20 Wedding Trends for 2023, from Audio Guest Books to DIY Sushi Bars

Planning a wedding in 2023? Here’s your first look at the wedding trends for 2023 you’re about to see everywhere.

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If you’re in the throes of wedding planning—especially for a 2023 wedding—you’re probably keen on scoping out the hottest wedding trends of 2023. While we fully support bucking both trends and tradition where you see fit to ensure your day reflects you and your partner to the fullest, getting a pulse on the latest wedding trends can spark some serious wedding inspo.

If we had to name the hottest overarching trend that's taking over in 2023, it’s this: Couples want their weddings to feel more authentic, welcoming of all people, and a reflection of their core values.

They’re shedding any preconceived notions about what their wedding should be, and are instead setting out to create truly unique, intentional, and memorable celebrations.

From scouting out more diverse vendors to delighting guests with unexpected interactive elements and entertainment, couples are finding the freedom to make their wedding day exactly what they want it to be—traditions or not.

Ready to dive in? We’ve polled the experts at the heart of the industry to discover the newest wedding trends for 2023 below, including:

  1. Intimate weddings
  2. #WeddingTok taking over
  3. Diverse vendors with shared values
  4. Friends and family are the new officiants
  5. Nongendered wedding parties
  6. Audio guest books
  7. Thrifted, upcycled decor
  8. Nature-inspired elements
  9. Pearls everywhere
  10. Showstopping lighting
  11. Metallic everything
  12. Pops of pink
  13. (Still) something blue
  14. Moody, dramatic vibes
  15. Unconventional Wedding Dresses
  16. Colorful Gemstone Engagement Rings
  17. Statement Styles Galore
  18. Parks and Garden-Inspired Venues
  19. Local Venues
  20. Wowing Guests with Interactive Elements

Ready for some fabulous fads?

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1. Intimate Weddings

intimate-ceremonies

“With guest lists getting shorter and budgets getting tighter, intimate weddings are becoming increasingly popular. Small-scale weddings in 2023 will still be a viable option for many, featuring close family and friends, simple décor, and a relaxed atmosphere.” —Jacqueline Vizcaíno, Tinted Event Design, Production & Planning

While plenty of couples are still opting for big weddings or an extravagant bash, the intimate wedding trend is a direct reflection of couples’ commitment to ensuring the day is uniquely authentic to them—which means being surrounded by only their closest friends and family rather than inviting people just for the sake of it.

2. #WeddingTok Taking Over

wedding-tok

Social media is playing an bigger role in wedding planning than ever before—if you haven’t yet stepped into the world of #WeddingTok, a wildly popular corner of TikTok, you definitely will in 2023. In our 2023 First Look Report, we found that:

  • 71% of couples are using social media to figure out their wedding style.
  • 48% of couples say social media is making them feel even more excited for their wedding.
  • 24% of couples say social media is providing them with a greater sense of community.
  • 49% of couples credit TikTok for being a much-needed mental break from wedding planning stress.

TikTok has quickly become a staple source of wedding inspiration, and couples are turning to the platform to find unique wedding planning tips and out-of-the-box wedding style inspiration. But even more than just a gold mine of expert wedding planning tips, it’s also becoming a community where couples can navigate the wild ride of wedding planning with others.

3. Diverse Vendors With Shared Values

vendors-values

“In the wedding space, the creatives that design and execute such beautiful weddings are becoming increasingly diverse. Diverse not only in the sense of race, but also gender, sexual orientation, and disability.” —Jacqueline Vizcaíno, Production & Planning, Tinted Event Design, Production & Planning

While it’s tough to choose our favorite wedding trends for 2023, this one is tough to beat. In our 2023 First Look Report, we’re thrilled to have found that 22% of couples are purposefully choosing a wedding vendor team that aligns with their values.

In 2023, expect to see even more diversity among vendors who have developed business processes that align with their needs and inclusion initiatives—and for the increasing number of couples who are more intentionally looking to hire vendors that reflect their backgrounds and values.

4. Friends and Family Are the New Officiants

friends-family-officiant

With the push to make the wedding day as authentic and unique as possible, more couples are choosing to have close friends or family members officiate their weddings. It’s one way to feel more connected to their nearest and dearest who are helping them commemorate their union in marriage.

