Are you wondering what is in and what is out when it comes to 2023 – 2024 wedding trends? As a Washington DC and destination wedding photographer for the past decade, I have seen trends come and go, and I have also noticed that, at times, couples do things that are expected. In most recent years, however, I have seen more “flexibility” in shifts from the norm, and I am here for all of it. There are endless possibilities and space for new original ideas, as well as some trends that we could sure do without, at least for now. Just like fashion, some wedding trends are being recycled, and while it takes years for this to happen, it is just a matter of time. So let’s dive in and do things a bit differently while still getting inspired by the past.
Let’s start with what is “new” and exciting!
Somewhat of a staple in Europe, the ceremony is an earlier-in-the-day event, often with half or less of the reception guest count. They allow for a more personal and meaningful experience and provide a more relaxed atmosphere. All that pent-up anxiety just thinking about walking down the aisle and speaking from the heart in front of a big audience may be enough for you to want to choose an intimate ceremony, and I am here to give you permission. Go as intimate as you wish. After all, it is your day; you should spend it that way if it feels right for you. But if you need another reason, think about having the flexibility to structure your day to actually be relaxed and enjoyable for you as a couple and for your guests, as well. After all, your guests are there to spend time with you, and that happens during the reception and let’s not forget everyone’s favorite part of a wedding day is the party. Guests don’t need to spend the cocktail hour without you, and everyone is energized and ready to party. For those who prioritize meaningful connections and personalized experiences, an intimate wedding ceremony could be just the perfect thing to do on your special day.
A wedding is a monumental event. It is the event that gathers family, friends, and guests from different parts of the country and, in some cases, the world to celebrate your union as a couple officially, and in many cases, it may be the grandest event you’ll host. You want to give yourselves and your guests an unforgettable experience, and in a way, you are “the captain of the ship” and stir the experience in the direction of your choice where your vision for the day becomes a reality.
From unique experiences like wedding venue locations in the desert or a big lush field to statement wedding aisles that are long, S-shaped or, and lush with flowers to dramatic opulent ceilings, it is your choice of what type of statement you wish to make. The choices are plenty, and as an example for the DMV area, you can make your statement by opting for a pretty tented reception in a field rather than a hotel ballroom.
While color is nothing new when it comes to weddings, introducing wild patterns and thinking about different textures may be more of a new trend. I have noticed that more and more couples are incorporating thoughtful color references into their weddings, utilizing patterned textiles, illustrations, floral concepts, custom décor, and fashion to create a cohesive and intentional aesthetic. My new favorite trend is using ornate tablescapes that include custom dinnerware sets and everything needed for an inspiring table, and there is no one else better in the DMV to help out with this than Smthing Vintage.
While having a twenty-person wedding party may sound fun, it can turn very different. Lately, couples have been opting for a less is more approach, and with good reason. Managing an extensive group does not come without stress and time management constraints.
While you may or may not opt for an after-party, it’s up to you, but when it comes to a second outfit, and here we talk especially for brides, a second dress should be a no-brainer. You want to be able to break it down on the dance floor, and as the reception formalities are about done, so should the wearing of a formal dress. A party dress/outfit that is comfortable and fun will also set up the tone for the party and help you get out of what many times could be a not-so-easy dress to get out of at the end of the event.
Such a thing of the past. It’s been done and overdone now, and let’s not forget how bad they are for our environment. By ditching the fireworks and cold sparklers, you will save money and use it for something else to improve it. As for the sparkler sticks for the exit, it was a bad idea to put fire in sometimes hundreds of people’s hands who have been drinking for the past 4-5 hours; and yes, people have been burned before.
Let them sit and enjoy the ceremony. So often, those who wear heels are in a level of pain, and after 30 minutes to sometimes 1 hour of standing, all they wish was that they were sitting. At times the spacing is also an issue, and they are rarely spaced equally on each side, leaving the front on images a bit out of balance :). Instead, let’s take some beautiful portraits and honor them that way.
How about giving some direction and letting all your beautiful friends take some charge so they, too, love what they are wearing? Everyone wearing the same dress (style and color) is a thing of the past. More is more now, and different colors, patterns, and styles that go well together make for a beautiful scene.