20 of the Biggest Wedding Trends for 2020, According to Experts
It's not just a new year but a new decade, and that means a lot of change when it comes to weddings in 2020. There are of course those who like to keep it traditional but there are others that like to keep things fresh and modern and if that means changing with the times, so be it.
For those who are tying the knot, there are details — both big and small — that can be done to ensure you're keeping things on-trend. We spoke with Jodi Gagné, wedding planner and founder of Simply Perfect, who consulted with Kate McClellan of Planning Collective, and rounded up what they believe are the things to look out for at this year's wedding ceremonies and receptions.
No bridal party"They're either going with no bridal party and they don't want anyone, or they want everyone and their cousin," said Gagné, who used millennials — those who are typically getting married right now — as an example. "If we think about that actual group, they have lots of friends so for them to have to choose who is in it and who isn't can be an issue. So if they can't have everyone, then they don't want anyone."
Same goes for same-sex couples, who are showing they're a united front from the get-go, and walking down the aisle together rather than being escorted by a parent of loved one.
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#ComeUpWithAWeddingHashtagSometimes the couples themselves try to figure out a hashtag, or the bridal party works on it, then presents it to the bride and groom during a wedding hashtag reveal, said Gagné.
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Source assistance from a wedding plannerIf you want it done right and don't want to have to worry about how things are running on your big day, and the time leading up to it, it makes sense. "Young entrepreneurs or business owners or professionals just don't have the mental capacity to deal with myriad of information that's coming at them," said Gagné, who added that when you're spending tens of thousands of dollars, someone that's managing and finessing and troubleshooting it allows for the bride and groom to actually enjoy themselves.
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Increase in intimate weddings"Finances are part of it, but people are also starting to recognize that you can have deeper conversations with a smaller group of people," detailed Gagné. "With 250 people, you end up having to default to the, "Thanks so much for coming, good to see you." When you have a wedding with 60 guests, you can really catch up and chat and connect."
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Weekday weddings"If you do a Saturday wedding, the whole day is all about that wedding and your whole routine is shot," examined Gagné. "If you go to a Thursday night wedding, think about it. You go to work, then go witness friends exchange vows, get a bite to eat, and home in bed by 12 — and you still have your whole weekend."
From a financial standpoint, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays come at significantly higher rates. "But if you want the wedding of your dreams, and you have a select number of guests, a weekday comes at a fraction of the cost.
And Gagné pointed out that Thursdays, in particular, are her favourite days to celebrate because you still have the whole weekend to yourself.
"We almost need interruptions in the monotonous, daily routine; what better way to do that than with a party?"
Forego the gift registryInstead, register for experiences or create a honeymoon registry (though the latter has been around for years).
"A lot of couples are already living together, so they already have a house, they already have stuff — and they don't want more stuff. So experiences are starting to become a little bit more popular, whether it's excursions on their honeymoon points or money towards flights, or a candlelight dinner."
Cultural traditionsSome brides and grooms "really love to pay respect to their roots," said Gagné. "There are certain traditions that couples want to incorporate, whether it's unique to their family, a form of entertainment, a type of favour. Recognizing that it's more than just them, that they came from a line of people, that, to me, is quite beautiful."
Another way to show a little love to ancestors is by acknowledging traditional land or territory in ceremonies, specifically for First Nations, though that's a personal choice.
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Family mattersBy incorporating family heirlooms — repurposing a mother or mother-in-law's wedding gown, using a veil that belonged to grandma — and honouring where they come from, that can be beautiful. And also, kind of sustainable. "That speaks to that eco-friendliness, a way of reducing their footprint. Instead of buying new, why not use something that they already have that's in decent or good condition, and breathe a second life into it?"
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Paying tribute to the parentalsThere's nothing like honouring the bride and/or groom's parents to let them know what they mean to them — like, for example, playing their wedding songs and watching that realization hit their faces upon hearing them. "All of a sudden, the wedding is bigger than just the bride and groom," explained Gagné. "And that's what I love, when they recognize it's more than just their love, it's also that they're at this stage because of the love and support of their parents and to be able to acknowledge their parents were once in this beginning stage."
