Our Weddings

Black Wedding Trends and Predictions for 2024

bride and groom at sunset

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As 2024 arrives, we are looking at what ideas and trends are likely to stand out in the New Year. We aren’t alone—many wedding publications will be putting together their prediction pieces for the year. But most of those lists are not solely inclusive and will miss the mark when it comes to weddings of color and Black weddings, in particular.

We reached out to fifteen Black wedding vendors that have longevity and experience in the industry to tell us what they believe will be rising and declining throughout 2024. We wanted to know the insights that will not only impact brides and couples, but also wedding vendors, too. From fashion-forward attire to innovative decor, this article is an exclusive glimpse into the future of weddings. Join us as we share the wedding trends and predictions that will likely make 2024 a year of breathtaking and intentional nuptials.

Black Bridal Trends on The Rise

More Bridal Glam, Less BoHo

From super beat faces to embellished gowns with dramatic trains, the girls want a glamour wedding day look. Atlanta-area bridal stylist Ebony Foreman noticed that brides want more from their bridal looks and this might come in their add-on accessories like “exaggerated sleeves.” (We noticed the emergence of accessories to enhance the wedding day look last year.) Atlanta-based bridal makeup artist B. Gandy of B for Beaute noticed the same in her bridal inquiries. “I am glad the girls have stopped lying to themselves about wanting to look oh so ‘natural’.”

So as more want glam, less will be drawn to the BoHo bridal vibe. Atlanta-based wedding floral designer Leneille Moon of Special Event Factory said she is seeing less requests for pampas grass. As for bridal gowns, Foreman sees less of the “effortless” look that BoHo gowns give. For those couples that saw the minimalism of weddings around the pandemic, the opposite of such is outwardly showing the effort and attention in all aspects of the wedding.

Less Monotone, More Color

We believe that more brides are opting for color instead of the black, white, neutrals, and metallics of yesterday. New York-based wedding planner Camille Plummer of JunePlumm Events said that “we have seen such a large stretch of white weddings [in] years past that couples are starting to think big again and incorporating bold color into their weddings.” Wedding content creator Lanise Harris of BABE Events agrees with this sentiment. Moon sees this as well. “All white weddings are mostly out as well! Finally, we get to use more color!” Wedding planner Alisha Freeman of One Twenty West said “bold jewel tones are back with a vengeance.” Whether engaged couples are incorporating color throughout their wedding or just indulging in an accent color, this is a sign that the trend is coming back.

Brides Want Bridal Stylists

Your wedding day looks is not the same as going to a department store or fave fast fashion spot online and picking a cute number. Brides are realizing that they need help executing their wedding day look so they are looking to the experts: bridal stylists. Atlanta wedding planner Bree Love said these bridal stylists are “managing all details regarding the wedding dress, assisting with the entire look, and making sure the bride is giving what she wants to give! Not every bride knows how to pull a look together.” Simply put: as more brides realize they need help, they’re budgeting to leverage a bridal stylist to make their dream look a reality.

Give Us Candles and Plenty of ‘Em

Brides and engaged couples are shying away from heavy florals and want more candles. This could be because of the cost or because of the romantic aesthetic that candles can provide. Moon shared what she sees amongst her clientele: “usually, we [would] add a little votive here and there but we are noticing they want heavier candles on the reception estate tables more so than usual.” She believes the wedding budget is a factor in this decision. Freeman has similar thoughts. “I don’t know if it’s the rising price of flowers in this economy or what, but clients with a strapped budget are opting for more candles than flowers.” The sticker shock of wedding florals will likely continue to contribute to this growing trend.

Engagement Rings with Invisible Halos

A new-ish trend is starting to show up on more bridal fingers and that is the engagement ring with an invisible halo. Invisible halo engagement rings are different from the standard halo as the jewels of the halo are around the base or the prongs of the center stone instead of being prominently visible around the center stone. This gives the aesthetic of a solitaire and gives more attention to the center stone. It is also a unique design that is very beautiful to many.

