Trends may come and go, but in the meantime, they certainly make a fun addition to weddings. There are new trends every season that brides and grooms lean into for their ceremonies and receptions. It can be tricky planning a wedding with trendy elements because of the risk that the trends will fall out of style quickly. However, including such trends can make the night memorable and fun. Check out our favorite fall wedding trends for 2021 and what brides need to know about incorporating them into their big days.
- Outdoor weddings
- Fall-toned suits
- Sustainable substitutes
- Creative venues
- Welcome boxes
- Individual food items
- Coordinated guest dress codes
- Mismatched bridesmaids dresses
Many notable trends are coming out of the lost 2020 wedding season, which only enriches the 2021 experience. Learn more about these trends and lean into the new traditions.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more couples than ever are holding their weddings outdoors. After the many challenges engaged couples faced last year with venue shutdowns and other regulations, numerous couples are now opting for an outdoor venue from the start. The added fresh air and ability to practice social distancing is a significant draw to the outdoor wedding. Here are some of the main reasons outdoor weddings are trendy this fall.
- There is more space to spread out and social distance.
- The natural lighting is perfect for pictures.
- The beauty of the outdoors is the ideal backdrop.
- There is less need for decorations.
- Outdoor venues are more conducive to COVID-19 safety practices.
While the traditional suits for weddings are black with white shirts underneath, many groomsmen are starting to question the norms by adding jewel and fall-toned suits. What once added a small pop of color when groomsmen and the groom wore different colored bowties and ties is now being taken a bit further by wedding parties. Here are the top colors and patterns for groomsmen’s suits in 2021.
- Emerald green
- Sapphire blue
- Ruby red
- Sage green
- Amethyst purple
- Rose Quartz
Pro Tip: If bold colors don’t appeal to you, another fun way to incorporate this unique suit trend is to choose suits with a unique fabric such as velvet, wool, flannel, tweed, or silk.
Weddings in 2021 are aware of the waste that so often accompanies the wedding industry. Now more than ever, brides and grooms are making changes to make their events as sustainable as possible. Here are a few ideas to make your big day more sustainable.
Send Invites, Save the Dates, and Thank You Cards on Sustainable Paper
There is a lot of paper involved in weddings. From save the dates (and un-save the dates, which are on the rise due to COVID-19), invitations, and post-ceremony thank you cards, there are countless opportunities for paper waste. Instead of traditional paper, consider printing your wedding correspondences on seed paper.
Seed paper is an eco-friendly paper made entirely of post-consumer materials embedded with wildflower, herb, or vegetable seeds. With this option, your guests can plant their invitations and thank you cards after they take down the information, bringing beautiful flowers and biodiversity to their homes.
Buy Ethical Wedding Rings
Instead of heading to your large-chain jewelry store to pick out brand new, ethically problematic wedding rings, head to your local antique shop or even an online shop with ethical practices to pick out your rings. Here are a few options for sustainable and ethical wedding shopping online.
There are countless ways to ensure your wedding rings are sustainable and ethically sourced. The best way to remain eco-friendly is to reuse or recycle by buying a vintage or antique ring set. However, if you prefer something new, the above websites are also excellent sources for sustainably sourced wedding rings.
Choose an Ethical Venue
Another way to keep your wedding eco-friendly and sustainable is to choose your venue with care and intention. Using creative venues and prioritizing venues that use sustainable practices helps keep your wedding as eco-conscious as possible. Here are good questions to ask your venue to ensure they use sustainable practices.
- Where will the food and drink come from? Is it locally sourced?
- Are there any eco-friendly initiatives at the location? What are they?
- What is the plastic policy?
- What is the venue’s energy source? Is it renewable?
- Is there sustainable transportation available nearby?
Another trend in 2021 weddings is getting creative with venues. With the mass delay of weddings from 2020, the 2021 fall season is sure to bring at least twice the typical number of weddings, making venues tricky and expensive to secure. This pushed a trend of holding ceremonies in non-traditional settings to save money and ensure less competition for the venue date and time the couple desires. Here are a few examples of creative wedding venues to consider for your fall wedding.
