2023 Wedding Trends: What’s In & What’s Out

January 5, 2023

Albany Wedding Photographer | Loft 433 Troy New York | Lesbian Wedding NY | Troy Wedding Venue

2023 Wedding Trends:
Here’s What’s In for Weddings in 2023 and 2022–and What’s No Longer Hot.

Wedding Trends 2023-2024

What are the wedding trends for 2023 that you need to know about? Try big, bold colors; inclusivity; smaller guest counts; quirky games; and more.

[For the all-new 2024 wedding trends list, click here.]

I’m a New York and California wedding photographer who photographs national and international weddings and elopements. Working in such diverse places as Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the USA gives me a great idea of what’s in and out each year–and what’s to come.

Luckily for me, I know amazing vendors in the wedding community, and am including some of their insights along with mine.

Without further ado, here’s my Wedding Trends 2023 list!

The 2023 Wedding Trends List

USVI wedding Kathryn Cooper beach ball toss wedding

Smaller, More Personal Wedding Celebrations – As in 2022, people are often still foregoing the 250-person weddings and paring down to 60-120 in many cases. Why? Couples would rather spend time with the folks they truly care about than cater to hundreds of people they’ll only be able to spend a minute with at most. Longer celebrations with a closer group of friends/family will be in for 2023 and 2024 for sure.

blue wedding cake musical

Colorful, Non-White Wedding CakesNaked cakes and white-on-white colors for cakes are out, and vibrant, relevant-to-the-couple cakes are in. Take this blue beauty filled with musical notes from Heather (music teacher) and Alex (freelance drummer), who met through music. A major 2023 wedding trend we’ve been seeing is to have a non-white wedding cake, and/or bold, colorful florals. Arlene Murray of Polkadot Cake Shop in New Jersey says they’ve seen couples moving to colored cakes (blue is in), bright florals, and buttercream decorations as opposed to fresh/sugar.

360 photo booth wedding trend 2023

360 Photo Booths – Everyone thought photo booths would die out, but it turns out we all love taking silly photos of ourselves to no end. Now with 360 photo booths becoming more popular, well, it’s a major 2023 wedding trend.

couple reads at a jewish wedding ceremony

3.) Instead of Bridal Parties… – While large wedding parties will always exist, we’re seeing a trend in not having them. “Instead of having bridal parties, inviting special people to give speeches at the rehearsal/wedding day –or reading a poem during the ceremony—has taken over the wedding party void,” says Lisa DiBenedetto, Owner and Lead Planner of Nightingale Events. Based in Connecticut and serving all of New England, she’s seeing more couples still getting ready with close friends, but skipping all the responsibilities and monetary responsibility so typical of wedding parties.

Elaborate Floral Installations & Vintage Decorations – Even with smaller weddings, florist Deborah Trout-Kolb of Tulips Floral Design Studio says clients are spending more on larger, more elaborate installations like ornate arches, ground arrangements for the ceremony, ceiling installations, and more. She noted that they’re doing fewer centerpieces due to the lower guest counts, but going all-out for the overall look. Above, an example of bike basket flowers, which this couple chose to splurge on–and they did indeed choose to have just a few small vases of flowers as centerpieces.

If clients are doing fewer florals, they’re adding in more vintage, funky decorations that add color, fun, and vintage class to the celebration. Take brass- or gold-themed decorations, gilded mirrors, or as NY wedding planner Jesse Reing of Events By Jesse says, “Disco balls! Disco balls! Disco balls! We saw the trend creep in on the back end of 2022, and they are all over the place for the upcoming season.” It won’t just be one hanging from the ceiling, but used with florals as centerpieces, mini ones as fancy drink cups, decorative installations, and more.

