It has been a difficult sixteen months for the wedding industry. From wedding planners to venues and excited couples, the industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, as rules and restrictions have been in place. Despite some restrictions still in place for weddings, rules were eased on 21st June, giving couples a chance to restart their wedding planning for their big day at their waterfront wedding venue.
With 475,000 weddings expected to take place this year, after a massive 260,000 weddings were postponed in 2020, this year is set to be a busy and, hopefully exciting, year for couples and the industry alike.
As weddings and planning can now resume, Rob Crump at Printster lists 10 of the biggest trends set to dominate weddings in 2021 and offer advice on how to incorporate the trends into your own wedding.
“Sequel wedding” – 9900% uplift in Google searches
As there are still social distancing measures and travel restrictions in place, most couples are unable to have all their family and friends come and enjoy their special day, putting loved-up couples in a difficult position, as they would like to get married as soon as possible, yet don’t want their loved ones to miss out on the celebration. Therefore, the “sequel wedding” is a popular choice for pandemic couples.
“A sequel wedding is essentially a wedding of two parts – the first being a smaller, more intimate ceremony and second being a larger celebration at a later date, allowing couples to get legally married sooner and celebrate later,” Rob explains. “It’s clear to see why this type of wedding is trending at the moment, as it means couples can marry their partner, while knowing there will be a bigger party at a better date.”
TIP: Plan your guest list for both celebrations. Most have just close friends and family at the first intimate ceremony and then extend invitations at the second, larger celebration. Make sure you check all venues’ social distancing measures to see how many guests you can safely invite.
“Personalised wedding favours” – 9900% uplift in Google searches
With limits on guest list numbers still in place, couples need to have a smaller guest list, typically with just close friends and family. While this can be disappointing for couples to have to cull their guest list, the benefit is that couples are able to create a more personal and intimate wedding experience for their guests, specifically with their wedding favours.
“Searches for ‘personalised wedding favours’ have seen a massive 9900% uplift in searches in the last month alone, reflecting couples wanting to personally thank their loved ones for celebrating their wedding with them,” Rob explains. “After over a year of disappointment and separation, a wedding is a great place to really show your love and affection for your close family and friends.”
TIP: Personalised cards, prints or even mugs are a simple yet effective way to express your gratitude that your cherished guest is celebrating your wedding day with you.
“DIY wedding decorations” – 4900% uplift in searches
Many of us took to learning new crafts during lockdown, as a way of both keeping busy and to start a hobby. Many couples are looking to utilise their newfound skills and incorporate them into their wedding, as this can save money but also handmaking your own decorations puts an individual stamp on the wedding.
TIP: Regardless of the hobby, there can always be a way to use your DIY skills in your wedding. Whether handwritten stationary, to bouquet arrange or even upcycling your own tables and chairs, DIY wedding décor is thrifty and it’s a nice way to unwind from stressful wedding planning too.
“Mini moon” – 319.6% uplift in searches
A mini moon is essentially a shorter version of a honeymoon, where couples choose to stay relatively local for just a few nights or up to a week. As holidays abroad are still uncertain at the moment, with rules frequently changing, couples are choosing to avoid any more disappoint and go on a staycation instead. “A mini moon is easier to organise than a big honeymoon abroad, as you will not need to take long periods of time off work nor travel too far.”
TIP: A mini moon can be a great opportunity to discover a new part of the UK which you may never have explored before. Whether you opt for a seaside getaway, or a more adventurous hiking holiday, if you are going to do a hike like this get the best boots from Bootbomb for it.
“Sustainable weddings” – 9800% uplift in searches
Many of us have become more aware about the current state of our planet and are trying to make a real difference in reducing our carbon footprint in everyday life – including our wedding days. “As couples have had more time to plan, many are realising that there’s lots of unnecessary waste and environmental consequence which comes with weddings, from food waste to travelling,” Rob explains. “There are really easy ways to have a more sustainable wedding day, without sacrificing or compromising on the day.”
TIP: use local suppliers for food and independent UK based flower farmers – to ensure your goods have not been needlessly flown across the world. Buy in season goods to avoid buying anything which has been grown artificially. Also, try and avoid single-use plastics including cutlery and straws. Paper straws are easy to buy now, and many venues or caterers offer the chance to rent out cutlery, so you needn’t buy them.
“Vintage wedding” – 495% uplift in searches
The popularity of a vintage wedding comes from the fact it can be entirely open to interpretation and, depending on the route taken, couples can save money and reduce their carbon footprint. A common and increasingly popular way to have a “vintage wedding” is incorporate family heirlooms – which is both a way to honour your family but also tick off your “something old.”
TIP: As the average wedding dress costs £1313, many brides would rather not spend so much on a dress which will only be worn once. Wearing a vintage gown, perhaps which a family member wore on their wedding day, is a lovely way to save money and work towards a more sustainable wedding too. Visit a tailor to ensure the fit is perfect.
Alternative wedding cakes – “wedding cup cakes” – 9900% and “small wedding cakes” – 9700% uplift in searches
Due to limited numbers and an increased awareness on food waste and sustainability, couples are avoiding a “bigger is better” mindset when it comes to wedding cakes. “It is estimated that over £3 million worth of wedding cake is thrown away each year, so it’s not surprising that couples are going for a more sustainable fix,” Rob notes.
TIP: Small wedding cakes, one or two tiers, can significantly reduce the amount of waste. Another idea is to opt for cupcakes instead, enough for each guest to have one or two each. Cupcakes also make for a nice wedding favour too.
Adventure Hen/Stag Dos – “adventure stag” – 9100% and “adventure hen” – 194.1% uplift in searches
As nightclubs have been closed for the entire duration of the pandemic, bridal parties and groomsmen have had to think outside the box for the Hen/Stag Dos. “The main purpose of a Hen and Stag Do is to celebrate the upcoming wedding and allow the bride or groom to unwind after a long time of wedding planning. An activity is a great way to reconnect after a long time apart from friends and have a great time doing so.”
TIP: Popular events for stag and hen dos include paintballing, go karting and even white-water rafting.
Technology in weddings – “live stream wedding” 8600%
As many families have been forced apart during the pandemic, many families will have to miss out on weddings as they simply are not allowed to travel, couples have had to turn to technology to ensure everyone can be part of their special day, regardless of how far away they are. “Wedding live streams are a lovely way to ensure everyone can feel part of your wedding and not miss out,” Printster explain. “If you plan on having a bigger celebration later in the year, then a wedding live stream means no one will miss out on watching you get married.”
TIP: Ask your wedding ceremony venue if they offer this service. If not, then consider hiring a videographer who will stream the entire ceremony and can also make a film of your day which you can share around too.
“Alternative wedding dress” – 330% uplift in searches
Gone are the days where a bride felt compelled to wear a traditional white, Cinderella gown. Many brides are forgoing tradition and seeking out alternative wear. “There is an increase in brides choosing a shorter dress, which is more practical yet stylish. In addition, brides are also avoiding white dresses altogether, and favouring bright and bold colours and patterns, and putting their own stamp on the wedding.”
Another reason for this popularity may also stem from the fact brides have not been able to visit Bridal Boutiques to try on numerous dresses. Instead, brides are simply choosing to wear whatever they feel most comfortable in.
TIP: Wear a vintage dress and have it tailored to fit you better, or you could even rent a gown to save money.