- Breweries and distilleries
- Greenhouses and gardens
- Art galleries
- Train stations
- Warehouses and factories
- Zoos and aquariums
- Rental homes and mansions
Getting into venues can be stressful. Going a non-traditional route and hosting your ceremony and the reception in the same location can significantly reduce stress and cost. Consider some of the above creative venues for your big day.
Welcome boxes are a trend that’s picking up steam during the 2021 fall wedding season. Though small welcome gifts are traditional for out-of-town guests, the COVID-19 pandemic made them more prominent and necessary for all guests. Welcome boxes are an excellent way to familiarize your guests with your rules and expectations, introduce them to the venue, and get them excited to spend the day celebrating your love.
Here are the top items to include in your welcome boxes.
- A map of the venue highlighting bathrooms, seating, and other essential spots
- An extra mask—just in case they forget one or lose theirs during the night
- A small bottle of hand sanitizer
- An itinerary for the day
- A welcome note
- A container of water
- An on-theme snack
- A mini champagne bottle
- A small bottle of sunscreen if the wedding is outdoors
- Bandages and small blister covers
Individual Food Items
Another trend hitting this year’s fall wedding scene is individual food. Gone are the days of big buffets at weddings. After the pandemic, couples began to prioritize safety and social distancing during their big days. In an effort to prevent the spread of disease and keep guests safe, buffets and other communal hors d’oeuvres are no longer the best options—so many couples are returning to traditional plated dinners and individual food items. Here are a few ideas to help you step away from communal food at your wedding.
- Individual multi-tiered cakes or cupcakes
- Individual shrimp cocktails
- Veggie dip in a shot glass filled with veggies
- Bento boxes for each guest instead of open appetizers
- Individual charcuterie boards instead of open appetizers
- Closed mini-mason jar fresh fruit cups
- Pre-packaged and individually wrapped snacks and appetizers
- One-serving sized and labeled take-out containers to hold each appetizer
There are ways to keep your guests well-fed and content while keeping their food out of the reach of others and preventing possible germ contamination.
Coordinated Guest Dress Codes
With the trend of couples prioritizing their wedding guest lists and limiting the number of people invited to the in-person ceremony, there is more opportunity to dictate the entire aesthetic of the day. Asking guests to coordinate their outfits to your color scheme or theme creates picturesque moments for your photographer to capture seamlessly.
Here are some tips for asking your guests to dress in a certain way on your big day.
- Let your guests know well in advance about your color scheme and dress code requirements—include this request on the invitation or save the date.
- Be specific and consider providing samples of the color, pattern, or theme you want.
- Use wording that is easy to digest and easy to look up online.
- Avoid using witty or sarcastic language to avoid confusion.
Dress codes can bring up issues with some guests. It is vital to communicate directly about what you expect your guests to wear and provide them with plenty of time to shop if they do not own something that fits the requirement yet.
Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses
In the same theme as differently colored groomsmen suits, brides are starting to prioritize their bridesmaids’ preferences when dress shopping. Not every cut of dress is comfortable or fits every person’s style, and not every color complements everyone the same.
In 2021, it’s most common for bridesmaids to coordinate dresses rather than match perfectly. Here are some tips for making your mismatched bridesmaid dresses work together.
- Be specific regarding the hue or color palette if you want the colors to coordinate.
- Ask bridesmaids who are shopping on their own to send you photos of the dress before they purchase to ensure it fits with the rest of the bridal party.
- Specify the hemlines—if you choose not to require a specific length, ensure there is a good mix of all lengths. You don’t want five bridesmaids in maxi dresses and one in a mini dress.
- Try to go bridesmaid dress shopping with your bridesmaids if possible.
- Consider choosing identical accessories to tie the looks together seamlessly.
There are many benefits to choosing mismatched bridesmaid dresses, including allowing your bridesmaids to choose a dress cut that makes them feel confident and beautiful and adding depth and interest to your wedding party photos.
There are so many fall wedding trends for 2021. What brides need to know is what works for their aesthetic, style, and wedding type. Congrats on your engagement! Take these tips and trends and have fun planning your special day. Remember that your big day is for you and your future spouse; plan it however you like!