6 wedding trends that will start to disappear by 2021, and 9 you'll see everywhere

Kosamtu/Getty ImagesIn 2021, weddings may be smaller and decorated differently.
  • Insider asked industry professionals for their insight into current and future wedding trends.
  • Elopements and livestreamed ceremonies are expected to soar in popularity in 2021.
  • Buffet dinners and traditional registry gifts aren’t predicted to be popular in the future.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Many wedding trends of the 2010s are fading and making room for a new wave.

As couples rework their plans due to COVID-19 safety concerns and general style trends continue to change, weddings are starting to look a bit different as 2021 approaches.

Read on to see wedding industry experts have to say about which 2020 wedding trends are on their way out, and what to expect for the occasion in 2021.


Buffet catering has seen a drop in popularity due to safety concerns.

dotshock/ShutterstockMore couples may opt for plated meals.

Buffet catering has traditionally been a popular way to serve dinner at larger weddings.

But wedding planner and florist Amy McCord Jones told Insider that fewer couples are opting for self-serve buffets, which usually involve serving shared utensils and uncovered dishes of food.

“For safety reasons, many couples are choosing plated dinners, food trucks, and sack lunches,” said McCord Jones. “I’m also seeing couples hold a simple cake and champagne reception in lieu of a full buffet dinner at their wedding reception.”


Fewer couples may choose to splurge on lavish, over-the-top weddings in 2021.

FG Trad/Getty ImagesIndustry experts expect simpler weddings in 2021.

In 2021, McCord Jones said she expects fewer couples will drain their bank accounts to put on elaborate, picture-perfect weddings.

“The wedding industry has undergone big changes in the past 10 years, and over-the-top weddings may not be the norm for much longer,” said McCord. “I believe couples in 2021 will take a more simplified approach to their weddings.”


Couples aren’t asking for as many traditional registry items.

LivingImages/Getty ImagesMany modern couples don’t want high-end dinnerware.

Wedding planner Margaux Fraise, owner of Harmony Creative Studio, told Insider that many couples aren’t registering for classic gifts like fancy dishes or stand mixers.

“Lots of couples today already live together and have basic household items,” said Fraise. “Modern couples often have no use for traditional registry gifts like expensive dinner-service items or flatware.”

Instead, Fraise said she is seeing couples ask guests to contribute to a honeymoon fund or donate to the couple’s favourite charity.


Receiving lines are less common than in years past.

FG Trade/Getty ImagesReceiving lines are becoming less common.

A receiving line – the custom of having the wedding party line up to greet guests – is meant to be an efficient way to speak to each guest and thank them for coming, but Fraise said this particular tradition might be on its way out.

“The receiving line has already been fading fast in many areas of the US,” said Fraise. “COVID-19 may be the thing that finally kills it everywhere.”


Unassigned seating may be a thing of the past.

FG Trade/Getty ImagesGuests may want the guarantee that they will sit with their family and friends.

Although open seating has become increasingly popular in the past several years, wedding planner Robyn Bruns of Red Letter Event Planning told Insider that assigned seating is in store for a comeback.

“Couples are realising that guests may want to be certain they will wind up sitting with family or friends,” said Bruns. “Free-for-all seating will be replaced with assigned seating at tables of different sizes and shapes.”


Green and white florals aren’t as trendy as they once were.

MR.WUTTISAK PROMCHOO/Getty ImagesWarmer colours like deep oranges and purples are becoming more popular

Adventure elopement photographer Sam Starns told Insider that he’s seeing a fading demand for green and white floral decor.

“Green and white florals have been popular over the past couple years, but couples now seem to be choosing more rich and fall-like tones,” said Starns.

Starns said he sees warmer hues like burnt orange, deep burgundy, and vibrant purple making a comeback.


More couples will likely elope.

Tempura/Getty ImagesCouples may favour small ceremonies in 2021.

McCord Jones told Insider that elopement may be one of the most popular wedding trends of 2021.

