updated: 14 February 2021
While weddings are still on hold at the moment, we’re anticipating a busy wedding season once restrictions start to lift – but, really, who knows exactly when? This recurring question of ‘where are we with weddings?’ is almost becoming a trend in itself!
No matter what, life and love go on!
This absence of ‘normal’ life has opened many people’s eyes to what really matters to them, and how they are planning their wedding as a result. We can see that celebrations are going to be all the sweeter, and even more packed with meaning, after the struggles of the past year. And I’m really excited to share with you some of the wedding trends and inspirations that I am noticing for 2021.
My Top Wedding Trends and Inspiration in 2021
Some people have realised that what they care about most is simply saying ‘I do’. For others, the idea of adapting their wedding and perhaps not having everybody there is a disaster. Whichever camp you’re in, and whatever trends and ideas might inspire you, just know that it’s totally okay to be feeling uncertain right now. When planning your wedding, it must be about doing what feels right for you and your partner.
Micro weddings are now becoming the go-to for many couples, primarily as a necessity due to the pandemic, but couples are now happy to reduce their guest list, keep things simple and embrace it. It’s all about celebrating in a more intimate and meaningful way with the people you love the most.
Typically, micro weddings include between 10 to 30 guests. The smaller guest list means there’s more budget per head, which you can spend on those super personal touches. But the best bit, of course, is having more time to spend with each and every guest.
For more ideas and inspiration, check my full guide on Everything You Need To Know About Micro Weddings.
The popularity of weekday weddings has been growing over the past few years but we’re looking to see an even bigger surge in 2021 and beyond.
A key reason for this is logistical; all the cancellations due to the pandemic plus more couples getting engaged means there is more demand for dates. And a weekday wedding is an ideal solution!
There are also financial perks to sacrificing the peak times at the weekend. It could allow you to free up enough budget to book your absolute dream venue instead of compromising, or maybe you’ll invest the spare funds in another part of your celebration. Perhaps an amazing luxury caterer, a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon, or even just a financial cushion to start your married life.
Marry now, party later
This is a great option for couples who are keen to start their married life together sooner rather than later but don’t want to completely embrace the micro wedding trend. You can book an official service to say your vows ASAP, with just witnesses or immediate family present, then hold a bigger celebration later when restrictions are lifted.
This approach gives you longer to save up for the party of your dreams without having to wait to say ‘I do’.
You could also consider eloping. Elopements can make for the ultimate romantic escape and more couples are certainly embracing what elopements offer. Imagine running away with your partner and reading vows to each other surrounded by nature, hiking to a beautiful location to commit to each other away from the stresses of every day life.
Some couples leave the celebrations there on location, while others choose to have a party with their friends and family when they get home. Read more in our How To Elope In The UK guide.
Extending the celebrations
Why celebrate for just one day when you could keep for the party going for a long weekend or even a week?! Tying into the micro weddings trend perfectly, smaller gatherings give you the opportunity to really spoil your guests. Ask people for a little more of their time and give them a really special experience in return!
You could host a weekend-long festival wedding (read the Ultimate Guide To Planning A Festival Wedding) or invite a handful of your closest friends and family to elope to somewhere exotic with you. You’ll be able to take things at a slower pace and make the most of every moment.
Going green: planning a sustainable wedding
Most of us are looking for ways to be more eco-conscious in all areas of our lives and weddings are no exception. Thankfully, sustainable practice is becoming more of an expectation than a ‘trend’, and here are just a handful of initiatives to get you thinking:
- Up-cycle decorations and shop second-hand
- Plant trees as a wedding favour
- Pledge to go plastic-free
- Use wedding stationary made from recycled paper
- Buy local where possible to reduce your carbon footprint (everything from decor to locally-sourced food)
- And wherever you go, leave no trace
Remember it’s not all or nothing. Even the smallest changes add up to make a huge difference.
Change in law
Previously, weddings have only been able to legally take place in specific, registered buildings, making it difficult to marry at home or outdoors, for instance. The Law Commission is pushing for changes in England and Wales to allow more flexibility in the future over where weddings can take place.
This law change will open up the locations where you can plan your micro wedding or elopement, for example, and potentially even allowing them to happen remotely over video link!
The law has already changed in Scotland and Northern Ireland, so fingers crossed England and Wales can follow suit. You can read more about this here.
While nobody knows for sure yet, there’s been a lot of speculation about how this summer’s weddings might look. One suggestion is that vaccinations will be mandatory for attendance*. Grazia has published a great piece about this, including thoughts from lots of industry experts which you can read here. It’s worth keeping up-to-date with the official government guidance around vaccinations too.
*Right now, as I’m writing this in mid-February, weddings are only allowed in exceptional circumstances (for instance if one of the couple is seriously ill). The government will be announcing the roadmap for easing out of lockdown at the end of the month, and we’re really hoping it will include some clear information about what to expect for the wedding industry.
The Devil Is In The Detail: More 2021 Wedding Trends
Now we’ve covered the bigger, more over-arching wedding trends, it’s time to get into the nitty gritty – the cake, the lighting, the dress, the photography. What’s hot and what’s not this year?
For those weddings that are able to take place this year, it seems unrealistic to think that it’ll be in the absence of any thought of Covid-19 at all. Couples will need to embrace this in some way when they’re planning their wedding decor, and perhaps how different households might need to be seated away from one another.
