It’s been a long year of Zoom birthdays and postponed celebrations. But larger in-person gatherings are finally on the horizon again. (Hooray!) With this in mind, I’ve been interviewed several times recently about what the new normal might look like for weddings. After all, trends might come and go, but little else has an impact as profound as a global pandemic. COVID has affected everything about weddings. How, when, where. From catering to live music to welcome gifts, we’ve had to reimagine every aspect to focus on safety. And it’s not just about the details. The pandemic has given us all a new sense of perspective. As a result, engaged couples are being far more intentional about the choices they make. However, while some of these post-COVID wedding trends and changes will move on as Coronavirus (hopefully!) becomes a distant memory, others will have more longevity.
Here are five post-COVID wedding trends that I believe are here to stay.
Intimate weddings and the curated guest list. Last year, lockdown restrictions caused couples to cut their guest lists and switch to minimonies, elopements, and micro weddings. It also forced them to put extra thought and intention into who they invite and that’s something that will continue. Couples have realized that a big blowout isn’t a necessity. And, while I love larger events, I think smaller ones will be the norm for some time. The good news is that, with a reduced guest count, couples can focus their budgets on creating more once-in-a-lifetime experiences for themselves and their guests.
A renewed focus on the ceremony. Similarly, having to postpone their weddings has caused many couples to realize what a blessing it is to be able to validate their love in front of the people they love the most. As a result, there’s a renewed focus on the ceremony. There are so many ways to make your vow exchange beautiful and meaningful, from words to décor to who you choose as a celebrant. I think couples will be centering the ceremony for many years to come, and I couldn’t be happier about it. After all, that’s what it’s all about!
Color color color! After staying at home for so long, people are ready to celebrate! I’m seeing couples make far bolder choices in terms of color. I think it’s an expression of their gratitude for being alive and well. Expect to see this love of color explode in multiple ways. For example, bright and extravagant floral displays, wedding party attire (loving those colorful groom suits!) and certainly guest fashion. People are excited to get dressed up again and a wedding is the perfect opportunity. Brides certainly won’t have to worry about anyone showing up in white! (Find out which colors I see trending in 2021 and 2022 here.)
A fresh take on wedding attire. The pandemic forced a bit of a shake-up in wedding fashion (and not just in terms of color). Brides especially have had to choose pieces that can be worn in multiple ways. (For example, at a minimony and a sequel wedding.) Adaptability is key. I’m also seeing people opting for cocktail attire instead of the traditional black tie.
Outdoor venues and garden weddings. Open-air and outdoor venues are especially important right now, as they provide additional virus protection for guests and space for social distancing. But even once we’re able to gather indoors safely again, I think outdoor weddings will continue to be popular. Garden weddings, especially, are a big trend that’s likely to continue. There’s something extra personal and intimate about these at-home celebrations. Outdoor venues also often give couples additional flexibility to design a celebration that speaks to their tastes and personalities.
Of course, these are just my top five! Which post-COVID wedding trends do you think will be with us for some time?
Image by Amy and Stuart Photography