The Wedding Trends You Should Know If You’re Getting Married In 2020.
2020 Wedding Dresses.
If you’ve always dreamed of wearing a big white gown on your wedding day, then there’s no shortage of options. Take your pick from Carolina Herrera to Marchesa and live happily ever after. But if like many brides, you have no idea what you want to wear – you just know you want to look and feel like yourself – then consider yourself lucky to be getting hitched in 2020. The new generation of bridal designers have hit their stride, and are offering up a world of choice for the bride who doesn’t want to look too “bridal”, or wants to wow in multiple looks on the day. Names to have on your radar include Dana Harel, Hermione de Paula, Monica Byrne and Danielle Frankel.
“There is a certain maturity in the customer that is usually forgotten in bridal,” says Danielle Hirsh, of New York-based bridal label Danielle Frankel. “I design for the woman who is already well-acquainted with what works for her.” Having previously worked at Vera Wang and Marchesa, Danielle’s elevated approach to fuss-free wedding dresses, separates and even knits are attracting modern brides (Zoë Kravitz among them) and industry accolades – Danielle is a 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist.
Wedding Rings in 2020.
If you’re reading this wearing an engagement ring that you didn’t see for the first time the day your partner proposed, then you’re already ahead of the curve. One of the most game-changing 2020 wedding trends is that of couples choosing their rings together – both the engagement ring and wedding bands.
“There’s been a huge increase from when I started my business four years ago when requests were primarily from men,” says Mia Moross, founder of The One I Love NYC, where actor Karl Glusman picked up his now-wife Zoë Kravitz’s antique engagement ring after she’d spotted it on Instagram. “I hope it continues,” she says. “It’s important that it’s a ring that both of you love, so it symbolises the taste of the person giving it as well as receiving it.”
Moross also notes a spike in popularity for cushion-cut, hand-mined diamonds (a square cut with rounded corners, like Jessica Biel’s engagement ring) and predicts a rise in yellow-gold rather than platinum bands, alongside Art Deco pieces. “Couples want rings that tell a story,” adds Moross. “They don’t want to buy something off the rack. They want a piece that has depth, soul and lineage.”
The Statement Veil.
Weaving personal touches into wedding day proceedings is nothing new, but the veil is proving to be particularly fruitful ground for brides of late. Hailey Bieber’s Off-White “Till Death Do Us Part” veil caused quite a stir, and will no doubt trigger a wave of statement-making veils that incorporate meaningful messages or lyrics.
“Statement veils have become such an important part of our bridal experience. The modern wedding has evolved so much but there is something uniquely romantic and timeless about a veil,” says designer Hermione de Paula, who has long included personalised imagery, messages, monograms and dates in her designs.
“Brides are seeing the value in creating an heirloom piece to pass down or display in their home as art long after the event. Whether you are wearing a classical gown, a contemporary trouser suit or a pair of jeans, the veil is your opportunity to create something personal and bold yet unquestionably traditional and bridal,” de Paula adds.
The veil is no longer simply a wedding day accessory, but another opportunity to shout about your love – be it in big and bold fashion like Mrs Bieber, or something more subtle.
Having bridesmaids is one tradition that will never die, but the question of how to dress them has evolved. Some labels are coming to the rescue of brides who want to showcase their friends’ personalities, rather than putting them in a pastel uniform. Mix and match styles with contrasting colours, necklines and prints are thankfully on the rise, with labels like Reformation, Needle & Thread and Les Héroïnes by Vanessa Cocchiaro making the task of keeping your closest friends happy on the day a little easier.
“Bridesmaids are a very important tradition, one that you share with your closest family and friends,” says Vanessa Cocchiaro, of Paris-based label Les Héroïnes, which caters to bridesmaids as well as brides and wedding guests. “So it was important for me to design pieces that people enjoy wearing, and most of all that they can wear again.”
Call it the Meghan Markle effect. Wedding day hair is being approached with a noticeably lighter touch of late, with chic brides opting to keep things natural and fuss-free.
The undone bun à la the Duchess of Sussex, or freshly washed and tousled tresses are becoming the new normal for brides keen to avoid traditional or overly-coiffed hairstyles.
