Trending Wedding Themes for 2021

This year's wedding trends are a sign of the times. Here are all the 2021 wedding themes you should consider when planning your wedding.

By Lisa Wong Macabasco

Trending Wedding Themes for 2021
Photo by Whitney Justesen Photography

The First Look ✨

Weddings this year will undoubtedly continue to be impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and accompanying the new circumstances is a rethinking of tried-and-true wedding traditions, putting a fresh and personal spin on wedding celebrations, and a feeling of wiping the slate clean with new trends, new experiences, and new design elements. Here are some trending wedding themes for 2021.

Nature and the Great Outdoors

Expect to see a lot of outdoor weddings as people continue to put health and safety first. Wedding themes that work perfectly for an outdoor wedding include bohemian, woodland, garden, tropical, desert, and country-themed wedding. Beach weddings will be a popular wedding trend where the weather is warm, and these couples may think beyond the boho box with either full formal ball gowns or more casual get-togethers.

Relaxed and Intimate Gatherings

Couples may look no further than their backyard—literally—for the perfect wedding venues. It’s a way to create an intimate and relaxed outdoor wedding that’s more meaningful for everyone. Couples are reassessing their guest lists, with less pressure than before to invite everyone.

Rule-Breaking, Non-Traditional Weddings

More than ever, this year will see couples ripping up the wedding rule book for their wedding day. That might mean looking for vendors outside the wedding industry—buying a dress from a fashion designer rather than a traditional bridal designer, for example; hosting a wedding on a boat or a restaurant; or reimagining entertainment at the wedding reception (e.g. a band or roving musicians instead of a deejay). Elopements and live-streamed ceremonies have also been popular during the past year.

Trending Wedding Themes for 2021 Photo Credit // Love In Motion

Micro Weddings

Whether because of budgeting constraints or coronavirus concerns, many couples are considering micro weddings of 20 or fewer guests. After a period of reflection in lockdown, some couples also just want to pare things back to their essential circle of friends and family and focus on what’s truly important on their special day. The emphasis is on creating an unforgettable, intimate, authentic, emotion-filled experience for their nearest and dearest.

Putting Values First

When it comes to their wedding day, couples are increasingly prioritizing sustainability. That might mean sending digital invitations, wearing vintage, opting for locally grown food, choosing a beautiful venue that doesn’t require loads of decorations that will only end up in a landfill, or using plants that can be repotted after the wedding ceremony. They’re also increasingly hiring vendors that align with their values, and that may mean supporting more small neighborhood businesses for everything from wedding decor to catering.

Minimalist

After the year we’ve had, no one would blame a couple for wanting to keep things simple. (It also dovetails nicely with the eco-friendly theme.) Combine the wedding colors of eggshell or alabaster white with forest and fern green for a clean, elegant palette. The green can come from lush, local plants, and it works for any season or setting. Think of a stunning backdrop of crawling vines with white roses.

DIY

Trending Wedding Themes for 2021 Photo Credit // AiReal Photography

Look for more couples to roll up their sleeves and try their hand at doing some elements themselves, compelled by the skills they’ve learned or honed during the lockdown and the luxury of having more time to spend at home. Expect to see more DIY flowers, invitations, hair and makeup, and even wedding cakes.

Celestial

Create a heavenly feeling with a celestial wedding theme. A perfect fit for an outdoor setting, celestial-themed weddings make ample use of string lights to mimic the constellations above. Bring in the natural surroundings with a dark, moody palette, including midnight blue decor, hanging star lights, geodes, and crystals are strewn on the tables, and a moon or galaxy-inspired backdrop with swirling blue and gold tones.

For couples who can have a wedding this year, it truly is a reason to celebrate, regardless of the theme. The pandemic may have reframed our priorities, but the urge to gather and celebrate remains, especially after last year’s tough times and long stretches of not seeing friends and family. Remember that weddings are very personal, so focus on what matters most and what you want to convey on your special day.

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