Untangling New Traditions for Tying the Knot: Wedding Trends for 2023


Is there an event that’s been through as many changes as weddings? They started as simple celebrations for the bride and groom’s family, but over time, they have included many new traditions like first looks, wedding hashtags, elaborate bachelorette party vacations, signature cocktails, multi-day affairs, or destination-based festivities.

After the last few years, weddings have shifted from these huge over-the-top productions that require families to take out large loans to afford them to intimate, pared-down, more organic, authentic, and sustainable celebrations that put the love back in the spotlight.

Whether you are planning your own wedding, planning a wedding as a professional wedding planner, or are managing weddings at a venue, here are the wedding trends that we have seen gain recent popularity and expect to explode in 2023.

We spoke to Pam Blessing, Business Relations Manager at New England’s Longwood Venues, who has seen just about everything concerning wedding planning. She’s worked in the industry for 15 years and shared her insights on the massive shifts in wedding planning that have been influenced by the shutdowns, scheduling issues, and rebookings due to the COVID pandemic.

One of the first things that changed is when people get married, which typically used to be in the warmer months on weekends. That timetable has been thrown out the window, thanks to an influx of wedding bookings that had to be rescheduled due to the pandemic. The schedule is crowded, and couples are looking for alternative dates.

“The season used to be May to early September, and now it seems that it has been extended from late April to early November, as brides are looking into more fall dates and fall weddings,” Blessing said. “We have seen a shift into other days of the week for weddings, such as Thursday nights and even some Monday weddings.”

Another trend is celebrations that go late into the night. The after party stays on the dance floor.

“We’re seeing more requests for late snacks or after party food for guests, and that’s served well after 11 pm,” Blessing said.

However, when it comes to the numerous details and demands of wedding clients, that has stayed the same, according to Blessing. Wedding planners still need to prepare for an intense planning process with wedding clients.

“As far as expectations go, nothing has changed too drastically,” she said.

Let’s take a deeper dive into what to expect for the upcoming 2023 wedding season.

Sustainability trends

  • Invitations: Rather than pick out costly and wasteful paper invitations and envelopes, use an online invitation and RSVP tracking system like Greenvelope. With more than 400 templates to select from and customization options, you can create the invitation to match any wedding theme while saving you money, saving trees, and having better and faster RSVP information.
  • Rings: Instead of spending thousands on a new ring, couples can opt for antique jewelry or family heirlooms that are sustainable, often more affordable, and the pieces hold more sentimental value than something new. Your previously-loved ring can also be something old and borrowed.
  • Flowers: Try swapping real flowers for fake flowers. This option may not be more affordable than fresh flowers, but it is much more eco-friendly than throwing away fresh flowers at the end of the night. Fake flowers can also be saved forever as a sweet memento from the day that can be displayed in your house for all to enjoy. If you take anniversary pictures each year, you can hold your wedding day bouquet always and forever.

Decor trends

  • Decorating with pampas grass instead of flowers has exploded as a new floral trend. Pampas grass is easier to come by, much more affordable, and can be brought home for decorations that will last. Pampas grass is easy to grow at home; if you are looking for a DIY project. But note, it takes two to three years to yield a full bloom, so start planting those seeds early. Pampas grass can also be incorporated into traditional floral arrangements to add depth and fullness to avoid purchasing more flowers.
  • Start saving all that junk mail and turn it into handmade paper invites. Making new paper from junk or old paper is easier than you think. DIYing paper gives you complete freedom to make the colors and shapes you want. Add seeds to allow guests to grow plants, and incorporate pressed flowers and leaves. Add glitter or sparkles. There are so many ways to customize the paper alone.
  • Incorporating disco balls into your wedding theme or decorations adds a touch of fun and playfulness. At night they add an extra layer of sparkle to the dance floor.
  • Give your wedding a modern look by keeping the decor minimal and opting for more muted monochromatic color schemes. A monochromatic color scheme elevates the look and feel while putting the focus back on you and your partner. Incorporate earth tones for a refreshing and calming aesthetic; there’s no need to feel stressed on the big day.
  • The photo booth idea has been copied to death. Instead, opt for a selfie or Instagrammable wall. Photo booths can come off a little cheesy, especially with those cutesy masks they often come with. Design a balloon wall, a donut wall, or even a drink wall to allow guests to interact and take photos that can be shared with you.
  • Instead of designing your bouquet with a florist, pick out some flowers and greenery that fit within your color palette and allow your significant other to create your bouquet for you. This is an incredibly romantic gesture for your bride or groom to design a special surprise with a floral arrangement.

Fashion trends

  • When planning a wedding, the bride and groom may feel pressured to look a certain way on a special day for wedding photos. That may include growing your hair long or having a beard. We are seeing brides and grooms cut their hair or shave their beards off between the ceremony and reception. Have your hair stylist stay to update your look by giving you a trim and a fresh do before celebrating all night long.
  • For any bride or groom that wants to customize their wedding day look, order a unique suit jacket. The inner lining can be made with images of pets, kids, or core memories of the couple’s relationship leading up to the wedding day.
  • For the groom and groomsmen, boutonnieres are out. Pocket squares are in, or opt for nothing at all. I like the idea of each groomsman picking a pocket square that matches their personality.

Tech trends

  • For faster responses and easier access to a registry list, include QR codes in your invitation. This can push people to let you know if they are available to attend the wedding with just a click. Using QR codes also eliminates paper waste with reply cards and envelopes.
  • Virtual weddings are a great alternative to inviting guests from out of town who cannot make the trip or to keep the in-person event small. You can invite as many as you want to a virtual showing for special guests that are attending the virtual event, set up a special delivery to their house of snacks, desserts, or even champagne the day of the wedding. It helps make those guests feel included and special through the screen.

Food trends

  • Offer your wedding guests late-night munchies such as pizza or sliders, especially if you allowed them to enjoy an open bar. They will need some greasy food in their bellies to ensure a safe trip back to their hotel or home.
  • If your favorite venue is booked for the evening on your desired date, schedule a brunch wedding instead. Tie the knot, sip a few mimosas, then have plenty of time and energy to jet off to your honeymoon.
  • Plan individual desserts for guests instead of having them wait for the cake to be cut and handed out, such as cupcakes, donuts, and whoopie pies.

New traditions

  • For the ceremony, have your bridal parties stand on the opposite side of you instead of behind you. This way, while you are saying your vows, you can look directly at your closest family and friends when you need a little support.
  • Saving the first two rows for parents and grandparents is not a new tradition at all, but instead, have them sit on opposite sides of the aisle, just like the bridal party, so you can look at your own family when you are crying with pure joy and need a little smile from your closest supporters.
  • Not every couple wants to celebrate their wedding day with kids involved. Instead of having small children attending only the ceremony, invite a grandmother to be the flower girl. Grandma will be delighted to be included in your special day to help you at the altar and stand by your side.

After the wedding trends

  • Going with fresh flowers for your bridal bouquet can be breathtaking and expensive. Why not be able to look at your flowers for years to come? Save your bouquet to send off to a resin artist who can preserve your bouquet and turn it into exquisite art.
  • The bride will typically have an engagement ring and a wedding band after the wedding. Most wives would wear those two rings proudly forever, but more and more couples are adding a new ring for each significant milestone, such as big anniversaries or the birth of a child. Couples are building milestone ring stacks to celebrate all of life’s most important moments.

Being trendy will help you get booked

With the ability to share everything about a wedding on social media, these trends tend to spread like wildfire to future brides and grooms, so it’s important to keep up with them. The venues, planners, and vendors that can execute these popular ideas and personalize them to the couples will be the top businesses that future clients will seek out for their big day.