Brides and grooms are looking for a fresh start in 2021.
For nearly a year, weddings have been small, on hold or held virtually. But that doesn't mean couples aren't looking ahead to their big day.
Wedding experts are excited too for what's to come. Read on as they share their predictions for which wedding trends will be hot this year.
*Intimate I do's
Microweddings -- small weddings with 10 to 20 guests -- are perfect for the pandemic.
"The biggest trend overall, will still be size in 2021, much more intimate and weddings, and destination we think will be more of a factor," says Gabi Lavor, a wedding planner who works closely with Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya.
The resort recently debuted new microwedding and elopement packages to meet the needs of couples looking for a destination wedding venue.
Lavor says even if couples aren't hosting larger ceremonies, their budgets will likely be redistributed for higher-end experiences.
JoAnn Moore, a master wedding planner, agrees, explaining couples, "are not willing to give up the luxury of stunning flowers, gorgeous table settings and an over-the-top menu."
Wedding food will look different this year.
"Couples are opting for individual, branded, custom catering boxes or seated/served dinners," says Yosira Jamison, owner and lead planner at Events by Yosira, LLC.
Because of health and safety measures due to COVID-19, classic buffets won't be an option. She says if and when buffets return, the format will likely feature staff serving guests food from the buffet.
Earl McCoy at Penny Photographics has noticed couples, especially brides, are getting more comfortable and less formal within their respective weddings.
"Brides are choosing comfortable shoes over high heels and not just wearing them for the dancing afterward, but wearing them throughout the day," he says. "They want to be comfortable and most of them know that wearing heels for 12+ hours would be exhausting on their feet."
He says many brides, instead of veils, are choosing simple headpieces or nothing at all, explaining, "This allows for more movement and freedom to hug, dance and move around without worry."
Green themes of refurbish, repurpose and reuse continue to be popular. For example, they're using glassware instead of paper products, and shopping vintage and thrill shops for items to use as decor.
"Even wedding gowns are reconstructed by a good seamstress or otherwise lightly used," says Moore, noting it's a "great way to save money and have the stunning wedding gown little girls dream of."
Save the big getaway for the post-pandemic. Instead have mini-moon, a shorter getaway near home.
"Many of our couples are also delaying their honeymoon and instead of running off after the wedding, are saving up their money and days off to have a long honeymoon many months later," says McCoy.
Even if guests can't attend your nuptials in person, they can watch it online.
"Incorporating streaming technology is allowing for couples to extend their guest list while maintaining physical distance," says Jamison. "2021 will be no different, even post-vaccine."
She says streaming, like Zoom and Facebook Live, enables couples with geographically dispersed families to still get together for the special occasion.
Get great deals with a midweek wedding. Vendors can give you discounts since their business during the week is typically slower. Plus, with many nuptials happening online, guests can attend your celebration virtually, no matter the day.
Beautifully styled sanitation stations will continue to be a trend into 2021 and beyond. "They are easy to customize and style, relatively inexpensive and provide an extra layer of protection for guests," says Jamison.
Add signage on or near the sanitizer station with sayings like, "Spread love, not germs" or "Be wise, sanitize."
Moore says couples are handing out custom face masks, embellished with the newlyweds' names and wedding date.
While weddings in 2021 may look different than in previous years, it's clear that the ceremonies of love will continue.