Brides and grooms are increasingly prioritizing the party. Fun welcome events that include all guests—whether it’s an afternoon beach or backyard party or evening cocktails—are no longer staples of a destination wedding weekend, but marquee events all on their own.
Yet there are also some trends that have fallen by the wayside.
Couples are pushing back against anything that is unnecessarily wasteful. A more sustainable wedding is not only firmly in, but it’s a trend that is here to stay, at least for now.
So without further ado, here are the wedding trends to consider in 2023—and what to avoid.
Wild Welcome Parties
Some couples are doing destination weddings which require entertaining guests on Friday and Saturday. But why not offer the same experience for your family and guests at home? A raucous, kicked-back welcome party is en vogue. Embrace the locale: Private Wine, Beer or Spirit Tastings at your favorite wine shop, distillery or brewery, or have them come to you in the privacy and intimacy of your own backyard?
From a classic field day, to ranch Olympics, to a beach or backyard soccer match followed by a DJed BBQ lunch, to an epic beach day, gathering guests for a daytime event has been a welcomed addition to any wedding weekend. It’s a great icebreaker for all ages while also offering your guests entertainment at every turn.
Couples Who Get Ready Together
While tradition dictates that partners separate until the ceremony, modern couples are rewriting their wedding day itineraries and getting ready together. Hanging out with your soon to be spouse before the main event can ease your nerves, offer time for private vows—and allow you to squeeze in another first dance rehearsal.
More and more couples are opting for design impact by incorporating dramatic ceiling installations through florals, lighting, draping, and more.
Over-The-Top Cakes and Cake Toppers
Wedding cakes are back and making a sweet return! Couples are embracing the opportunity to personalize their cakes to match their wedding design, and the options for customizing the wedding cake are endless. Personalize your cake topper from simple design, to your furry pets, or a full on Star Wars battle scene
Bring back some of the old-school traditional wedding cakes. Borrow a family heirloom cake topper for that “something borrowed” element.
The grandeur of a long aisle sets the tone for an elegant and memorable ceremony. Some of my brides from last year brides are also opting to walk down the aisle solo before being greeted halfway by their mother or father or both, adding a heartfelt and personal touch to the ceremony.
Couples are not shying away from color, but instead, some of my couples embrace thoughtful color references through patterned textiles, illustrations, floral concepts, custom décor moments, and their bridal fashion.
According to research, orange will be the new colour for 2023. Used as an accent colour, think autumnal shades rather than neon or tangerine. From bridesmaid dresses and flowers, to table centerpieces and even the cocktails, hues of terracotta, copper and burnt sienna will take centre stage.
Daytime Pre & Post-Wedding Shoots Remains In Vogue
If there’s one thing we’ve learnt in the past few years, it’s that couples love pre-wedding shoots (even if they slyly deny it). Similarly, post-wedding shoots have also become quite popular these days. However, no one wants to get shot indoors anymore. They did that during the pandemic and they’re over it now. Couples want to breathe in the fresh air while be photographed. This gives them an opportunity to utilise various special locations in their cities like monuments and historical sites as the backdrop while getting gorgeous shots in natural light.
Since covid, I have seen some of my couples are opting to keep the ceremony itself private and reserve the big display of affection for the reception. This mitigates some of that pent-up anxiety that can be felt before professing your love in front of hundreds of people, and helps protect the intimacy of a ceremony.
Grace Kelly-Inspired Bridal Style
Some of my brides are choosing more clean and timeless wedding styles. From what I have seen from 2022, they are getting their inspiration from Grace Kelly’s wedding dress, the epitome of classic bridal style. They’re also loving a longer veil.
Grazing boards and charcuterie are not going anywhere. I see both oversized displays at cocktail hour as well as more manageable boards incorporated into the tablescapes of our wedding celebrations. Sometimes the staff offer appetizers during cocktail hour, some are laid out on a specific table to help yourself and I have also seen private boards at the head table before dinner is served to the wedding party and to the immediate family’s table.
This is a great way to surprise and delight guests and create yet another food and beverage experience. From designed secret doors to a hidden lounge scene with a specialty bar station (i.e. espresso martinis). This is a fantastic way to break up the evening and allow for some spontaneous, authentic post-party photos.
Uniform Bridesmaid Dresses
Offering your bridal party a bit of fashion autonomy is becoming the norm. Whether brides are encouraging their friends to find on-palette dresses or helping their friends in making custom, individualized outfits, the idea of re-wearing a wedding party look is becoming more and more of a reality!
With so many talented designers whipping up beautiful printed and patterned dresses, why limit your most-cherished friends to one silhouette and one fabric? I think the most successful approach is to give your bridal party a theme: whether it be jewel tones, floral, or perhaps metallics, and then let them decide what works best for their body type. The result will be a clutch of friends who feel beautiful and confident because they were involved in the process.
Standing Wedding Parties
Big wedding parties standing up at the ceremony. Let your loved ones sit comfortably and be totally present in the ceremony, but honor them beforehand by spending the morning getting ready and taking some special photos, exchanging notes, and reflecting on memories made in life together. So much more special!
Forgo extravagant welcome baskets and write each guest or couple a handwritten note exuding thoughtful elegance. Hotels always have bottled water and no one needs another branded canvas tote bag.
Extravagant Escort Card Walls
No more over-the-top escort card walls. Instead, opt for a more classic display organized beautifully on a table which encourages guest interaction and mingling. White-glove service from the wait staff is always a favorite, but sophisticated envelopes nestled in a floral bed always looks elegant.
Rather than passing one special cocktail, couples are leaning into the drink experience. Think Bemelmans-inspired tableside martinis, a roaming gin cart
with an exotic array of fixings, dinner courses paired with sipping tequila, or a full-on tequila bar.
Ditch the fireworks. Save money and save the planet!
Wedding exits are still fairly popular, but I think we’ll see fewer grand ones because of the growing popularity of afterparties.
More and more couples are inviting their guests to a second location to keep the party going once the wedding is over, which defeats the purpose of a grand reception exit.
So there you go, I hope this helped you and gave you some insight and ideas for your 2023 wedding. If there is anything I can ever do to help, or if you have any questions about your wedding, feel free to contact me anytime at Chris Jensen Studios.
Thanks again and Congratulations on your up and coming wedding!!!!