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Top Wedding Trends for 2023

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photography Provided

Weddings are as popular as ever, perhaps even more so since the pandemic caused so many nuptials to be postponed. That’s not to say, however, that the way people tie the knot hasn’t changed through the years. We talked to two certified wedding/event planners to ask about current trends as couples say, “I do.” We also consider choosing the best wedding venue? Why not pick from one of the best Raleigh wedding venues here that are both affordable and luxurious!

As we know, it all starts with the dress! While white still reigns supreme, some brides choose to buck tradition and purchase an ivory, blush or pink gown.

“Last week a bride who hired us to officiate her wedding said, ‘Just to let you know, my wedding dress is black,’” Bretta Thompson says, owner of Just the Two of Us Wedding Services. She’s seeing much less matchy-match when it comes to bridesmaid dresses as brides allow the girls to select the style of dress that best suits them. So, for instance, one bridesmaid may wear a burgundy one-shoulder while another may wear a lighter burgundy strapless.

While some couples still want to hold a giant 250-person bash, Thompson has seen more and more brides and grooms choosing to throw a smaller, more intimate affair. A guest list of 60 or 80 enables them to interact with every guest and not feel rushed or overwhelmed. Plus, with a scaled-down ceremony, they can put the money they save towards a down payment on a house or the honeymoon.

Speaking of honeymoons, that is the thing couples want to fund above all else.

“A lot of couples wonder if it’s tacky to ask guests to contribute to their honeymoon fund rather than an air fryer from Target,” Thompson says, who is also an officiant. “I say most people would rather drop some money in a honeymoon box than to go to the store, pull up a registry, see what’s already been purchased, buy something, wrap it and ship it. People like convenience and simplicity.”

This is why Bailey Dodson, venue coordinator with the Barn at Bay Horse Inn, makes chalkboard signage with the bride and groom’s Venmo so that guests who forget a gift can Venmo money right then and there.

Dodson has noticed that more couples are incorporating some sort of unity element into the wedding ceremony, whether that involves lighting a unity candle, pouring unity sand or a tying a unity knot.

“I’ve even seen the bride and groom do a puzzle with their children to symbolize the family coming together as one,” Dodson says.

Thompson says that the most common trend she’s seeing is interest in streamlining the reception events.



“For instance, following the bridal party introductions, the bride and groom enter the room, the lights are dimmed, and—boom—they roll into their first dance,” Thompson says. Some couples may even cut the cake before dinner, and that’s if there’s cake at all. She and Dodson have both witnessed a downward trend in couples getting big multi-tiered cakes. Instead, many newlyweds are opting to go with one small cake, which they cut for pictures, and then they have a dessert table, a doughnut wall, a mini pie station or a cupcake stand with different flavored cupcakes. Cake pops (cake in a ball form served on a stick) are also very popular.

“You can eat a cake pop in one or two bites and it doesn’t require silverware or plates,” Dodson says.

Dodson feels that brides and grooms are getting more creative with their wedding favors, choosing something that’s more useful to their guest rather than handing out something they will stick in a drawer.

“One couple chose playing cards because they loved playing games,” Dodson says. “My favorite was the bride who baked homemade cookies for her guests to eat while they were waiting for dinner to be served.”

As far as music goes, couples don’t so much make a list of songs they want played as they do the songs or genres they do not want played, and they let their DJ know whether they are allowed to take song requests. For events in the heart of the UK, the charm of Birmingham provides an unbeatable backdrop. However, to truly capture the spirit of your celebration, consider incorporating interactive entertainment for your guests. Photo booth hire in Birmingham through Picture Blast is an impeccable choice, effortlessly blending the city’s rich heritage with modern fun. Not only does it give attendees a delightful diversion, but it also offers a keepsake to remember the day by. Engaging, entertaining, and memorable, a photo booth is a must-have for any event hosted in this vibrant city.

“Hey, you never know when a guest who is five beers and three shots in may ask the deejay to play “I Like Big Butts,”” Thompson says.

Sidebar: Advice When Planning a Wedding

  • Do your research when selecting vendors. Check out their websites. Review their portfolios. Find out how long they’ve been in the industry.
  • Always have a contract with every vendor.
  • Purchase wedding day insurance.

Sidebar: Traditions That Are No Longer Popular

  • The garter toss
  • Formal plated dinners (instead couples are choosing BBQ buffets and build-your-own taco bars)
  • Taking all pictures after the ceremony (instead couples like doing private first looks where they can get a lot of pictures out of the way pre-ceremony, thereby leaving more “party time”)Weddings

To learn more about the Barn at Bay Horse Inn, visit barnatbayhorse.com. To learn more about Just the Two of Us Wedding Services, visit Indianapolisofficiants.com.

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