5. Nongendered Wedding Parties

non-gendered-wedding-party

Traditional wedding norms are being thrown out the window left and right, and wedding parties are no exception. In 2023, couples are shifting away from gender-focused terms by adopting the phrase "wedding party," which is more inclusive and representative than the traditional "bridal party."

Couples are also embracing a more open-minded approach to who’s included in their wedding party, from having mixed-gender wedding parties to redefining the traditional “maid of honor” and “best man” roles—some women may want their brother as their “man of honor,” and a man may want his sister as his “best woman.” The solution? A gender-neutral wedding party!

6. Audio Guest Books

audio-guestbook

“Thanks to TikTok, the audio guest book trend is on the rise. It’s a perfect way to collect memories from your wedding without having to add to the clutter of everything else you keep from your wedding day. These digital voice recordings from your guests can live in your cloud storage! It’s also interactive and fun for your guests to pick up an old-fashioned phone to record a sentiment to you!” —Joan Wyndrum, owner, Blooms By The Box

Guest books are taking a unique twist in 2023—instead of a physical memento journal where guests can leave notes for the newlyweds, couples are opting for the newest audio guest book trend.

This reimagined approach to guest books lets guests leave an audio recording rather than a physical note. Our favorite part? It can be recorded on old-fashioned-style telephones, making for a uniquely interactive experience for guests, and the digital voice recordings can be saved on the cloud for easy access later.

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7. Thrifted, Upcycled Decor

thrifted-decor

“Couples are putting an emphasis on personalization and incorporating natural elements [into their wedding decor]. This includes personalized signage, handcrafted decor, and repurposing items from vintage or thrift stores.” —Ty Wilson, co-founder, CustomMade

With couples becoming more cost-conscious and choosing to only splurge where it matters most to them, many are choosing to save by repurposing thrifted or vintage items in their wedding decorations—our 2023 First Look Report found that 19% of couples want to thrift their wedding look and/or elements. This includes anything from finding eclectic wedding signage to sourcing your own unique glassware from local thrift shops. (We’re definitely fans of the mismatched glassware look!)

While thrifted finds are a staple in 2023 wedding decor trends, sustainability is having a moment in general—beyond decor alone. Couples are increasingly seeking out wedding invitations made from recycled materials and ditching plastic plates for reusable rentals, too.

8. Nature-Inspired Elements

nature-inspired

“Couples are leaning toward outdoor settings and incorporating nature into their decorations. Along with incorporating sustainable practices, like reusable plates and utensils, this [also] includes using natural materials, such as wood and greenery, for tables and chairs.” —Ty Wilson, co-founder, CustomMade

For couples opting for an indoor venue, they’re still giving a nod to nature by incorporating natural elements in their wedding decor. From using lush potted plants to adding color and texture with wildflowers or greenery, there are endless ways to hop on this trend.

It doesn’t just apply to decor, either—we’re also seeing brides weaving dried flowers, branches, and other natural elements into their bouquets.

9. Pearls Everywhere

pearls-everywhere

“The demand for pearl wedding gowns has risen in 2022, with the trend expected to grow even more in 2023. Pearls can be found anywhere on a wedding gown, from the veil to the shoes, and are a popular jewelry feature—consider pearl necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. They’re an exquisite and classic piece of wedding glitz that have been fashionable since their inception.” —Alice Eve, marketing director, Cicinia

If there’s one trend you can expect to see everywhere this year, it’s pearls. We can’t help but love modern wedding trends that put a new spin on something classic like pearls, and couples are incorporating them in everything from their wedding cake design and overall decor to their wedding attire.

10. Showstopping Lighting

showstopping-lighting

“Lighting is becoming a major aspect of wedding decorations, like using string lights, candles, and even projection mapping to create a dreamy atmosphere. To add dimension, hanging installations like paper lanterns or flower garlands are also becoming increasingly popular.” —Ty Wilson, co-founder, CustomMade

When it comes to creating the perfect mood, lighting is an excellent way to do it—and 2023 couples are already reaching for all sorts of unique ways to set the scene with different lighting setups.