Wedding planners are already finding creative ways to adapt – think bohemian decorations, wooden furniture outside, floral tunnels and arches. And outdoor weddings are a great option to go one step further in lessening contact in a close environment. There are so many fun things that can be done in nature.
The small touches can be used to encourage safety too. Perhaps you could put signs up saying ‘spread love not germs’ to encourage hand-washing.
Homemade wedding decor
The focus is on personal touches in 2021 and handmade decorations are going to be a big trend. Think homemade wedding favours, DIY centrepieces, and custom cocktails – you can really put your own stamp on your wedding.
Choosing the right flowers is a great way to make your wedding greener. Lots of couples are selecting locally-grown seasonal blooms and wildflowers. Stunning compositions of dried flowers continue to be a trend, and they can also be kept or reused. You can even go one step further and grow your own flowers – a great lockdown hobby?!
It’s amazing the difference good lighting makes. Lighting plays a big part in creating that soft, romantic, cosy atmosphere you’re after. It’s no surprise that mood lighting continues to be one of the big wedding trends and inspiration for 2021! We want to bring the feeling of closeness and magic to the day.
Get creative and think about ways you can integrate lighting beyond the obvious. You could have candles lighting pathways, vintage lamps on tables, hanging threads of festoon bulbs, or chandeliers making a statement. Neon signs are popular too and make for some great wedding memorabilia if you have the space at home.
Lighting is more than just a practicality, it’s a way to bring a touch of sparkle to proceedings. Invest your time in looking for inspiration to create an unforgettable atmosphere at your wedding.
Live streaming your wedding and technologies
Maybe not everybody can be with you on your wedding day – whether that’s because of Covid-19 or financial or geographical limitations – but there are some amazing ways to get them involved.
Live streaming allows couples to share their day virtually and I wouldn’t be surprised if we started seeing more Zoom wedding invites!
Drone photography is also on the rise in popularity, capturing unique angles and aerial perspectives to show you a whole new side to your wedding that you might not have seen otherwise!
Interestingly, although camera phones have moved on so much and are capable of producing stunning images, more and more couples are opting for an unplugged wedding, asking guests to leave their phones in their bags. Unplugged weddings allow everyone to focus on the day rather than looking at it through a screen, and is where having a professional photographer and videographer comes in!
Rustic colour trends
Wedding colour trends in 2021 continue to be dictated by the seasons but we’re seeing more ‘rustic’ colours coming in. Alongside the traditional spring pastels, you can expect to see lots of light terracotta, nudes, sands, beige, spring greens and muted rose shades mixed with black metal and natural wood.
This trend will continue into the autumn, with gorgeous warm, earthy tones like burnt oranges, mustards, copper and emerald green being used a lot. These colours suit the low-key, outdoorsy vibe many couples are embracing.
Link to Pinterest folder with inspiration examples of Wedding Colour Trends for 2021.
The perfect wedding dress for YOU!
In line with the overarching trend of individuality, we’ll continue to see brides showcasing their personalities through their wedding dress choices. This could involve shorter, above-the-knee dresses, vintage gowns, boho frocks, a two-piece wedding dress, or bridal trouser suits.
The same goes for bridesmaids, with it becoming more common for brides to let their friends choose their own dresses. At the end of the day, the most important decision is that everybody feels comfortable and looks like themselves.
It takes two to… choose a wedding ring
Traditionally, the task of choosing a ring to propose with has fallen to the man in heterosexual relationships. This is no longer the case as one of the most game-changing wedding trends is couples choosing their rings together. After all, if you’re going to wear something all day every day, you want to really love it!
Food and drink
While traditional sit-down wedding breakfasts are definitely still popular, we’re seeing a huge increase in couples opting for street food style options instead. Artisan mobile wedding caterers allow you to indulge in all your favourite foods.
From pizza stalls and fish and chip vans to vegan street food vendors, retro-style gin bars and waffle makers, the options are limitless!
Wedding cakes have evolved too. The ‘naked’ style is becoming increasingly popular over the traditional fruit-cake-and-fondant options. Cakes can become works of art in themselves, with so many creative and alternative decorations. We’re even seeing constructions made of cupcakes or donuts.
Don’t have a sweet tooth? Not a problem! Some couples are choosing wheels of cheese and veggie pies stacked up instead!
If you are having a smaller wedding, people are starting to create mini versions of their wedding cake to be delivered to those who could not attend. Definitely worth thinking about as a really lovely way to let people know you were thinking of them.
My final thought…Do it your way
Weddings have always been very personal but, more than ever, we’re seeing individuality shine through as the biggest trend of all this year. And no matter what trends do take hold, weddings will continue to be fun times of celebrating the start of a new chapter in a couple’s life together.
I hope our rundown of 2021 wedding trends has given you some inspiration, but don’t forget the biggest trend of all: individuality. The wedding industry is evolving and allowing us to embrace our uniqueness more, and I love it.
It’s going to be a busy year ahead, and the biggest tip I can give to freshly engaged couples is to start booking vendors as soon as possible. If you want to chat about how I can help you capture your day, please do get in touch!
Other articles you might like …
- The Ultimate Guide To Planning Your Festival Wedding
- Top Tips On How To Prepare For Your Couples Photoshoot
- Micro Weddings: Everything You Need To Know
- How To Elope In UK
- Wedding Trends And Inspiration For 2021
Ready to have a chat about a wedding or couples photoshoot?