While 2020 has hit the wedding industry hard, things are looking up for 2021. According to wedding planning app Bridebook.co.uk, 64% of 2020 weddings have been postponed, with 400,000 weddings estimated to be taking place in 2021. Founder Hamish Shepherd told Tatler. ‘With so much downtime to plan, we’re expecting some serious thought to be put into the decor,’ with couples going all out when it comes to extravagant ideas.
From fairytale dresses and week-long celebrations, to Old Hollywood-style pool parties and authentic, editorial-style photos, these are the 2021 wedding trends top industry insiders think we’ll be seeing in abundance next year.
Dresses will be bigger with sentimental family touches
Society wedding dress designer Phillipa Lepley told Tatler that patient brides waiting to tie the knot in 2021 are not steering away from the big dress. ‘The one thing they seem not to want to compromise on is the dress. Even those who are planning small weddings for 2021 want what I call classic fairytale dresses. Big skirts and statement silhouettes… ones with real wow factor!’
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Celebrations will go on for a week
Wedding venue Hedsor House in Buckinghamshire said that they’ve noticed more and more 2021 couples wanting to take over the venue for multiple nights, to ‘extend their wedding celebrations and continue the party.’
The UK venue credits lockdown for fuelling people to want to spend more time with their loved ones, adding, ‘They are almost merging their wedding with a staycation and coordinating a week’s worth of group activities on site; croquet, boating and driving a Land Rover around a 4×4 off-road track are all in demand, all of which are covid friendly and perfect for mixed generations.’
Winter wonderland, Glastonbury and Cirque-de-soleil will be key themes – along with choreographed dances
Bridebook.co.uk has seen a leap in the number of 2021 winter weddings, ‘One of the key trends for next year is a revival of all things winter wonderland. We’re talking ice-rinks, Santa’s grottoes and copious amounts of fairy lights.’
Celebrations might also take a Glastonbury spin, as Bridebook.co.uk tells us, ‘Losing Glastonbury 2020 was a huge loss, and more and more couples are planning Glasto-theme weddings. We’re expecting everything from festival wristband invites, food trucks, glasto-theme stages, and tribute acts (or maybe the real thing if you’re really really lucky).
Circus-themed weddings are also set to see a surge in 2021, ‘They want cirque-de-soleil themed performers, candy floss bars and firework displays’ says Bridebook.co.uk, with search results for wedding bouncy castles almost doubling in the last few months.
The app also believes we’re going to see more and more couples choreographing a dance together. ‘Learning a TikTok dance became a quarantine right of passage, and newly married couples will be eager to show off their new fancy footwork. Be prepared for some seriously questionable, but hilarious first dances.‘
Guests will spend more on wedding presents
The Wedding Present Company’s Managing Director Georgie Evans told Tatler that guests are spending more on gifts, a trend that’s likely to continue into next year. ‘We are definitely seeing a move towards quality over quantity. Tangible wedding presents that guests love to give, and couples love to receive. The type of presents that last a lifetime. I think we have all come to appreciate our homes during the pandemic, and have realised that having beautiful, quality items that you rely on using time and time again is really rather special.’
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The gift registry said they’re seeing a rise in popularity for outdoor-themed presents such as ‘pizza ovens, outdoor furniture and cosy fire pits’ as well as tableware and antiques, ‘The combination of not being able to eat out so easily, and the incredible inspiration for beautiful tablescapes available has made couples realise that their wedding gift list is the perfect time to start building a beautiful collection of tableware that they will love and use for a lifetime.’
Glamorous destination weddings will focus on the guests
According to top wedding planner Mark Niemierko, 2021 weddings are going to focus more on the experiences of friends and family. Niemierko believes that those opting for destination weddings will want ‘guests every whim taken care of’ with ‘personalised welcome packs or hampers’ as well as couples wanting to hire bigger teams, ‘to ensure no one is waiting longer than 30 seconds for a fresh cocktail.’
Niemierko thinks we’ll see a move away from rustic celebrations to more high-glamour affairs, ‘Whether it be hosting a rehearsal afternoon pool party. Think Palm Springs, old Hollywood, Vanity Fair for stylish inspiration. Pastel pinks against bottle greens, with bright yellows and the service team dressed in polo tops and tailored shorts. Alternatively, a chic rose garden picnic with baskets full to the brim of quintessential foods and summery drinks. Naturally, personalised oversized straw hats for the ladies to ensure shade.’
As for the tables, 2021 weddings will be all about colour, ‘Floral patterned linen, with hand-painted floral charger plates all matching, breaking it up with plain colour napkins and glassware. Now’s the time to throw out the white wedding and embrace the bold bride within.’
Flowers will be more seasonal and wilder than before
For Tattie Rose, one of Tatler’s go-to florists, 2021 wedding flowers will be more seasonal and natural in their designs. Founder Tattie Isles told us, ‘I think a lot of people recently found salvation in the outdoors and nature and I think this will be reflected in the designs for next year.’
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Isles said there’s been a greater awareness of the seasons and many of her clients are opting for UK-grown, ‘seasonal’ blooms in their designs.
‘We will be creating a lot of luxurious sets using trees of a large scale which can be planted afterwards and wild yet refined arrangements of flowers overflowing with thought and character that reflect the time of year and what is happening outside. I think a gentle palette will be popular with fresh greens and white with trickles of colour, tempering elegance with fun. There is definitely going to be an abundance of flowers and foliage with a real desire to bring the outside in and blur the line between outdoor and indoor spaces.’
Wedding photos will be more authentic
Princess Beatrice’s wedding photographer Benjamin Wheeler, who specialises in editorial-style images, told us, ‘I think there will be much more opportunity for working together with brides on more intimate and beautifully styled dinners within a location,’ with couples keen for their wedding photographer to ‘capture the authenticity and raw energy of the celebration.’
For Wheeler, next year’s weddings will be centred on ‘shooting fleeting moments, moments that you can’t reproduce in posed photographs.’
Photos and video clips shot with smartphones and apps like Wedding Movie Maker will become more popular.