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Unconventional Wedding Trends Set to Dominate 2024

by Kerenza Willcox

In 2023, weddings rebounded to their pre-pandemic state: larger guest lists, more extravagant celebrations, and all-out fun.

In 2024, the wedding scene is poised to introduce even more excitement, featuring heart-shaped kitschy cakes, brightly coloured floral arrangements, ballet core dresses, and vintage-inspired headwear.

Colours: Bold and Bright

With Peach Fuzz as Pantone’s colour of the year for 2024, it’s no surprise that sunset hues are the in colours for this year's weddings. Minimalist white with a pop of navy is a thing of the past; this year is all about warm, bold colours amplifying a general nod to nostalgia.

Celebrities like Sophie Habboo and Jamie Laing showcased this trend at their Spanish wedding, featuring a flower arch matching the sunset. 

Barbara Palvin's peachy bouquet and bright red reception dress further highlighted the appeal of warm, bold colours. Embrace the trend with warm-coloured bridesmaids’ dresses and ties for groomsmen or seasonal florals in poppy reds, pinky peaches, and marigold oranges.

Dresses: Nod to Nostalgia

The diverse celebrity weddings of 2023, from Vanessa Hudgens and Cole Tucker to Dylan Sprouse and Barbara Palvin, offered major wedding style inspiration. Palvin, Hudgens, and Habboo each wore variations of 90s reminiscent slip dresses, emphasizing that classic silhouettes are still in vogue.

Kat Dennings opted for a vintage Alexander McQueen dress, featuring a pale nude lace, lace peplum overskirt, and bell sleeves—a nod to 80s fashion. Bridal Fashion Weeks in 2023 showcased expected wedding dress trends, including ultra-thin straps, 80s shoulders, muted coloured gowns, and bold reception looks pushing the boundaries. Ballet core remains a firmly rooted trend for 2024, incorporating big bows, dropped waistlines reminiscent of ballet dresses, and y2k-inspired rosettes appliquéd to the chest.

Merve Bayindir

Headwear: Vintage

Vintage beading and tea-stained flowers adorning Merve Bayindir’s bridal headpieces set the tone for bridal accessories in 2024. Drama, height, and volume take center stage in headwear trends, from Blair Waldorf-esque chunky headbands covered in flowers to 20s-inspired beaded hats with feather details.

Veils are back in style, particularly those including personalized embroidery. Take inspiration from Hailey Bieber’s custom Off White veil or Vanessa Hudgens' veil embroidered with ‘Mrs. T. December 2nd, 2023’. For a shorter veil, add a satin bow to the top for a subtle touch of ballet core, or go for a more dramatic look with Merve Bayindir’s ‘Gold’ headpiece featuring an oversized bow, feathered base, and pearl detail.

Decor: Florals

Illustrating the return to vintage, florals are making a big comeback. Think oversized, mixed flower arrangements as centerpieces, with multicoloured sunset-shaded stems taking the spotlight on 2024 tablescapes.

DIY is on the rise, with a study by Barclays revealing that 91% of couples are turning to DIY for at least one wedding element, with 42% of them opting for DIY floral arrangements. Despite her celebrity status, Kat Dennings took this approach for her wedding, handmaking all the florals, including a white and pink arch with deep green foliage. Flower arches, inspired by Hindu weddings, were popular among celebrity weddings in 2023.

Cakes: Unconventional

From heart-shaped, decadently decorated maximalist cakes to flower-laden sheet cakes, couples are thinking outside the mold for their wedding cakes.

Unique flavors are also in this year, especially savory ones like matcha and pistachio. The ballet core bow trend is transferring to food, with pretty silk bows becoming a popular decoration for minimalist cakes. The floral takeover is back for cakes, providing an easy way to bring your wedding colours to another element of your reception.

Photography: Candid

Documentary-style photography is set to be all the rage for this year, with bonus points if it’s shot on analogue.

Hitched found that “search volume for film wedding photography has increased by 266% this year”, indicating that nostalgic, more considered photography is a clear trend for 2024 weddings.

Candid shots allow for a more authentic representation of the wedding couple, capturing raw memories of the event. With couples seeking ways to cut wedding costs, many are enlisting photography-loving friends to shoot their big day, creating a more comfortable atmosphere in front of the camera.

Traditions: Out

According to Hitched, “breaking the mold is a common theme for 2024… as couples feel more empowered to ditch traditions and expectations that don’t necessarily align with their personal style.”

If you're not a fan of cakes, feel free to skip the cutting ceremony and opt for a more personal dessert station. Social anxiety? Why stress about a first dance? Call for everyone to hit the floor instead.

Hitched’s 2022 National Wedding Survey found that the average guest list featured 81 people, up from 72 in 2021. This shows that the post-COVID bounce back to bigger celebrations is still on the rise. Wearing multiple dresses for your big day remains a popular modern tradition – Vanessa Hudgens slipped into a more risqué piece for the evening, while Richie wore a chic Chanel mini dress with a white rose in the center of her chest for her third wedding look. Why stop at just one dress?

With so many unconventional trends predicted to take over in 2024, we can’t wait to see how couples interpret them for their special day.

Edited by Emily Duff

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