Weddings & Life Podcast with Taylor Nicole, a podcast by Colorado Wedding Photographer, Taylor Nicole Photography
Let’s talk 2023 and 2024 wedding trends. Who sets the trends? No one really knows but it’s probably you all planning your weddings. So in this episode I am going to discuss a few trends in the wedding industry lately and we will see what you think about them. And I am going to share my opinion on the trends too because this is my podcast. So keep listening to hear more about trends in weddings in 2023 and 2024.
Inside the Episode:
This is such a fun episode to write. This year more than any year before I feel like we are seeing more shifts in wedding trends. I personally think this is because the pandemic effects on weddings are lessening more and more, honestly the last year of weddings even it feels like the pandemic never happened. Obviously not true but the whole ‘bride and groom’ mask trend is officially out. At least from my experience.
Which I guess this is a good opportunity to explain more about where I’m coming from with this episode. If you’re new around here I am a Colorado wedding photographer, but even more than that I lead a wedding photography team of associate photographers in the Colorado front range. My associate team members are also out there photographing weddings for my company and then I do all of the final editing among other things like emails, client communication etc. So all of that to say on top of my own weddings I photograph and witness each year I also see the images from all of my teams weddings so I get to see a lot of weddings and trends. That along with I love following wedding accounts online too.
So let’s dive into 5 wedding trends in 2023 and 2024 to discuss.
1. Skipping the Wedding Party
First up is the trend of ditching the wedding party. Yes you heard that right. Currently about half or more of our clients are choosing to skip the traditional ‘bridesmaids’ and ‘groomsmen’ on their wedding days. This means both just not having them stand up on each side of the ceremony, but also not having formal wedding parties in general.
So this is a mixed topic and I’m glad that not all couples are going this way for sure because I really do enjoy photographing those portraits during the day. It can be a very fun and high energy moment for portraits. However I do think that the general thought of having your 5-22 closest adult friends dress up and take portraits with you might be a little odd. I know going back my husband and I would definitely skip a wedding party, not because our friends and siblings involved weren’t important to us, but those just aren’t the portraits that were most important to us in the end. Also this is a good way to slightly slim the budget and planning needs of the wedding- not needing to choose bridesmaid dresses or get groomsmen to rent/buy suits. Also the bouquets, boutonnieres and hair and makeup application for weddings.
From a photographer’s perspective, and a wedding day timeline perspective skipping the bridesmaids and groomsmen means less overall formal portraits to take, and less portraits to squeeze into an already tight timeline of the day. My first wedding back in 2023 had just two siblings as an unofficial wedding party so we took their portraits during the family portrait time frame and it worked out so well. We had plenty of time of fit in all the wedding portraits we needed and even had time to use an off site portrait location that worked so well the day of.
So one alternative I’ve seen recently I wanted to share. So still keeping to the trend of skipping the formal wedding party but inviting your close friends to get ready with you and even going as far to set aside a specific time for portraits with your friends. I’ve seen couples ask their friends to dress in a certain color scheme but just on their own, and others leaving it completely up to them to decide. Then I’ve seen friend portraits scheduled separately or at the beginning or end of the family portrait section. Telling your photographer how many friends you wanted to involve in portraits is a good idea so they can give yo ua general time frame.
Now none of this is to say that you can’t have the traditional wedding party – big or small. Did I mention big? I think big wedding party groups are so fun! I like the challenge of photographing larger groups in fun and candid ways. So if you’re going for the wedding party I’m still here for it! And if you decide to skip then that’s great too!
2. Floral Trends in 2023-24
Next up is the floral trends. I noticed near the end of 2022 and now that the general bouquet style is changing. About 6 years ago when I was planning my wedding the bouquet style was big. Like really big. Like hold a large flower dumbbell in front of you sort of big. These bouquets were heavy and brides needed to hold them down very low, lower than belly button level in order to not block the neckline of their dresses and when you’re holding a bouquet that heavy that low your arms get tired. I saw it a lot!