Alternative Wedding Favors

Couples are thinking outside of the box when it comes to their wedding guest experiences. This translates into better wedding favors, too. No longer is this a last minute token of appreciation that boils down to peppermints or a personalized shot glass. The ideas are truly endless. Harris agrees, seeing favors such as “tattoos, water color painted portraits, portrait photography” and more.

The First Moments

Some couples want to get the most out of their wedding day so they may opt for early moments such as the first look or the first touch. If the first look feels like it is robbing marriers of the opportunity to have the emotional response when seeing their future spouse when walking down the aisle, they are going for the first touch, instead. DC and Maryland-based wedding planner Kathryne Carter said that she noticed that more of her clients prefer to “do first touch moments and personal vows rather than first looks.” This also creates a beautiful moment that can be captured by the wedding media team and can be reflected on later.

More Destination Weddings

The revenge travel from the pandemic also trickled into the wedding space, too. Many in the wedding industry As more couples want more control over their wedding experience and are footing the bill for it, they can decide when and where they want to get married. Plummer says they’re also thinking outside of the box when it comes to wedding destinations, as her clients are “adding unique destinations to their list of possibilities.” Those destinations in particular: “Italy, Africa, Costa Rica, Greece to name a few.”

More Intimate Weddings

This might be because the pandemic showed us all who is truly in our corners. This could also be because the cost of everything went up, too. As the great Beyoncé said, “it could be both.” But some Black brides and couples are opting for smaller weddings. Chicago-based wedding planner Alyson Thompson of Birdcage and Blushers Events thinks “this is due to couples wanting to put their money towards other things like buying a home. I also think that couples are looking to have more intimate weddings where they can be more intentional about their guest list, and wanting to be able to connect with all their guests at their wedding.” So ultimately, smaller guest counts are just a means to craft your wedding your way, if you want.

More High-End Wedding Photography

It makes no sense to prioritize the decor and aesthetics of your wedding day if your wedding photographer or videographer can’t capture those details in the manner they deserve. Wedding photographer and wedding content creator Chrissandra Jallah of Captured by Chris Photography said she’s noticed “more and more couples [are] opting for editorial & documentary style photography coverage versus what is considered more traditional. It’s becoming more popular because couples want something different; they want their photos to feel more unique to them. Also, many couples are wanting to focus more on enjoying their day & being present.” These photography styles—fine art, documentarian, and editorial—all lend to an elevated manner to capture the wedding day memories.

Black Bridal Trends on The Decline

Large Wedding Parties, if Any

Brides may be more aware of the financial and emotional stress that can come with having large wedding parties. So, instead, they are opting for smaller parties or none at all. Gandy said that “a lot of brides are saying they don’t want to be bothered with the chaos and confusion that comes with [brides]maids.” Chicago wedding planner Jennifer Price of Event Shoppe Chicago believes that “couples are realizing they are not obligated to have large weddings parties with family and friends.” She also thinks that instead of completely ditching the wedding party altogether, they are opting for “get ready crews.” Plummer shared a similar sentiment saying “even if they eliminate the traditional bridal party, they are still looking for fun and unique ways to recognize or incorporate those that mean the most to them… on the wedding day. “These groups put less stress on the friends throughout the engagement and allow them to be fully present on the wedding day.

Freeman also said that couples that want a small wedding party if one at all are doing this because they “don’t want to put a financial burden on their friends.” But also on the other side of that, those that may continue to have a wedding party may request that they be seated during the ceremony so only the couple and their officiant are standing.

