2022 was an insane year for weddings—the number of nuptials was larger than life and with that the creativity and coverage also increased. On social media, we’re seeing the transaction on trends before the Sunday brunches can even begin. Destination weddings were king in 2022—Lake Como was packed this summer, and we don’t see a reversal in that specific trend for next year. Incorporating more color was also gladly welcomed this year, and for the next, we and our friends are predicting more elevated pattern play in wedding design.
We chatted with some of our favorite wedding professionals (who are also at the top of their game and have worked some of the biggest weddings in 2022) to pick their brains on what’s in and our for 2023 weddings, and, boy, did they deliver:
What’s In for Weddings in 2023:
1. Digital Save The Dates
“We will never stop loving a paper suite, but we are fully onboard with a digital save the date when it makes the most sense!” East Coast-based planner Augusta Cole exclaims. “So many guests have relocated, the post is becoming a bit more unreliable, and competing for space on your guests’ calendars is real. It is also helpful when conveying a lot of information regarding travel for destination weddings! In this instance, we still work with our chosen paper partner to design the digital piece, so it aligns with the overall design direction. This way, we can track when all the guests have been able to mark the calendar and then we can have a lot of fun with the printed invite!”
2. Getting Ready Together
“Couples are less traditional and many already live together,” planner Marcy Blum, who was behind Kate Bock and Kevin Love’s spectacular NYC wedding, realizes. “They are each other’s closest and best friends and the person they prefer to be around when anxious. They would rather get ready together than with anyone else.”
3. Ultra-Specific Dress Codes
Blum is predicting the invites will no longer be printed with vague dress code instructions. “For example, guests wearing all white, vibrant colors, or black and white help contribute to the theme and color scheme of an event!” she exclaims.
4. Destination and Multi-Day Weddings
Long-live destination weddings. Blum predicts that far away destination coordinates are here to stay for the next year, and U.K.-based planner Chenai Bukutu of ByChenai seconds that saying, “Events before and after the wedding day are becoming so important for clients. [It’s] a way to really connect with their guests and take advantage of their venue and location—be it the English countryside, rural France, or the lakes of Italy. There are more requests to add activities and excursions; it really adds to the guest experience.”
Cole agrees with them both and says that while the wedding day remains the main event, creating a full agenda of weekend parties is becoming the norm. “It’s an opportunity to tell a full story about the place and the couple’s relationship,” Cole says. “Who doesn’t love a themed event? From a Western Welcome to a fabulous Brazilian Night, our clients use the additional evenings to share why they love the destination and/or cultural experiences that are important to their relationships.”
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5. Curating Full Music Programs
Alex LeRoux, CEO of ALR Music—who provided entertainment for Brooklyn Beckham and Nicola Peltz’s wedding and several OTM Weddings, says that his company’s seen a real change in the way couples are integrating music into their wedding weekends. “Where it was once all about a party band in the evening, there is a real shift to having a full music program which compliments each part of their event,” LeRoux states. “From gospel choirs to string ensembles, jazz trios to acoustic roaming bands, after-parties and Sunday brunches, there are now so many ways to personalize the traditional wedding format and use music to create unforgettable moments.”
Lynn Easton of Easton Events also sees guests’ movements being driven by entertainment moments as a trend. We’ve certainly witnessed gospel choirs and second line parades move people from the ceremony to cocktail hour with ease and fanfare.
6. More Sustainability
It’s important that making weddings more sustainable always be in fashion. It’s no secret that weddings product a large amount of waste, but they don’t always have to—consider recycled or dare we suggest online invitations. Go as local as you can with food and vendors to cut down transportation emissions, and of course vintage fashion is always en vogue.
7. Playing With Patterns
Design-wise, Cole shares that pattern play will continue to be an important part of the wedding ambiance. “Pretty chintz, block-printing, stripes, and other beautiful textiles are continuing to make a splash at weddings in 2023,” Cole says. “Interior and fashion influences are being reflected in wedding design, and we love the personality that these design touches infuse into the wedding experience!”
Aleah and Nick Valley of Valley & Company Events agree with Cole, saying, “Bold patterns will shine through invitation suites but will also star in dance floor motifs, embroidered dining napkins, and bar backdrops.”
8. Intentional Dining Experiences
The attention to detail for menus will be heightened in 2023. Valley predicts, “Couples will be so intentional with customizing the culinary experiences for their guests—from incorporating famed family recipes into happy hour, creating a kitschy and clever chef’s tasting menu that nods to their favorite dive bar menu, or serving up a collection of cocktails/mocktails that tell their dating story, couples will lean into the intentional dining experiences.”
9. Themed After-Parties
Blum’s couples are starting to plan their after-parties at the same time as their reception. They discuss the location, menu, curfew, and more logistics. “For example, if you’re doing a tented event in the Hamptons or Napa, you can not go past 10:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m.—you have no choice,” Blum states. OTM Bride Lauren Maguire had a Cowboy Disco-themed after-party for her wedding, while Blum recently planned a NYC-themed after-party, complete with Shake Shack and Katz Deli food trucks.
What’s Out for Weddings in 2023:
1. Large Bouquets
If the bouquet blocks the dress, you might want to take a few stems out for your trip down the aisle in 2023. Daintier blossoms allow the dress to shine more, and it looks more timeless overall.
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2. “Flower Men”
We’ve all seen those hilarious Reels and TikToks, where a man—who was probably voted class clown in school—saunters down the aisle dramatically tossing petals for laughs. Bukutu (and we at Over The Moon) thinks this is definitely a passing fad.
3. Elaborate Cake-Cutting Ceremonies
This past year, we’ve seen a lot of couples either forgo a cake completely, slice a piece in private quickly, or nearly forget the tradition. Cake is delicious and a very important part of a wedding—let’s just get that out there. However, we really like when the cake-cutting takes a more laissez-faire approach and simply happens sans announcement over the speaker system. It’s still special but less of a spectacle.
Bukutu adds, “Whilst cake cutting is my least favorite activity to schedule on the timeline, I see its appeal especially given how many incredible makers and creators there are. I do think it’s time to embrace other sweet treats—a giant macaron tower or full dessert bar in lieu of the traditional tiered cake.” Cole and Easton support Bukutu, and Cole already sees a trend toward adding in a dessert experience to her weddings. She shares, “One of our couples served the Magnolia Bakery bread pudding in lieu of cake and let us tell you, it was a hit!”
4. Wasteful Favors
“Unless they can be eaten or sipped, favors can be so wasteful, and we always recommend investing elsewhere like a full welcome gift bag, for example,” Bukutu shares.
We can’t wait to see how weddings evolve next year! Follow us on Instagram for the most up-to-date coverage on real weddings and trends.