Each year brings in a fresh crop of wedding trends and 2021 will be no different. And as new ideas and inspo come into play, others have definitely run their course. We asked some of our planners which trends should be left behind in the new year—and what couples can replace them with to still make their big day stand out.
Out: Flower Walls
In: Hanging Florals
We admit it, flower walls are beautiful, but they've been featured at so many weddings that they’ve lost their wow factor. Instead of focusing blooms into just one wall, spread them out or change the perspective by drawing guests’ eyes up with a hanging floral installation, suggests Michelle Garibay of Michelle Garibay Events.
Out: Cute Wedding Signs
In: Custom Signage
Those signs telling couples to “pick a seat, not a side” are cute, but they don’t really serve any real purpose. Garibay recommends working directly with your stationer to design custom signage that ties in with your invitation suite—and making sure those signs are actually useful, such as directing guests to the cocktail hour or letting them know where the restrooms are located. And when it comes to signage, less is definitely more.
Out: Matching Bridesmaid Dresses
In: Same Color, Different Styles
Gone are the days where your bridesmaids wear matching shoes and gowns, says Simone Vega of Simone Vega Events. Instead, more bridesmaids will be wearing a gown in the color palette that the bride chooses, but in the style that they feel most comfortable in.
Out: Mason Jars
In: Other Repurposed Items
Wedding planners all agree: It’s time for mason jars to say farewell. “Mason jars have run their course, period,” says Holly Gray of Anything But Gray Events. “Try some mixed-metal galvanized tins, glass cylinders in different heights, or terracotta pots in different colors or sizes.”
Out: Wedding Favors
In: Extra Guest Experience
While the concept of wedding favors is a lovely sentiment, if guests had a choice between an additional tray passed appetizer option or a fun activity like a photo booth at a wedding, they would choose those over a favor any day, explains Gray.
Out: Sit-Down Dinners
In: Creative Cocktail Receptions
Vega revealed that she has a few couples that are ditching the traditional sit-down dinner for a more flavorful cocktail reception style reception, adding that couples are focusing on what they can offer their guests instead of just the usual beef, fish, and poultry choice.
Out: Champagne Toast
In: Artisan Cocktail
Instead of champagne glasses on a wall, consider crafting a unique cocktail and have servers greet guests with an artisan beverage that can then be used to toast the bride and groom, suggests Samantha Leenheer of Samantha Joy Events.
In: Unexpected Surprises
There’s always something magical about fireworks, but sadly, most fireworks are illegal. As for the commonly used sparklers, those can also be dangerous when you’re mixing fire and (often) inebriated guests. Instead, Garibay recommends showcasing smaller unexpected surprises as the event unfolds so all the guests can enjoy the experiences—not just those who stay until the end. Examples can be special entertainment, a balloon drop, or confetti cannons to kick off open dancing.
Out: Dessert Buffet
In: Wedding Cake
While couples opted for dessert buffets in an effort to be different, the wedding cake is definitely making a comeback, but not just a plain buttercream cake or small cutting cake. “A tiered cake that tastes as good as it looks with an intentional design in line with the aesthetic is the centerpiece of the reception,” explains Garibay. “It should complement the overall event design and tie in details from other aspects of the wedding.”
Want to take it a step further? Opt for individual cakes for each place setting, an interactive dessert, or a wall display of mini cakes.
Hero photo courtesy of Stephanie Brazzle