Ditching Wedding Traditions

The traditions of yesterday’s weddings were about things like getting married locally in a huge banquet hall, giving all your guests plus ones, and incorporating garter and bouquet tosses in the reception. Well, not so much anymore. Engaged couples are realizing that they don’t have to do any of that. If you want to get married in another state or country, you can. If you want to get married with just the two of your or a very small group of loved ones, you can do that, too. Love said couples “are considering their options more and really making note of what’s important to them versus what others want.” Arizona-based wedding planner Cassandra Richardson of Cassandra Nichole Events said that she believes “couples are now making their wedding about them and their relationship. They are not succumbing to the pressures of what everyone wants them to do.” Bridal concierge and stylist Candace Darby of The Cocoa Bride noticed this too, saying “I think people are more comfortable what doing what they truly want to do.”

Thompson said she’s seeing less banquet hall and ballroom weddings. “I’m seeing more couples think outside of the box with their venue choices and not as many people are doing the banquet hall weddings. Couples seem to be putting more thought in choosing venues that speaks to who they are.” As this can tie into the trend of intimate weddings, this opens up the opportunity for more unique wedding spaces, like libraries, museums, bookstores, and restaurants.

This also means moving away from the garter and bouquet tosses. Price said that “the historical reference is not applicable in today’s wedding and it allows [the couple] to save time for things they actually want to do and get them to the party portion of the day quicker.” Jallah said that couples still may opt for the garter toss, but might not include the removal of the garter as part of the act. Harris feels as if those traditions are outdated: “It’s antiquated and a bit sexist. and it singles out single people.” Simply put: anything that can give couples more time to dance and party will be fully embraced over old traditions that they don’t relate to.

Scaling Back on Natural Diamond Engagement Rings

This is a trend that many may not admit to, but natural diamond engagement rings are on the decline. Couples are realizing that by purchasing a lab-grown diamond or a diamond alternative is more beneficial to your wallet. Also, the majority of people can’t tell the difference anyway. However, due to the De Beers’ campaign of yesteryear, there is a stigma about non-natural diamond center stones, despite it’s obvious popularity. Regardless, the girlies are going to get their rings and the world will likely never know the difference.

Smaller Wedding Florals and Decors

Instead of huge wedding party bouquets or centerpieces, couples are opting to go smaller. Los Angeles-based floral designer Gabrielle Rosser said in regards to the smaller bouquets, “I think some of this is due to a more paired down wedding vibe than we’ve seen in the past. I also think we are seeing a shift towards guest experience being one of the top concerns for couples—who’d rather shift their focus to centerpieces, installations etc. than large personal florals or having florals for every member of the wedding party.” Moon agreed. “[Wedding floral designers are] going towards less on a table. I’m noticing the large gold vases and extravagant vessels are not the move. [Couples want] more low and lush.”

Good on Photobooths

Wedding entertainers and DJs like DJ Toryn Lankford of Exquisite Sounds Entertainment have noticed a decline in couples wanting photobooths. This could mean one or two things: engaged people aren’t finding the novelty in the traditional photo booths or 360 video booths anymore. Or, they still want these items but are opting to find them from a vendor that specializes in the offering, perhaps at a more affordable cost.

Not As Many Full Wedding Cakes

As couples are becoming more conscious of their spending and realizing that not every guest will want the wedding cake, some are opting for faux cakes and sheet cakes in the kitchen. Love noticed that couples “will more than likely have sheet cakes from the baker in the back or have a dessert table with different options for guests to enjoy.” Not only does this help your pockets, it also provides variety for your guests, too.

Bye, Bye to Wedding Hashtags

Look at many of the popular Facebook bridal communities and you’ll come across a post or two where a bride-to-be is seeking help creating her wedding hashtag. But those posts aren’t showing up as frequently as they were before and Freeman believes this is a sign that wedding hashtags are slowly on their way out. She said she is seeing “less of an emphasis on punny, catchy hashtags. I think they may be dying in popularity because guests for so long either didn’t know the hashtag or would post without using the hashtag so it didn’t hold its value.”

