2021 Wedding Trends for Dresses, Flowers, and More
Planning a wedding this year and need some inspiration? We’ve got you covered with this comprehensive list of 2021 wedding trends. Whether you’ve postponed your previously-scheduled celebration or you’re getting ready to celebrate in style this year, you’ll find some simple-yet-beautiful ideas to follow. Keep reading to learn all about wedding trends for 2021, ranging from color palettes to venues to cakes — and everything in between!
Explore 24 of the 2021 wedding trends you need to know:
1. Weddings will still look different. COVID-19 will still be part of our reality for a while. However, now that wedding venues and coordinators have adapted to the new planning process, we're likely to see fewer delays, as well as safer gatherings. Dr. Anthony Fauci has been quoted saying that he believes the United States can reach “some degree of normality” by “the end of the summer, the beginning of the fall of 2021.”
2. Bright and bold colors. As noted by industry experts in a WeddingWire guide to 2021 wedding colors, expect to see a lot of bright and bold colors in weddings this year, such as powder blue, light purples and greens, and ‘90s-inspired pairings.
3. Shorter hemlines. Knee-length, tea-length, and mini are some of the top keywords for 2021 wedding gown trends. These options are easy to dress up or down, usually cost less than formal ball-gown shapes, and are super thriftable. What’s not to love?!
4. DIY decor and accessories. Doing-it-yourself has always been a common trend in the wedding industry, and some experts only expect that to grow, especially as couples keep a watchful eye on their budgets. "DIY wedding flowers, invitations, and even wedding cakes have increased in popularity and will likely continue to be popular throughout 2021," wedding planner and florist Amy McCord Jones told Insider.
5. Digital invitations. Because many weddings have taken place virtually this past year, it's no surprise that digital invitations have been a big help. With a growing focus on sustainability (more on this later), we expect to see digital invitations be the norm rather than the exception.
6. Florals get a makeover. According to the American Floral Trends Forecast for 2020-21, couples can expect four leading floral trends this year: Metropolitan, Promenade, Exploration, and Terratory. Each trend, of course, has a very different meaning, but some of the common themes include self-expression, sustainability, and a new take on old traditions.
7. Plant-based food options. Vegan and vegetarian food options, as well as an abundance of local fruits and vegetables, are some of the top 2021 wedding trends. And while many couples of course still plan to include meat on their big day, we expect to see them include vegan and vegetarian offerings as well. This is simply building on the trend that has been growing in recent years, with Hamish Shephard, Founder of Bridebook.co.uk, telling Metro in 2019, “Even couples who aren’t themselves vegans are more empathetic than ever before, and they are keen to cater for guests with all dietary requests.”
8. Aesthetically-pleasing drinks. Cocktails and mocktails are best served in pretty crystal glasses, mugs with lots of character, or unique handmade pottery — and this couldn’t be more true in 2021. In addition to the upgraded serving styles, we plan on seeing more character added to the drinks themselves as well. For example, if a couple is planning on serving mimosas, they make take things up a notch and have the cocktails prepared with Instagram-worthy garnishes like sprigs of thyme and grapefruit slices.
9. Single-serve desserts. They’re more hygienic, look great in photos, and give couples tons of flexibility on what to offer. Did someone say donut walls, macaron towers, and wedding cupcakes?!
10. Simple cakes. When single-serve desserts aren’t the go-to post-dinner treat, simple designs will be one of the top cake trends this year. In fact, according to Dalana Fleming, owner of The Cake and The Giraffe, much of her 2021 orders coming in include buttercream cakes that are rustic or semi-naked with fresh flowers and greenery, as noted in Brides’ guide to 2021 wedding cake trends.
11. Small or private ceremonies. Because of pandemic-related delays, many couples will continue to postpone big celebrations but honor their wedding date with virtual ceremonies, elopements, or safe and intimate gatherings.
12. Wilderness receptions. Couples are getting creative with social distancing by renting mini villages of cabins in the mountains, gathering together in local parks, and much more. This not only falls in line with the outdoor wedding trend, but also with the growing trend of offering guests unique and memorable experiences.
13. Intimate reception activities. Sharing memories, eating family-style meals (safely), and doing group activities such as star gazing are more fitting than ever, and they’re all 2021 wedding trends we can get behind.
14. Sustainability. Wedding venues, planners, and couples across the world are increasingly focusing on sustainability, and with good reason. According to Google Trends data, searches for the term “sustainable wedding” have grown significantly over the past 10 years, and there are no signs of that slowing down.
15. Smart floor plans and layouts. As the demand for newer and smarter wedding technology continues to grow, couples and planners are increasingly looking to wedding design software to create interactive floor plans, maintain social distancing measures where necessary, track important guest information, and more.
16. Non-traditional registries. Many couples are skipping complex wishlists and are instead asking for charity donations, fun-yet-meaningful kitchen and home items, and contributions to house or honeymoon funds.
17. Twinkle lights. With outdoor weddings growing in popularity, so too are twinkle lights. Twinkle lights in trees, tents, and poles put the emphasis on soft and simple, which is what weddings in 2021 are really all about.
18. Wedding music that matches the day. Acoustic music works well with virtual weddings and in-person micro weddings with more intimate environments, but once a vaccine is widely distributed and wedding guests can gather safely, expect many couples to incorporate energetic DJs and live bands as part of their celebration.
19. Blue rings. Aquamarine, teal, and navy gems are the next big thing in engagement rings. In fact, according to a Refinery29 article on 2021 engagement ring trends, U.K.-based jewelry brand Taylor and Hart recently reported a 300% increase in interest for blue-stone engagement rings.
20. Weekday weddings. Now that more and more people work from home, the 9-to-5 schedule we’re used to is changing. And with fewer in-office perks that used to drive employee satisfaction, many employers are loosening the restrictions on time-off to compensate. For couples, this means that weekday weddings may now be more manageable — and popular — than ever before.
21. Early vendor bookings. Due to months and months of delayed weddings, vendors are still catching up on commitments that were meant for 2020. So couples planning on getting married in 2021 will have to keep an open mind about who they want to work with and book ASAP.
22. Earthy themes. Sustainability has led to an increase in awareness and appreciation for the world around us. In 2021, expect this to translate to more natural wedding themes held at outdoor venues located at beaches, mountains, and forests.
23. Chill vibes. With so much going on in the world, weddings have leaned hard into more humor-focused speeches, casual atmospheres, and some elements of spontaneity. Celebrations like these are a welcome relief for everyone, and that’s something couples should plan to majorly take advantage of this year.
24. Lounge furniture. To add to the casual vibe of many of the 2021 wedding trends, seating options like comfortable lounge chairs and couches that guests can kick back in when socializing are in this year.