They say it’s all in the details, and weddings this year are apparently no exception. Thumbtack, a service that helps couples find wedding-planning professionals, revealed in its 2016 Wedding Trends Report that couples getting married this year are all about spending extra on the little things that add up to serious glitz and glam. In 2016, brides and grooms will spend 20 percent more on essential wedding services, or $12,189 on average nationwide (for a wedding with about 98 guests). But don’t think that’s all they’re spending — this number doesn’t even include the venue, dress or rings.

“This year, we’re seeing couples investing up to 20 percent more to create a memorable, classic affair,” says Ashley Brasier, wedding director for Thumbtack. “The reception is the focus of this extra spending, with couples turning away from themed weddings and instead focusing on finer touches like formal plated dinners, laser-cut place settings, and bold floral choices.”


Forget the buffets of the past. For 2016 weddings, there’s been a 26 percent increase in couples requesting servers for formal dinner receptions, and a 32 percent uptick in couples asking for plated meals. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic affairs tend to be more expensive, most often because of formal dinners and the number of guests. In New York, 33 percent of couples request plated dinners, and in Washington, D.C., 48 percent of couples want hors d’oeuvres. Across most regions of the country, the cuisine of choice is Italian or American food. The exceptions are Kentucky and South Carolina, which opt for barbecue.



Cakes are also more extravagant, with a 55 percent increase in couples requesting a three-layer cake this year compared with last year. And cupcake lovers, don’t fear; those delicious little treats aren’t going anywhere. Ten percent more couples will feature cupcakes for dessert in 2016, compared with 2015.


Brides and grooms are into spending more on flowers this year than in 2015. This is especially true when it comes to aisle decorations, cake table decor and altar arrangements. To save a little cash, 79 percent of brides plan to re-use ceremony flowers at the reception. Couples are also adding an extra layer of fanciness to their invitations, place cards and place mats with the use of laser-cut details.

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When it comes to looking their best on the Big Day, brides are sparing no expense this year — and they’re also straying from the long-standing natural look. Thumbtack noted a 75 percent increase in brides requesting glam hair and makeup, and a 70 percent increase in requests for false lashes and airbrushing. Bold looks are in, and the usual soft palette is out.

Curious about what else brides and grooms want this year? Check out the full 2016 report from Thumbtack here.

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