2023 gave us memorable celebrity weddings like those of Dylan Sprouse and Barbara Calvin and Sofia Richie and Elliot Grainge, made us ponder what quiet luxury actually is, and proved that destination multi-day weddings are here to stay yet again. It saw a rise in behind-the-scenes style content creation and capturing every part of being a bride-to-be on TikTok and Instagram. Will Lake Como ever stop being an “It” destination? Who knows. A few things we do know are what’s considered “in” and “out” for weddings next year, thanks to our friends at the top of their game in the industry:
What’s In for Weddings in 2024:
1. Intimate Weddings That Focus on Guest Experience
In this case, smaller doesn’t equal lesser. New Orleans-based wedding planner Michelle Norwood predicts couples will keep their original wedding budgets but cut down the guest list, so the experience is better for each guest. Think fewer people but more pre-ceremony events, welcome baskets you actually want, and monogrammed dinner napkins.
2. Mid-Week Celebrations
Destination weddings aren’t going anywhere, so one way to beat weekend price hikes is to have your ceremony in the middle of the week. “As we continue to navigate a post-pandemic corporate culture, the ‘work-from-home’ concept has grown some legs, and people are realizing that they can work from. . .well, wherever,” Lynn Easton of Easton Events shares.
3. Thoughtful Ceremony Seating Arrangements
Seating arrangements are extremely helpful and set the tone for guests. At ceremonies, we’re predicting unexpected furnishings and layouts. “We’ve noticed our couples are craving intimacy and connection throughout their wedding ceremonies; with many desiring round ceremony seating design plans,” Laurie Arons, who planned Bridget’s wedding this year, shares.
“From curvy aisles to guests facing inwards or simply standing, we’re going to see more inventive, immersive, and personalized wedding ceremonies,” Dani Blasena of HauteFêtes notes. We’ve already seen couples playing with switching where the bridesmaids and groomsmen stand at the altar and the traditional bride and groom sections, so that the bride is facing her guests and bridesmaids. Some have even placed their officiant in the middle of the aisle, so the couple is facing their loved ones the whole time.
4. No Cell Phones
Hear us out—exclusivity and privacy are privileges! “Reading about celebrities having guests check their phones and so many of them have been quoted talking about how ‘present’ everyone was without them, has inspired many ‘civilians’ to seek the same experience for their own weddings,” celebrity planner and newlywed Marcy Blum shares. And let’s be honest, it’s very rare that your guests have the directorial eye that you’d actually want—we say, leave it up to the videographer (or content creator).
5. Longer Dinner Parties
If we had a dollar for every time we heard 2023 brides wanting their weddings to feel like the ultimate dinner party, we’d go on a shopping spree at De Beers. “We are seeing an exciting shift in what ‘entertainment’ really means,” Easton states. “Rather than racing through a two-course meal and straight to the dance floor, our clients are honing in on the art of an epic dinner party: exquisite tabletops and interesting objet that ignite conversation, adventurous cuisine with a story to tell, and engaging entertainment that has guests using their napkins as party props by the end of the last—third or fourth—course.”
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6. Upgrading Musical Performances
Florals and fashion can do a little to up the drama at a wedding, but next year, we predict that music will take center stage. “We’re seeing many brides and grooms use musical performances to bring their personality into this more formal part of the event—sizing up conventional string quartets to full orchestras with extraordinary vocalists; creating bespoke gospel arrangements of a favorite dance track for an 18-piece choir for the recessional; or using theatrical additions, such as character performers alongside musicians, to dramatize a bridal entrance or guest arrival,” ALR Music Founder and OTM Groom Alex Le Roux shares.
7. Nightclub-Inspired After-Parties
More and more couples are taking design inspiration from their favorite bars and nightclubs for cocktail hour and their after-parties. “As weddings continue to incorporate more residential elements, we’re also likely going to see statement bars that draw inspiration from ‘bar culture,’ more emphasis on lounge configurations, and more creative takes on tent designs that mimic physical spaces,” Blasena confirms.
8. Weddings in Portugal
Blasena, Le Roux, and Easton all predict that Portugal will and should rival Italy next year as a wedding destination. Typically less expensive than the La Dolce Vita location, Portuguese cities offer beautiful scenery, delicious food, and magnificent architecture.
What’s Out for Weddings in 2024:
1. Destination Weddings That Take More Than One Flight to Reach
This one kind of speaks for itself. Unless it’s within your budget to fly everyone to the destination, we agree with Blum that making guests take multiple modes of transportation to get to your wedding is not the best move.
2. Bright Pink
After Valentino Pink debuted during the house’s Fall 2022 show, Pantone’s Color of the Year 2023 was Viva Magenta, and then, of course, Barbie pink was everywhere, especially at weddings. Our sources tell us rose shades may make a small exit next year. . .or at least take a backseat. “What I see for next year is the ladies being over pink weddings,” Norwood hypothesizes.
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3. Pet Guests
This is a hot take, but we’re here for this trend fazing out and so is Easton Events. “We love our pets dearly, but do they add a layer of unnecessary stress to an already stressful environment? The answer is likely yes!” Easton exclaims. “We are seeing a shift towards more streamlined and focused ceremonies, and our couples are prioritizing simplicity and efficiency over the incorporation of additional—and potentially rogue—elements like pets. Cocktail napkins and stationery are the perfect way to ‘bring’ your furry friend(s) to the party.”
4. Champagne as Escort Cards
It may look great for a photo, but who wants lukewarm Champagne on their way to their seat at the reception? The answer is: No one. “I think overall, couples have seen lots of cute and kitschy ideas for seating at weddings they’ve been to and realize many of them are a nice idea but not so great in reality,” Blum notes.
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5. Twinkle Light Canopies
We’ve long expected this trend to be “out.” Twinkle or fairy lights are an easy way to make an atmosphere feel romantic, but it’s very hard to do well and make them look as elegant as they seem in photos. “They are not pretty until dark and that lighting is best during the holidays,” Arons says. “Warm candlelight feels much more intimate, and more on-brand with 2024 trends.”
6. Overly Chintz and Overly Floral Design
“While pattern play, colorful palettes, and layered textures are definitely still important, we are seeing our clients shy away from overly chintz and overly floral,” Augusta Cole, who planned Molly Moorkamp’s wedding this year, shares. Finding a balance between sweet flowers and colors, personalized touches, and a bit of edge goes hand-in-hand with Over The Moon’s own style, so this is on point.
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7. Table Runners That People Can Trip On
Picture This: A groomsman had a few too many during cocktail hour or he’s just a naturally clumsy person, and right in front of his feet is a sprawling, highly-decorated table runner that catches his toes at just the right angle. He either falls or the entire tablescape gets pulled off the table, or both. Let’s just avoid this altogether!
8. Giant Platters of Family-Style Food
“In exchange for full floral, refined place settings, and well-timed dinner parties, family-style seems to be taking a back seat,” Cole states. And Blum reiterates that this casual meal style is on its way out next year. “The family-style food trend works for a welcome dinner perhaps,” she shares. “But if one’s wedding is semi-formal, it’s become obvious that you can’t have any decor on the table and still fit the platters, which just doesn’t work.”