2021 Wedding Trends are all about being laid back, minimalist, and informal. Goodbye, big parties, hello, intimate gatherings.
I’ve just spent an hour trawling through wedding trends by decade, and while a lot has changed, and a lot more has stayed the same. Sure, dresses, cakes, and hairstyles were all a bit over-the-top in the 80s, but by the 90s, things started settling down. I can’t see that any decade in the past 40 years has wrought such sweeping changes as we’re seeing now.
Of course, most of the 2021 wedding trends are influenced by COVID restrictions. The move to backyard weddings, elopements, and micro-weddings is entirely due to bans on large gatherings. The move to backyards and elopements seems to have led to a secondary trend of super low-key vibes, including boho bridal attire over the wedding gown.
What Defines A Trend?
Building event planning software means I keep track of industry trends. While usually, that means focusing on the event’s tech side, I sometimes like to dive into the latest event design ideas.
I don’t want to be flippant in what is considered a trend, but Google and Pinterest seem to consider something trending when searches spike for that term. So while some of these trends might be somewhat niche, they’re seeing a lot of momentum in online searches and are thus, “trendy.”
When tracking a trend, Pinterest says that “each data point compares the search volume of a term to all other searches during that week. The results are then indexed from 0 to 100 to compare the relative volume of each term.” So, seeing a graph in which a search is close to 100 indicates that it’s popular when factoring all the other terms people are searching.
Related: Pandemic Event Trends That Will Likely Stick Around
This won’t come as a surprise, but backyard weddings are a thing. Searches for “backyard wedding” have been trending for most of 2020, and they’re still going strong as we enter 2021.
Searches for “backyard wedding” reached 100 in both Pinterest and Google throughout the past year. Both seem to be spiking now that we’re entering engagement season.
In Google, the following related terms are trending too:
- backyard wedding checklist +250%
- backyard wedding decor +250%
- simple backyard wedding +180%
- backyard wedding decorations +140%
On Pinterest, “backyard wedding ideas” and “small wedding ideas” are trending too.
Related: 2021 Event Decor Trends Are Downsized & Intimate
Simple Wedding Cake
This one caught me by surprise. Pinterest unearthed this as a 2021 trend, particularly one tier wedding cakes. I was doubtful until I went over to Google and saw it peaking in December 2020.
Looking at these images on Pinterest, I totally get it. Massive multi-tiered wedding cakes were trending from the late 80s until just recently, but these simple wedding cakes are utterly charming. I get it.
The Wedding Jean Jacket Trend
Brides wearing embroidered jean jackets might be the cutest trend of 2021. It’s been trending on Pinterest, and “bride jean jacket” is up 350% in Google searches too. The Knot has some lovely examples of this trend, but you’ll find them on Etsy also.
According to Pinterest, searches for wedding jean jackets are up 130%. Google shows it as a less popular search than the other we’ve covered so far, but it’s still significant enough to rank.
Courthouse Wedding Outfit
In keeping with the micro-wedding trend, searches for “courthouse wedding outfits” are trending. I’m gonna say I was ahead of the curve, having gotten married at city hall a few years ago, but the casual vibe of courthouse bridalwear is super cool.
Pinterest has this search up 100%, and similar searches are trending too, including:
- courthouse wedding
- city hall wedding dress
- casual wedding dress
- elopement wedding dress
Over in Google, “backyard wedding dress” is up 300% – a pretty good indicator that brides are looking for non-traditional bridalwear for their small wedding celebrations.
And speaking of small weddings…
Elopements Will Remain A 2021 Wedding Trend
Elopements became a 2020 wedding trend sometime around when we all realized the lockdowns would grind on indefinitely. One bride I spoke to explained why she opted to elope during the height of the closures, despite having booked a venue.
“I had already paid in full. I’m still paying this venue off, and it’s the middle of a pandemic. But I just got word today that we can postpone it to next year. I said, ‘That’s great! I feel like I have a wedding happening again! I eloped in March instead of waiting. I didn’t want to wait another year and a half.”
“Our families live in California, and they were not able to be there. Basically, it was our pastor and our two roommates as witnesses in our pastor’s office. We videotaped it and showed our family later. Everybody knew about it; it wasn’t a secret elopement or anything, but we wanted to elope before our County office closed. We could no longer acquire the paperwork. So, it was kind of a rush.”
Stories like MaKenna’s above sparked a trend that is ridiculously romantic and offers cost savings. Win, win, right?
Elopement Trends In Google and Pinterest
In Google, searches around elopements are up and staying up.
Related breakout terms are:
- elopement photographer +200%
- elopement packages +500%
Over in Pinterest, it gets a little interesting. Searches around elopements are also up and show no signs of abating.
But there are other pretty fun terms, like “desert elopement,” which is up 55%. “Mountain elopement” is trending also, as are:
- elopement ideas
- elopement photography
- elopement announcement
The Real 2021 Wedding Trends Will Follow You
I wanted to add a sobering note to end this article. As fun as tracking trends can be, it’s more fun to start the next one. You, your wedding clients, and your friends and family can be trendsetters. Just follow your own vibe. But maybe get the jean jacket.