2022 doesn’t just herald a new year, but the start of a new decade, and it will see a continued movement towards a whole new world of wedding ‘trends’.
While the past decade was dominated by aspirations for a ‘Pinterest’ wedding, punctuated by innovative (and fun) ways to use social media around the big day, weddings trends for 2020 and beyond are simple, sustainable and good for the environment, as well as your wedding budget.
The Wedding Trends on their way out (Bye, Felicia!)
As the couples getting married are changing, so too are the wedding trends they aspire to, and this decade’s arrival will see the departure of a whole host of ‘wedding trends’. So how have brides and grooms are planning, personalising, spending and celebrating weddings for the past 10 years, and how is that set to change?
As millenial couples question the reason behind wedding customs, it’s goodbye to the garter or bouquet-toss, classic wedding registries and traditional bridal party roles, but weddings (and wedding planning) will look different too. We’re not using Pinterest to plan our wedding as much, and we’re doing it ourselves rather than hiring wedding stylists – the simple, unpretentious (but perfectly organised) little white book wedding planner will do, thanks!
In 2010, the top 10 wedding trends included grand exits (fireworks!) photo-booths (complete with moustache props), themed engagement photo shoots, ‘classic’ white china registries, sending paper lanterns into the air (think of the environment!) and candy buffets (Pinterest-friendly, but mostly wasted).
By 2015, The Knot’s ‘What’s Hot’ included ‘Wild West’ style weddings, macrame, Go-Pro wedding videography and using apps to boss your bridesmaids around (no. thank. you.)
Don’t worry though, we are wisening up… food installations look great for the photos beforehand, but when there’s only half a wall of donuts left, and the flies are getting more of them than the guests, all you’ve done is wasted your precious wedding budget for a picture of a photo wall that you’ll never look at again anyway! Photo booths are cute, but most of your guests will forget to get snapping, and instead you’ll have 20 different sets of photos of the same three drunk couples who are going through the booth like it’s a Merry-go-round!
It might feel like there’s much more to lose than there is to love, and I could continue, but instead of dwelling on the decade past, let’s see what’s next…
New and Improved Wedding Traditions and Customs
Welcome to the new and improved way to get married! New wedding traditions are paving the way as the younger #millenial generation of couples merge cultural customs to personalise their ceremony and embrace their uniqueness and put their own creative spins on (or question the value in) long-standing wedding ‘must-haves’.
In recent years, Australia legalised same-sex marriage, finally catching up with New Zealand, and as couples of any gender are now marrying on both sides of the Tasman, couples are embracing their friends of any gender in their bridal parties too. Alongside this inclusivity, bridal party attire must change too – with mixed bridal parties dressing to a common theme, rather than trying to look like clones.
A Single Wedding Dress (no need for outfit changes!)
On the subject of attire, while it’s become common for brides to make outfit changes throughout the day, wedding dress designers are getting smarter and making a single wedding dress do double duty. While two-piece outfits have allowed the transformation of the meringue into a sleek evening skirt, Kiwi designer Trish Peng has done one better, creating the world’s first reversible wedding dress collection in 11 versatile styles – a great move to cut down on waste, and money.
Sustainable, Eco-friendly Wedding Choices
Couples these days want a wedding that doesn’t “cost the earth” – literally. If you’re sprinkling confetti, it had better be biodegradeable, but that’s just the beginning. Wastefulness is out, sustainability and earth-friendly choices are in, from wedding favours to the gift registry. Even magazine giant The Knot agrees, telling Insider that “sustainability is top of the line” for 2020 couples.
Something green, something blue, something borrowed… something reused (read my eco-friendly wedding advice), this decade’s weddings will be much more sustainable, with couples cutting down on waste, and wasted budget. When it comes to gifting, local start up Joyable.co are making that choice easy, breaking the stigma around asking for cash, and collaboratively funding desirable, meaningful and memorable gifts instead.
How else to go zero waste? Instead of decor which expires, such as candles or flowers, hanging (reusable) lanterns, string lights, LED signs, or even chandeliers can be used for decor, and instead of a veil or tiara which you’ll probably only use once, wear a beautiful hair barrette or comb.
From the wedding venue to the farm-to-table catering, weddings are going to be pared back. As couples are marrying later, more of their friends have offspring, mortgages and even their own businesses to run, making intrepid travel for weddings less likely. The cost of attending a wedding has skyrocketed in recent years and travel costs are no small part of that, but future couples will be making more conscious (and emission-friendly) choices.
The same will apply to shopping, especially as both New Zealand and Australia are charging GST on all imported goods – so local businesses (like mine!) will benefit from this move too.
Quality over quantity
Today’s couples are getting smarter and more savvy – they’re a little bit older and wiser, they’re saving towards purchasing their first home, or paying off their mortgages, while wedding planning, and they simply can’t afford elaborate and ostentatious displays to celebrate their nuptials – nor do they want to.
While “pop up” weddings like Skinny Love are growing in popularity, more traditional weddings are shrinking in terms of guest numbers. Couples are still budgeting for around $30,000-$40,000 on the wedding but they are spending more wisely and choosing quality over quantity. We are spending more money on catering and entertainment, while cutting back on anything which is all style, no substance (charger plates are out, along with anything which serves a purely decorative purpose).
More and more, couples are having the confidence to be themselves, tying in elements of their love story and sharing their unique style.
Hand drawn invitations which incorporate something special to the couple, creative catering featuring the couples’ favourite foods, hand-written notes to friends as favours – every detail is an opportunity to infuse personal style and sentiment.
My favourite ‘trend’ of all (perhaps somewhat ironically given how much I share on social media, is that more and more, couples are asking people to put their phones away for the wedding, and even having unplugged honeymoons.
With that in mind, I’m going to enjoy a Sunday night as a family without my computer.