The past year and a half has certainly been unconventional for celebrations amidst this pandemic. However, restrictions are quickly lifting and the world is definitely on its way back to normal again. This means one major thing; weddings are going to be back on and in full swing!
Whether you have been postponing your wedding for several months now, delayed planning, are newly engaged, part of a bridal party or just on the guestlist of many upcoming weddings, this is the article for you. We’ve curated a unique mini three-part series for brides, bridesmaids and guests to help you get back into the groove and expectations for weddings amidst this post-pandemic era. From celebrity inspo, trends, style guides and more, we have definitely got you covered for the 2021 wedding season!
Part 1: For the Brides
This first part is all about the bride! When it comes to your big day, there’s a lot to consider with every single detail, and while we can’t cover absolutely everything, we can talk about some of the biggest trends, gown styles and inspo for the 2021 season.
Image via Columbia Pictures
Simple is the New Classy
COVID-19 has definitely made brides rethink their guest list and prioritize inviting the people that matter most. An intimate wedding is a whole different experience, and often underestimated by the pressure to have an extravagant wedding with a huge guest list. If this pandemic has shown us anything, small weddings can still meet the wants of a bride in a lot of unexpected ways.
Now is definitely the time to consider taking the plunge to plan a mini destination wedding if you postponed your date or just got newly engaged. Everyone is certainly itching to travel again, but the location doesn’t need to be around the world to make it considered a destination wedding. Something like a short road trip away can double as your honeymoon or a vacation with your closest friends and immediate family! Plus, a lot of the unnecessary stress and added pressures go away when you opt for an intimate destination wedding.
Check out this list of stunning and intimate Canadian locations for destination weddings.
Dream Wedding Inspo & Trends
2020 and 2021 were definitely the biggest years for celebrities tying the knot. With that, it seems like everyday the idea of huge and extravagant weddings is no longer a trend. Celebrities like Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton, Ariana Grande and Dalton Gomez, and Erin Lim and Joshua Rhodes all figured out that the best weddings happen at home! Rather than having to walk to the aisle under a huge tent like Hailey Bieber to avoid the paparazzi getting her first-look pictures, these couples truly got to live in the moment with their intimate wedding experience, small guest list, and still managed to make their locations look beautiful.
While most of us might not have gorgeous mansions and giant backyards to get married in, the idea of an at-home wedding is such a classic homage to films like 13 Going on 30 (2004) and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011) that will definitely be making a comeback with a lot of brides. Much like a destination wedding, backyard weddings are also intimate, wholesome and a great way to save money. You can put it towards a honeymoon, a vacation down the road or something else for you and your partner to enjoy together!
Check out this recap for some ideas inspired by all the best intimate celebrity weddings that happened during the pandemic.
The Best Gown Styles for 2021
Of course, you’re the bride and it is your day. So if there’s one thing that’s an absolute must, it’s that you don’t skip out or compromise on your dream dress! It’s important to have a clear vision and run with it, as there are so many styles out there to choose from.
Much like everything else, when it comes to wedding dresses for 2021 it’s definitely all about keeping it simple and chic. Many women will be opting for dresses that are more traditional in shape and form-fitting. We’ve seen a major comeback with the shorter dresses and even midi dresses for a lot of brides who kept their weddings casual amidst the pandemic. For fabrics, silk and tulle will definitely be super trendy as the current style slowly moves away from the bohemian look and extravagant details. While brides might be keeping it classy and subdued with their wedding dresses, for celebrities it’s been all about the veils! It’s a great way to add some extra detail to your look and make you stand out on your special day. Take a page from Gwen Stanfani’s custom Vera Wang veil, which had her husband and children’s name embroidered on it. We are excited to see where the extravagant veil trends go for this wedding season!
Part 2: For the Bridesmaids
This second part is all about our beloved bridesmaids! As a bridesmaid, your duties, responsibilities and expectations might have looked a lot different during our time in self-isolation. Now that the world is opening up again, your bride-to-be might have some new expectations for you.
Image via Universal Pictures
Bachelorette Festivities Post-Pandemic
For any of the newly engaged brides or brides that postponed their big days, one of the first things they’ll be excited to think about is their bachelorette party! While the bride might want to go big, there’s a lot of factors to consider like everyone’s personal health and their comfort levels. For some, going on a bar crawl in a different city might sound like a blast, but to those in the wedding party who still have concerns about COVID-19, that might not be ideal or fun for them.
So how do you compromise to please the bride and the rest of the bridal party? Be sure to allow everyone to share their opinion, preferences and concerns in a way that won’t cause drama or unnecessary stress. Come up with a list of options that are more lowkey like an intimate brunch, fancy dinner, a private houseboat party or something that the whole group can do in a more isolated and remote location. Then suggest a list of activities that require going out and about around more groups of people, like doing some wine vineyard tours or a weekend girls trip to a city with a ton of fun activities that can cater to everyone’s needs (P.S. stay tuned for our roundup article of the best wine vineyards to visit this summer for some inspo). With a list of options, everyone can vote on their top two choices and you can find a way to incorporate both into the bachelorette festivities to make everyone feel comfortable and satisfied!
