In Blog

There is no denying that 2020 has been a year of bumps in the road for weddings. Some went ahead with drastically reduced numbers, some were postponed, and some became elopements. But with hope on the horizon for 2021 we took a look at some of the emerging trends and what we might see with 2021 weddings.

A year of two halves

OK, so the pandemic isn’t going to miraculously disappear on 1st January 2021, it’s going to take time to return to anything resembling ‘normality’, so it looks as though 2021 will be a year of two halves. The start of the year will see a continuation of restrictions, and we foresee small, intimate weddings or elopements taking place earlier on in the year. But with a vaccine now being steadily rolled out there is a glimmer of hope that the latter part of the year may see us being able to return to the larger weddings and parties we once loved.

A beautiful cake from VS Bakes at Crabapple Barn

Maximising on the details

With smaller more intimate weddings becoming the norm in 2020 we are seeing more couple maximising on the details to make their wedding extra boutique and their small guest list feel extra special. Ultimately less guests means that the budget (and indeed planning time!) can stretch that bit further. We are seeing guests presented with personalised welcome boxes on arrival, fewer but much more extravagant flower arrangements and lots of personal details and handmade touches added to the ceremonies.

An outdoor ceremony at Chapel Barn

More personalisation

Many of our couples have found themselves with a lot more time on their hands these days for wedding preparations. This has allowed many couples the time to add more personalised details to their wedding days. Whether it’s personalised vows and Hollywood standard speeches (or full on presentations!) or handmade favours and beautifully presented photo walls. We have also seen a slight trend towards a more relaxed approach to wedding décor, rather than the traditional, which lends itself beautifully to these personalised details.

Alternative wedding dresses

One thing we are expecting to see much more of in 2021 is ‘the after party’. A big day of celebration with family and friends following a small wedding or elopement in 2020. For many brides this means a second dress, and without the formality of a ceremony we expect to see many brides opt for more of a ‘party’ dress… Shorter dresses, lots of sparkles, more comfortable outfits and even jumpsuits or trousers sets are coming to the fore.

Even for the actual wedding day we are seeing a trend towards more informal outfits, particularly for the smaller, more intimate weddings.

A wedding couple at Crabapple Barn

Support for British companies

With the uncertainly of Brexit and how it might affect trading along with a desire to support local businesses that may have struggled throughout 2020, we are seeing a big rise in the number of couples wanting to support British and independent companies. From dresses, invites and floral arrangements through to venue hire, equipment hire and musicians, 2020 has given many couple the chance to realise that all of this is available on their doorstep.

Multi day events

We are seeing this as a big trend for 2021 for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, there are the small restricted weddings. When a couple can only invite 15 or 30 people to a wedding, some are making the decision to have more than one. Perhaps a separate wedding day for each side of the family.

Then there are the couple who have decided to do the legal bit and the celebrations separately. Perhaps a legal wedding day with just a few guests whilst restrictions were tighter, followed by a larger day of celebration when restrictions are lifted.

With the possibility of normality on the horizon we are also seeing a desire to ‘make up for everything that was missed out on’ with big wedding weekends rather than just one day.

Quickly planned marvels

With all of the changing laws and restrictions, 2020 has seen some truly amazing wedding planning achievements. Whole weddings planned in a matter of hours to enable them to take place before a new lockdown comes in to affect.

With the uncertainty of 2021 and what it may bring we are expecting to see a whole lot more couple getting ‘married at a moments notice’ whenever laws permit.

An outdoor wedding breakfast at Chapel Barn

No assigned seating

Whilst open seating has been becoming steadily more popular over the past few years, we are expecting to see a big increase in the number of weddings with no table plan. Partly due to the more relaxed nature and the wish for guests to choose who they sit with. But also because it allows for more flexibility with the guest list. If a large number of guests suddenly can’t come to the wedding, or you can quickly add in a few more guests open seating allows this to happen without a full table plan rearrangement.

Live streamed weddings

Technology has been amazing over the last year. It has enabled us to keep in touch with loved ones, visit tourist attractions from afar and even take part in the odd virtual quiz (thank you Jay!).
But one of the most useful technological improvements has allowed us to feel included in weddings, even when we can’t be there. Whilst live streaming a wedding has been particularly useful in these difficult time, we don’t think we’ll be seeing this bit of technology disappear any time soon. Even when after all restrictions have been lifted and weddings can go back to normal we expect to see the desire to share the wedding day with people who can’t be with you continue.

Photo courtesy of Victoriafly – Freepik.com

A nod to the pandemic

At the end of the day, sometimes the best way to reflect on a very difficult time is with a sense of humour. 2020 was not a year that anyone expected to be having and is not a year that any of us are likely to forget soon. But it has also been an achievement for many… How many people will be able to say that they got married during a pandemic. And with that in mind we are sensing that many couple won’t want to simply gloss over that fact and may want to make a subtle nod to the odditiy that was ‘life in the times of Covid’.

We expect to see many wedding photos showing beautiful, outfit co-ordinated face masks, couples showing off their ‘social distancing skills’ and even perhaps the odd humorous Covid-19 wedding cake. Whatever it is, we think that many brides and grooms will want a small memento of the strange circumstances under which they tied the knot.

If you are planning a 2021 wedding, have a little look at the wide range of crockery, cutlery, glassware, linens, furniture and kitchen equipment that we have available for hire.


With thanks to the following suppliers

Crabapple Barn Suppliers

Venue & Props: Crabapple Barn Sussex
Concept & Photographer: Lauren Beth Photography
Concept, Stylist, Tableware, Florist, Stationery: The Elysian Styling Company 
Models: The Robinsons Couple
Dress: Rock The Frock Bridal
Hair Stylist: Sophistic Hair
Make Up: Kate Waller Makeup
Head Piece: Lotus Love Studio
Table & Chairs: Co-Ordination Event Hire
Crockery & Glassware: Whitehouse Crockery
Cake & Mini Cake Favours: VS Bakes
Neon Sign: Love inc ltd


Chapel Barn Suppliers

Venue: Chapel Barn Sussex
Photography: Imogen Eve Photography
Models: A A Model Couple
Makeup: Belleden MUA
Hair: Occasion Hair by Megan
Dress, Shoes & Veil: @Victorias Bridal Boutique
Outdoor Tent: Beau and Bell Tents
Celebrant: Days To Remember Celebrant
Draping & Chair Dressing: Hire Your Day
Furniture & Place Settings: Co-Ordination Event Hire
Boho Backdrops & Décor: Handmade To Hire
Floristry: Bella June Flowers

Recommended Posts
Beautifully laid wedding breakfast table