Planning a 2024 wedding? Strap yourself in to see what the seasons ahead are serving. We’ve pulled the crystal ball out to make some predictions… except they’re less predictions, more data and gut instinct, based on our weekly exposure to hundreds of nuptials.
If you’re hoping to see a continuation in couples carefully considering what’s important to them, you won’t be disappointed.
Weddings have been on a trajectory of change over the last decade, but the pandemic put a rocket up the movement, with couples increasingly ditching traditions that don’t feel relevant to them.
Instead, they’re putting their energy and their budget into stuff that feels like a direct reflection of their interests and lifestyle. Amen and ‘I do’. Here are the 12 best 2024 wedding trends you can expect to see over the coming year.
1. Fewer wedding parties
Expect to see more couples who have opted not to have a wedding party (i.e. bridesmaids, groomsmen or any combo there-within). Or, expect to see less of a presence as ‘the party’ – by this we mean more wedding parties just blending in with the rest of the guests (sitting down during the wedding ceremony, not walking down an aisle, wearing whatever they want to wear).
2. Odd-numbered or mixed-gendered wedding parties.
For couples that do opt to have a wedding party, you’ll be relieved to know that it’s entirely okay (and in fact, on-trend) to have odd-numbered wedding parties.
It’s evolved off the back of a new train of rational thought and post-pandemic perspective that questions why you would include someone just to balance out the numbers, or discount someone because they’re the opposite sex to who you’d traditionally include in your wedding party. Now, it’s about choosing those friends or relatives that first come to mind and sticking with them.
3. Digital wedding registries will boom.
Most modern couples live together prior to their wedding and as such, they don’t need another toaster. What they do need? Money. The catch here is that asking for cash as a gift can feel awkward and impersonal, which is why digital registries or “digital wishing wells” are fast on the rise. Plus, they’re a better experience for guests (who are otherwise doing a last-minute dash to an ATM… or transferring to you after the event #beenthere).
Our pick is Gravy, which allows couples to not only gather cash for a honeymoon/new couch/IVF fund/etc., but also ask guests for gifts of ‘human time’ – something that might not cost them a cent but is genuinely meaningful. Think: help painting the house, planting a garden, dog-sitting, or even request that guests become organ donors or donate blood. Plus, it’s Australian and totally free to use.
4. Bold bridal silhouettes.
Make way for more puff-sleeve dresses, leggy gown slits, alternative colours, statement bows and structured bodices. Also, expect to see plenty of hot little numbers being slipped on after dinner for solid dancefloor sessions.
5. More micro-weddings and elopements.
Tiny, trendy and very much in demand, more couples are making a deliberate decision to host small, intimate gatherings where the focus is very much on each other and the act of getting married, rather than the wedding itself. In response to this, many wedding venues and vendors are offering bespoke packages for miniature nuptials.
6. Flowers are now art.
Goddamn, we wish we could preserve many of the floral installations we see at weddings, because they truly deserve immortalisation (luckily, that’s what your photographer is there for).
A hot tip from us: if you’re planning on having statement flowers at your ceremony, try to make sure they’re able to be moved to your reception later (if it’s at a separate venue) so you can get the most bang for your buck.
7. Simple bouquets… or none at all.
In contrast to the last prediction, we’re expecting to see more considered bouquets being held by brides. Think posies of cottage-style flowers, elegant single long-stem roses or small, unstructured bouquets in a monotone.
Beyond being held during the ceremony and in some photos, the bouquet doesn’t really get a whole lot of air-time during the day, so it makes sense for many brides to scale these down in favour of putting the budget somewhere more impactful.
8. Thoughtful spending (and ditching the fluff).
Clearly, we’re all feeling the pinch (good morning to everyone except my ‘basics’ grocery bill today), and no one is more acutely aware of financial pressures than a couple planning a wedding.
We’re expecting – and hoping – to see more weddings that have clearly put a budget in the places that are important to the couple and left off the stuff that’s just ‘nice to have’. For me, for example, this looks like spending money on a band and good food and wine but forgetting about fancy transport, wedding favours and even a cake.
9. Incorporating an Acknowledgement of Country.
As a way of showing respect for our First Nations culture and heritage, more couples are incorporating an Acknowledgement of Country into their wedding ceremony. It’s a practice we’re 100 per cent behind; so much so here’s a guide on how to Incorporate an Acknowledgement of Country.
10. Destination, whole-weekend weddings.
Given half the population is in Europe right now, it’s clear we’re all hankering for any excuse to flee the daily grind. It’s why we’re seeing so many couples plan full-weekend getaways for their family and friends in regional parts of Australia.
It’s a win-win for all involved: the couple gets more quality time with their guests, their guests get a good excuse for a holiday, and the local businesses get a boost of tourism dollars (goodness knows they need all the love they can get).
11. More lunchtime weddings.
Evening weddings continue to dominate but we’ve noticed a flourishing of midday ceremonies followed by long-lunch receptions in recent times.
For couples keen to maximise the good times, this approach is smart as it means you don’t need to worry about a curfew curtailing the celebrations – you can continue the fun with an afterparty (and still fall into bed before midnight).
12. Kitsch cakes.
Heart shapes, extravagant piping, sweet (or not) messages of love. Cherries, berries and tiers. It’s an ’80s comeback, in cake form. They’re cute, they’re nostalgic and so long as they’re tasty, let’s go.