It’s pretty safe to say that the past two years sure have been challenging. COVID-19 just seemed to appear out of nowhere and turned the entire world upside down and, in doing so, practically put a halt to weddings. But as time has continued, and people are getting accustomed to mask-wearing and social distancing, things are looking up! Finally, larger gatherings, including weddings, are finally beginning again. (Hooray!) But with all the changes we’ve seen happening in weddings, we started wondering…what pandemic wedding trends are here to stay?
Weddings certainly look different now. Gone are the days that you can just invite 300+ people to your wedding with no concerns. There is no doubt that wedding trends change each year, but nothing else could have such a profound impact as a global pandemic. COVID has affected absolutely everything about weddings, including the how, the when, and even where – nothing was left untouched.
Businesses and couples had to reimagine every aspect of wedding planning to focus on safety and adherence to government guidelines. From how many guests you can have, to venues, all the way down to welcome gifts. But one thing is for sure; the pandemic didn’t just change how weddings happen; it also gave us all a new sense of perspective. And as a result, something beautiful happened. Engaged couples are being more intentional about their decisions, and it’s creating unforgettable wedding “experiences” that are unique to their love story. So, while some of these unwanted COVID wedding changes will disappear as Coronavirus becomes a distant memory (hopefully!), others will have more longevity. Here are some of the pandemic wedding trends that are here to stay.
Outdoor Settings Reign Supreme
Over the past 18 months, we have seen a tremendous increase in outdoor wedding ceremonies, cocktail receptions, and even the full wedding reception and dinner. This comes as couples wanted to push on with their wedding plans through COVID-19 and needed more space for the wedding events.
Outdoor wedding spaces allow couples and their guests to adhere to social distance restrictions while enjoying the sounds of nature, fresh flowers, gentle breezes, and all of the joys and pleasures that Mother Nature provides.
You may see couples getting super creative with their outdoor wedding space, including stoop weddings, elevated backyard soirées, rooftops, terraces, and gardens, to name a few. Moving into the future, we expect that outdoor weddings will continue to be the go-to venues.
Now more than ever, we are seeing couples embrace their love story and whisking away to celebrate their “I Do’s” alone. Modern-day couples are more intentional with how and where they spend their money, opting for more “experience-based” events versus the traditional party or wedding. If a worldwide pandemic has taught us anything, it is that life is short, and we should celebrate it every day. To many couples, this translates into less of a need for the “big, traditional wedding,” and instead, they are choosing simple and intimate elopements in their favorite setting.
And with social media and virtual streaming weddings, family and friends still get to experience the love and union with them.
Curated Guest Lists
Gone are the days that wedding guest lists will include everyone the couple or their parents know. Wedding traditions used include the couple’s parents heavily influencing the guest list with everyone from family members that haven’t been seen in years to coworkers of the parents. Well, not anymore. Couples today are putting more emphasis on who has been by their side over the past year, along with who they have supported to make the guest list cut.
The couple’s focus is more about having quality time with the people they invite versus only a few short minutes with hundreds of people that don’t play a significant role in their lives. Having a thoughtful wedding guest list is key to pulling off an unforgettable wedding “experience” and will continue of new “norm” in wedding trends.
To provide added safety measures for all wedding attendees, buffets and family-style wedding meals will be taking a backseat for a while. Instead, we will begin to see more elegantly plated meals including individual vessels for hors d’oeuvres. CDC guidelines don’t want hundreds of people touching and using the same utensils and congregating in self-serve lines at mealtime.
Having individual plates, hors d’oeuvres, and meals will allow couples to get creative and elevate the culinary experience at their wedding.
This is one pandemic wedding trend that we are super excited about. Celebrating your own personal style has become one of the most popular trends emerging during this pandemic. Sure! Traditional wedding dresses and tuxedos are still popular, but many couples are delving deep into their style and celebrating that on their wedding day. And we agree! The every day, “you” shouldn’t be put in the closet on the most important day of your life. So, channel your inner fashionista and find wedding day fashion that matches your style and flair.
For The Bride
Opt for a colorful wedding dress with soft tones of blues or light grey, or be more adventurous and go for a romantic floral print. Two-piece wedding dresses are still trendy and full of fun-loving spirit. Be adventurous when it comes to your wedding day look, from your hair accessories to your footwear. Rock a traditional white wedding dress with Converse tennis shoes or dazzling over-the-top designer glamorous heels. It’s your day, and you should feel comfortable following your inner spirit when it comes to choosing your look.
For The Guys
Time to embrace a more fun and dazzling side of men’s fashion. Grooms no longer have to be “safe” or “boring” when it comes to their wedding day look. We see the fashion choices for grooms change in ways we never expected but are so happy for. Sure! The traditional suits and tuxedos are still available, but you can now choose from colorful suits in pink, orange, blues, greens, and more. Guys are even wearing fun ties with floral prints and other patterns. Sportscoats instead of the more formal attire and so much more. It truly is a time where the guys can feel just as special as the bride on their wedding day.
Higher Focus On Eco-Weddings
With so many businesses around the globe being significantly affected by the pandemic, we are seeing a growing wedding trend that focuses on supporting local businesses. Couples have watched while many local companies have had to close their doors and what has emerged is now they want to do something about it! Ensuring that local foods, flowers, decorations, etc., are used throughout wedding events can help to save some of your favorite local establishments.
But, not only are you helping to save a business that is struggling to stay afloat, staying local and buying local products also helps to minimize the environmental impact that your wedding will have. What does that mean? “Experts state that the average wedding produces 400 lbs of garbage and 63 tons of CO2. With an estimated 2.5 million weddings per year, that is about 1 billion lbs of trash and as many emissions as approximately 4 people would produce in a year, in just one single day.” [Source: The Green Bride Guide]
Now that couples are being more conscious of global warming and the effects that our daily habits (like driving & surplus of trash) have on the environment, they are allowing eco-friendly and sustainable practices to trickle over to their weddings.
With so many uncertainties around the pandemic, we are confident that the virtual wedding trend will continue. And this doesn’t just pertain to the actual wedding itself. Virtual wedding planning sessions, virtual shopping, virtual showers, and bachelor/bachelorette parties can also be expected to be a post-pandemic wedding trend. Many people are still unsure about traveling or are uncomfortable with large gatherings, so the virtual experience is the next best option.
Shared Wedding Days & Weekday Weddings
Before COVID-19, the majority of weddings took place on Saturday and Sunday. But, when millions of couples had to change or postpone their 2020 weddings, 2021 weekend wedding dates filled up pretty fast. So, couples and wedding vendors have had to get creative and expand into hosting weddings on weekdays.
We are also seeing some venues allowing their space to be “shared” by multiple couples. So, essentially a few couples would share the expense of the venue cost by sharing the time. Each couple would pay for a block of time on the same day to have their wedding experience. This is a great cost-effective way to have the wedding of your dreams at an affordable cost.
Some great ideas are to host your wedding on a Monday, Tuesday, or other weekdays and brunch weddings.
The wedding industry was absolutely one of the hardest-hit industries during COVID-19. Millions of couples had to postpone, reschedule and cancel their 2020 weddings. The result has been an industry that is evolving to find creative ways to share wedding days between multiple couples, extend weddings into weekday events, smaller, curated guest lists, culinary changes, expressions of self in fashion, and an overall focus on “experiences” to create the most magical, unforgettable wedding events. And we love it!
Traditional weddings are still great, but creating events that are unique to your love story and personal journey through life are authentic celebrations of you. And that’s why people love you! So, embrace your creativity, uniqueness and plan the wedding of “your dreams.”