinations of desserts and how to present them, “she says, “and we can certainly help you with that!”


Yes, Get The Videographer

What It Is:  having a videographer capture your wedding day so you have it on film as well as in pictures

Mishy Says:  “One of the top of the list of What I’d Do Differently I hear from clients after their wedding is how much they wish they’d gone with hiring a videographer. Especially with hosting a destination wedding someplace so beautiful and epic as Ireland, there is so much detail and incredible scenery to capture and although photographs are amazing, there is something about having your day represented on film as well. Especially with drone technology now, couples can capture the entire breadth of their wedding day including the location, venue, surroundings, as well as the up close details.”

“I really, really want to see clients splurge on this feature for their weddings going into 2018.”

Waterlily Weddings has a list of incredibly talented vendors who can capture your Irish wedding day so perfectly. Contact us today for more info!


Whimsical Woodsy

What Is It:  “rustic” takes a turn to a woodsy aesthetic, using lots of natural soft greenery like moss, wood texture, and forest/fauna themed details

Mishy Says: “I absolutely adore this aesthetic and I really hope many clients embrace it into 2018. You can work it year-round, and actually I’m so excited about the challenges of interpreting this style according to each season. There is something so romantic about the natural-woods-forest and it can have that subtle ‘enchanted’ vibe to it that makes it whimsical. You can take this aesthetic very rich and opulent with reception spaces dripping in moss and crystals and twinkle lights and wood detail mixed in with gold and silver accents, or to the other side of the spectrum with very sleek details like silver-painted antler details for example and all cream candles with thin wood menu cards in a modern font. There are literally so many options for this aesthetic and it would work perfectly throughout Ireland, especially cozy venues like Virginia Park Lodge and Sheen Falls that already have a version of this style going.”

This them can be incorporated in any and every element for your wedding day, depending on how far you want to go with it. In a cake, we love the idea of creating a birchwood detail with the cake’s construction, then using flowers to soften the look as created by Cupcakes and Counting. Adding something unexpected like handcrafted fondant birds (and in blue is even better!) adds that touch of whimsical that will take your cake and reception to the next level. We love this handcrafted wood box to hold the rings by Wonderment By Annia.   Not only does it hit that note with wood texture, but adding the soft moss inside to hold the rings adds color, contrast texture to soften the wood, and keeps within the woodsy rustic theme. Just perfect for pictures. And it makes a lovely keepsake from your wedding day.  For another touch of woodsy rustic and whimsical, think about the tables! Forgo the boring “comes with the venue” table numbers and opt instead for something like these moss covered numbers created by ArtWen Shop on Etsy.  They are an easy way to bring a little bit of the outdoors into your wedding space, especially if you end up with a Plan B indoor ceremony and reception. The moss adds texture to the table and creates a focal point around which the flowers and candles can compliment. Really love these for 2018 spring and summer weddings in particular!


There is a fine line between beautiful and looking like a bad interpretation of a fantasy film, however. “The trick with this aesthetic is really interpreting the season and venue space appropriately, and having the right balance of restraint versus knowing when to be braver,” Mishy says. “I think this aesthetic will go strong into 2019 as well.”


The Unique Irish Details!

What It Is: incorporating those details, ideas, activities unique to Ireland to enhance your wedding day in Ireland and make it memorable!

Mishy Says: “Ok, so we can basically do anything in Ireland we can do the States. That said, you are going to IRELAND for your dream wedding day! Please use some of the unique and incredible details, textures, colors, themes, ideas, entertainment we have to offer you! The castles are different, the estates are different, the food and drink are some you can only find and serve on the island (literally — there are some small batch whiskeys for example you have to physically go to Ireland to purchase and bring back home with you on the plane). Think about incorporating these unique details into your wedding day and even building your celebration around them. There is so much we can do, from unique settings and venues to entertainment for your reception to traditions that go far beyond using the color green or serving Guinness!”

We are so looking for that couple that want to really embrace everything Ireland has to offer!


Welcome In, Don’t Send Off

What It Is: lining up your guests to welcome you at your reception rather than gathering together at the end of the evening for a send off

Mishy says:  “From a logistical standpoint, I really love this idea for a few reasons. One, many couples don’t contract their photographer to stay through to the end of the evening and thus miss out on some great photo opportunities like the classic couple send off. By switching it to a ‘welcome in,” couples can get the same shots of a send off without having to keep the photographer until after midnight. Two, everyone will look better in pictures at the start of your reception rather than the end of it. Hair, makeup, state of attire will be in order versus after a few drinks and some dancing 4 hours later.  And if you’re looking for those sparkler send-off shots, trust me to do it as a sparkler welcome in — mixing alcohol with lots of hair spray and pyrotechnics makes for some seriously dangerous scenarios!”

Really embrace this as an option for your wedding day. Consider some unique and cool ways to welcome your guests to the space, or choreograph a unique entrance to introduce the couple and bridal party!  Have fun with this!


First Looks

What It Is:  having your photographer capture the first time the bride/groom look at each other on their wedding day

Mishy Says:  “If I could give just one piece of advice to all clients, it’d be to schedule this into your wedding day. 100% do this. The wedding day can get chaotic fast and many people, even with best intentions, will compete for the bride/groom’s attention. Even if you have an intimate wedding, you’ll be surrounded by people all the time. One thing we love about elopements and why their pictures are amazing is they have that opportunity to spend that one-on-one time together on their wedding day. You don’t need to choose one over the other; rather, incorporate a “first look” into your schedule where it’s just the two of you and your photographer to capture that magical moment!”

photo courtesy of Sean and Kate Photography

An even sweeter moment is extending the first look to parents if they are attending. The father-of-the-bride seeing his little girl dressed up for her wedding day is always a complete tear-jerking photo, as is the mother-of-the-groom. “Just scheduling those opportunities, those spaces cornered off from the rest of the guests for your photographer to capture will be the best parts of your wedding album, 100% guaranteed.” 


