As with many events that have returned during the pandemic, weddings are looking a little different this year. I spoke with Bettina Benizri, the owner of Busy Bee's Event, to learn what weddings are looking like in 2021 and beyond.
1. Business is booming and Saturday's are slipping
If you're a newly engaged couple, congratulations! But, you're going want to move fast if you want to get married next year. If you want that coveted Saturday spot, Benizri says many vendors are booked through June 2022 and some to even 2023.
"Almost two years of people have paused their wedding planning so not only are we having our postponed weddings begin again, but we also have our 2021, 2022 and even 2023 brides reaching out," explained Benizri.
Data released by the Wedding Report shows weddings took a dip in 2020, down to only 1.3 million ceremonies. In 2021, there will be an estimated 1.9 million weddings. In 2022, that number is predicted to jump to 2.5 million, nearly doubling the amount in 2020.
With so many weddings from 2020 and 2021 rescheduled, it's not longer as irregular to see a wedding on a Thursday or Friday.
2. Expect COVID-19 testing and/or vaccine requirements
Many couples are asking their guests to get tested for COVID-19 and isolate before the wedding.
"There's usually about 2-3 guests per wedding that test positive," said Benizri.
The risk has even created a new type of wedding vendor. Companies like the Event Doc offer to have staff come and test guests as they arrive. The guests usually then enjoy a drink outdoors while they wait on their results.
Like the Met-Gala or a Saints game, you might need to be vaccinated to attend. A growing number of couples are requiring their guests to be vaccinated.
Some vendors are even offering vaccinated only crews to work during the wedding.
3. Sorry guests, but you may miss some of the "big moments"
While traditionally the groom sees the bride for the first time at the same time as the guests, more couples are doing first looks.
"I've never had a client regret doing a first look," said Benizri. "By doing a first look, you can join cocktail hour and you have so many more photos in the daylight."
Benizri said some couples are even doing their vows during their first looks and cutting the cake in a more private moment later.
"That's called a silent cake cutting and it's becoming more popular than a traditional cake cutting," Benizri explained. "But I do have to warn you, I have guests say 'They cut the cake already? I wasn't told!' Some older guests really want to watch the cake cutting."
4. Traditions that have gone out of style
Some popular Hallmarks of weddings are going the way of side parts and skinny jeans. The most common receptions events getting cut are the garter and bouquet tosses.
"The bouquet toss is slowly going away," Benizri said, "Brides just don't want to call out their single friends anymore."
Benizri also recently posted on her Instagram about the end of bridal party introductions. For years, each bridesmaid and groomsman was introduced before the couple, but in an effort to save time and some of the shyer bridal members many weddings just introduce the couples.
5. Trends Benizri has her eye on
Residential weddings started because of the pandemic, but Benizri says they are sticking around.
"There are ways to have beautiful decor and colors incorporated into your house to really make it into a wedding venue," said Benizri.
Benizri says floral arrangements aren't just for the tables anymore.
"Ceiling arrangements started to become popular in 2019," Benizri explained. "They are a more costly item because they have to be individually applied to ceiling which takes a lot of time."