Put a spin on classic string lights by creating a string light curtain backdrop behind the ceremony table, or create a twinkling moment with a hanging chandelier with bright LED light bulbs.

11. Metallic Everything

metallic-everything

“Metallics are a versatile way to add some luxury to your wedding decor. Metallics can help elevate any wedding decor, from gold candlesticks to silver vases. In 2023, the prediction is that more couples will incorporate metallics into their wedding decor, whether a few subtle accents or an all-out gilded affair.” —Jacqueline Vizcaíno, Tinted Event Design, Production & Planning

With more and more couples seeking to level up their decor visions and think outside the box, metallics are front and center for 2023 wedding decor trends. We love how versatile this trend is, as it can work for any number of styles, from full-on glam to something more understated with industrial edgy vibes.

When it comes to where we’re seeing this trend come to life, the answer is pretty much everywhere. From table decor like metal candleholders, table runners, and plate chargers to shimmering stationary and day-of signage, there’s a place for metallic accents wherever you please.

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12. Pops of Pink

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Pink is making a comeback, and we’re seeing it everywhere in 2023. Couples are making this trend work for their unique styles, too—from bright and cheery pink palettes with touches of glitter and sparkle to earthy pink shades like dusty rose mixed with beige and taupe tones for a more grounded, muted feel. Whichever end of the spectrum you lean toward, it’s giving that fuzzy “love is in the air” feeling—and we’re here for it!

13. (Still) Something Blue

something-blue

If you love the classic “something blue” tradition, 2023 is your year. Blue color palettes are one of the biggest 2023 wedding color trends to expect this year—particularly soft, light blue tones that create a look that’s romantic and airy. If you want to make this color pop a bit, add bits of fuschia or coral for a spring or summer wedding. For winter weddings, combining your blues with rich plum tones creates a truly regal feel.

14. Moody, Dramatic Vibes

moody-vibes

Lighting isn’t the only way couples are creating the perfect mood in their wedding decor this year! The word “moody” is a top search term on Zola for 2023 weddings, and couples are going all in with moody, dramatic vibes and giving a nod to old-world romance.

Trending wedding colors in this realm include dark, gorgeous shades like plum, emerald, gold, burgundy, maroon, and rust. Couples are also getting creative with layered textures using rich materials like velvet.

Beyond the look and feel of the day, this trend is also creeping into other vendor choices, as couples gravitate towards more dramatic and cinematic photography and videography.

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15. Unconventional Wedding Dresses

unconventional-dress

“As always, wedding fashion trends are largely influenced by celebrities’ or public figures’ weddings. Recently we’ve been seeing everything get shorter—from the veil to the dress! We saw how Ariana Grande decided on [a simpler veil] rather than the traditional 8-foot veil full of lace. Then, we saw how Kourtney Kardashian made a statement in her wedding dress [with] a short cocktail dress! Everyone either loved it or hated it—either way, it [will] inspire [many] brides to say no to traditional long gowns. We know brides are becoming more brave when it comes to trying something new and standing out for their weddings!” —Lacey Nakashima, head of growth, Queenly

Wedding dress trends in 2023 are taking a more unconventional form in a variety of ways. We’re seeing everything from non-white wedding dresses in pink, blue, and even black, to less traditional wedding dress silhouettes taking center stage—think sleek and stylish separates, jumpsuits, and mini dresses.

With more brides taking a less formal approach to all things wedding planning after COVID-19, the priority in 2023 is using wedding day attire as an expression of unique individuality rather than what’s expected or traditional.

16. Colorful Gemstone Engagement Rings

colorful-gem-engagement-rings

“Couples [are incorporating] unique elements into their rings, such as colorful gemstones or engravings with personal significance. For example, one client of mine wanted three gemstones to represent their three children. Other couples wanted their family heirloom diamonds incorporated into their rings. Personalization is key in this trend.” —Ty Wilson, co-founder, CustomMade

Minimalist and delicate engagement rings are among current wedding ring trends, and you’ll be hard-pressed to go through 2023 without spotting engagement rings with eye-catching colored gemstones. The most popular choice may be emerald, but expect to see an array of greens in general.