Be sure to check out this list of fun and safe bachelorette party ideas if you’re in need of some inspiration.
Mixed & Match Dress Styles
Something that has become super popular with bridesmaids is everyone in the bridal party wearing different dress styles, designs and fits. This works incredibly well for champagne, beige, light pinks and other neutral colors. Not everyone has the same taste or body shape either, so while one dress might look amazing on one person, it just might not be suited for another individual in the bridal party. Comfort and confidence is something you want to see in every bridesmaid! Plus, struggling with the dress is the last thing someone needs to worry about on the actual day of the wedding.
As a bridesmaid, don’t be afraid to pitch the idea to the bride-to-be! Advocating for your body doesn’t mean you want to undermine what the bride wants. Her chosen bridal boutique can definitely assist in finding a way to make various styles work together or pull some options that they think would be good for the entire party. Utilizing the boutique workers and style experts will certainly make finding the perfect bridesmaid dress or dresses for the group a lot less stressful!
To find the best popular bridesmaid dress styles this season, check out this round-up list.
Prioritizing Clear Expectations
Finally, let’s talk about bridal party expenses and budgeting. Weddings are expensive, and being a bridesmaid is definitely pricey at times. Now that restrictions are starting to lift, your bride might want to get back into the full swing of things, but that might not work for everyone. This pandemic has put many individuals’ money situations into unexpected places, so just know it’s okay to express where you are financially with the bride. Ensure that the entire bridal party communicates their needs and priorities with money. Letting the bride know you need some time to start saving again for all the fun activities shouldn’t be a deal-breaker as long as you let her know in advance!
Give this list a read for some helpful tips on how to talk about money and saving as a member of the bridal party.
Part 3: For the Guests
And last but not least, this last part is for all you wedding guests! You might find that you’ll be going to a ton of weddings all at once now that restrictions are changing. In this part we have all the best guest tips to consider before you make your way into the wedding season.
Image via Summit Entertainment
Top Style Picks
This summer, midi dresses and skirts have really made their comeback thanks to the 2021 Pinterest and TikTok fashion trends. These looks will be super popular amongst guests this wedding season. Of course, you can never go wrong with a classic cocktail dress or even a simple sundress as long as it isn’t white!
If you’re on a budget but know you’ve got a few weddings to attend this season, try checking out some in-person and online thrift stores like ThredUp. This online thrift store is super trendy and has a ton of great and affordable finds that you’ll likely be able to wear more than once. You can also borrow something from a roommate, sibling or close friend so you don’t have to buy something brand new for each event.
If you are looking to do some spending, check out SHEIN, Lulus or Hello Molly for your formal wedding attire needs. These places are all super trendy and decently priced, so you won’t be breaking the bank if you do decide to splurge!
Budgeting for Multiple Weddings
With all the rescheduling and postponing of wedding dates, there’s a good chance you might find yourself invited to weddings happening on the same day or the same weekend. Plus, budget is a huge factor to consider as a guest with needing an outfit, purchasing a gift, possibly booking the day off and more. When you have multiple weddings to attend back to back, you’re likely not going to be able to make it to all of them with these factors in mind.
Out of respect to the couples, make a decision as soon as possible and communicate with them! If you’ve been invited to too many weddings you’ll just have to prioritize. If by chance you do get invited to two weddings happening on the same day but are relatively close to each other, go to the ceremony for one, and the reception for the other. Of course, it is also okay to only attend one, and you shouldn’t feel guilty if you have to make that decision. You can always still get the couple a gift from their registry and plan to celebrate together at a later date.
Check out these helpful tips when it comes to wedding guest etiquette.
Mask vs No Mask
While it’s great that restrictions are lifting and the world is looking like a much better place, that doesn’t mean COVID-19 has ceased to exist altogether. As a guest, it’s completely okay to feel concerned about attending a big wedding or just being around various unknown groups of people again. Unfortunately, you have no control over the guest list and you might not be sure who is all vaccinated, and who isn’t. This is the reality of so many things, not just weddings. While it might not be appropriate to ask the couple directly about these concerns, if you want to attend, don’t be afraid to bring a mask and wear it!
The wedding party will likely provide an update on whether or not masks are needed at their venue, and you probably won’t be the only one with these concerns. And if worse comes to worst, inform the couple that you won’t be able to attend. Your health and safety should be your first priority, and missing out on a wedding won’t be the end of the world. You can always find a way to celebrate with the newlyweds after the big day or whenever you feel more comfortable going out and socializing with various groups again.
For more insight on if you should wear a mask at a wedding, check out this article.
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that weddings are really about one thing; celebrating the love of two people and having fun while doing it. Whether you’re a bride, bridesmaid or a wedding guest, we hope you’re able to make the most of the 2021 wedding season as restrictions lift and things begin to go back to normal!