Today's Top Wedding TrendsWords by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Canva
This past year has seen many changes in the wedding industry as couples shifted toward small ceremonies, hosted Zoom weddings, and even postponed their special day. With the recent increase in vaccinations and changes in mask ordinances, couples want to have their wedding the right way, which has caused a significant surge in wedding bookings across the nation. Below are unique wedding trends this year as identified by industry experts.
The Extravagant Sequel
Now that couples can start having their dream weddings again, they want the best round two. With postponed and adjusted weddings, some couples were not able to celebrate the way they had imagined. Some had small ceremonies with few family members and friends in attendance; others simply eloped. They plan to take their second wedding to the next level and get their cotton candy machines and DJs with musicians for the ultimate party.
“In the post-pandemic era, it’s going to be all about celebrating in a BIG way," says Tia Azzara, Director of Catering at Norton Museum of Art. "Every love story is so unique, and my favorite part of planning is finding the nuances and vision of each couple. Highlight what makes your love story personal; the city you met, your favorite wine (or tequila), your different cultures, it’s all customizable and all about your love. Share your love and scream maskless about your happiness!”
Over-the-Top and Instagrammable
The aesthetic has become key to Pinterest-esque weddings. Couples have taken on bigger budgets and bigger parties with personalization in mind. Constellation Culinary Group’s pre-ceremony champagne at Norton Museum of Art is served in coupe glasses with floating orchids; elegance and quality are essential on every plate. Cuban sandwiches and cafecito shots at weddings serve as an ode to SoFlo culture. Cocktails with chocolate rims and espresso carts make for perfect late-night reception snacks. Photo walls and neon signs are popping up everywhere. Every detail adds to the wedding aesthetic from place cards to flowers hanging from the ceiling to artistic food displays.
With couples flooding the wedding calendar for the foreseeable future, their priority is simply to secure a date. Quick turnaround bookings are trending as venues became available when people stopped planning with the uncertainty of the pandemic. As they flood the calendars, couples turn to weekday weddings and the most accommodating venues in a short period of time.
“Couples are booking weeknight weddings by the droves," says Bill Hansen, CEO of Bill Hansen Catering. "We only have two days open at Villa Woodbine in December.”
The Late Bridal Shower/Bachelorette Celebration
Just as weddings were postponed or adjusted during the pandemic, other familiar traditions had to undergo changes, too. Have you heard of the post-wedding bridal shower and bachelorette celebration? Many couples eloped during the pandemic and still wanted to maintain traditions even after the wedding itself. They want to be able to celebrate the occasion with those they love, despite when it would be.
“Location, location, location. A Key West bachelorette experience is all about fun in the sun, dining, nightlife and more," says Yunior Rodriguez, General Manager at The Marker Key West Harbor Resort. "Located at the heart of Key West Harbor, water sports and restaurants are within walking distance. Whether at night or during the day, you and your party will have the best quality experience. Our hotel offers the tranquility of our Adult Pool where your bridal party can unwind, or you can join in on the fun during our Pool Parties that will set an upbeat tone for your stay. No room for disappointments!”
The Recovery Party
There is always an after-party, but have you heard of a recovery party? The day after a wedding is being reserved as a designated hangover recovery day.
Although vaccines have rolled out, some COVID-era trends are here to stay. People want to keep live stream options for those who cannot travel to the wedding. The events team at the Sarasota Art Museum, a historic high school that recently opened as a venue for weddings, will ship a snack from the caterer to virtual attendees, including a champagne split and wedding favor. COVID has led to the creation of vitamin-rich menus that span botanical elixir and booster shots, as seen at Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).
The Lounge Wedding
Some couples are skipping the formal wedding to have a casual setup with comfy couches, cozy ottomans and cocktail tables. Instead of traditional seated dinner, couples are choosing to have stations among the casual lounge setup, which keeps the party moving. The focus here is to create a social atmosphere filled with dancing and mingling throughout the night. The events team at the Frost Museum of Science has helped many couples create this untraditional setup.
In addition to couples going all-in this year, some are taking it a step further and surprising their guests. Bill Hansen Catering worked closely with a vegan couple who chose to surprise their large wedding of perhaps non-vegan guests, with an all-vegan menu. While guests were apprehensive at first, Bill Hansen Catering’s team shocked the attendees with a tasty selection of vegan Cuban sandwiches, snow cones, cotton candy and other fully vegan offerings. Guests had no idea what to expect and ended up loving it.
“Great vegan food will not disappoint the carnivores at your wedding," says Hansen. "You might convert them to your way of dining.”
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