What to Expect from 2021 Weddings Post-COVID

Brianna Kozlarek / Friday June 26, 2020
Wild Sky Events

Whether your wedding was always intended to happen in 2021 or if you’ve had to postpone due to COVID-19, we know that things are going to look a little different in the wedding space for the foreseeable future. And while these are still going to be amazing, beautiful celebrations, there are some health & safety precautions to consider when planning your wedding in our shifted world. Things like outdoor vs indoor ceremonies, socially distanced seating arrangements and virtual options are all things on everyone’s minds. We’ve chatted with a few vendors in the industry about what they think we can expect, should plan for, and how they are handling safety precautions to ensure that you can enjoy your wedding day worry free:

Amy Anaiz Photography

1.)  Intimate Ceremonies

“Smaller more intimate gatherings will be what to expect in early 2021 but this doesn’t mean your wedding can’t look spectacular. I see dramatic ceremony designs being quite popular as this is one area we know won’t be impacted by changing service rules.” – Kate Goddard, Founder + Senior Event Designer, Wild Sky Events

“We believe that events will become smaller and feel more intimate moving forward. It’s a change we’re excited about, because couples can really focus on giving their nearest and dearest an unforgettable experience on their wedding day! Every detail will be that much more intentional.” – Natalie Good, Creative Director at A Good Affair

2.) Virtual Guests

Amy Anaiz Photography

“Incorporating guests virtually will become a large part of the planning process. Planners will need to go through all the options with their couples to ensure they have the right streaming software setup. Better yet, rather than just propping up an iPhone somewhere work with the videography team to make sure high-quality video from the entire wedding is streamed for your guests.” Kate Goddard, Founder + Senior Event Designer, Wild Sky Events

3.) Electronic Correspondence

“Shifts to Electronic Correspondence — As the pandemic threatens domestic mail and shipping, expect changes to the way we send invitations, too. At Orange Blossom Special Events, we’re huge fans of paper goods. There’s something special about receiving mail and something extra-special when that mail is a beautiful foil-printed invitation with an address written by a calligrapher. Looking ahead, expect a major shift towards totally electronic invitation and/or correspondence. Delays in mail processing and uncertainties surrounding the ability to host an event will steer most couples to opt for electronic save the dates and invitations. Electronic mail gives couples the flexibility to send out invitations closer to the date of the event should any changes or obstacles arise.” – Brooke Avishay, Orange Blossom Special Events

Check out 25 Change The Date Announcement Ideas for your Postponed Wedding

4.) Select Guest Lists

Jillian Rose Photography on Perfête

“When creating invitation lists in the months and years ahead, couples will be extremely selective in who they actually send an invitation to. I’m hearing from my couples that they don’t want to put the burden of travel on a lot of people they were previously planning on inviting to their wedding. Instead, they’re limiting lists to family and close friends only. Also, with social distancing so fresh in everyone’s mind, keeping numbers down will help minimize concern of spreading an infection. Risk aside, couples will also make more fiscal responsible decisions, including limiting their guest list to their nearest and dearest. There’s no doubt this country will be facing financial hardships for the near future and, although we have some couples who have had minimal disruption to their finances, we also have just as many, if not more, clients who are being financially hurt. Inviting fewer guests gives the couple ultimately control over their largest cost variable.” – Brooke Avishay, Orange Blossom Special Events

5.) Seasonal availability

Maria Mack Photography on Perfête

“There have been major disruptions in supply chains when it comes to flowers and decorations. Wholesale florists have been forced to source much of their locally in order to fulfill demand and mitigate any additional costs or risks to their staff. Demand for floral arrangements will continue to grow after restrictions are lifted, however, supply chains disrupted will last for months, and potentially years. Sourcing flowers from Europe or South America won’t be as easy as it’s been in the past. As a result, you’ll see a lot of variation in what’s available throughout the year. For example, peonies won’t be an option outside of June and dahlias will only be available in the fall. Seasonal, local blooms and wildflowers are what you’ll see represented most at weddings. And these offerings will vary from season to season in a more dramatic way than they have in the past. In the post-COVID 19 age, expect to see similar disruptions when it comes to food and wine, as well. Locally sourced options will be more readily available. For us in California, we’re lucky to have so many great vineyards all over the state. Wedding guests in California will be drinking good wine without disruption! Cheers to that!” – Brooke Avishay, Orange Blossom Special Events