“We’re starting to see many couples plan small affairs or elopements at the onset, rather than dealing with the potential headache and expense of downsizing due to COVID-19 later,” said McCord Jones.

She also mentioned she’s seen a rise in the popularity of smaller venues for the same reason.


Livestreaming weddings will likely continue well into 2021.

wundervisuals/Getty ImagesLivestreaming wedding ceremonies has already started becoming more popular in 2020.

Broadcasting wedding ceremonies has become more popular as couples look for ways to share their special day with faraway friends and family – and Bruns suspects livestreaming is set to become a common part of 2021 weddings.

“As technology improves, more couples will opt to add a livestream component to their wedding for those guests that can’t travel,” said Bruns.


DIY wedding decor is having a major moment.

joshuaraineyphotography / Getty ImagesDIY decor can save couples money.

Couples looking to save money while still achieving their desired aesthetics are choosing to craft their own decor.

“DIY wedding flowers, invitations, and even wedding cakes have increased in popularity and will likely continue to be popular throughout 2021,” said McCord Jones.

Saving money on potentially pricey furnishings can allow a couple to allocate funds to honeymoon travel, a home or vehicle down payment, or an additional wedding service like videography.


Radiant cut diamonds are surging in popularity.

Smith Sights/ShuttershockBefore, oval-cut diamonds were the most popular shape.

Dan Moran, private jeweller and founder of Concierge Diamonds, told Insider that radiant-cut stones – jewels with an elongated square shape with a brilliant-cut facet pattern – are poised to be the it-gems of 2021.

“Oval-cut diamonds were previously the most popular shape, but requests for radiants are eclipsing them at a break-neck pace,” said Moran.


Yellow gold is coming back into fashion.

Luca/ ShutterstockCool-toned metals are going out of style.

Although cool-toned metals, such as platinum and white-gold, have been the recent standard for wedding jewellery, Moran said that couples are increasingly selecting yellow-gold bands and settings.

“What’s old is new again! Many people are expressing a desire for yellow-gold in their engagement rings or wedding bands,” he told Insider.


Bachelor and bachelorette parties at rental homes are set to take off in 2021.

Sergii Sobolevskyi/ShuttershockRenting a big home is a good way to avoid bars and nightclubs.

Lilia Karimi, the owner of wedding wellness experience company Luv Collective, told Insider that couples looking to avoid crowded bars and nightclubs are booking private experiences or homes for their bachelor and bachelorette parties.

“People are getting creative with their party experiences,” said Karimi. “Booking an Airbnb for the party can end up being lower in cost and more intimate for everyone involved.”

Some rentals do have restrictions on occupancy and events, so be sure to check with your host before planning a pre-wedding event.


Colourful wedding suits are trending.

Techa Tungateja/Getty ImagesBurgundy and dark-green suits are in style.

Wedding planner Bianca Hall, owner of Estera Events, told Insider that colourful suits will be popping up at weddings throughout 2021.

“We’re seeing colourful suits and tuxedos in dark jewel tones like burgundy and forest green,” said Hall. “Couples planning summer weddings are also opting for pastel-blue, ivory, or blush suits.”


Small bridal bouquets will likely replace cascading arrangements.

Smirnof/ShutterstockMore couples are opting for smaller bouquets.

Although large, luscious bridal bouquets have dominated the wedding scene for years, more petite bouquets may be coming into favour.

“We’ve seen our clients move towards smaller-scale bouquets for 2021,” said Hall. “They’re still beautiful but their smaller size allow a bridal gown to shine.”

Hall mentioned that lily of the valley arrangements are becoming especially popular with people looking for a delicate floral bouquet.


Dried florals are in demand.

mtreasure/Getty ImagesThe dried flowers are easy to keep after the event.

Fresh flowers can send wedding costs sky-high, so Fraise said that many couples are selecting dried floral arrangement as a cost-effective alternative.

“The textures and neutral colours of dried florals can be woven into nearly any colour scheme and are easy to make into keepsakes after the event,” she said.

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