“From the travel required to gather everyone in one place, to the food waste produced by the meal, my clients are definitely looking for ways to reduce the environmental and ethical impact of their wedding,” says wedding planner Alexandra Pisani. Last year Princess Eugenie spoke to British Vogue about her plans to have a plastic-free wedding. And while not everyone has a royal budget for their big day, according to Pisani, there are plenty of relatively easy ways to make your wedding sustainable – from using wedding stationery made from recycled paper to find a catering company that sources ethical, local and organic produce. “For favours, a charitable donation is really popular too, as well as asking for a donation on the gift list alongside a traditional registry.”
Clearing the energy imprints of weddings venues and honeymoon suites is fast becoming an essential on the checklist of services wedding planners can offer, with couples eager to ensure no negative vibes have been left behind by newlyweds who went before.
The Australian jewellery label ManiaMania, which offers bespoke engagement and wedding ring services, even goes as far as to clear the energy from heirloom stones, to ensure nothing potentially negative is lingering from previous owners.
“We believe in the notion that crystals and gemstones can hold and disperse energy (even diamonds), and as we work mainly with engagement rings and wedding bands, we like to offer the energy clearing for our client’s rings, to ‘reset’ the piece with an intention of high-vibrational energy and love, so that is ready for them to make their own,” designer and director of ManiaMania, Melanie Kamsler tells Vogue, explaining that the brand uses sage or Palo Santo smoke to give stones a fresh start.
It isn’t just the straws in guests’ post-ceremony Aperol spritz that have become more sustainable. More and more couples are choosing florists that use locally-grown seasonal blooms, wildflowers or dried flowers. Some couples are even going one step further and opting to grow their own flowers, or simply incorporating already existing gardens into their big day.
Elizabeth Walshe recently worked with an Oxfordshire groom, who is a garden designer, to create a beautiful setting in a meadow for his big day. “We left the grass to grow all year, wildflowers were planted, and then just before their wedding day, a magical walkway was created from the church to their marquee by mowing a winding path through the grass and wildflowers.” Don’t have a meadow at your disposal? Living plants are another option for adding greenery to your big day. “It’s a classic shade that goes with everything and a fabulous foliage archway can really wow, with far less environmental damage,” Alexandra Pisani points out.
As for bridal bouquets, according to Olivia Liddiard-Hibbert, client and sales manager at Maison de Fleurs, it’s all about the personal touch. “Brides are asking for more specific flowers to be incorporated, even hiding objects in their bouquets that have meaning to them.”
Judging by the most recent crop of celebrity weddings, the cake is one tradition couples are not skipping – Mandy Moore served 12 different cakes at her wedding in November 2018. Wedding cakes have evolved from the traditional fruit and fondant kinds into towering works of art covered in anything from edible flowers to dripped icing, brush strokes to gin flavouring. Not forgetting the very Instagram-friendly geode cake. Even the Duke and Duchess of Sussex got creative and served a modern lemon and elderflower confection, rather than a traditional fruit cake, at their 2018 wedding reception.
It’s hard to deny Instagram’s enduring influence on wedding day decor. To scroll through your feed on any given Sunday in summer is to be bombarded with aesthetically pleasing tablescapes. To keep things interesting, couples are becoming more creative and sophisticated with their requests, the experts say. “In general my clients want a more tailored look and approach to their wedding,” says wedding planner and stylist Anne Ladegast-Chiu, of HILDE. “Something that feels fresh and ‘them’, as opposed to a more typical wedding look.”
Pisani agrees there has been a marked shift away from the two-colour schemes that couples used to focus on. “It’s more about the atmosphere and vibe rather than matchy-matchy tablescapes,” she says.
To create the overall vibe, the devil is in the detail, they say, from the colour of the cutlery to the texture of the tablecloth. According to Walshe, unique lighting has also become a key focus, with on-trend weddings featuring a mix of hanging pendants, lampshades and chandeliers.
Wedding Photography Trends.
Wedding photography trends come and go and I have seen many amazing and interesting methods over the last ten years.
Some things have come and gone. Some that I have tried, some I have avoided but I have tried to learn from them all.
I will look at some of the more prevalent things I have seen recently then give some of my thoughts about the future.
Colour and effects.