17. Statement Styles Galore

statement-style

“Y2K is back in, and it’s already happening in bridal fashion—like [brides] in a lot of recent “it girl” weddings such as Chloë Sevigny [and] Rachael Rodgers. Ruching, corsets, fluffy trims, gloves, and a short dress/giant veil combo will be more prevalent in 2023.” —Tanya Volt, Tanya Volt Weddings

While some brides are still reaching for a wedding dress over a sleek suit, they’re not holding back when it comes to making a statement. Following celebrity wedding dress styles that fans are going gaga over—like Chloë Sevigny’s sheer ruffled number or Rachael Rodgers’ alternative corset-style dress—expect to see statement elements like ruching, corsets, oversized puff sleeves, elegant gloves, and feathery hemline trims.

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18. Parks and Garden-Inspired Venues

park-venues

While beautiful grand ballroom venues remain a popular staple, a whopping 81% of 2023 venue inquiries on Zola’s platform are for completely outdoor or covered outdoor venues. This means couples are embracing nature in 2023 with garden-inspired outdoor venues and scenic park locations to say their “I do’s.”

Whether it’s creating a bohemian feel with organic, whimsical greenery or using manicured shrubbery for more sophistication and elegance, couples are letting nature do the work for them to achieve their fairytale setting.

19. Local Venues

local-venues

Gone are the days where couples decide to host a wedding simply because they’re supposed to.” This year, couples’ top intention with their wedding is to feel connected to their loved ones—and they’re increasingly choosing venues close to where they live for that very reason.

With one-third of couples concerned about current travel industry troubles, our 2023 First Look Report revealed that 55% are choosing a venue local to where they currently live, and 18% are choosing a venue local to their hometown.

While international and destination weddings aren’t entirely off the table, couples this year are going with local venues in an effort to ensure all their nearest and dearest can be present on their big day.

20. Wowing Guests With Interactive Elements

interactive-wedding

“Couples are looking for ways to make their wedding reception more interactive and fun for guests. In 2023, expect more weddings with diverse photo booth options, silent discos, lawn games, and even carnival rides for farm animals and fur babies.” —Jacqueline Vizcaíno, Tinted Event Design, Production & Planning

Couples want more than ever to make their wedding day a truly memorable experience for guests, and they’re going big with interactive elements. We’re talking everything from group games during the reception or bringing in professional fire throwers for an unforgettable show to simply creating an interactive food experience for guests to enjoy. (DIY sushi bar, anyone?)

Trends on the Way Out

Now that you know the biggest wedding trends to expect in 2023, take a look at the wedding trends we’re leaving behind in 2022.

Frivolous Spending

As couples continue to make it their mission to keep every part of their wedding day aligned with what they value most, they’re not afraid to scale back spending where it makes sense. We’re seeing many couples opt to spend less on attire overall—compared to 2022, couples marking attire as a “splurge” is down 20% in 2023. They’re also taking a more cost-conscious approach to pre-wedding activities like bachelorette parties.

Cutting back on certain elements also allows couples to devote more of their budget to the things they value most—like finding the perfect wedding photographer to capture every moment of the day.

Muted, Minimal Color Palettes (Maximalism Is In!)

We won’t deny that uber-minimal color palettes have certainly had a moment over the years, but understated colors and neutral wedding decorations are being replaced in 2023 by bold, vibrant colors, unique wedding themes, and maximalist vibes in general. Couples are excited for their weddings in 2023, and they’re not afraid to show it!

Family-Style Reception Meals

The impact of COVID-19 may have been the biggest catalyst for couples’ decision to move away from buffets and family-style meals at their reception, and that’s not changing in 2023. Single-plated catered meals continue to be the go-to dinner format, and we’re here for it!

Sustainability, local romance, and out-of-the-box wedding attire are just a few of our favorite trends for 2023. With the flurry of excitement that comes with discovering the latest wedding trends, don’t forget to put your unique spin on each element of the day.

2023 weddings are all about fully embodying what you love most, and Zola is here to help—from even more wedding inspo to finding the perfect vendors, we’re here to support you every step of the way. Happy planning!

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