They say everything that's old eventually becomes new again, and it’s no different when it comes to wedding trends. Many couples planning their big day are bringing back a variety of ideas and styles from decades past to give their event a vintage or retro feel. Here are 10 trends that are making a comeback in 2023!
While guests surely have their smartphones with them at all times, wedding planners are seeing a resurgence in disposable cameras being placed on reception tables, which gives the event a nostalgic feel, says Mary Angelini of Key Moment Films. “The resulting photos often provide a unique and candid perspective on the wedding,” she explains. I love seeing guests use these cameras at the reception. Especially the young kids struggling to learn how to use the click wheel and flash buttons. It reminds me of when I was little and took hundreds of photos with a disposable camera.”
Speaking of photos, another '90s trend that's coming back is flash photography. According to Angelini, it’s used during low-light events like the reception. “The images have a nostalgic ‘90s feel when using on-camera flash,” she says. “I love the look of modern weddings photographed using vintage techniques to give them a post-modern feel.”
The floral dresses and puffed sleeves, first seen in the Victorian era and then gaining popularity in the ‘80s and ‘90s, are trending in full force for 2023 brides. “Like most vintage revitalizations, the resurfacing of puff sleeves for wedding and bridesmaid dresses is modernized for current couples,” reveals Sarah Jobe of Twickenham House and Hall. “Regardless of the wedding season, puff sleeves have various styles adaptable to any weather.”
Long-lanced sleeves and romantic ruffles are also making a comeback. “My favorite vintage trend is the collar or high neckline that covers a significant portion of the neck and upper chest, embellished with lace,” says Angelini. “A high neckline gives the neck length and screams high fashion to me.”
Joan Wyndrum of Blooms By The Box has been seeing a lot of tea-length and shorter wedding dresses. From a fun ‘20s flapper vibe to a sweet '50s swing dress, these dresses scream retro.
While often seen as old-fashioned, brides now give pearls a modern twist. Pearl veils are taking the wedding world by storm as more brides wear the bridal accessory, and others will also opt to wear pearls in their hair, notes Jobe.
It’s time for platinum, white gold, and rose gold to step aside because yellow gold is becoming the metal of choice for many couples. According to Jobe, Meghan Markle’s royal engagement in 2017 began the increase in yellow gold use. Current brides gravitate to the metal for its antique feeling, radiant finish, and beauty.
Cathy O’Connell of COJ Events believes that these tiny flowers will make a comeback for moms and even for bridesmaids. “As the tradition of large bridal parties continues, smaller arrangements help with the floral budget,” she says.
Today’s couples aren’t afraid to play with color and many are paying homage to the disco era of the '60s and '70s by incorporating burnt orange into the wedding day décor.
While long tables have been a staple for a while, round tables will make a comeback in a big way. “Couples are always looking for something different, and I've had many of them say to me in the past few months that they like being able to see the whole table,” says O’Connell.