“Consider the changes listed above, I see couples making a concerted effort toward planning environmentally conscious events. With locally sourced flowers and wine, smaller guest counts, and electronic invitations, you’re sure to have a lighter environmental footprint. Couples can also actively consider how things purchased for their wedding can be reused once the event is done. Weddings will be back and I’m looking forward to the day I’m back to sending our amazing couples down the aisle! When we finally step back out into the world, I have no doubt that weddings will carry a deeper meaning of love and togetherness as we move forward into the post-COVID-19 era.” – Brooke Avishay, Orange Blossom Special Events

6.)Changes in Entertainment

Luis Zepeda Photography

“For entertainment, couples will likely opt for small ensembles and DJs to keep overall head counts low. In the case of Live Music, this means couples will opt for more intimate performances that allow for deeper connections.” – Keanna O’Quinn, Honey & Vinyl Music 

7.)Weekday Weddings

Since majority of 2020 weddings were postponed, there is bound to be an influx of wedding date selections in 2021 and of course a limited availability for those dates. Weekday bookings are typically offered by venues for a cheaper price and possibly even for postponements so you can expect to see more weekday weddings next year.

“You may also see weddings broken down into two separate days. This may allow flexibility in inviting different “sets” of guests while keeping elder loved ones safe. For instance Friday Ceremony with immediate family members followed by a plated dinner and a Saturday reception celebration with friends and family” – Alicia Mae, Ilé Events 

8.) Changes in Decor

Maria Mack Photography on Perféte

“With many rules changing about what can be set on the tables, designers will need to get creative with how to bring the wow factor to the wedding reception. In the immediate future, I see decor trends moving away from the tablescape and more into large signage displays, floral and balloon installations, and ceiling floral installations.” – Kate Goddard, Founder + Senior Event Designer, Wild Sky Events

9.) Vendor Safety Precautions

“We are really trying to navigate how weddings will take place once again, especially as a caterer. Staff training and procedures will be ultra-focused on everyone’s health. Buffets will be different, more like small stations, to alleviate crowding. Each buffet station would most likely be operated by a chef or server, keeping safety in mind, with gloves, and face masks on during serving. Purchasing hand sanitizer to keep at all stations is definitely on our list too.” -Sarah Kuhlberg, Creative Director, Colette’s Catering

“As a stationery vendor, we’ve taken numerous safety precautions in our production and delivery. All invites are assembled with gloves in a sanitized environment, envelopes are sealed with glue or water (no licking of envelopes or stamps!). Set up for day-of elements like signage and printed menus and place cards will be assembled with gloves and masks and will be timed to allow adequate spacing between vendors.” – Jordan Kentris, A Good Day Inc.

“Upcoming brides can expect that their cake designers and dessert caterers will be taking particular care to follow safety procedures. They will be utilizing masks and gloves during set/up and whenever they are in close proximity to the desserts. I also anticipate that we will see couples veer away from dessert bars, since guests will have to share utensils and the dessert tables also put guests in close contact with food that they may not consume.” – Randi Smith, Sugar Euphoria

10.) Socially Distanced Seating Charts

Woodland Custom Design on Etsy

“An attempt to space guests out to maintain distance between them could have couples reconsidering seating arrangements for the safety of their attendees. You may expect to see fewer people sitting at each table. For example, a guest table that you could have easily sat 8 people before coronavirus may only have 4 – 5 guests. Couples could go even further by choosing to only sit guests at tables with members of their own household. Fewer guests per table could increase the cost of an event with more tables and linens being required but most couples feel the additional cost is worth the wellbeing of their loved ones.” – Victoria Miller, LUXE Atlanta Events

11.) Health Information for Guests

“Guests may expect to see health and safety information included on the details card in the invitation suite or on the couple’s wedding website. This will include what things the couple has planned to keep their guests safe. For example, a couple may include that there will be hand sanitizing stations located throughout their event.” – Victoria Miller, LUXE Atlanta Events

We Tie The Knots on Perfête