A new year brings new wedding trends! While couples tying the knot in 2023 surely have their Pinterest boards filled with inspiration, there’s plenty more on the horizon to keep things fresh as we approach a new wedding season. Looking ahead, we’re expecting a revival of some oldie-but-goodie traditions that are returning to the spotlight, along with a fair share of hot-off-social-media trends — something old, something new.
If you’re planning a wedding in 2023, keep reading to see what the experts say is in store for this year’s weddings.
A buzz about wedding fashion
The wedding industry often takes notes from high fashion trends off the runway, and 2023 will undoubtedly present lots of fun and unique ways to dress up for the big day.
“2023 is going to be a trendy year for bridal fashion!” promises Hellen Oliveira of Hellen CO Photos. “The biggest trend I see so far is brides wearing gloves, and I love the look – it gives off vintage-inspired vibes. The second trend for 2023 will be unique veils,” Oliveira reveals. “Embroidered veils with colorful accents and shorter veils that cover the bride’s face in the front.”
And the throwback styles keep coming, as Nora Sheils of Rock Paper Coin and Bridal Bliss sees 80s fashion making a comeback. “Think structured shoulders, but now removable, brighter whites, and more structured fabrics,” she says. “The elements that most speak to us are feminine and preppy pearls, as well as bows!”
Bonus: Sheils reveals that such fashion trends will lead to a rise in mid-wedding wardrobe changes. “Given the potential shift to a more structured gown, we also are predicting more second dresses – specifically mini dresses,” she adds. “While this trend is not new, we are excited to see them go shorter and sassier (think feathers, sparkles, and flare!) as we head into 2023.”
It’s clear 2023 is the year to show out and have fun with your day-of attire, so get creative and style a fit that is comfortable and made to impress!
From cheeky hashtags on Instagram to custom Snapchat filters, social media has long played a role in defining wedding trends. Now, TikTok is the platform making waves as it influences how modern couples plan their celebrations.
“TikTok has given people a lot of fun, unique, and non-traditional ideas that people can do at their weddings,” notes Naiyah Hodge of Pharris Photos. “Content creators who are a part of #WeddingTok have shown fun ways that they’ve had their weddings.”
As for ideas, “some of our favorites are the bride and groom walking the aisle together, having the bridesmaids & groomsmen on both sides, wedding games, disposable cameras, on-the-day content creation (for reels and TikToks),” Hodge adds. “We’ve even seen a TikToker and her groom get dressed together and take getting-ready shots as a couple.”
So if you’re subject to scrolling, start searching for wedding content to fill your For You page with fun and creative ideas to inspire your big day!
If watching The Crown is your idea of a perfect evening, you’ll love knowing that wedding flowers are getting their own royal makeover in 2023.
“Fairytale florals” are in, a la “castle vibes with light and airy flowers,” assures Joan Wyndrum of Blooms by the Box. “Soft color palettes and simple, loose, organic-style bouquets and centerpieces take the stage. Think fluffy, ruffled petals, peonies, garden roses, and hanging greens. This trend will be popular come spring and summer of 2023.”
Looking for a castle garden-inspired wedding vibe of your own? Work with a florist or practice DIYing your own arrangements with your favorite blooms and plenty of lush greenery!
More eloquent speeches
We’ve all been there: sitting around with an empty glass, waiting for someone to wrap up the longest toast ever given. Or worse, cringing through a speech peppered with awkward stories and NSFW—not safe for weddings—jokes.
At long last, couples and their toast-givers are giving more attention to the quality (and duration) of their wedding day speeches — and, in some cases, outsourcing it altogether.
“One trend will be the decrease in disastrous—or at least boring—speeches thanks to the increasing availability of wedding speech writers,” explains Brian Franklin of Vows & Speeches. “An increasing awareness is driving this trend that such services exist and the increasing popularity of wedding speeches on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram.”
Once again, social media plays a role in this shift! If writing isn’t your cup of tea, hire a professional to handle it for you. While you still have a say over what’s included, you can let go of the pressure to get every last word just right.
We’ve seen doughnut walls. We’ve seen pie displays. We’ve seen cupcake towers. For years, “wedding cake alternatives” were a top Pinterest search as couples sought to break free from tradition and take a different approach to day-of sweets.
Yet, Samantha Leenheer of Samantha Joy Events excitedly predicts “a refocus on wedding cakes” after taking the backseat to other wedding dessert trends in recent years.
“They are back and more popular than ever,” she assures. “Bakers have stepped up the flavors offered and the engineering behind the way they construct cakes to keep them modern and fun.”
Wedding cake is back with more creative (and delicious!) styles than ever before. So if vanilla, chocolate, lemon, or raspberry seem a bit overplayed, find a baker that isn’t afraid to explore new flavor combinations like bergamot-yuzu icing or hazelnut-whiskey cake.
Who said you can’t get married without a sit-down dinner? Nobody! While buffets and plated meals aren’t going anywhere, we are seeing a rise in casual dining styles that allow guests to mix and mingle throughout the evening.
“Another trend that we are seeing take over is cocktail-style dinners,” says Sam Nelson of EVL Events. “Couples are less and less excited about formal sit-down dinners with guests in their seats for an hour and a half or more. Instead, they want to mingle and have a more casual environment and are leaning into cocktail-style dinners with heavy appetizers and small stations.”
If cocktail-style dinner is up your alley, you’ll also love the opportunity to try a non-traditional floor plan. By replacing large dining tables with smaller cocktail tables, you can free up more space to fill with experiential elements like culinary stations, photo booths, interactive games, additional bars, and more.
Everyone loves a classic drink, like an Old Fashioned or a martini. But cocktail culture has grown, with fresh and experimental creations surfacing faster than you can say negroni sbagliato with prosecco. Yet, as “sober curiosity” also rises, couples should consider updating their bar menu to suit their alcohol-free friends and family members.
“Fancy cocktails are taking over Pinterest, and it’s not just about alcohol,” affirms Adrienna McDermott of Ava And The Bee. “Mocktails are also popular, with “Fancy Non-Alcoholic Drinks” up 220%. Couples are going not just to want a signature cocktail but to up-level and make it look gorgeous.”
You don’t have to opt for a watered-down version of your signature cocktail. Instead, explore mocktail culture to find your own tasty recipe (which might even convert some of your cocktail-loving guests!). You may also consider adding alcohol-free beers and wines to the menu.
An earlier start
For generations, a proposal kicked off months of planning and coordination to pull off a memorable wedding. But now, couples aren’t waiting to pop the question before touring venues or meeting with vendors.
“Couples are starting to plan their wedding before they are even engaged, and it’s becoming trendy to do this,” says Sandy Brooks of Timeless Event Planning.
While it might sound backward at first, Brooks assures that couples benefit from long-standing relationships with industry professionals (even if they’re not yet engaged!).
“It’s fun working with these couples because we can assist with the proposal!” she explains. “This trend has become a big one since the pandemic, as couples want to ensure they lock down the date before someone else does.”
So if a proposal is undoubtedly in the cards, consider this permission to create that Pinterest board and start dreaming about how your dream wedding will look. And if you’re the one planning to propose, don’t be afraid to begin researching planners and photographers to help!
With all of these trends ahead of us, it’s clear that 2023 will be a year of experiential, out-of-the-box weddings!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.