Top 10 Wedding Trends for Modern Brides: 2015 Wedding Trends That Will Continue into 2016.

When I got married in 2011, I didn't know about any wedding trends — and a lot of them hadn't existed yet! Wedding trends are changing, and unless couples go to a lot of weddings, how do they know what's IN? I've spent countless weekends photographing weddings in 2015 and I've seen it all!

1. First Look - Times are changing! Gone are the days when the bride and groom don't see each other before the ceremony, and if you've heard that's bad luck, read on. The tradition came from the days of arranged marriages so that a groom wouldn't see his bride's face until she was walking down the aisle. It was sort of a "you can't back out now" approach. Nowadays, couples are having a first look, which is when they both get ready for the wedding separately, but then meet before the ceremony and share a private moment together. Many times this intimate moment is photographed. A great benefit of having a first look is that many of the formal wedding portraits can be taken before the ceremony. That way, when the ceremony is over, there will be less standing around taking photos, and more mingling and enjoying the wedding.

 Maine Wedding First Look Photos

2. Signature Drink - A really neat idea is to have your bartender (or use the internet) to come up with a unique cocktail that is served at your wedding. Some couple's even give their signature drink a personalized name.

 Signature Drink Wedding Trend

3. Unplugged Weddings - By far my favorite modern wedding trend, unplugged weddings involve the wedding guests turning off their phones and enjoying the wedding (for at least the ceremony portion). I cannot tell you how many times I've photographed a wedding ceremony filed with rows of hands holding up cell phones, ipads, cameras, etc. Everyone's happy faces and emotions get blocked by all of the technology. When you hire a professional wedding photographer, you don't have to worry about photo coverage. Let your guests relax and enjoy the wedding!

4. Wedding Hashtag - Perhaps the trendiest on the list, the wedding hashtag has become all of the rage this wedding season. For those of you not familiar with a hashtag, it is a hash or pound sign "#" that precedes a word or phrase. When used, people can find all of the instances in which that word or phrase has been mentioned on social media sites, such as Twitter. Brides and Grooms have become very creative at creating their own wedding hashtags. There are even wedding hashtag generators online that can help couples come up with their own.

5. Photo Displays - Brides and grooms are opting to personalize their wedding ceremonies and receptions like never before! I've seen framed photos hanging off of each aisle chair at the ceremony. I've also seen many wedding receptions where couples create photo collages, or display framed photos of themselves throughout their relationship. It adds for a nice personalized touch that their wedding guests surely enjoy!

 Popular Wedding Photo Displays

6. Love Letters - I really wish I knew about this modern tradition a few years ago when I got married. The bride and groom each give handwritten notes to each other for the other to read while they are getting ready for the wedding. It's even more fun to photograph each of their reactions reading the notes for the other to see later on.

 Wedding Love Letters

7. Candy/Sweets Table (instead of candy wedding favors) - Who doesn't love a table filled with beautifully decorated candies, chocolates and other sweets? Becoming more popular over the past couple of years, couples have opted for a candy table for their wedding guests who need a little more sugar than just the wedding cake.

 Wedding Sweets Candy Table

8. The Shoe Game - I'm seeing less and less bouquet and garter tosses and more fun, interactive games at wedding receptions. Particularly popular this season is the Shoe Game — a game in which the bride and groom sit back to back, holding one shoe of their own and one shoe of their spouse's. The DJ or MC then makes a statement such as "the person who snores the loudest" and the bride and groom each hold up the shoe of the person they think fits the statement given. It's a great game that gets everyone laughing!

 The Shoes Game - Fun Wedding Games

9. Trash the Dress - While this one is not the newest on the list, it certainly is a growing after-wedding trend. Bride's sometimes spend thousands of dollars on a dress they will only wear once. Resell value on a used dress is rather low so brides have chosen to "trash the dress." Wearing their wedding dress, the bride does something to "trash it" such as jump into the ocean or get crazy with paint. It's even more fun when trashing the dress is photographed, as it can be a lot of fun!

10. Gender Neutral Wedding Party - Who says the best man has to be a man, or the Maid of Honor has to be a women? Having a Best Lady or Man of Honor has become quite popular. Couples are looking past gender when assigning roles in their wedding party.

 Gender Neutral Wedding Party

I can't wait to see how the wedding trends evolve in the next few years! What modern wedding trend do you see on the rise?

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