News & Blog


With couples wanting desperately to make their special day unique, keeping up to date with the latest wedding trends for 2019 is imperative. Below, we’ve given our thoughts from our venue’s point of view, and also from our catering team at Beales Gourmet Catering. We’ve also asked our preferred suppliers for their top tips and trends to help you have the wedding day you dream of…

Our Wedding & Event Manager, Frankie Murphy, commented: “We’ve noticed that couples are booking 18-24 months ahead, rather than 12-18 months ahead, so if you have a specific date in mind, booking early is essential. We’ve also noticed a huge demand for outdoor ceremonies, which we’re delighted to now be able to offer in our Italian Garden.

In terms of décor in our venue, we’ve noticed a high number of couples asking their decorators and florists for much more foliage around the venue, including draped carefully overhead during their wedding breakfast, creating a very natural setting and bringing the outside in.


Brides and grooms admit that the food and drink served at their wedding is one of the most important decisions that they make. However, not everyone is a foodie or keeps on top of popular dining trends – so where do you start? We asked Tony Beales, Managing Director of multi award-winning Dorset-based caterers, Beales Gourmet at The Italian Villa, for his top tips and predictions for wedding catering trends in 2019.

The demand for sharing-style wedding breakfasts is showing no sign of abating. In fact, the trend seems to be towards getting even more creative with this! Whether it’s going for a taste of the Mediterranean with giant Paella pans, or sharing platters of tapas or mezze; or opting for the best of British with posh table picnics and afternoon teas, there are so many fun ways to give your guests the opportunity to be more interactive. Another firm favourite are our table roasts, where generous boards of roasted meats are placed on the dining tables with an abundance of roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables and of course never forgetting the Yorkshire puddings!

Locality and seasonality are as prevalent as ever. Tony says: “We are blessed in Dorset to have more amazing ingredients around us than just about anywhere in the country. From Mudeford crab and Jurassic lobster, to Bridport pork and Dorset lamb, there is plenty to get excited about. We also have some amazing local berries, mushrooms, and things like asparagus and pumpkin from Sopley Farm. Our job as caterers is to elevate these amazing ingredients and create unforgettable dishes!

The rise in popularity in veganism has also driven Beales Gourmet to launch two separate vegan menus with delicious choices such as their Quinoa stuffed mini peppers with basil mash, marinated tomato and roast garlic dressing, and Mushroom and chestnut wellington with vegetables & potatoes of the season, soya cream and grain mustard sauce. Vegan desserts also needn’t be a bore, with Tony’s inspired vegan chocolate fondant with soy cream and rhubarb compote or his Caramalised peach with toasted almonds, soy cream and raspberries.

As for drinking trends, Tony added: “Whilst wine and food pairing has been popular for years, we’re seeing more adventurous choices when matching drinks with desserts. Think about tasty digestifs such as Limoncello, Tawny Port (if opting for a cheese board), and of course the ever-popular Espresso Martini.

As for any common mistakes to avoid, Tony mentioned: “Remember, this is YOUR special day. Sometimes couples get too hung up worrying about what their guests would like to eat, whereas the food you serve should represent what you love as a couple. Your guests will have fun regardless!

Beales Gourmet are the preferred caterer at many of Dorset’s leading venues, including Lulworth Castle, Highcliffe Castle, Sopley Mill and St Giles House, and also run The Italian Villa at Compton Acres. Their team were awarded Best Caterer and Best Venue (town/city) at The Wedding Industry Awards in the Southwest finals. Their ethos is all about using the very best fresh, local and seasonal ingredients to create memorable cuisine for weddings and special events.

Flowers and venue decoration

Leading florists, PARKWOOD Florists, shared their top 3 trends for this year:

Boho Bouquets

As we all become more engaged with Mother Nature and the environment in general, so foliage has come to the fore in bridal and wedding flower designs. Lush and tropical or more natural and native, with or without flowers, unstructured ‘Boho bouquets’ suit the more relaxed bride and her entourage.

Less is More

Quality rather than quantity will impress on the day – and be easier on your budget. A few well-chosen and beautifully presented arrangements will have much more impact than masses of smaller pieces which have to be supplemented with accessories, favours, scatters and sundries. Who wants to be faffing around on the morning of their wedding when a professional florist can work miracles?

Table Landscapes

Keen to minimise waste and ensure your guests have a memorable day? We’re increasingly asked to create wedding table designs from living plants. Flowering, or foliage only, and dressed to impress in natural hessian wraps or re-usable ceramics, they can be given to guests afterwards to enjoy in their own homes and gardens. Or why not donate them to a local school, nursing home or hospice afterwards? Olives, sweet scented lavender, sweet scented violets – the choice is yours.


Danielle Street from Hillview Flowers also added:

We’re seeing lots and LOTS of foliage, very natural eco kind of feel.
Also, in a break with tradition, couples are opting for more unstructured designs, with pops of colour – mostly white or the standard blush.


