7 Pandemic Wedding Trends We Love (And Hope Stick Around)

A wood sign at an outdoor wedding reception that says "welcome" in white cursive.

We are slowly starting to return to normal—a new normal following a global pandemic. Weddings are back and we’re here for it. The last year forced engaged couples to get creative and overcome a slew of challenges to say “I do.” The resulting creativity and emerging trends proved love conquers all. And while we’re ready to trade fist bumps for hugs and dance the night away, there are a few pandemic trends we hope stick around.

1. Planning with Intention

With so many restrictions in place, couples were forced to focus on what was most important. In doing so, many chose to use their purchasing power for good, partnering with wedding pros whose values mirrored their own. Some traditions were kept and others were traded for new rituals that felt more in line with the couple’s interests, hobbies, and personalities. The result was one-of-a-kind celebrations that guests will remember for years to come. Celebrating your way should be the new norm.

2. Outdoor Affairs

A disco ball and twinkle lights at an outdoor wedding reception.

Pandemic restrictions forced many weddings out of traditional venues and into the great outdoors. From backyards to open fields, guests had an opportunity to safely distance, wander and be one with nature. Sunsets gave way to romantic twinkle lights and star studded skies—built in decor and ambiance. Couples leaned into the more casual vibe of the setting, opting for comfort food, lawn games and bottled beverages. Mother nature is always a good idea when it comes to weddings. Bonus: Your photographer will love the natural light, ensuring everyone looks their best in photos.

3. Souped up Wedding Websites

To-be-weds have been using wedding websites to convey important information to guests for years, but during the pandemic, these information hubs became essential. They offered up-to-the minute details on postponements, venue changes, and more. Because guests were spending so much time online, couples turned the volume up on their site’s designs and content. The “how we met” story became a video musical montage, and the gallery pages included dozens of pictures spanning the couple’s courtship and beyond. Spotify playlists were created, interactive guest books launched—the website wasn’t just about the particulars of ceremony start times, it was about fun! Fast forward to the wedding day, and it became a continuation of the online party.

4. A Riot of Color

A bride holding a bouquet of orange and blue flowers.

There will always be a place for white at weddings, but the joy of gathering in person resulted in vibrant infusions of color. Throughout the pandemic we saw elopements and minimonies decked in jewel tones and bright hues with flashes of metallics. Couples weren’t afraid to experiment, choosing unexpected pairings and making bold statements (think: table linens, wedding party attire, altar installations). The result were true celebrations that felt #extra in the best way. There are no rules when it comes to color—choose your favorite hues to incorporate in big and small ways on your wedding day.

5. Virtual Elements

The addition of virtual elements to wedding celebrations wasn’t a substitute for in-person attendance, but a darn good alternative during the last year. It allowed guests who couldn’t be there in-person due to CDC guidance or health restrictions an opportunity to be a part of the celebration. Couples got creative, hiring an emcee to keep virtual guests entertained pre-ceremony and joined their online guests for toasts and well wishes. Adding a virtual element to your ceremony or reception allows guests who are unable to attend in-person a way to feel connected to the occasion (your elderly grandmother who doesn’t fly will thank you). Ensure your venue has a strong Wi-Fi connection and enlist help from a pro to set up the perfect camera angle for an unparalleled virtual experience.

6. Food for One

A view of individual plates of food at a wedding reception.

With buffets and communal food stations off the table, couples had to rethink feeding their guests. What resulted were true culinary triumphs, like the charcuterie board for one and the individualized dessert. Everything was thoughtfully assembled and artfully served. In addition to being Insta-worthy, these personalized portions made guests feel extra special. No waiting in line, no jockeying for the last crackers on the cheese board or forced sharing—a total home run. Roaming drink carts were another hit, delivering signature sips to guests at tables to avoid gathering at a bar. Both trends are worthy additions to any celebration in our book.

7. Satellite Entertainment

With social distancing in full effect, couples were forced to mix up their entertainment. Enter performances: instead of crowding a dance floor, guests were able to enjoy a performance from their seats (think a concert-style reception). Cocktail hour extended into the evening too, with roaming magicians, caricature artists, and fortune tellers. In addition to delivering on a very memorable evening, the entertainment was carefully distanced providing a safe experience for guests. We’re down for a dance party any day, but alternative entertainment is pretty fun, too.

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