The Hottest Wedding Trends of 2012: Gowns, Desserts, Honeymoons and More!

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Wedding season is here, and "Anderson" takes a look at the most popular wedding trends of 2012, courtesy of Kristin Koch, Senior Editor of

1. Beyond the Tux
If you're having a casual affair, go ahead and ditch the tuxes. Instead, dress the guys in blazers and match something in their outfits (a pocket square, a tie, a belt, their socks!) with the overall color scheme.

2. Wearable Wedding Party Gifts

If your groomsmen are white-collared business types, chances are they spend a lot of their workweek in a suit or blazer. Giving them a unique, personalized gift will add to their wedding day style and that they'll also be able to use again and again.

Cufflinks with their initials are a great gift, or you can go for styles that suit the personality of the guy who'll wear them. For the banker, get dollar signs or 'buy' and 'sell' links; for the sports fan, a baseball and mitt. The men in your party will appreciate the thought, and they'll also be thankful that they don't have something identical to the other five groomsmen at your wedding.

3. Vary the Boutonnieres

It's nice to have the wedding party somewhat coordinated, but it's totally acceptable to have the best man's boutonniere be different than the other members of the party.

Making every single groomsman's boutonniere different, but matching them with the bouquet of the bridesmaid he escorts down the aisle is a great idea.

If the men in your party object to donning flowers of any sort, or if you want a more masculine look, consider boutonnieres of wheat, herbs, or leaves.

4. The Wedding Dress: Coy Coverage is In

Although designers have been creating dresses with sleeves for years, Kate Middleton has brought the trend mainstream.

Don't consider long sleeves your only option. Think capelets, illusion sleeves, sheer backs and even a bolero for a demure wedding day look that's all your own.

5. Colored Wedding Gowns

Brides aren't just opting for the plain white dress, but this is the time of color! Color is being incorporated into the bride's apparel more and more.

Visit to see more beautiful gowns.

6. Non-Traditional Gowns

J.Crew and other brands are launching non-traditional bridal gowns that are more popular and are being seen more often.

7. The Change

Brides are purchasing more than one gown. One for the ceremony and one for the reception. Usually the ceremony is more of a ballgown or floor length number while the reception dress is more flirty and fun.

According to & Bridal Fashion Study, most brides described their dresses as elegant, romantic, feminine, or classic. A-line and strapless dresses were also the top ranked dresses for most brides.

8. Makeup

A few things that seem to be on the rise this year…

- Soft Eye Makeup with Bold Lip Color

- Smokey Eye with Light Pink Lip

- Golden Makeup/Golden Highlights

- Red Makeup

- Thick Dramatic Eyelashes/Thick Eyeliner

- Makeup According to Dress

- Peachy & Pinks (lips & cheeks)

9. Less Traditional Venues

According to & Real Wedding Study, only about 5% of people have their wedding at a religious institution such as a church, chapel, synagogue, or mosque.

Most couples opted to have their wedding at a banquet hall with a hotel or resort coming in close second.

About 64% of couples have their reception indoors, 15% have it outdoors, and 21% have it mixed between both indoors and outdoors.

10. The Mega Honeymoon

Brides aren't just settling on one dream destination, but instead, opting for a round-the-world getaway to several far-flung locales.

Splurge spots include: Croatia, South of France, Italy, St. Lucia.

11. Couples Delaying Honeymoons

Some couples are opting to delay their honeymoon in order to either spend time at home after the wedding or save up for a large honeymoon for the near future.

Other reasons include: timing, family and friends, taking time off of work, giving them a chance to regroup, etc.

This leads us to mini-moons…

12. Mini-Moons

Mini-moons are mini honeymoons taken either somewhere closer to home or not as far away as a typical honeymoon would be.

These are being taken either to save up for a future larger honeymoon or because the couple wants to get away but not do a large traditional honeymoon.

Save spots include: Greek Isles, Portugal, Panama, North Carolina.

13. Breaking Traditions

Brides are really changing up traditions and breaking the "rules" that were once pretty set in stone. For example:

- Seeing their fiancé before the ceremony for a photo shoot.

- Wearing more than one garter; one to keep, one to toss.

- Not wearing just white but incorporating color into their gowns.

- Walking down the aisle to your favorite love song (of course played by a DJ).

- Having drinks before the ceremony starts… the new cocktail hour!

- Bridesmaids not matching

- Breaking away from the traditional long white wedding veil with feathers or sparkles.

- Colored engagement rings instead of the traditional diamond engagement ring.

14. Wedding Food Trends

2012 is all about expanding meat options beyond steak and chicken, and while bacon is a flavor classic that showed up in a ton of weddings last year, it's time to move on.

Additionally, having finger food and more creative foods are definitely a big one. Different stations with a variety of color and food combos are very "in."

15. Wedding Cake Trends

Hand-painted designs, sugar spun cakes, flowers, and lots of color are now the trend with wedding cakes. This gives the couple the chance to make the cake their own and really let it show their personalities.

16. Wedding Flower Trends

Brides are opting for textural and leafy bouquets instead of last year's giant colorful bouquets.

Mixing greenery and interesting palette are a go-to now. Of course color is definitely still in, but in a much more subdued way.

17. Wedding Invitation Trends

Before, ribbon and buckle embellishments were huge, but now it's all about dual purpose and interactive invitations.

18. Wedding Photography

Stylized post-wedding shoots are big. A photo session in the dress but restyling the look with chunky jewelry, fun makeup, and more is huge for a post-wedding shoot.

Maybe it's the accessories that didn't make the wedding day cut, or the hairstyle your mom didn't approve of that you're now able to rock in a re-stylized post-wedding shoot - it's like the bride gets to style and star in her own magazine spread.

19. Wedding Videos

It seems as if everything is going to video. From wedding videos to video save the dates and more, the new trend is capturing everything on film (well, on a DVD).

We found these to be the most popular trends:

- Six-minute stories, super-condensed video trailer

- Professional video save-the-dates

- "Video suite" -- before, during & after

- Film their love story and play it at their wedding.

- Soap operas being canceled, but still a wedding love story.

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