Wooden, Silk, or Dried Flowers – Following this trend from 2021 and 2022, more folks are opting for wood flowers, silk flowers, or dried mixed in with real. It cuts down on costs and is sometimes better for the environment.

caricature artist at a wedding New York

Weddings as Experiences – California wedding planner Sara Blair-Medeiros of Rainbow Weddings and Events is seeing a big 2023 wedding trend of a better friend/family experience instead of just a traditional wedding. “More and more couples are looking at the whole weekend and how to create engaging and memorable moments with their guests. If it isn’t a full weekend, I am seeing couples think intentionally about ways they can spend more time with the people they love, like joining cocktail hour or finding new and creative ways to do receptions—such as deconstructed culinary experiences or opportunities for guests to engage in the creation of their meals (Paella, ramen bars, hibachi, etc.).”

photo of shutter drag california wedding photographer

More Dancing/Dancing Before Dinner – While this used to be the trend, it disappeared in recent years. Now post-cocktail hour, pre-dinner dancing is coming back. Says caterer Kelli Kristin of The Lake House Catering, “This is a PARTY, not just a fantastic dinner with friends and family. Encourage your parties to dance right after intros, and keep people on the dance floor. Let people work off the cocktail hour they just consumed…eat, drink, and dance your pants off!” Well said, Kelli.

Adult flower girl throwing petals funny joke

Nontraditional Wedding Party Entrances and Exits – Why have a flower girl when you can have a flower grandmother, flower groomsman, or dog ringbearer? Planner Cinthy Walsh of A Touch of Grace Events, says, “Thanks to TikTok, unexpected processionals, recessionals, and reception entrances are on the lookout! 2023 wedding couples are keen on putting their unique spin on these traditional details.

A pizza truck in upstate NY serves hot pizza for a wedding

The Restaurant/Pizzeria Wedding  – Great food, low stress, and nontraditional. So many people are having pizza at their weddings, or weddings at pizzerias. It makes sense, because you can bring people to the good food, or comfort food to your wedding. Pizza basically never goes out of style.

A gay couple walks down the aisle with their dog - lgbtq wedding photographer New York

Nontraditional Entrances by the Couple – The wedding party shouldn’t get to have all the fun, right? Northeast planner Debra Ann White-Palmer of DWP Events is seeing couples walk in together, and grooms walking down last so he can fist pump or high-five his friends to make an entrance. I’ve been seeing this quite a bit as well, with more couples (especially LGBTQ duos) walking in together, often with their dogs. Why be formal when you can have fun?!

Nontraditional Guest Books – While signing something tangible is still the most common way to have guests say they were at your wedding, 2023 wedding trends are offering up a non-tangible and very popular alternative: Audio guestbooks. Leaving a message on an old-fashioned rotary phone recording service (such as Fete Fone) is wildly popular, and allows guests to leave a personalized message, and perhaps a joke or three, to the couple. Also up-and-coming as a 2023-2024 wedding trend? Djlsh Shabir of No Limit Events in Sacramento, CA, says that video guest books will soon be offered with photobooth services, so that guests can get a photo AND leave a live video for the couple to view later. Very cool!

2023 wedding trends of groom getting makeup and primping before wedding

Pampering for Guys – If you’ve watched some of the latest reality wedding shows as of late, you may have seen more grooming and makeup for grooms. Says makeup artist Sara Munoz, “I’m doing a lot more makeup and grooming for grooms (marrying brides).” While makeup on guys isn’t brand-new, the fact that it’s trending is pretty interesting.

lesbian wedding shoes - rainbow Converse wedding sneakers

Comfy, Tie-Dyed, or Embroidered Sneakers as Wedding Shoes – If you can be comfy on your wedding day, why not be? Many women who would typically be expected to wear heels are opting to be comfy and agile in colorful shoes, sequined sneakers, or flats that are darn comfortable. One company I love makes custom embroidered shoes on Etsy:

2023 Wedding Trends

Wedding Trends that are OUT for 2023:

Formal plated meals with tasteless green beans – Instead of all the food waste, many couples are opting for passed small plates, buffets, or food trucks in 2023 and 2024

