While planning the perfect wedding is chiefly about following your heart, the majority of brides end up incorporating several elements that are popular with nearly-wedded couples across the board. We’re all for creativity and making your wedding truly your own, but taking a few cues from what’s trending isn’t following the herd. On-trend wedding ideas aren’t just about doing what’s popular – they’re about taking what’s new and exciting and making it truly your own.

We love talking trends and discussing what brides are going ga-ga for these days, but this time around, we decided to let our vendors take center stage – the talented and creative wedding professionals who are putting these trends into action right as we speak. Flip through our Trend Report to get the inside scoop from Chicago’s top venues, bridal salons, décor experts and more as they share the latest and greatest ideas from their own unique corners of the wedding world.

Outdoor Venues

Acquaviva Winery Our private 40-acre vineyard estate allows guests to feel as if they have traveled to an exclusive destination, surrounded by the charm and serenity of vines and orchards. We offer our wedding parties use of our private estate pool house as they prepare for their ceremony, choose wine or bubbly service for guests, and watch as Acquaviva delivers an unforgettable experience on the most important day of your life.

The Emporium at Abbey Farms

Abbey Farms guests delight in the blend of rustic-chic, finely tuned accommodations that puts guest comfort and service at the forefront. Outside guests delight in details such as the Patio Bar, sweeping views of our 300 acre operating Christmas tree and pumpkin farm, our custom bricked patio with wood burning fireplace, and our prairie for photos and conversation alike!

Volo Restaurant Wine Bar

Tucked away in Chicago’s charming Roscoe Village neighborhood, our hidden patio combines cozy/chic design elements with urban vintage charm. In addition to a chef driven menu of gourmet food and curated wines, guests can enjoy elements such as intimate cabanas, a fountain and lush gardens, a retractable heated awning in case of inclement weather, reclaimed brick tiles, and a 100 year old coach house at the back edge of the property.

Blue Peak Tents

Having an outdoor tented wedding gives couples the opportunity to build an event space from the blank canvas of a simple plot of land. They can transform the space into the venue of their dreams with only their imagination as the limit. Our tents include all the amenities that indoor venues offer, such as hard flooring, complete weather protection, and climate control.

The Landing 1841

Our newly-renovated, charmingly rustic venue with elegant touches provides a picturesque setting for outdoor as well as indoor weddings. Situated along the White River, the outdoor ceremony sites are set up among lush greenery, a grand willow, and beautiful river views. Indoor ceremonies are equally beautiful with the warm natural wood, chandeliers, a stain glass window, and natural light flowing in from French doors. The hardest part may be choosing which one you want!

Indoor Venues

Chandler’s Weddings & Special Events

Golf course weddings are all the rage, but weddings at Chandler’s are in a league of their own. Whether you host an intimate wedding or a large affair, Chandler’s offers a variety of beautiful ballrooms with stonework and fireplaces in addition to a breathtaking, dramatically lit ceremony arch that will make your ‘I do’ unforgettable.

Salvatore’s Ristorante

One of the best things about Salvatore’s is that our wedding package includes everything you’ll need on your big day. Each couple gets two coordinator professionals, top shelf alcohol, a phenomenal three course meal, chairs, tables, linens, and candles! Not to mention our beautiful, newly renovated space with mahogany wood paneling and ornate detail.

Millennium Knickerbocker Chicago

Majestic crystal chandeliers, an illuminated dance floor that will keep your guests moving, our 1920s Gilded Ballroom…Millennium Knickerbocker has it all. Our award winning chef offers the newest trends in food and creative craft cocktails that will make it your own special day.

Bridal Fashions

Doris Bridal

We have more and more brides asking for fuller dresses. They’re looking for straps and an open front with an illusion back and pretty details. They also seem to be loving continuous details that flow throughout the wedding gown, rather than breaking it up.

Dame Couture

Handmade bridal accessories are always trendy, and the Daphne Comb by Davie and Chiyo has all the right elements for the boho-chic bride. This independent Vancouver-based company created the comb so that the vines are bendable, and it adds just the right amount of sparkle!

Bella Bianca Bridal Couture

We are thrilled to see the return of classic silhouettes and clean lines. Brides are asking for a timeless look with interesting necklines, and the designers at fashion week have certainly delivered that!

Austin Preservations

Brides spend so much time planning the perfect wedding, and turning their bouquet into jewelry is a unique way to keep their big day with them, always. Our Treasured Blooms petal jewelry is becoming super popular – we’re able to make countless styles of bracelets, pendants, and earrings.

