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2021 Wedding Trend Forecast

  |  By Alison McGill

Photo courtesy of The Loved One , 2020 Bridal Accessory Designer winner

Planning is well underway for so many couples getting married in 2021 and it’s going to be a mega-year for weddings. With so many dates shifting from 2020 to next year and so many pandemic engagements happening there will be lots of celebrations (they may continue to be small but will be mighty!).

With 2021 on our minds, it’s time to do some trend forecasting. We already shared a first look at what’s hot for the upcoming year. Here we have some more expert intel from winners of our 2020 Weddingbells Wedding Awards. Read on for their thoughts on what’s on the radar of haute trends for 2021 weddings.

“The main thing I predict for 2021 is more personality in bridal. The pandemic has really made brides re-evaluate what's most important to them, whether that means a more risky, high-fashion look or more of a laid-back casual look. Many women are going for what they want to wear for their wedding rather than going with what they think they should wear. We've seen a surge in our sales over the last few months because we've always catered to a more laid-back, fashion-forward bride and there have been some pleasant surprises with what brides have been buying! Our Dreamtime silver sequin gown has been really popular which is so exciting, and I think if we had made it a season earlier or later it would not have been embraced by as it has been in 2020. As brides potentially look to pare down their plans for something more intimate and personal, we will continue to advocate for choosing a dress that makes you feel like magic.”
—Angel Spendlove, designer and co-founder of &ForLove, 2020 Bridal Designer winner

“The bridal makeup trend for 2021 will be taking us back to basics. Think of a timeless, fresh makeup look that never goes out of style with the perfect combination of simplicity and elegance. Skin will be luminous, natural, and healthy-looking with subtle contouring and a dewy finish. Cream blushes and liquid highlighters will be a huge hit to allow the natural skin to shine through. Eyes will be a standout defined with soft smoky neutral tones, earthy palettes, bronze, peach, and pink hues. Forgo the dark shades, it's all about bringing light to the eyes. Lip gloss is making a huge comeback and will make the matte lip look like a thing of the past. Shades of pink, coral and lilac will be the star of the gloss party!”
—Anne Zimmerman, owner of My Beauty Crew, 2020 Bridal Makeup winner

“If there’s one common theme that will run through 2021 it’s that we’re all looking forward to it! With so many 2020 wedding postponed, 2021 will be suffused with meaningful, personalized celebrations. Individuality and personalization continue to be strong, with many couples bucking tradition by marrying in non-conventional venues like backyards, family cottages and parks. This trend extends through to apparel and accessory choices, with many brides eschewing traditional gowns for jumpsuits, shorter dress lengths and colour. Two major style trends emerge from this: femininity, with its soft pastel colours, floral prints, puff sleeves and ruffles; and minimalism, with an emphasis on simple, impeccably cut pieces, and modern, chic accessories. Sustainability and responsible choices continue to grow as a trend. Accessories for weddings are being seen more as heirloom pieces, rather than as something to be worn once and discarded. I’m seeing a trend away from bling and more towards exquisite, wearable pieces that look as elegant with a gown as they do with jeans, a silk shirt and the perfect pair of shoes. Pearls, used in modern, unexpected ways continue to be strong  and daisies will be THE flower of 2021. Bows, in hair and on apparel are frequent requests. I’m also seeing a lot of requests for combs and barrettes. Nature as always is a strong influence, and the temporal beauty it provides.”
—Antonia Akai-Casuccio, The Loved One, 2020 Canadian Bridal Accessory Designer winner

The year 2021 will be the year to do a wedding small in size but large and ultra-pretty in style. With reduced guests counts couples are spending less for food and beverage and venue rentals. There are less hours required for photo and video. This all means more budget for floral design and we have begun to see so many couples upgrading this element for their celebration. Some trends we have begun to see that will be big for next year include low and lush centerpieces with premium flowers. With the increased amount of outdoor receptions, the low centerpiece is the perfect choice for these tablescapes. Color will be important as people want to create an uplifting and fun mood at their celebration. Expect to see a lot of colour and unexpected combinations!”
Liting Chan, creative director & co-counder, Paradise Events, 2020 Wedding Florist winner

