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2021 Wedding Trends You Need to KnowBlog
We’ve seen countless creative floorplans designed in response to social distancing guidelines, so expect to see these alternative arrangements stick around for at least the next year. “Pods of chairs in a more organic setting has become our new norm,” affirms Laura Maddox, owner of Magnolia Celebrates. “We find a way to ensure there is still an aisle for the bride to walk down but have found people are most comfortable sitting with people they’ve been quarantining with and allowing extra room between those they are not.”
This idea isn’t just about the ceremony; it also plays into the layout of the tables and chairs at a seated reception. Lisa Anhaiser, founder of LBL Event Rentals, elaborates: “Seating will remain pod style, in areas with restrictions in place, seating family members together. We will continue to see more tables set for family groups or for limited guests. We will also see more large tables, 72″ rounds for example, seating 3 couples or family members limited to 6 people or small tables, such as 36″ or 30″ tables, with two- or three-person seating from the same family group.”
We’re also noticing extra measures being taken to keep older guests away from the crowds, as Shannon Tarrant, founder of WeddingVenueMap.com, explains: “When there are elderly family members, like grandparents, in attendance at the wedding, a creative idea is to place them at their own “sweetheart” type table. This will allow them to be socially distanced from the guests while eating dinner, which is most likely the longest period of guests without their masks on. You can place those “at-risk” guests together so they can still enjoy the company of others while managing their safety as well.”
Some couples are choosing to ditch their seating plan altogether and host a drive-thru get-together in lieu of a traditional wedding. “Catering companies are being more creative with food box creation and presentation,” explains Lizzy Liz Chan, wedding planner and designer for Lizzy Liz Events. “For guests who don’t feel comfortable attending, they can drive through the venue’s parking lot to cheer on the couple and pick up their goodies.”
Kylie Carlson, owner of The Wedding Academy and founder of The Wedding Trend Report notes: “Not far behind is the ‘sequel’ wedding and the idea of ‘wed now, party later’ – which is exactly what many couples are opting to do. This has naturally been a direct result of the pandemic, but it certainly gives a couple the best of both worlds with an intimate, micro wedding ceremony, followed by one hell of a party in the future.”
2020 brought to light the beauty of having our friends and family close and, as a result, many couples are putting extra thought and intention into their guests’ experience. Juls Sharpley, founder of Bubbles & Bowties, explains: “Clients are having smaller affairs, but because they aren’t doing the big party, they want every detail to be meaningful and share something with their guests that is special or important to them.”
Sharpley continues, sharing a few examples: “We are seeing everything from really thoughtful welcome gifts where couples are choosing to incorporate items such as custom scented candles, to each invitation being individually hand painted (rather than a custom painting turned into a digital file for printing). Touches like this are letting guests know how significant their participation in the wedding day is!”
Shades of yellow
Bringing yellow to the forefront is a refreshing way to leave the moodiness behind and add brightness and levity to 2021. “Buttery soft yellows to deep ochre tones of yellow will make their way into wedding color palettes,” assures Joan Wyndrum, co-founder of Blooms by the Box. “We have seen it make its way through fashion and interior design, and now it is heading into weddings especially with the announcements of Pantone’s Color of the Year being Illuminating. An easy way to incorporate yellow is through florals; we suggest using Craspedia billy balls, dahlias, yarrow, ranunculus, and garden roses.”
While we’ll certainly see more trends arise throughout the year as the pandemic evolves and we transition to recovery, the start of the 2021 wedding season will be all about pairing safety with celebration.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.