Today’s couples want to stand out from the crowd! By incorporating trends and constantly keeping things fresh, brides are able to accomplish a one-of-a-kind atmosphere filled with chic touches. Unique accents can be incorporated in just about anything, from the décor to the food and every element in between. Check out these 2012 wedding reception trends that are elevating the couples’ celebration to the next level.

Formal Black Tie

The number one trend for 2012 is hosting a formal black tie reception. Experts agree that this phenomenon is due in large part to the opulence and influence of the royal wedding. Some couples lean toward extremely formal and some will elect to incorporate some rustic touches, either way, high glamour is here to stay.

Classic Color Schemes

Reception color schemes are returning to the basics! Wedding color pallates often follow fashion. Just as you’ve been seeing nudes, oyster gray and pale gold on the runways and in magazines, you’ll see the same hues used for reception décor. Pink is also making a comeback for 2012 in a subdued, subtle shade, used as an accent color.

Bold Décor

Floral remains big, and in some cases, over-the-top opulent touches are the way to go in order to create the luxe look couples desire. Bold graphic patterns, such as chevrons and stripes, are back in a major way. Heavier textures and weights are being used in linens to create a luxurious, custom-made feel.


Pillar illumination was hot last year. These days trendy brides are leaning toward towering candelabras with taper candles to light the way and set the mood. Couples are ditching single centerpieces. New developments in table décor include fusing multiple elements, such as vessels, flowers and candles, to create a full, lush landscape.

Fancy Floral

The peony is still the flower of choice, in terms of décor. However, garden roses, ranunculus, carnations, mini calla lilies and orchids are all reemerging this year. Some are even foregoing florals for succulents and herbs. Groups of fresh or dried herbs, like rosemary and basil are taking their turn in the spotlight.

Classy Cocktails

Signature drinks will always be in, but trendy couples are upping the ante with artisan cocktails utilizing ingredients like elderflower liquor and garnishes of candied ginger or herbs. Tasting stations showcasing tequila, scotch and bourbon have also cropped up as a new way to share the happy couple’s favorite libation. Bartenders are also stepping up their game by featuring custom ice in the form of shaved, crushed or oversized cubes to add an element of personalized glamour.

Enticing Menu

The primary request given is for seasonal foods. In spring think strawberries and asparagus with summer bringing stone fruits and tomatoes. Fall calls for figs and squash with the winter months staring hearty root vegetables. Anything that seems like standard hotel fare, like filet mignon, is out and interesting main dishes, such as short ribs or cherry glazed duck is in. Another trend that’s making a comeback is the rolling station. Often times, four or five stations feature things such as lamb with various gravies and sauces or a potato station with up to as many as seven various toppings. With formal weddings being so popular, fine crystal and china, polished silverware and butler service are also very en vogue.


Cool Cakes

The trend tends to by inconsistency in the cake layers. Brides are ensuring each cake tier is different by incorporating a round, square, hexagon or oval shape to differentiate the look. Lacy drops of icing and sugar flowers never go out of style. Some couples have also been incorporating the colors their bridesmaids and groomsmen are wearing into the cake in terms of the topper or embellishments. Vanilla and chocolate flavors will always be king but the trend is to use flavors like almond, orange creamsicle, Jack Daniels buttercream and red velvet.

Whatever your style, consider hiring an event planner to aid you in your wedding day preparations. You may also want to check out Snappening’s venue search to determine the very best location options for your wedding reception.

What do you think of these wedding reception trends? Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter! For more wedding inspiration, check out our Wedding Designs board on Pinterest.