As a Virginia wedding photographer, I’ve had the privilege of capturing over 100 wedding days at this point! Over the last 5 years it has be so fun to see the wedding trends evolve and boom with the seasons! With the start of the spring season I’m predicting a few of the biggest trends and traditions coming up over the next few years.  If you’re a newly engaged couple navigating the exciting journey of planning your special day in 2024 or 2025 hopefully these predictions help spark some ideas.  

Top growing wedding trends to consider:

Pearls: Pearls are making a comeback in a big way, adding a touch of timeless elegance to bridal ensembles. Whether it’s incorporating pearl accents into your gown, jewelry, or even decor elements like table centerpieces, pearls lend a classic and sophisticated charm to any wedding aesthetic.

Outfit Changes: Embrace the idea of outfit changes not just for the bride and groom, but also for your wedding party and even guests! Consider providing comfy shoes for dancing. I’ve seen tons of brides swap to a cocktail dress, jumpsuit or even add, a bold jacket with your new last name. We love any swaps  and attire that allows everyone to move freely and enjoy the celebration to the fullest.

Wedding Guest Outfit Themes: Encourage your guests to get creative with themed attire that complements the overall vibe of your wedding. Whether it’s a vintage-inspired affair, a garden party theme, or even a black-tie optional dress code, setting a dress theme adds an extra layer of fun and excitement to your big day while ensuring everyone looks coordinated in your wedding photos.

Less Formal Wedding Party: Say goodbye to rigid gender norms and embrace a more inclusive and relaxed approach to your wedding party. Consider mixed-gender groupings, mix-matched attire that reflects each individual’s personality, and a casual getting-ready process that fosters a sense of camaraderie and joy among your closest friends and family.

Smaller Weddings with More Events: Opt for an intimate celebration spread out over a weekend, allowing you to spend quality time with your loved ones and create cherished memories together. From welcome dinners and outdoor activities to post-wedding brunches, a multi-day wedding celebration offers a more relaxed and personalized experience for both you and your guests.

Late Night Snacks or Specialty Drinks: Treat your guests to indulgent late-night snacks or signature cocktails like espresso martinis or Whiskey tasting bar to keep the energy levels high and the party going well into the night. Whether it’s a gourmet popcorn bar, a taco truck, or a decadent dessert station, Chick-Fil-A sandwiches passed on the dance floor. Offering delicious treats ensures that everyone leaves your wedding with full hearts and happy stomachs.

Food Stations vs. Plated Meals Ditch the traditional sit-down dinner in favor of interactive food stations that allow guests to customize their culinary experience. Consider setting up an oyster bar showcasing fresh seafood or other themed stations featuring local specialties, artisanal cheeses, or global cuisine. Pasta and Taco stations, one couple of mine even did a biscuit bar at cocktail hour. Not only does this add an element of excitement to your reception, but it also encourages mingling and socializing among guests.

Just remember you do NOT need to jump on every trend just because you see it plastered on pinterest or by instagram influences. Always think about the wedding day experience that truly reflects your love story and personal style. 

NOW onto the wedding traditions that are FADING…

As a seasoned Virginia wedding photographer, I’ve noticed several wedding trends that are gradually fading away, making room for new and exciting ideas to take their place. Let’s delve deeper into these disappearing trends:

Traditional Cake Cuttings: While cutting the wedding cake has long been a staple of receptions, many couples are moving away from this tradition and skipping the formal feed each other moment. Instead, they’re exploring alternative dessert options like dessert bars, gourmet donut walls, or having an ice cream truck appearance!

Neutral Weddings: Gone are the days of strictly neutral color palettes dominating wedding decor. Couples are embracing the use of bold and vibrant colors to infuse personality and energy into their celebrations. From mixed textured florals, couples are incorporating diverse color palettes that reflect their unique style and complement their chosen venue and theme.

Interrupted Dance Floor Activities: Anything that interrupts the dance floor festivities has been on a huge downshift. Events such as the bouquet toss, garter toss, or anniversary dance, are being phased out in favor of a more seamless and continuous party atmosphere. Couples are opting for front loading any formal dances/speeches to allow for a dance floor celebration without breaks for formalities.

Elaborate Wedding Favors: While wedding favors have been a longstanding tradition, many couples are scaling back and prefer to have things more personal. Instead, they’re focusing on meaningful and practical favors that align with the overall theme and vibe of the wedding. From locally sourced treats, handwritten letter seating charts, to charitable donations made in honor of guests, couples are opting for gestures that leave a lasting impact.

Formal End of Night Send-offs: The classic formal send-off, often involving sparklers or rice tosses as the newlyweds make their grand exit, is becoming less common. Couples are opting for daylight grand moments such as a ceremony exit petal toss, bubbles, or Champagne tower. While the end of the night features more all inclusive overnight venues where couples can linger and mingle with their guests after the dance floor ends!

Remember that your wedding day is not about the traditions or even prioritizing the guest experience for the most talked about event on social media. YOUR WEDDING is about you, the couple that is joining their lives together with trust and determination for your marriage ahead.

I can’t wait to see all of the changing trends over the next few years, if you are looking for a photographer to partner with you in documenting these amazing details LET’S CHAT! 

2024 Trends & Traditions | Predicting the In’s and Out’s of Virginia Weddings

Apr 23, 2024

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I'm Heather, a Wedding & Brand Photographer serving Central Virginia & Beyond! I love sharing beautiful love stories, inspiring wedding details, and practical tips for a stress free wedding!

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