Enough of These Already!

As the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end” and such is the case with trends in the wedding world. We asked Mishy what she’s sick of seeing and what she hopes clients will say “adios” to as 2018 approaches.

Mishy Says: “Ok honestly there are a few. And it’s no knock on anyone that’s maybe used these before, but as we enter 2018 these details/styles/designs/colors have been done and done and done to death and we need to retire them gracefully. I’d love to say goodbye to:

  • burlap = one of the most overly used textures the last 5 years, it really has been so overly done at this point we need something new
  • mason jars = ditto with mason jars! not even with candles, not even colored, not even for drinks — we need to move away from the jar
  • “it comes with the venue” decor = this includes (but may not be limited to) table numbers, menus, programs, chair covers, candle holders;  some of these are “ok” and can be worked with, but more often than not they are out-dated and will completely clash with the rest of the flowers and decor at your reception
  • omitting the wedding cake = we have a lot of very talented bakers from local bakeries in Ireland producing ol’ fashioned delicious “rustic” style cakes to cake ateliers producing edible works of art that can work with all price points that we can recommend; the cake is something you will miss in your photographs and something your guests will be looking forward to and disappointed if it’s missing; just get a cake, even if it’s a small one!
  • cell phones = we all want to Instagram and be the first to show off on social media, but the truth is especially during the ceremony there are so many pictures completely ruined by people holding up phones or even worst — standing in the aisle (GASP!!!) — to take pictures of the bride/groom; it’s tacky, it’s not appreciated, and I’m going to stick up for the couples here and say it needs to stop; I highly encourage couples to have a no-phone policy during the ceremony at least, so everyone can focus on the important even happening in the now! live in the moment!
  • awkward photos = cutesy staged photos like bridesmaids peeking behind trees,  bizarrely placed items like bride’s shoes balanced precariously on an antique statue — these  aren’t artistic, they’re just goofy;   we love a more natural pose, relaxed, that makes sense within context; certainly feel free to lay out and position details to be photographed, but not in a so obviously “trying to hard to be artistic” sort of way
  • casual shoes with wedding attire = like pairing a pair of bright sneakers with a fancy gown, fabulous suit with his favorite converse…it was cute while it lasted but it’s time for a return to formality; in Ireland having a ceremony outdoors and taking pictures you will certainly need some sensible footwear — by all means, wear the sturdy pair and we always love a good pair of wellies for those incredible shots around the cliffs and in the wild countryside! — but make sure you have a pair of glorious pumps and smart oxfords to change into and photograph
  • kitschy decor that doesn’t have meaning in your life = feathers, arrows, crystals, geodes, geometric patterns, flower crowns, burlap, lace, twine, shabby chic ….. all of these are “trend items” that come and go; if they speak to you and is something that you love and is a part of your look and vibe every day, then by all means incorporate it into your wedding; if you’re looking to these because you’re seeing them plastered on Pinterest and feel you should be using them, then it’s time to pass!


What Do You Want To See?

Trends, decor, themes, palettes….what’s happening into 2018 you’re loving and want to see more of? What do you want clients to choose?

Mishy Says: “Ok first of all I want clients to choose what speaks to them. The Golden Rule of wedding planning is you have to do what makes sense and speaks to you. Trends, color palettes, decor trends are here to offer you ideas and directions, not dictate what you should have! Use them as guidelines and starting points rather than chaining yourself to them and you’ll have a successful wedding aesthetically speaking.

That said, there are a few color palettes, textures, and ideas I’m hoping to work with clients in the coming year:

  • winter weddings = Ireland is so beautiful year round and one really underestimate season is winter — there is so much texture and color to work with that would yield spectacular results; I’m hoping to do a winter themed style shoot very soon to help show what I’m talking about!
  • geodes = I’m still loving geodes and crystals as accents and textures; geode cakes are some of the most spectacular cake presentations I’ve ever seen and I’d love to see some riffs on that for desserts and table decor!
  • more metallics = I wish clients wouldn’t be so afraid to use golds and silver, but even more to use modern chrome, classic antique gold, unpolished copper can be so amazing and photograph so spectacularly
  • more blue tones = deep sapphire blue, grey-blue tones, turquoise, teal, robin egg blue, soft blue, navy….blue is really a fantastic neutral color that can instantly modernize and elevate a wedding and I really hope clients will incorporate blue in some capacity in their 2018 color scheme
  • jewel tones = I’d love to build a color palette around jewel tones for certain venues!!!
  • textures = incorporating lots more texture into the wedding space especially marble and stone
  • deep rich red tones = burgundy, merlot, garnet, scarlet red….think deep, sexy red tones either as base tone or accent colors
  • BLACK = riffing on the formality trend and also doing something a bit edgy, I’d love to see more black incorporated; it’s been a taboo color and has gotten a bad rap, but if used correctly can be so elegant and edgy in a good way!

We hope this helps get you excited for 2018 weddings! The Waterlily Weddings team so excited to help you plan and style your dream wedding day in Ireland! CONTACT US today to get started!!!

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