Wedding season is just around the corner, which means that wedding planning season is in full swing. Brides and grooms have been organizing their big days for months, and according to the eight wedding planners who spoke to Elite Daily, this year's weddings are going to be eye-popping and spectacular on social media. The most popular wedding trends of 2020 vary from brighter color palettes, to unique wedding photos, environmentally-conscious choices, and new rituals. But one thing all these trends have in common? They are less traditional than ever before. Couples are going against the grain and making selections that work for them. Now that’s something worth saying "I do" to.
According to Liz Ise, destination wedding planning expert for Chancey Charm Weddings, this year's trends add fresh, fun twists on old practices. "A lot of wedding traditions have stood the test of time and will continue to do so, but the biggest trend we’ve seen lately is not including those traditions or modifying them greatly," Ise tells Elite Daily. "Couples are always looking for ways to make things more 'them' and sometimes that doesn’t include historic traditions." Here is what the experts say that will look like at weddings this year.
Environmentally Conscious Weddings
The biggest wedding trend in 2020 has nothing to do with aesthetics, but rather about incorporating the couple's environmental consciousness into the celebration. “Couples seem more committed than ever to making sure that their wedding decor does more good after the celebration is complete and that as little waste as possible ends up in landfills,” wedding planner Andrea Freeman tells Elite Daily.
Wedding planner Alexa Kritis agrees, telling Elite Daily that sustainability is becoming an important factor in everything, from the ceremony itself to the reception. “Couples are looking to make sure everything from their dress to cups is sustainable so that nothing goes to waste, including no straws with drinks!" says Kritis. "We’ve seen this over the years as brides repurpose their family members' wedding dresses. Now, brides and their bridal party have options like Rent the Runway for bridesmaids dresses so they don’t have to worry about it hanging in their closet, unused for years to come."
This trend also sees couples selecting venues that limit the amount of decorations required to make a huge impact. “We’ll see more couples choose to get married in locations that have a beautiful natural backdrop and don’t require over-the-top floral arrangements (which is also a great way to save a little bit of money),” Jennifer Spector, director of brands for Zola, tells Elite Daily. “Couples will also choose more sustainable options for florals, like potted tree centerpieces, and will choose to recycle their wedding flowers instead of throwing them away."
According to Kritis, one of the most fun and interactive wedding trends this year is a portrait station for guests where a photographer takes photos of them in front of a backdrop. These stations are replacing the past trend of having a photo booth at the reception. “Remember that these people will help bring out the best of your lively wedding guests, rather than a stand-alone backdrop or photo booth without a personalized concierge,” she explains.
“Wedding weekends are totally trending, as couples are turning their wedding celebration into a multi-day party,” says Spector. “In fact, according to a recent Zola survey, three-quarters of couples have at least one additional event on the weekend of their weddings, like a brunch or welcome party.”
While some couples are choosing to go big with their wedding weekends, don’t be surprised to see a lot of couples shrinking the size of the weddings overall, says Moriah Veer, event coordinator at The Garden in Alexandria, Virginia. “A micro-wedding is exactly what it sounds like — a smaller version of a large-scale wedding," Veer tells Elite Daily. "Micro-weddings are smaller, more personal experiences with shorter guest lists. Many factors drive these small guest lists, and the most obvious is money. I have found that our clients are looking to use that money as a down payment on a house or a nice honeymoon, rather than surf-and-turf for 200 people."
Katie Brownstein, director of communications for Joy, agrees that smaller weddings are trending this year. In a survey Joy conducted of its clients, “29% of Joy couples are having weddings with fewer than 50 guests, while 45% of couples are having weddings with 50 to 100 guests,” Brownstein tells Elite Daily.
Smaller Wedding Parties
Wedding parties are also seeing a shrink, Katharine Phillips, a New York-based wedding planner, tells Elite Daily. “Keeping bridal parties more intimate by having a smaller bridal party helps make day-of logistics more manageable for the couple and reduces some of the financial expectations that come with being a member of a bridal party,” she explains.
According to Brownstein, vintage is having a moment this year. “Elements such as lounge seating arrangements with vintage chairs, chaise lounges, and love seats, as well as decorative accents such as vintage mirrors, vintage chandeliers, and lighting create a unique tone for wedding decor, and can create an aesthetic ranging from formal and elegant to bohemian pending the couple's style,” she explains.
The use of brighter, more daring colors throughout the wedding theme and decorations is another big trend you can expect to see in 2020. “Couples are opting for much bolder, larger-scale palettes and colors never before seen in wedding design. This has been really fun for all wedding vendors as we have gotten to flex creative muscles we haven’t used in a while to create these new, colorful designs,” says Ise.
Skylar Caitlin, a Houston-based wedding planner and designer for Chancey Charm Weddings, agrees. “Half of our 2020 weddings have featured blue and overall couples seem to be leaving behind the neutral white and green palette in favor of a color palette that pops more,” Caitlin tells Elite Daily. Be on the lookout for purples, corals, and blues, adds Phillips.
While wedding trends can be a lot of fun and a great source of inspiration, the key is to make your wedding choices ones that truly reflect and speak to you and your partner. “We encourage couples to ignore trends and focus more on personalizing their celebration," says Freeman. "When every choice is a conscious reflection of you, your love, and your love for your community, it tends to be timeless rather than trendy, and that will always resonate, even 20 years from now when they're flipping through their album."