Floral Designs

Dilly Lily

Creating garden-inspired bouquets with seasonal blooms sourced from local farms and foraging for special touches is our favorite current trend. We love to hand-pick flowers from family gardens or special locales for that added sentimental detail. Keeping to a color palette rather than to specific flowers allows your florist to select the best seasonally available blooms that might otherwise be overlooked.

Mayfield Flowers

Brides are moving towards a more tailored and classic look but still keeping some organic and natural elements from the rustic/DIY trends. There are so many different types of greenery now available from our growers, which has pushed us into diversifying our designs. We love continuing to learn about new floral varieties, and new design skills!

The Festive Frog

Couples are really putting more thought into the design of their wedding table settings. Our clients are on the look-out for rentals that are interesting and reflect their individuality. They are looking for unique table and glassware to use as decor as well as for function.

Catering Craves

Chic Chef Catering

Pesto Sriracha Shrimp Crostini is one of our most popular appetizers for weddings. People love it because it’s loaded with huge flavor in just a few bites. Its elegant presentation intrigues people to try it and its flavor palate keeps them coming back for more.

Jewell Events Catering

With the rise of condiments like Kim Chi and Sriracha, the average palate is quickly becoming more accustomed to food which packs a punch. Spicy foods are taking center stage and bold flavors are now common place in today’s dining environments. As a result, our chefs are fundamentally trained, but encouraged to embrace their creativity!

Sweet Baby Ray’s Catering

Elevated comfort food is right on trend. Nashville hot chicken is a southern favorite that tastes amazing with home-brined pickled vegetables. Baked macaroni and cheese takes a decedent turn when lobster and artisanal cheeses are added. The flavorful twists on this type of food add to a casual, fun dining experience.

Weber Grill Catering

Couples today have made a huge shift in prioritizing food at their weddings. Foodies are an expanding population, and we love that trend. Weber on Wheels is our full scale catering service that provides the same quality, standard of service and backyard legacy that Weber Grill Restaurants are known for.

Artistic Designs

This year, wedding desserts are heading in two directions. Brides opting to serve traditional wedding cakes are keeping things super clean and simple with multiple tiers and delicate decorations. Think beautiful, pristine cakes adorned with real blooms, tastefully restrained foils, and edible beading and gems. Many couples opting to serve a very small cake or no cake at all are turning to tables full of tiny, bite-sized treats instead. Macaroons and beautifully iced cookies have been starring in more and more weddings, as well as donuts, croquembouche (see page 329!), cupcakes, and more. No matter what type of sweet treat you choose to serve, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect bakery right here in Chicago!

Creative Entertainment

Conquest Entertainment

Your first dance doesn’t have to be overly complex – even just taking some ballroom dancing lessons will be a surprise! If you really want to blow their minds, have your DJ make a custom song that starts with a slow ballad and jumps to several 20-30 second clips of faster songs like “The Twist” or “U Can’t Touch This.” This will definitely get a rise out of your guests.

BeatMix Music

Whether it’s a mariachi band during your cocktail hour, a second line leading the way from cocktails to dinner because you met in New Orleans, or welcoming your loved ones to Chicago with a drumline performance, music is one of the best ways to personalize the night with pieces of your past.

H.Y.P.E. Productions, Inc.

For your first dance as newlyweds, have your band create a custom mash up with your favorite songs and work on a routine. This gives you a chance to be really creative with the music and be a part of the process. Add in some custom choreographed lighting and you have a unique first dance that will be so memorable.

Chicago Wedding DJs

Now more than ever, brides are wanting DJs with real mixing skills. A recent bride knew she wanted to be on the dance floor all night long, so she picked favorites that she knew her guests would like. And then she did something interesting… she searched youtube for remixes of these favorites that people probably had never heard before. Needless to say it was a thrill for me, because I do the same thing using my professional DJ sources. For her, she was on the dance floor all night long.

Luxe Transportation

Classic Wedding Car

Today’s bride wants her wedding to be glamorous, and what era is more glamorous than the Gatsby era? This time period evokes parties, good times, luxury and a hint of naughtiness. We recently acquired a 1936 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith Limousine that represents this time period perfectly. With a fully restored interior and exterior, its passengers cannot help but feel regal.


Most couples no longer care if their wedding vehicles are white; they’re just taking the sharpest look over all. Our luxury buses are all black inside and out and provide a wow factor like no other in sharpness and class. People are spending their money on quality and appeal.

Empire Limousine

There’s been a huge spike of interest in trolleys, even in the winter time! Equipped with both air-conditioning and heat, they’re an all-season vehicle that’s taken the spot of the classic white wedding limo. Wedding parties have been getting bigger and bigger, so there’s been a huge increase in larger capacity vehicles like party buses, trolleys, and minibuses.


Written by Christina Oddo