“The preferred venue choice for couples may prioritize a convenient, safe and seamless experience for themselves and their guests. Hotel venues or venues close to accommodations that require the least amount of travel will be an important aspect to consider as this offers a more responsible celebration for all. As for catering, wedding menus will look a lot different in 2021 as there needs to be the least amount of high touch-point areas present at the wedding. Venues and caterers will incorporate unique offerings to ensure the safety of both their staff and guests, including pre-packaged, disposable food and containers, such as a boxed charcuterie board.”
One King West Hotel & Residence, 2020 Hotel Wedding Venue winner

“Outdoor celebrations will continue to be huge in 2021. After everything going on this year, people are more open to outdoor options for their ceremony and dinner. Couples are keeping their guests’ safety in mind when making their plans, as well as their own comfort. At Langdon Hall, we are fortunate to be surrounded by the Carolinian Forest and manicured gardens, which all help set a serene and romantic mood for the couples and provide beautiful photos. Couples are also focusing on seasons and local ingredients for their menu, providing a well-rounded approach to their outdoor theme.
—Emily Ronzio, wedding event manager at Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa, 2020 Intimate Wedding Venue winner

“Wedding stationery has seen some changes for the 2021 season. Most noticeably has been the increase in printed save-the-date announcements. In past years many couples would send out only printed invitation suites, but the 2021 season has couples wanting to make bigger impressions early on by way of beautifully printed save-the-dates. Couples are choosing minimal invitation designs with elements of dainty thin-lined illustrations (like foliage or constellations). Couples have an increased awareness in their environmental footprint and are drawn to stationery that uses materials that are sustainable like recycled or cotton papers. Couples are also looking for a personal touch and finding ways to make their invitations unique—opting for custom designs made especially for them, using handmade processes like letterpress printing, and deckled edge paper is something just about all couples are loving. In a nutshell, the 2021 wedding stationery trend is minimal designs printed beautifully in a sustainable way.”
—Amanda Keenan, Silverplate Press, 2020 Wedding Stationary winner

"I have seen the shift towards intimate weddings—now called micro-weddings and destination elopements—over the past few years. Combined with this unprecedented pandemic it has certainly been a wonderful option for many couples that unfortunately have lost their original plans or simply want a magical and personal dream wedding. What I really love about the intimate weddings is the ability of the couple to incorporate their passion for travel and hobbies into the day. It's also made dream weddings more affordable; dates can be more flexible as couples and their loved ones can enjoy visiting venues and destinations that would have been a logistic challenge with larger guest lists. I've had wedding couples from all over the world join me in the Rockies, heli-weddings atop peaks here in Canada and many elopements all over the world such as European castle weddings, Costa Rican Beaches, French countryside at Chateaus, African Safaris, even hiking in the Chilean desert for a sunset." 
—Carey Nash, Carey Nash Photography, 2020 Wedding Photographer winner

“For 2021 we are certainly seeing smaller weddings continuing. Clients are understand there is a good possibility summer 2020 might be a very accurate indication of how things will proceed for next year. We know smaller weddings and outdoor weddings will keep everyone safer and more comfortable under one roof. One of the biggest trends for next year is entertainment. Since dancing might not be the front runner for weddings (although we all can't wait to party!) couples are being creative with ways to be socially distant but still entertain their guests. From hiring stand-up comics, smaller band sets throughout dinner, late night trivia, bingo and karaoke, we are hoping to keep the party and liveliness of weddings into the later hours of the night, we just have had to change our dance up a bit!”
—Lexi Haslam, event planner & principal Lexington & Co Events Inc., 2020 Wedding Planner

This article was originally published on Sep 30, 2020

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