Colour tints and vintage look photographs –
I have seen this done well and it can create spectacular images.
It can also make your wedding photography look very dated. I have played around with some of these techniques generally at the request of a couple.
I have been delighted with the results but I have always included a set of classicly edited images for the couples too.
Selective colouring within an image –
I started seeing a lot of this in the late 00’s. Another technique that if done correctly (and sparingly) can create beautiful visual effects.
It started to become known among wedding photographers as “Schindlering” from the film “Schindler’s list”. I have seen it being done way too much and very poorly. But like everything, there is a time and a place for everything.
Black and White photography –
This seems to come and go depending on the photographer but I love black and white. You will see quite a bit of it in my work. For me, it makes the viewer focus on the content of the image. This is especially true for photographs with emotional content.
Colour in a photograph can either add impact or distract from the visual. Whenever I photograph a wedding I have my camera set to show a black and white preview.
This is because on the occasions I do check my images during the day I am concerned with exposure, framing and image content. I find colour distracts from these key elements.
When I am editing a set of wedding photographs the decision over whether the image will end up a colour or black and white photograph is a critical one for me.
Dramatic lighting for wedding portraits –
I love using flashes and getting beautifully lit dramatic images. As well as being special images for the couple they are good to showcase my work and get noticed.
They are becoming more of an expected part of wedding photography than something unique and I think this will continue.
A trend that started in Chinese and South Asian marriages. Post and pre-wedding photography sessions are to be here to stay.
A pre-wedding or engagement shoot
is a great way to get to know your photographer. and of course, an excellent way for your photographer to get to know you. As a wedding photographer, I enjoy these. It gives me a chance to see how the couple interact.
How comfortable the couples are with a camera pointed at them. Do they need posing or are they natural posers? If you can get away without giving too many directions to a couple the photographs will always look more natural.
Images from these photography sessions are often used for invites or “save the day” cards too.
Post-wedding or ‘Cherish the dress’ photo-shoots
have also become more popular over the last few years. A great excuse to but the wedding dress back on and have some fun.
I have photographed quite a few of these and they are great. Nobody is pre-occupied with the wedding day. The whole shoot is just about having some fun and making pretty pictures. Plus is the dress gets a bit dirty it’s no big deal.
These are a great way to celebrate an anniversary or if you have it shortly after the wedding you can use the images for thank you cards.
Staged weddings –
I often see these on Pinterest and in portfolios. Sometimes they are from a ‘Cherish the dress photoshoot”.
Sometimes for commercial shoots. The images are often beautiful but obviously taken in a studio environment. I love using flashes at a wedding to give beautiful high quality looking images.
A wedding is a fast-paced event and it is important to get beautiful images but it is a wedding and I try not to upset the flow of the day too much.
Same day wedding photography edits.
This can be a wonderful and powerful thing to do. I have on a few occasions taken a selection of images from the morning and the wedding ceremony. Given them a quick edit to have them ready to display on a large screen or projected for the wedding guests in the evening.
It is great for people who may not have seen these events. It is also a good marketing piece for me and has gotten me bookings there and then.
Camera phones – have moved on so much over the past few years. I have seen stunning images taken with an iPhone at a wedding and it is so instant, snap, click and post.
I can imagine somebody out there photographing a whole wedding on a cell phone but for me, there is still a place for a professional camera and more importantly good quality lenses as a wedding photographer.
Drones at weddings – These appear to divide some people. I know wedding photographers that hate them. One work with from time to time visibly shudders when he hears that distinctive sound of a drone in flight.
I think they give you the opportunity to get photographs and video from angles that would have been impossible to achieve a few years ago. I have had to get myself in some precarious places to get a specific shot in the past that with a drone would have been so simple.
Unplugged wedding ceremonies.
I am seeing more and more weddings where couples are asking their guest to leave the cameras and phones in their bags and pockets. I think mainly because they want their guests focused on the day and having fun.
Also because we live so much of our lives on social media couples don’t want their wedding ceremony ‘live-streamed’ for the world to see. So much of our lives are constantly out there that sometimes we just want some privacy.
Also if you are paying a professional to photograph your wedding day having uncle Bob slowing things down to get a similar shot can be distracting. Personally, I like guests taking pictures.
