9 Wedding Trends You'll See Everywhere in 2023, According to Wedding Planners and Event Designers
Planning your wedding should be about creating a day that's perfectly you—and that doesn't feel like every other wedding your guests have attended in the last 12 months. We asked a slate of expert wedding planners and event designers for the up-and-coming trends they expect to see take off in 2023—so you can choose the ones that speak to your vision of a dreamy, personalized celebration that still feels new and fresh.
"Couples aren't planning the same weddings as their parents and grandparents," says planner Chanda Daniels. "They are doing things that tell their unique love story, and it comes through the entire wedding weekend experience."
Related: 7 Wedding Dress and Accessory Trends Every Bride-to-Be Needs to Know About in 2023
More Is More
After several years of smaller, lower-key weddings held under social distancing guidelines, experts expect to see couples leaning away from understated weddings and moving toward big-impact moments, from their tents to their tabletop. "Maximalism is back!" says Lynn Easton of Easton Events. "Think bold, beautiful linens, pattern play throughout design details, and layered tabletops."
Over-the-Top Moments, Both Big and Small
Marcy Blum, of Marcy Blum Events, expects to see more tented events and dramatic structures as guest lists balloon once again—plus a focus on gorgeous detail that extends to even the smallest tabletop elements. "We're designing place settings with pretty salt and pepper shakers, interesting flatware, and high-end china," she says.
Statement Florals and Big Retro Vibes
Anticipate aesthetic statements made with florals, says event planner Jove Meyer. "Couples will be flowering their spaces floor to ceilings," he says. "Flowers will not just be placed in venues, they will be part of an overall design to transform a space into an experience." And get ready for a throwback vibe, he says. "Bring back the 1970s: the fashion, the music, and especially the disco balls!" says Meyer. "They will be all over, from ceremony to the dance party, to shine bright throughout the big day."
Bold and Bright Color Schemes
A renewed interest in maximalist aesthetics will also extend to couples' color choices. "Couples are not just leaning into pops of colors—they are leaning into full-on colorful weddings," says Meyer. "From color-blocked weddings to colorful ceremonies and wardrobes, couples will incorporate more color, and less black and white."
Daniels expects to see "bold color stories" that connect through each element of the wedding day. "We will see lots of patterns and textures that complement each other," says Daniels. "We will see this in linens, florals, china and especially glassware with beautiful patterns."
While intricate lace is a timeless option for wedding dresses, planner Kelly McWilliams is watching your great-grandmother's favorite accent gain a very modern following. "Wedding design follows fashion, and lace has finally made its way," she says. "With long sleeves, full lace dresses, and gorgeous veils beautifully adorned with lace, I knew it would be just a matter of time—and I am here for it. From lace runners and tablecloths to entry draping details, to wedding cakes and invitations, be on the lookout for Elizabethan-Core to arrive."
The relaxed fashions appropriate for at-home ceremonies and micro-weddings will mark a time in guests' closets as couples trend toward hosting more formal affairs. "This is coming fast and fierce," says McWilliams. "After having several years of mini and backyard weddings, everyone is ready to get dressed up. Two-thirds of the weddings we have planned in 2023 are black tie or black tie-encouraged; I think we may even see the resurgence of white tie in the months to come."
Related: A Comprehensive Guide to Wedding Guest Attire
Customized favors are rarely a hit with guests—no matter what they tell you afterward. "Nobody wants a favor," says McWilliams. "Give your guests a treat on the way out, like warm cookies and a bottle of water, or a guest portrait, but we can absolutely stop with the wine corks and luggage tags."
However, she anticipates upgraded photo booth experiences—with prints guests can take home—becoming a popular replacement for both digital booths and other types of favors. "I think we may see the sun set on photo booths with silly signs and hats, and maybe even the digital ones that take photos and gif's that go straight to your phone via text," she says. "But rescuing this fun and interactive element will be portrait vignettes with a live photographer who helps to pose guests and make sure you look your best in a well-designed setting. This is a favor I could get behind."
Low-Key Bridal Parties
When choosing their bridesmaids and groomsmen, couples are increasingly likely to opt for a "less is more" approach, keeping the party smaller—and putting fewer dress code requirements on them. "Smaller is better," says Meyer. "Goodbye to the super-sized wedding party and hello to the more intimate friend groups and wedding parties! It can be a lot of work to manage so many friends, so keeping your wedding party small will make your wedding day less stressful and more fun."
Giving your friends and family their choice of attire also creates a sense of individuality and comfort, says Daniels—which leads to a better event in the long run. "When the wedding party feels and looks good, they will be on the dance floor all night!" says Daniels.
Related: Planners Share Their Best Advice for Choosing the Right Wedding Party
Instead of offering a single pre-ceremony glass of Champagne or a few sips of lemonade or iced tea, McWilliams sees an increasing number of couples hosting a dedicated gathering before their ceremony begins.
"While this doesn't typically work if your wedding day event begins at the church, if guests are gathering at an alternative location for the ceremony, a 'warm welcome' gives your guests 20 to 30 minutes to mix and mingle before they sit for the ceremony or board shuttles," McWilliams says. "It's a nice surprise to be offered a glass of Champagne or a signature cocktail. Maybe have some music! This is a great place to place a beautiful welcome sign. Also, place the gift card table here so that guests can immediately get that off their hands."
…and High-Energy Goodbyes
Don't expect your wedding to end after just four hours: The after-party is now a must, says Meyer. "The after-party used to be optional, but now more and more couples are planning to keep their party going longer," he says. "With great music and fun snacks, guests can keep celebrating until the early hours of the morning. Couples don't want to stop!"
Blum also helps many of her clients create "well-planned and thought-out after parties" that tie into the rest of the wedding day (and replace those last-minute plans to hit the hotel bar). These parties offer couples the chance to incorporate more of their favorites—food, music, and décor—with an after-hours twist. "If you had a band that played Top 40 for reception, then maybe it's a late-night cabaret vibe for the after-party," says Blum.
Related: 27 After-Party Ideas That Will Keep the Party Going
Traditional sparkler exits are on the way out, as planners opt for more creative—and safer—alternatives. "Haven't enough people been burned?" asks McWilliams. "Get cold sparks or fireworks. Say no to fire sticks in the hands of people who have been socially drinking for four or five hours."
Easton also encourages her couples to opt for a less-expected exit. "Streamers are the new sparklers," she says. "What better way to send off the newlyweds than with a final farewell as they flee to their getaway car?"