Over the last 20 or so years, wedding receptions exploded into these massive lavish productions costing families and couples loads of stress and a small fortune. During the last year or so, we have all had the chance to take a step back and really evaluate what is most important to each of us. And that has been the love that we share with family and friends — and the need to connect on an intimate level.
The wedding trends that we will see through the remainder of the year are here to stay beyond 2021 as they put the focus back on the couple and the whole point of a wedding (no, it’s not the open bar) to celebrate two people choosing to come together in life.
1. Small, intimate, micro-weddings
As couples had to pare back on who they invited to their wedding ceremony and reception in order to follow state party guidelines, it became clear that only inviting those close family and friends created a romantic movement. Having fewer people at the wedding shifts the focus from an open-bar party and dance-a-thon to witnessing and celebrating two individuals joining together in matrimony. Keeping weddings small allows couples to stick to a conservative budget and saving their money for larger purchases such as a down payment on a house or even life savings. Starting your new life together debt-free pays off in the long run.
2. Quality over quantity
Inviting fewer people to your wedding will help you save money, but it also lets you pick higher quality aspects since you will need fewer of them. Ordering 25 of anything versus 200 drastically changes the overall quality of the product that you can afford. Opt for the more expensive champagne toast and lobster dishes for your smaller wedding party and you will still save money over ordering 200 dry chicken dishes and everyone will walk away happy.
With more and more cities, and even entire countries banning single-use plastic. Living a more sustainable lifestyle is not going anywhere. Those lifestyle choices are easily adaptable for weddings. A smaller guest list cuts down on the overall carbon footprint of the wedding. Only choose eco-friendly invitations or even opt for online invitations. Instead of a registry, have guests donate to your charity of choice. Hand out flower seeds as your wedding party favor to get everyone involved in cultivating the re-population of bees. Be thoughtful of which vendors you hire; look for vendors who are local to the venue, offer daily rentals, and incorporate sustainable operations and methods.
Weekday weddings are on the rise as they are the significantly more affordable option versus the coveted Saturday weekend slot. Weekday event dates are easier to secure, making it easier to select a date closer to your engagement. When looking to book a Friday or Saturday night, especially during the summer, some couples have to look 18 to 24 months out in order to have their desired date at the perfect venue. By choosing a weekday to host your wedding you open up more opportunities for venue selections.
5. Outdoor and tented
Most restaurants and venues had to get creative with their outdoor spaces or create an outdoor space entirely from scratch in order to accommodate guests safely. Consumers and event guests have become accustomed to enjoying venues outside. More weddings will be held outside throughout the summer months as the weather is warmer (depending on your location) and enjoying the beauty that nature has to offer is often more romantic than bare white walls. There is less decorating that needs to be done and that goes along with the more sustainable theme. Putting up a tent creates a magical oasis for your guests. It also offers protection from the sun, wind, and rain.
Shrinking the guest list plus selecting a weekday to tie the knot are the perfect combination to hold your wedding in the backyard of a home that holds great meaning for the couple. More and more restaurants are offering off-premise catering options, so five-star quality food for a backyard wedding is easier to order than you think.
7. Assigned or pod seating
Instead of sitting single people together at one table or all of your college classmates at one large rambunctious table, seating will be more focused on smaller tables for families, or guests that either live together or are regularly spending time together. With the guest lists being slimmed down, there will be no need to order 20 large tables that fit 1o guests each. Opt for smaller tables and spread your guests out for a more intimate dining experience.
8. Individual and smaller servings
Buffets are no longer in. They are an excess of food that may or may not sit far too long under heat lamps and are not always sanitary. Small portions of individual serving food options are in, especially when you can display them as immersive art. Smaller-sized single-serve portions allow the chef to serve better quality food cooked to order. It also allows guests to try a variety of food options in one night.
With wedding trends breaking so many unwritten rules this past year, brides and grooms are feeling extra creative and breaking all the traditional wedding rules and incorporating more non-traditional elements into the ceremony and reception. Brides are thinking bolder than white and choosing bright wedding dresses to portray their emotions through color. Instead of religious or clergy officiants, couples are choosing to have a close family member or friend act as the officiant. Go all-in on a theme that is important to the couple, from the color scheme, decorations, even embellishments on the wedding dress. I’ve seen it all, Star Wars, nautical, even Disney-themed with the bridal party wearing Mickey Mouse ear headbands and Mickey Mouse ears sewn all over the wedding dress.
10. Destination weddings
Destination weddings have been around for quite some time, but most people would only get invited to maybe one or two destination weddings in a lifetime. With couples selecting a smaller guest list they are opting for an entire wedding experience. Travel bans are lifting and everyone is ready to travel, expect to be invited to more destination weddings. Long wedding weekends and even international destination weddings requiring flights are the hottest trend on the rise. Why celebrate for only one night when you can immerse yourself in wedding bliss fr an entire week with all of your closest family and friends?
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