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No kids allowedSome people think children are magical, others, not so much. "It's definitely a personal preference and it does change the vibe," said Gagné. "An adults-only reception is very different than when you have kids running around the dance floor, tripping over the photographer and videographer equipment. It really depends on tolerance."
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Humans out, canines inIt was a backyard, tented wedding at a beautiful little cottage, but for Gagné, scheduling all the parts of the ceremony where a dog was involved was a refreshing experience. "Having a dogsitter travel with the dog, drop the dog off, putting "Dog arrives' in my timeline, 'Dog leaves,' photos with the dog, being a part of the processional, sitting by the couple while they're exchanging vows, that was new."
And Gagné doesn't see the trend ending anytime soon. "I can see it becoming more popular because a lot of couples have dogs before they get married so that's their first baby together. And with a lot of the venues being more open to having dogs there, I think it's going to get even bigger than it has been."
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Eliminate the wedding-ness of a wedding"I had a bride where if anything came across as 'too wedding-y,' I had to remove it," Gagné recalled about a recent wedding. "She wanted to celebrate but it wasn't to be about 'couples in love,' though they adored each other. It was about the union and a kick-ass party and celebrate with their family and friends."
So bucking traditions, think eliminating the bouquet and garter tosses, ceremonial cake-cutting, foregoing the guest book, and getting rid of speeches. Which leads us to ...
Fewer or no speeches"We do not have attention spans," Gagné said simply, adding that she advises her couples who do want to say their thank yous, to limit their time to two to five minutes. Tops. "You will lose your guests after that, and the energy that we strive so hard to maintain is gone.
Gagné believes the reception isn't exactly the right place for speeches and should be saved for either the rehearsal dinner or engagement party.
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Element of fun"Couples just want their guests to be wowed," stated Gagné, who recalled a wedding she organized that involved TI Bots, which are essentially massive robots that shoot coloured lasers, CO2, cannons and light show effects. But if that's too much, she recommends a mariachi band, dancers, "just something that will have guests walking away saying, 'Now, THAT was unique.'"
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Photo finish"Photo stations are still a big thing, but it's no longer about printouts but, rather, instant online access," said Gagné, "so guests can download their photos and immediately post them on Instagram."
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Keeping it device-freeOn the flip side, Gagné hopes that unplugged ceremonies will become non-negotiables for weddings going forward.
"Couples are recognizing that they don't want their wedding to be on Instagram before they even have a chance to see their own photos," she said. "They just want to be unplugged. For me, I want the couple to be in the moment as opposed to being tagged and having to like all these photos."
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Sunset shots"Depending on the location and whether there's an actual sunset to capture, this is really big," said Gagné. "I like it because it gives them that quiet time during dinner where they have a few minutes to go, "Holy sh*t, we got married."
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Colour of the yearGagné pointed out that Classic Blue is the Pantone Colour of the Year, and suggested "incorporating it through linens, napkins and accessories, whether it's favours, ribbons, wrapping, artwork, invitations or stationery." And, of course, it could be that "something blue," whether it's a bride's shoes, or adding the shade into a bouquet, making for a bold floral display.
Exotic honeymoon destinationsThis might not seem like a trend, though those who honeymooned in the Caribbean for a week might appreciate this. Gagné has noticed her couples are heading to different parts of the world including Africa, Thailand, Australia and the Maldives. "I don't know if couples can afford it because they're getting married older, making them a little bit more established in their career," mused Gagné. "And they can actually take more time off because they have a lot of vacation banked."
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Hopes for 2020There are a few things Gagné wants to see take off in 2020:
- A swing during cocktails and the reception. "Every wedding should have a swing."
- Dessert served first. "How amazing would that be?"
- Breakfast for dinner. "Who doesn't love breakfast?"
- A hot chocolate station. "Every winter wedding should have a hot chocolate station."
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