Trendspotting | What’s Hot In UK and Europe Right Now

by | Jul 31, 2019

KwaZulu Natal is the province with forever-summer. While in Cape Town the snow has fallen on the mountains and fireplaces are spouting puffy clouds of smoke, lucky Durbanites are glowing in 23 degrees – a balmy winter temperature that sounds and smells just like summer and tan lotion.

Celebrating this all year summer-feeling, we look at International SUMMER wedding trends. What is happening right now in the US, UK, and Europe? Soon enough summer will be reaching our shores and you would be SO glad that you brushed up on your wedding summer trends.

I am quick to question the business of trends and forecasting – who is to say that your idea of pretty is trend-worthy? which has thousands of online stores has taken the guessing out of trend spotting.  Analysing the shopping behaviour of 5 million shoppers a month, who are searching and buying fashion across 12,000 designers and stores online, they have come to certain conclusions about the wedding industry and what is in demand at the moment.



        Photo credits: Dresses by Amsale | Greg Finck | Kurt Willberding

Kicking off with what must be my favourite trend of all times, is the incorporation of pockets in wedding dresses. Don’t you feel like saying “duh” to this – to me this trend is a no-brainer and should have surfaced ages ago. It feels a bit tom-boyish and very self-sufficient. Gone are the hassles of where on earth to hide/keep your lip gloss or face powder during the ceremony. (It usually ends up in the groom’s trouser pockets). Problem solved because you have your own pockets. reports that online searches for wedding gowns with pockets have gone up by 83% over the last six months.



Photo Credit: Ring Grove

Ed Sheeran set a trend in motion when he appeared at the BRIT awards sporting an engagement ring. Johnny Depp, a bit of a mad-hatter and a trend on his own, wore a diamond engagement ring to confirm his engagement to 27-year-old Amber Heard in 2014.

Traditionally, women have been wearing engagement rings – making it quite clear that they are spoken for.  But according to jewellers Ritani, it’s a long-standing convention in Brazil and Sweden for men to also wear engagement rings. They further report that even in Chile, both men and women receive an engagement ring and wear it on their right hand but move it to their left once they get married.

While this has taken some time to spill over to the UK and America and will hopefully reach the South African shores soon, it’s a tradition that makes a whole lot of sense. In equal relationships, with the commitment of sharing your lives and livelihoods going forward, shouldn’t a man also be sporting an “I am taken” sign?

According to approximately 1 in 20 women propose to their male partners, and many of them are likely to do so by presenting a men’s engagement ring. Supporting this new trend Lyst stats confirm that “5% of men wear engagement rings, including those in a same-sex relationship. Searches online have even risen up to 66% year on year for men’s engagement rings.”

Photo credits:  Easeeasaur |   Etsy

With so many beautiful rings for guys out there I am surprised that the trend has not started sooner. Durable ring options include platinum, cobalt, or palladium while yellow gold has hypoallergenic option properties.

Some of my favourites include rings with wooden inlays. Hubby, being a landscaper and botanist at heart, was only too chuffed when we swopped his original Titanium ring for a two-toned Titanium ring with African Blackwood and a Wild Olive inlay. Titanium Studio recommends that wooden rings need to be cared for using a few drops of Raw Linseed oil on the ring from time to time. Knowing that we have not done a single thing to preserve my husband’s lovely ring, I mentioned this to him. His response was: “Darling, this ring has lived through olive oil, beard oil, and car oil – I am sure it will be just fine.”



Photo credits:  Pixabay

When the search for personalised sneakers goes up by 61% year on year according to, you can be sure this is a super-hot trend. Search words include “Sparkly” and “customised” and sneakers take on all forms – embellished with pearls, diamantè, a dash of glitter, flowers, dots or perhaps just hand-painted with the wedding dates or couples’ initials.

Photo credits: Keds & Kate Spade | Beautiful Bride Shop

Dhiantha Achary, based in Durban, explains that all sneakers from LacedSA are designed to suit the personality and quirks of their wearers. “Each pair of shoes is hand-painted to ensure the highest quality product and complete control of customization. All designs are completely original and tailor-made.” Brides are choosing comfort over painful-but-pretty on their wedding day. Anyone who has danced the night away will completely understand why.

Photo credits: LacedSA



Photo credit: Alyssa Greenberg

With a huge emphasis on comfort, it is no surprise that white wedding suits have become popular for modern brides. Perhaps they are taking a leaf out of the same-sex wedding book, where white suits have been fashionable since Eve met Evelyn.  Nothing is more elegant than a well-cut suit, and sometimes more forgiving than the average wedding dress out there. It’s sexy, strong and modern – just like the bride of today.

Photo credit: Danielle Frankell |  Danielle Frankell  | Curvy Outfits

White wedding suits are having a big fashion moment – reports that online searches for white suits have increased by 43% at the time of the report. Still, the most iconic and outrageous white wedding jacket worn at all times must be by Bianca Jagger. Sporting a white YSL Le Smoking jacket with nada underneath, she married Rolling stones legend Mick in 1971 on the island of St Tropez. Courthouse nuptials never looked so good.



Photo credit: Danielle Frankel

Jackie Kennedy – the wife of the 35th American President John F. Kennedy  – was quoted saying, “Pearls are always appropriate”. Not much has changed since then and to me, the pearl trend has been alive and well, even though reports that online shopping searches for pearl earrings have increased by 109%.

It does seem though that from the traditional single elegant strand or Coco Chanel’s layers of pearls for the neckline, the focus has shifted to interesting pearl designs for earrings.

The classic pearl stud has been around for a long time and is a hugely popular choice, but creative designers are now focusing on double-drop pearls,  stacking of pearls, pearl clusters, bridal hoops featuring freshwater pearls  – the combinations are endless.

Photo credit: Danielle Frankel |  Ettika  | Modern Princess

Our own Jenna Clifford combines white gold, pear-shaped cubic zirconias, and shell pearl drops to create a classic look which can be worn with a crisp white shirt long after the wedding tunes have faded away. Another favourite in her collection are the Tina earrings, featuring a freshwater pearl suspended with a shepherds hook.

Photo credit: Stephan Gitau

With South Africa being a season “behind”, now is a good time to see what is trending and how this is fitting in with your wedding plans. To me, the trendiest of trends to surface from this report is the joy of comfort and keeping it real.

If your wedding dress has pockets and your shoes of choice are bedazzled sneakers, we get it.  If you choose to surprise your man or the girl of your dreams with a beautiful engagement ring to celebrate your togetherness, we say go for it. Life is too short for a dress which makes it hard to enjoy your wedding celebrations or shoes which will deform your feet for years to come. Keep it real. Keep it comfortable.



She knows her Merlot from her Mojito, her hotel from her motel. From craft food to caviar, her innate curiosity about life and wanderlust provide inspiration for her blogs, articles and press releases about the travel, wedding and Spa industry. Over twenty years in the hotel marketing & PR arena with impressive hotel groups, from Dubai to Durbanville, has evolved into the pure enjoyment of freelance projects under the banner of About Branding.


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