Weddings have changed.
After a sh**show of a year that saw millions of weddings cancelled in 2020, engaged couples had high hopes for 2021 nuptials - until this year started panning out with a rather bleak outlook. It's estimated that over 400,000 couples are planning to tie the knot in 2021 (an increase of 60% on 2019), whether that was new engagements in challenging times or couples putting off their nuptials for brighter days.
Despite a lot of us hoping that we'd be toasting to the mare of a year we've just had whilst knocking back tequila shots and dodgy dancing to 80s cheesy hits with 120 pals at a wild wedding, life isn't exactly as 'normal' as we hoped, especially as we navigate our third national lockdown. So what does that mean for this year's weddings and wedding trends?
We've grilled Jade Colton, the founder of Shropshire Events, as well as Hamish Shephard of Bridebook.co.uk and the folk at The Wedding Shop, to determine the major wedding trends you can expect to see this year.
Stylish brides, it's your time to shine! The smaller ceremonies we saw taking place in 2020 have given brides the confidence to get more creative with fashion, says designer Jess Kaye of The Own Studio, including an increase in sales of jumpsuits and suits and a desire to shun traditional big white gown.
Shabby chic and lace have been replaced with industrial and botanical. Tall metal display pedestals and hanging greenery are adorning long banquet-style table setups, and we’re seeing an abundance of earthy colours throughout room décor, floristry and attire.
Due to many couples still wanting a larger wedding but being mindful of a level of social distancing, marquees are a popular choice for 2022/23. In line with style trends swaying towards a fresh, natural feel, marquees allow for more of the day to be scheduled outdoors if the weather permits, and space is less limited inside.
Showered with horror stories of lost deposits and unavailability for postponed weddings, Shropshire Events' newly-engaged couples are being cautious - and quite rightly so. Looking ahead, wedding insurance will be more of an essential than an optional extra but new policies are still a few months off. Underwriters are working with insurers on new policies designed around the current situation. Until then our advice is to request terms and conditions of each wedding vendor insisting on an additional clause for no or low penalties for postponing your date following CMA guidance.
Virtual Guest List
With AV specialists having opened up the world of virtual weddings, even when couples are permitted to have the guest list size they planned for, they can now be even more inclusive and invite friends and family across every pond to join in their nuptials, no flight needed.
Extra time at home has seen the already cataclysmic world of social media grow even more since Lockdown 1; with secret wedding boards now making up 30% of all Pinterest boards. From the planning to the bragging #wedding, and a plethora of storyboards from styling experts means that couples have global inspiration at their fingertips and a platform to proudly share their real-life creations with others.
Party like… you’ve been in lockdown!
The need for a knees up has never been greater. Team it with seeing loved ones for the first time in months, and a matrimonial celebration to boot… that dance floor will be full from the moment the music starts!
Device controlled playlists are out, Bands, DJs and entertainers are in. Making up for lost party time is on everyone’s agenda!
Extending the day
A tradition in the U.S for decades, rehearsal dinners are fast becoming a huge wedding trend in the UK; as are barbecues and afternoon teas the day after the wedding. Being apart from friends and family through lockdown, and appreciating them all the more through the perspective this last year has brought means that we want to spend as much time together when we can.
Day of the week
The proportion of Saturday weddings has declined from 57% in 2019 to 53% 2020, according to Bridebook, and even further among engaged couples. 17% of postponed couples will marry on a Friday and 11% will marry on a Sunday.
Baby and child gift lists
Forget purchasing a crockpot or contributing to their honeymoon, as people prioritise having children ahead of their nuptials, The Wedding Shop has seen a huge increase in couples adding baby and child gifts to their wedding gift lists.
“Many couples are saying they have decided to have a baby sooner than planned, partly due to being forced to postpone their wedding. Either way, whether 'lockdown boredom’ has lead to a baby boom or if there was a gradual change in peoples' life choices happening anyway, we can’t wait to hear the pitter patter of tiny feet toddling down the aisle when couples do tie the knot!," said the team at The Wedding Shop.
Need some gift inspo? The most added to list baby and child gift in 2020 was a bouncing cradle, and the most ordered gift was a changing mattress.
This originally appeared on GLAMOUR UK | Bianca London