Garter & bouquet tosses – People would rather do their own things than these ol’ things! That said, bouquet tosses are still fun, and garter grabs are still…not the most tasteful thing on the planet

Super high-end (and high!) wedding shoes – Who wants to be in pain when no one sees shoes under dresses, anyway? Comfy shoes are in and those $2000-a-pair studded stilettos are out

Pampas Grass – Considered a noxious weed due to how much it spreads and crowds out native plants, pampas grass is a trend that’s finally on the way out–along with rust- and beige-colored weddings that were so often paired with rust florals and pampas grass. Yes, please. Bring back real colors and stop with this faded orange madness!

Donut Walls and Cupcake “Cakes” – Though certainly a fun trend, wedding cakes seem to be back in style, with pies, ice cream sundaes, cupcakes, and donut walls on the way out. Honestly, as long as there is dessert that actually tastes good, I don’t think people are picky.

2023 wedding trends are set to be bold, exciting, and full of color. Add in Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year, Viva Magenta, and you’ll see what I mean when it comes to loud, fun, and bold celebrations.

Bear Mountain carousel wedding unique wedding venue

2024 Wedding Trends

Now that 2023 has started and there’s already a dirth of 2024 wedding venues, people are planning even further out.

In 2024, I expect to see:

  • Fewer National Parks allowing elopements and small weddings. Several well-known parks are getting sick of the permitting process, and of these visitors apparently not respecting the land and rules. True or not, expect to see some of these opportunities no longer allowed.
  • International destination weddings. With more local venues booked, couples are choosing to spend on intimate group experiences, such as a small weekend destination wedding in Greece, and still spend less overall than a 200-person wedding at your local wedding venue
  • Eco-friendly weddings. With the carbon footprint of luxury weddings ever on the rise, a shift to more green weddings will continue to rise. Reusable and sustainable will be in, with favors and single-use items out.
  • Unique wedding vendor trends. Think tattoo artists, live painters at weddings, magicians, cannabis wedding vendors, carousel rides, dessert trucks, and more. These more creative “extras” are helping couples have the unique, memorable wedding they’ve been hoping for.

    What do you see as an up-and-coming trend for 2024 weddings? And if you’re planning a wedding a wedding or work in the industry, what do you see as being changed in this list?

Getting Married?
Whatever You Read, Do What Makes YOU Happy

Look, at the end of the day, trends are trends. What’s most important when it comes to your wedding is you being happy! This list documents trends set for 2023-2024, but if you disagree, no biggie!

So if you decide to follow, ignore, or do a little of everything, it’s your celebration and you don’t owe anyone anything.

Thank you to all the vendors who participated and gave their valuable input, and here’s to a wonderful 2023 for everyone~

Couple elopes in Upstate New York photo by Kathryn Cooper Weddings
2023 wedding trends gay wedding photographer New Jersey
Kathryn Cooper Weddings: 2023 Wedding Trends | Destination Wedding Photographer | LGBTQ Wedding Photographer | Awesome Wedding Photographer

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I loved all of these things that couples are looking for in their weddings this year! Thanks so much for sharing these with us!

Always good to get a vibe on the current trends! This is super useful for helping couples see new ideas and explore other ways to celebrate. I’m a big fan of the coloured cakes idea…thanks for sharing!

This was so interesting to read, and I love how you write at the end about doing what feels best for the couple. That is so true!

This is super interesting! I didn’t know Pampass grass was a noxious weed! It seems like a lot of these trends are encouraging couples to go for what they truly want and also be more comfortable–which is awesome!

I laughed out loud to the tasteless green beans!!! YUCK!! Glad those are going away. I think you nailed this list!!!! I love how unique weddings are getting for couples.

Wow these photos are so fun and such a good illustration of the trends you’ve outlined in this article. I love seeing that more men are embracing being pampered on their wedding day! As they should!!

Out with the old, in with the new . . . love seeing that eco-friendly weddings are one the rise and reading about all the other wedding trends!


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