After the style of huge bouquets started to fade my personal favorite style came around- which I’m still desperately clinging to haha. A smaller but organic, loose, slightly undone and non symmetrical bouquet. These are generally shorter and maybe a little more wide. Also much lighter. So this has been “in” for the last few years. With varying levels of greenery, white or colorful florals mixed in.
Now however the recent trend is back to a smaller, tightly bound, symmetrical bouquet. White roses seem to be it right now too but I know that will vary based on the season. This definitely screams classic wedding vibes. And if this is what you have your heart set on then go for it! I will always be a fan of a loose slightly undone floral look – mostly because I am in awe of how florists put those together and the sense of whimsy and artfulness they add. But that’s just y opinion.
There are several floral trends the bouquet is just the one I had the most to say about. The next floral trend is ditching the arch or arbor floral piece at the ceremony and going for a ground arch. Flower arrangements sitting on the ground around and behind the couple instead of installed higher above them. I am a fan of this, also still a fan of using flowers to decorate the arch/arbor itself too. Not too much to say there.
A trend has been to invest more in the floral installation pieces around the venue and less on the bouquets. That is interesting to me. I like the idea of how the florals installed will appear in all of the candid photos and how it adds to the documentary times of the day. Bridesmaids, if they’re still in anyways, bouquets are pretty but never the main point or focus of the day. So I can get behind adding more floral decor and less for the friends bouquets.
Are the groom’s pocket boutonnieres popping into the trend scene yet? Well I don’t really think so. I personally see the real pinned boutonnieres still being more prevalent or popular but if you do go for a pocket boutonniere (a cardboard piece that slides into and flowers are attached to the top) then that’s great. Less to worry about and figure out how to pin!
Lastly the newest trend for outdoor, or indoor with some effort and extra vases, ceremonies is the garden aisle. Oh my goodness I just need to say that if I get to photograph a garden aisle at a wedding this year my life will be made! Kidding but they are so pretty. Google it I hope you see it. Basically roses or other flowers are installed on the ceremony aisle sides making it look like you are walking down a row in a garden. A very pretty and very time intensive idea for your florist to install. Lots of vases and need to secure things too.
3. Pearls are on the way out… And Disco balls are coming back?
This is more of a guess. Pearls were big the last few years and I think the pearl veils or cake details are starting to head out. I did read recently that disco ball decor is in for the next year, but I feel like that has also been the case for a while too. Also if you loved the pearl trend don’t let this scare you away from it I think pearls are very classy and timeless.
4. Rehearsal Dinner Photography Coverage
A lot of planning goes into the wedding day, but the rehearsal dinner is a big deal as well. I think that as we move farther from the pandemic and limits on parties we are going back to the classic big wedding coverage. Quite a few of my clients this year and next have added on rehearsal dinner coverage.
How this usually works is meeting the couple early at the venue and getting a few portraits of them together, talk about a before wedding refresh getting used to being in front of the camera before the wedding again. Then after portraits in their welcome dinner attire getting the decor and candid memories of the party itself. Such a fun way to get group photos of the people there that are the most important to you.
5. Ceremony send offs over the grand exit
So the grand exit is the classic sparkler send off at the end of the wedding reception. A ceremony send off however is after the first kiss while you’re walking back down the aisle having your guests toss an exit item in the air, or blow bubbles or I’ve seen some smoke bombs set off behind the ceremony space. Those are usually a big fire risk so we don’t see too many of those in Colorado. But in all honesty you don’t necessarily need photography coverage through the entire reception, after a good 30 minutes of open dancing it all starts to look the same for the rest of the night. So getting these send off photos earlier in the day while all of your guests are still there is a great idea.
So all in all these are just trends being talked about or that we as wedding vendors are starting to see trickle down in wedding plans of our clients. These are not hard and fast rules for wedding planning. Do whatever is meaningful to the two of you to plan a wedding that you both love.
Thanks for listening!
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