As a photographer, the newest, most unique wedding trends are something I’m always paying attention to. Especially after the craziness that was 2020, I’m so excited to have upcoming weddings to look forward to! With not only the new year around the corner, the styles for 2021 weddings are already coming through. There are always going to be those couples that stay traditional, but there are definitely ways to incorporate trends while keeping them timeless and classic!
Treat weddings like the party they are with modern-but-classy streamer and balloon installations – these are perfect for the couple who is hoping to have a more *fun* celebration. (First two images were done by my sweet friends at Pop and Drop)
This year, we started to include an ingredient in décor that previously would have been so taboo: dried flowers! Beyond that, the dried palm leaves, seed pods, bleached ferns, less greenery (praiiiise), and so many other unique blooms are making their way into bouquets, garlands, ceremony setups, and sweetheart tables. (Bouquet by Love Lily Flowers, ceremony install by Bloomwell & Co.)
A huge trend I’ve notices is couples opting for a vespa, a classic rolls, or even a vintage Beetle instead of just a luxury black car. Consider having your transportation arrive during sunset photos (or even better: see if they have an all day rental without a driver) so you can have couple photos taken with your ride!
Instead of hoping and praying there isn’t rain on your wedding day, opt for a more modern, industrial minimalist space that allows you to have all your celebrations inside! (Venue below: One Eleven East)
Now I might be biased since I’m opting for velvet for my own bridesmaids, but I truly LOVE the texture it brings to weddings year-round (it doesn’t just have to be fall and winter). Companies like Revelry and BHLDN have a ton of color options, too!
People often focus on the bride, but the modernization of groom attire is truly something to celebrate since tuxes have had the same design for over a century. I particularly like a more fitted jacket, cropped pant, classic cufflinks, and velevet loafer. The Black Tux has a ton of good options! Don’t forget to ask your florist for a more modern boutonniere, too!
A little can truly go a long way when it comes to floral installations in your ceremony and reception space. There is nothing more breathtaking than when you walk into a space and see an installation hung from the ceiling. (Installations below by Remi & Gold, Kismet Florals, The Flower Girl TX)
Not only is being outside safer given the pandemic, but it’s also utter more romantic to have your dinner under sting lights outside as the sun sets.
Weddings should reflect the couple’s style, personality, and love story and this can be done in so many ways with personalized touches throughout the wedding. Whether its including your favorite music, your dog, your favorite foods, your favorite cocktails: JUST MAKE IT YOU.
While amazing design can be relayed in a paperless save the date or invite or welcome book, there is something about a tangible piece that arrives in the mail to really set the tone. I’m really loving the look and feel of non-traditional sizing and shapes — including so many mid-century inspired rounded invitations and incredible envelope liners. (Invitations below by Peach Paper & Design, Model Paper)
Now that the era of useless wedding favors is over, opt for a more custom element that will still make your guests feel cared for and special through their escort card. (Menu escort cards: Peach Paper & Design)
Wait is cooler than a boozy popsicle during a wedding on a warm day?! Not only are they novel, but super tasty. Try serving them in an elegant way to class up the concept!
I’m definitely on the champagne campaign! I love seeing the way couples involve bubbles into their day – my favorites are champagne trucks at cocktail hour, champagne towers instead of a cake cutting, and help-yourself champagne walls.
On the theme of fresh and color hues, linens are showing up in a big way at weddings. Gone are the days where you have to have a boring neutral color linen on your tables – go for something more fun and bold!
Are you feeling over sparkler exits? ME TOO. Opt for cold sparks instead, they’re more epic, last for longer, and add an edge to your wedding style.
This is trend isn’t only for Lake Como weddings, if you’re getting married near a body of water, consider renting a boat a romantic exit.
I’ve written about why I love intimate weddings before, but given the state of the world, this will definitely be a reoccurring theme. Before the pandemic made it necessary, I saw how smaller weddings allowed couples do more with their budget, spend time with every single guest, and all around just have a more laid back vibe.
Modern wedding dresses will become more popular for brides who want to make a statement or simply embrace a more contemporary style – I’m loving the incorporation of capes, pearls, two-piece dresses, and a more polished bohemian feel.
Something we’re going to be seeing a lot of in the next couple of years is mixing and matching textures and colors – like terrracota below. Brides are using natural aspects like wild flora and wood to warm up their wedding palette while keeping it fun and fresh with on-trend colors and textures. Colorful palette with rich tones and dimensions as couples get away from all-white weddings.
Sustainable weddings have been gaining more and more traction in the last five years, and this concept is ready to explode. Brides are searching for ethical wedding options and swapping out traditional finishes for environmentally friendly options. Invitations are being made with recycled paper, honeymoon donations are being requested in lieu of gifts, and natural touches are being added to replace non-sustainable, single-use décor.
Giving a nod to individuality as well as sustainability, custom, and unique engagement rings are going to be all the rage in the coming years. Brides are steering away from the traditional jewelry experience and choosing responsibly sourced gems as well as recycled and repurposed diamonds. Many brides are choosing to skip the diamonds altogether and opt for other stunning stones like morganite, opal, and moissanite.
I actually wrote a whole blog post about this — check out my alternatives here!
Silent disco, yard games, dancers, arcade games, hookah lounges, karaoke – the sky is the limit!
Unique wedding trends are ever-changing, and that can be a bit overwhelming when you’re planning your big day. My advice is to stick to the basics and focus on the vision and vibe you have in mind for your wedding. Trends will come and go but love is forever and that’s a wedding trend I can always get behind!
Paige Vaughn Photo is an Austin and San Francisco Wedding Photographer specializing in fun, romantic and vibrant wedding, engagement, couple and boudoir photography. Within the Bay Area, we serve San Francisco, the South Bay, Peninsula, and East Bay: San Jose, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos, Burlingame, Los Altos, Milpitas, Union City, Fremont, Berkeley, El Cerrito, Carmel, Monterey, Santa Cruz and surrounding areas. Within the Central Texas area, we serve: downtown Austin, Dripping Springs, Georgetown, East Austin, Wimberley, New Braunfels, San Antonio, and Houston. She is available for destination weddings and engagement sessions! Contact her for more detailed pricing.