We tend to think of a wedding as a timeless collection of ancient traditions. On some level, that’s accurate–there are aspects of a wedding that haven’t changed in a hundred years. But within those various wedding traditions, there is plenty of room for innovation. Big trends tend to sweep through weddings for a few years, and then blow back out as quickly as they came. No one’s going to fault you for your wedding not being trendy enough, and if they do you shouldn’t be friends with them anymore. But if you’re looking to be inspired by what’s big right now, here are a few of the latest wedding trends you should know about.

Third Dress

Pity the poor modern bride. Not only must she shell out for an expensive, grand wedding gown, if she wants to have any fun at the reception she has to have a second dress she can actually move in. Now, as the reception after-party becomes ever more popular, brides are looking at yet another dress–this one a fun, comfortable one to rock the party well into the wee morning hours. Personally, we’re bigger fans of a single convertible dress, but the third dress trend is definitely hot right now.

No Dress – One of the Latest Wedding Trends

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), we’re not talking about naked brides here. Just the some brides are opting out of the wedding dress entirely. They’re going for smart separates, skirts and blouses. Some are taking it another step forward, going for sleek pantsuits or blouses with trousers. It’s definitely a striking statement that will make for dramatic wedding pictures. It’s also a great way to cut your wedding budget significantly.

White Bridesmaid Dresses

If all the bridal gown trends weren’t outré enough, consider dressing your bridesmaids in white. This ultra-modern trend is actually a throwback to the 1800’s, when bridesmaids were dressed just as identically to the bride as the groomsmen were to the groom. The modern take doesn’t perfectly replicate the bridal gown–so much the better–but instead has each bridesmaid wear different dresses, but all in dazzling white. It ends up looking minimalist and sophisticated, and it’s a lot easier to match the shoes to the dress.

Latest Wedding Trends - Drone Photographer imageDrones for Photos and Videos

It used to be that if you wanted dynamic overhead shots of your wedding, you’d have to hold the ceremony next to a tall building or shell out for a helicopter rental. As they get more and more affordable, many photography services are starting to offer drone wedding photography as part of a picture package. With a camera-equipped drone you can get a bird’s eye view of your outdoor wedding, capturing the guests and the altar from an angle that would have been impossibly expensive just five years ago.

Family-Style Dining

It used to be that passing dishes at a wedding reception was looked on as slightly gauche, something you’d only do if your budget just wouldn’t allow for individual entrees. But people are starting to come around on family-style dining. There’s something about sharing communal dishes that lends an intimate, family dinner table feel to the proceedings, without compromising the elegance of the wedding itself. So don’t be surprised if you end up ladling ravioli from a huge pot at your next reception.

Wedding Sparklers

Though it’s not exactly “new”, there’s a renewed vigor in the use of wedding sparklers. There are more uses for a sparkler for a wedding reception than ever before, and more couples are using them. Additionally, there are new sizes, shapes, and color released regularly. That means there’s always a new type of wedding sparkler out there with new creative uses. That’s why we think that wedding sparklers definitely deserve to be on this list of the latest wedding trends.

If you’re looking to include the latest wedding trends at your celebration, or you want to make sure you avoid using the latest wedding trends, keep these new developments in mind.