Top venue styling trends 2019
According to Sam Saunders from Linen and Lace:

  • Eclectic mix of candle styling and varied vessels for florals creating full, long and low, lush tablescape designs, with foliage still featuring heavily alongside metallic’s and glass.
  • Clean, clear and light tablescapes using all glass vessels for candle styling and neutral florals, adding loose foliage for a touch of colour.
  • Brass and Gold candlesticks with lanterns are still featuring heavily alongside bright florals with touches of Black geometric candle styling.


Richard White from Balloon A Room Weddings added:

Popular colours this year are coral, rose golds, and silvers.
On trend are organic balloon walls (organic is the style where all the balloons are different sizes. Classic balloon decor is when all balloons are uniform in size).
We’ve also had a lot of enquiries for organic balloon Demi Arches (half arches), as well as Floral hoop centrepieces.


Although everyone’s music tastes vary, many couples are going for traditional classics for the bridal entrance, for example Canon in D by Pachelbel – this is one of my personal favourites!”, says Simon Woodley, Mr Piano

According to award-winning acoustic duo, Evertide, popular tunes for ceremonies and drinks receptions include:

  • Perfect – Ed Sheeran
  • Say you won’t let go – James Arthur
  • Stay with you – John Legend
  • The One – Kodaline
  • Over and over again – Nathan Sykes
  • Marry me – Train
  • Can’t help falling in love with you – Elvis Presley
  • A thousand years – Christina Perri
  • Better together – Jack Johnson

And as for other wedding entertainment, “Mindreading performances in front of the whole wedding party (at the end of the wedding breakfast) are becoming increasingly popular,” says Chris Piercy, Wedding Magician

Iggy Davis (Iggy Wedding DJ), gave some predictions for this year and next…

“The Selfie Wizard is taking off big time, with loads of DJs having bought one. Lycra “scrims” (designed frontages of DJ booths) are brand new too, printed with a design chosen by each couple (wood, flowers, plain colour) – making things very personal and bespoke.

  1. Selfie Wizard: A device which collects all photos taken at an event. The photos are displayed on a big screen(s) as a slideshow and also collected onto a USB for the couple to keep. Also possible to connect a printer at the event for instant prints too.
  2. I’m also going to be offering custom styles to match decor. These are printed lycra ‘scrims’ which stretch over the equipment. Printed with a design chosen by the couple (wood, flowers, plain colour)

Hayley Jones from Hayley Elizabeth Cake Design shared some of her top tips for wedding cakes:

1)  Dessert tables:
Couples are opting for not just a cake, but co-ordinated treats to match… a delight for the guests and adds a little extra to the cake table!

2) Metallics
The last 12 months has been all about copper and rose gold, but Gold and especially silver is making a comeback, even mixing metallics is a great option for a 2019 wedding and looks uber cool!


Leading wedding makeup artist, Tara Sanger, says: “2019 is seeing a lot of fresh undone skin, with beautiful freckles showing through the makeup rather than disguised, soft glowing cheeks and a buffed out liner on the eye to give a more romantic feel.

A lot of brides are also teaming this with a pop of colour to the lips, I’m seeing lots of my brides pick a blue toned pink which really makes a green or blue eye sparkle and also a brighter tone of coral, finished off with a gloss – this year is all about the glossy lip which screams summer sassy bride!

Attire and jewellery

Tracy Carroll, from Wedding Time Bridal Salon & Men’s Formalwear, gave her top mens and ladies fashion trends

Menswear top trends

  1.  Tweed waistcoats in charcoal/blue or charcoal/blush
  2.  Antique rose or rose-coloured ties/cravats
  3.  Blue suits
  4.  Dinner suits


  1.  Plain classic wedding dresses with straps are the latest trend
  2.  Vintage and lace are still popular
  3.  Illusion necklines are a very popular

Joe Weil Wedding Photographer – also added: “I would say tweed waist coats and suits are hugely on the rise… Black is dead, for suits and shoes!


According to Helen Molloy of Forum Jewellers, Wedding ring trends for 2019 include gents preferring to go for a plain wedding band with the preferred metal choice of palladium, a naturally white hard wearing metal.

Whilst diamond set wedding bands have always been popular for women, we have noticed an increase in Plain Wedding Bands, with the metal choice to complement their engagement ring, the most popular being Platinum.


The top trend that we’re embracing is a more eco friendly approach.” Says Catherine White of Dorset Dub Hire.
We’ve got rid of single use poly ribbons to decorate the vehicles, replacing them with fabric reuseable ribbons which clients love as there is so much more variety to choose from.

We’ve always had any work on the vehicles (mechanical, bodywork and interiors) undertaken locally so continue with this.

We have also ditched the use of all single use plastic bottles/straws for the refreshments we offer during journeys, opting instead for glass water bottles, paper straws and cans.

We’re seeing an increase in brides and grooms opting to travel with their families to the venue – so, both parents, grandparents and brothers/sisters/the couples’ children (rather than the traditional bride and father of the bride or groom and best man-which we still do see very regularly of course!)


According to Hannah Vincent of Select World Travel, Popular destinations for this year have been:

  • Maldives
  • Caribbean
  • Mauritius

Hannah added: “Our honeymoon gift service is something that we offer, and I think is getting more and more popular, and as most couples already live together and have everything they need, money towards their honeymoon makes more sense.