In just about every wedding I have photographed there has been a guest (a few times with better equipment than me). Who has asked questions, or wanted some advice and I’m always happy to help, just not as I’m trying to get those crucial shots.
What could be better than a destination wedding? For some, this is the fairytale. For others the idea of not having everybody there is a disaster.
We are all different but in my experience destination weddings are on the increase. Instead of spending vast amounts of money paying for people who you hardly know to be at your wedding I am seeing many couples choose to spend it on themselves. Start with a holiday, get married then you are instantly on honeymoon.
Sounds perfect and if I was planning my wedding it is almost certainly the way I would go. When I quote for destination wedding packages I only charge extra for my transport and two nights accommodation. With air travel being so cost-effective these days that is not a significant addition.
Another alternative I see a lot is people getting married abroad then returning to the UK and having a second “event” for friends and family. That way they get the best of both and as the wedding is already done things are often more relaxed and informal.
Who pays for wedding photography?
I think it has become the exception that family and specifically the brides family are the ones paying for the wedding day. More and more couples are being responsible for their wedding costs. Often with help from both families.
The friend of the family wedding photographer – I am seeing less of this. I think many brides and grooms have been disappointed by the results of either asking a mate with a camera or hiring somebody cheap.
I know people who have said it was their most significant bad wedding decision. Once the wedding day is over the photographs are the most tangible and shareable memories you have. As I was told a long time ago “Quality is rarely cheap and cheap is rarely quality”
Dirty wedding photographers.
Or dirty wedding photography. This comes in many forms and isn’t really anything new. It can be an accidental picture that is a little compromising. It can be a staged photograph that has the bride and groom (or wedding guests) looking like they are performing some sexual act.
Maybe a setup shot intended to just be a little provocative and sexy that crossed a line. But lines are a personal thing. One person sexy is persons trashy.
A few years ago it was quite popular for a bride to be to have a boudoir photography session before the wedding. Sometimes these photo shoots were made into an album, book or gift set as a wedding present for the groom. Maybe this has helped spawn the popularity of adding these types of images to a wedding day.
Where ever your opinion falls on this, harmless bit of fun, trashy and vulgar or hilarious must have pictures, it’s here and we’ll probably see more in 2019.
So what will be the wedding photography trends 2020?
I think there will be more technologies in camera developments. As photographers, we are always looking out for shiny sexy new stuff. That’s always the case.
Cinematic/filmic look photographs are gaining in popularity and I expect to see much more in 2019
Things like drones (and safer drones). are here to stay unless legislation and wedding venues put an end to them.
More photojournalistic and candid photography with only a little formal photography.
Couples will continue to carry the bulk of their wedding cost.
Pre-wedding shoots and cherish the dress type sessions will grow in popularity and I welcome that.
More people will be heading to the sun to get married (just keep an eye on how Brexit affects that).
More people will be willing to invest in good quality professional photographers and not leave their images to change with a friend who photographs as a hobby or somebody they found cheap on Facebook.
Couples will be looking for something unique, new and different.
Weddings will continue to be fun times of celebrating the start of a new chapter in a couples life together.
Long live black and white wedding photography!
A little update from Vogue.
The modern wedding has become less about going-to-the-chapel tradition, more about choosing your own adventure. If you’re Karlie Kloss, this means taking a couple of months between saying ‘I do’ and the first dance. For Idris Elba, it was a three-day extravaganza in Morocco. Even the Duchess of Sussex broke a couple of age-old wedding trends at her royal wedding, because why should anyone have to follow the rules when it comes to celebrating their personal love story?
Helpfully, the biggest wedding trend for 2020 is individuality. The industry is evolving, which thankfully means brides are no longer pigeon-holed in either the ‘traditional’ or ‘boho’ category. Plus, guests no longer endure a summer of déjà vu at a series of identikit weddings (are we really still tossing bouquets?)
“Over the last few years I have seen a change in how couples want to plan their weddings,” says Elizabeth Walshe of Weddings by Elizabeth Walshe. “They are more inclined to choose modern, contemporary celebrations creating an ambience or a mood, as opposed to being led by trends, colours and themes.”
Here, Vogue breaks down the 2020 wedding trends to consider when planning your own bespoke big day.
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