Professional wedding photographers and other professional vendors in the wedding industry have survived Covid in 2020 and 2021, and survived the year marked as the “Wedding Boom” in 2022, so what’s next for this ever-changing industry? What can we expect from the 2023 predicted wedding trends?
Here are some of the 2023 predictions for what will be hot at weddings this year – photographers may want to take special note to grab an assistant that can run a drone for some epic aisle shots and long veils, and also an office assistant that knows TikTok well!
Brides are Saying Yes
With trends that are sure to make your camera shutters swoon at the cascading veils, long statement aisles, a throwback to the ’90s (and even ’80s) fashion, and lots of color and customization – this is sure to be a wedding year to remember!
Wedding Dress Trends
2023 NY Bridal Fashion Week (which previews Fall 2023 trends) featured billowing sleeves (on and off the shoulder), Cathedral-length gloves, statement bows, sheer fabrics, and detachable skirts – along with creative use of color with vibrant 3-D floral prints and colored silk. Two favorites were ice blue and blush colors.
Pro-tip for photographers: Make sure to ask the bride if she is having a detachable skirt and if either the bride and/or groom is changing for the reception. If so, make sure to schedule some photo time with the new outfits too!
It may be because of the long aisles, or maybe a bit of a Grace Kelly nod, but cathedral-length veils are absolutely in and they are making the wedding images stunning! The drone image of the bride with the long veil coming down the even longer aisle is a jaw-dropping moment to see. The gorgeous veil swept around the bride with dramatic lighting and a signature “S-curve” is stopping f-stops in their tracks.
Pro-tip for photographers: If you know the bride will have a long veil, look up creative ideas ahead of time and bring an assistant to help (or make sure to dedicate a bridesmaid to help with it)
Save the bobby pins for another day – the formal hairstyles of our past prom and bridesmaid days are on their way out. Brides are ditching the overly formal hairdos and going for an “elevated version” of their everyday style and texture. Brides want to look more like themselves and feel comfortable on their wedding day, so they’re going for blowouts, high ponytails, or loose, soft curls.
Custom, Individual Bridesmaids Dresses
We have seen the trend of bridesmaid dresses veering further and further from uniformity take shape over the past 10 years or so – at first it was using the same color, but having each person choose a different style, then it shifted to using the same color palette (an ombre blend) and different styles.
Now bridesmaids are encouraged to have custom, individualized outfits that can be worn over and over, many of them in beautiful prints and patterns! Brides are also aiming more for themes (jewel tones, florals, or even metallics) for something unique and even a bit mix and match with colors and styles.
Grooms are Dressing to Impress
Making a Statement
The guys are showing up and making a statement – literally! Statement jackets are in and velvets and jacquard fabrics are on the rise. Look for a lot of velvet dinner jackets, bold suits, and even tweeds.
Personalized embroidery on the inside, lapel pins, custom jewelry, and frilly shirts are all making a comeback as well. Suits in burgundy, green, plum (see image below), and blue will be popular for a more casual look. Also, look for multiple outfit changes from the guys too!
Pro-tip for photographers: patterns tend to create a moiré on the photo print – so to prevent this try to photograph from an angle, adjust the focus away from the pattern, or change the f-stop to f/11-f/16. You can also remove it in post-production.
The Wedding Day
And lots of it! Couples are staying on board with this trend that brings in lots of bright color palettes to their special day. They are also embracing patterned textiles, floral designs, and illustrations.
Some of the anticipated popular color choices for 2023 are copper, terracotta, rust, and burnt orange tones. According to Pinterest, there was a 695% increase in “burnt orange wedding themes”! Zola states that darker and jewel tones like plum, emerald, gold, and burgundy are emerging colors for 2023 weddings. Butterflies are also big in the wedding décor for this year.
Whether it’s a super long aisle that only a drone can truly capture the elegance and enormity of or an “S-shaped” or curved aisle, couples are loving the elegance and uniqueness of this new trend.
The grand long aisles set the stage for an epic and classy event, and the curved aisles have a creativity that makes it truly one-of-a-kind. These create the type of images that our designers love for a full pano spread in an album – that’s a statement!
Pro-tip for photographers: Make sure to tell the wedding party to walk down slowly!
Have Them Take a Seat
Gone are the days of the whole bridal party standing up for an hour in the heat, rain, or snow while you declare your love to each other. Couples are all about letting all friends and family sit and be present in the ceremony. In addition, the term “bridal party” is on its way out, and “wedding party” is here. More and more couples are ditching the traditional “bridesmaids” and “groomsmen” and including their siblings and best friends of the opposite gender in their “bridal parties” pivoting the industry to “wedding party” instead.
Pro-tip for photographers: Ask the couple ahead of time if the bridal party is standing or sitting so you have a heads-up for ceremony pictures
Intimate Ceremonies & Big Receptions
We can probably thank Covid for this, but couples are still embracing having a small, intimate wedding for just the two of them, and reserving the big display for the reception. This is the perfect combination of saving the intimate moments of a wedding for just the two of you anywhere you want and then celebrating later with lots of family and friends.
These big celebrations are often taking place in huge outdoor tents that are top-notch in regard to class and style! From glass tents and colored tents, to frame tents, this can give weddings a really unique look beyond the white sailcloth tents from the past. In addition, BOHO is out and the West is winning in regards to looks for 2023 weddings. Western wedding ideas are very popular, with mixed materials and textures, modern neutral colors, and even cowhide patterns and cowboy hats replacing barns and burlap.
Pro-tip for photographers: With more custom details than ever, make sure you have time built into the timeline for detail and room shots!
Big Flavor, Bigger Cakes
Gone are the days of just chocolate or vanilla flavors – couples are picking their favorite flavors and it’s a tall order! The cakes are taking center stage with many more than 6 tiers, along with a ton of texture – such as brush strokes and stencils.
Pro-tip for photographers: Make sure to schedule extra time to photograph these incredible cakes!
Stories instead of Hashtags
Hashtags had their fun, but now it’s all about the stories instead of the posts. However, this can mean that the memories from this day don’t last long – which is why photographers creating something timeless is even more important, such as high-quality prints to be framed and a professional photo album.
Pro-tip for photographers: If you aren’t familiar with Facebook and/or Instagram Stories, hire someone who knows this social media medium well – it makes a huge difference!
TikTok is Where it’s At
TikTok is here and not only is it sticking around, but couples are using it in big ways to plan their big day. This year we will see more and more couples using the social media platform to find their vendors, look for major inspiration, and swap tips and tricks with other couples. No doubt it will also have an influence on songs played, table settings, cake and dessert inspiration, and more! If your business isn’t on TikTok, it’s strongly encouraged to jump on this bandwagon quickly.
Pro-tip for photographers: Couples will be looking for ideas and professional wedding photographers on Facebook, Instagram, and now TikTok – so make sure you are on all three and know how to use them to be an advantage to your business!