The year of 2021 has been named “The Year of Intentionality” as individuals have set their sights on regaining control and recovering from last year’s sudden changes to our goals, plans, and intentions. This theme is particularly obvious throughout the wedding industry. Born of necessity, new trends emerged in support of couples’ intentions to plan and celebrate in the present. Rather than resuming wedding normalcy these new concepts are evolving into styles that accentuate a sense of new beginnings. Regardless of the factors at hand we anticipate at least a few of these entertainment related developments will stand the test of time, even into the post-pandemic culture on our horizon.
Wedding Date Trends
Setting a date has become one of the most challenging tasks in the wedding planning process. Engaged couples have often “set the date” but we in the industry know this date is merely speculative until certain criteria are met. Ultimately, the actual date is determined by the availability of their desired venue. The challenge arises in choosing an available venue that fits the couple’s budget, preferred location, party size, unique style, and a multitude of other personal preferences. Locking in this detail is when the verbiage shifts from “we set the date” to “please save the date” …but as of last year we now have “can we change the date?” to consider.
In 2020 more than half of the weddings on our schedule postponed to 2021 and a few others cancelled with an intention to re-plan for a later date, to be determined. The majority of those that held firm dates followed the common trends of reduced guest lists, taking the party outdoors, moving to a more personalized venue, or holding a small ceremony and scheduling a “sequel wedding” for 2021. The requests to “change the date” and even change the venue have become very normal for us. Despite the challenge, we are proud to say we handled each request with ease, without penalty to our couples, and the circumstances forced valuable growth upon our organization.
The wedding industry as a whole has too felt the effects of date changes which shapes the overall trend for planning a wedding in 2021. Once again, it all comes down to venue availability but this time the rescheduling of every vendor comes into play. At this point most vendors and venues have slim availability for 2021. We are hearing more dates set for a Friday, a Sunday, and even Weekday Weddings! In the past, hosting your ceremony and reception aside from a Saturday would have been rarely considered, less than one in three. Given no other choice couples are realizing their dream venues and preferred caterers are not only available but often more affordable on a weekday. In other news, their friends and family are delighted to support them no matter what day of the week they get married. Going forward we anticipate couples will transfer the off-peak savings into hosting a more lavish wedding extravaganza for their guests!
Wedding Venue & Décor Trends
A year of stay-at-home activity and countless hours spent on social media has left us yearning for the great outdoors. Suddenly the ‘90s have gone trending in fashion and with that joins fresh color palettes and prints rising in wedding popularity. In 2021 it is expected more couples will infuse fresh, nature-driven hues and unexpected fun, bright, and happy color palettes into their wedding décor.
Outdoor weddings have become increasingly common over the past year and continue to be a major part of most couples’ plan. These include a surge of interest in wedding tents and mood lighting to bring a romantic and airy ambiance to the occasion. In this same category are Backyard Weddings perfectly fit for hosting a more exclusive outdoor celebration. This fall we are honored to bring vision to light in transforming a bride’s utility pole-barn into a gorgeous venue by adding elegant drapery and professional lighting. At another outdoor wedding, the focus will be on concept lighting, transitioning throughout the event in a way that sets the proper tone and mood for each individual time frame and moment. Unique settings such as these require a professional eye and more than a box of standard uplights to create. Instead, we turn to our portfolio of paper lanterns, exposed bulbs, geometric lamps, festoons in cages, vintage chandeliers, or even elegant candles because there are many different options, and we strive to deliver just that right touch of sparkle.
Still, technology continues to shape wedding experiences in part due to our recent exponential increase in using it. Couples are now planning virtually, meeting virtually, and seeking options to include their guests virtually. Live Streaming of ceremonies and receptions has become increasingly standard. Streaming technology allows couples to include all their loved ones on their Big Day when they were unable to attend in-person. In the case of Sequel Weddings, we have seen couples opt for a Video System to share footage of the original ceremony for the following years’ reception guests. Either way or in choosing both these are great options to include everyone in a time when smaller or multiple gatherings are more practical.
Wedding Timelines & Entertainment Trends
While we have touched on Sequel Weddings many times already its trend fits even more perfectly under this topic. There are an extraordinary number of couples opting to organize a small wedding now followed by a larger one later. In considering the concept it’s a great way to finally include everyone, renew those vows, and get more than one use out of that dress! Plus, if you’re really set on that Saturday in June at your perfect venue maybe you can book it for the sequel and still have your cake today.
Regarding that immediate wedding there is a trend brewing called “tiny toasts” of which you may want to loop-in your emcee to initiate. Traditionally speaking your Best Man and Maid of Honor would formally raise the glass. As gatherings have become more intimate most guests tend to have a rather close relationship with the couple. This has led to a trend where numerous guests are invited to share a fond memory in the form of tiny toasts, dinner party style. A professional wedding emcee is one that could easily facilitate this activity without it turning into a roast, that is unless you prefer it that way!
Speaking of reimagined activities and entertainment couples have been seeking new ways to follow social distancing guidelines while still having a ball. Bistro style entertainment has become common providing a relaxed-but-formal environment. Ask your DJ to focus on acoustic performances throughout cocktail hour and dinner or play coffee shop songs during a “coffee hour” and have baristas serving lattes.
As wedding normalcy slowly makes its return the ultimate trend is over the top entertainment. In the meantime, couples are seeking innovative ways to entertain guests while they’re safely seated. After over a year of social distancing and limited size gatherings you and your guests will be more than ready for an all-out, no holding back, roaring ‘20s style party! Celebrations should be filled with love, joy, music, and entertainment no matter the time, size, or scope. In 2021 we anticipate seeing more events complete with a concert-style live band, accompanied by a DJ/MC with their eclectic mix of music between live sets, and alternative entertainment like stand-up comedians, illusionists, aerialists, and other performers. No matter the size or theme of your event, from the ceremony through cocktails, dinner, and reception, entertainment is not where you should cut back in the coming year and beyond.