Black Wedding Vendor Trends on The Rise

Wedding Content Creators Are Here to Stay

We mentioned last year that wedding content creators were becoming the next new thing and our friendors agree going into 2024. Plummer told us that wedding vendors are seeing the importance of having a content creator on staff since “everyone is looking for the next viral clip.” She went on to say that “in additional to taking behind-the-scenes clips or traditional videos, [vendors] are hiring a separate content creator to make an impact on the business.” Jallah mentioned that “it’s becoming popular for wedding vendors to have wedding content creators on their team. Planners hire them to get content for social media, while photo & video teams offer it as an add-on.” Freeman also said that due to “instant gratification”, more couples are hiring wedding content creators because they “can give a recap of their day far faster” than your average wedding media team. Despite how one feels about them, the wedding content creator is not going anywhere anytime soon.

More Wedding Vendor-Hosted Podcasts

This probably isn’t a surprise to many, but more wedding vendors want to lend their expertise and insights in the form of podcasts. This may be a new marketing tactic for wedding vendors where they can connect with potential and past clients in a lighthearted and educational medium. But as podcasts across all genres continue to grow, expect to see more wedding podcasts emerge as well.

Creating More Bundled or Flexible Wedding Services

Similar to what we mentioned last year, some wedding vendors are realizing that they need to meet their clients halfway. Thompson noticed this trend more with wedding photographers whereas we’ve noticed this collaborative effort among wedding planners and content creators or bridal makeup and hair teams. On the bride’s side, it allows her to select multiple vendors at the same time without exhausting herself with research. On the wedding vendor’s side, this adds more value to the vendor while allowing them to work with a trusted vendor at the same time. A win, win. Plummer also believes that wedding vendors are recognizing the needs of their clients which could expand their offerings and create multiple streams of income. “If [wedding vendors] notice a trend of clients asking or selecting the same items (chairs, staging, draping, speciality tables, etc), they are now finding ways to include that in their offerings as an add on service.”

More Professionalism in The Midst of Novice Vendors

There are more new wedding vendors emerging, it has become important for established wedding vendors to separate themselves. One way they are doing that is through better automations, workflows, and business practices. Thompson said “We are setting up workflows and procedures to onboard and off board our clients.” This speaks to the casual nature wedding clients may treat their vendor teams and how these practices can create the natural boundaries needed for the vendor to service their couples in excellence. But wedding vendors like Lankford are noticing the more “really inexperienced” wedding vendors that also “bring on or recommend other inexperienced vendors.” So the need to differentiate the two categories of vendors will be important to one’s wedding day.

Leaving the Wedding Industry

This trend probably began to grow around the pandemic, but as weddings have returned to pre-2020-normalcy, some vendors are not returning. Gandy has noticed a lot of vendors leaving the industry and believes part of the reason is because “the girlies are tired worn out and trying to secure some health insurance.” The demands from brides, the lack of understanding the value of vendors, and missing important moments in their friends and families lives due to work has finally become not worth it.

Black Wedding Vendor Trends on The Decline

Less Wedding Galleries on USBs

When was the last time you used a flash drive? Does your computer even have a USB port? Right. Well, photographers are noticing this and opting to invest that money elsewhere. Jallah said “some clients don’t buy an album & the USB was another way to have another copy of your images. However, in this digital age, many clients either lose the USB or don’t really care for it.” What she’s noticing instead is that “photographers have gotten better about educating clients on heirloom albums & prints to preserve their memories.” Instead of purchasing an album that was 1/4th of the cost of your photographer in the first place, getting a few prints from the digital album could be more cost-effective and useful in your home.

No to Traditional Wedding Chair Decor

Do you recall the days of chair covers? What about those chair ribbons that were tied around the back? We know you remember Chiavari chairs. Well, as more chair alternatives began to show up, more rental companies, decor shops, and venues are opting to include those chair styles instead. Love said “There are much better options for chair options now then there were 5-10 years ago. Brides and Grooms are opting to have more upscale/lux seating options to match the wedding theme/design.”

To Wrap

So, it is clear that engaged couples are seeking unique ways to infuse their personalities into every aspect of their special day. Wedding vendors are also leaning into the upcoming needs of their clients, too. As we embark on this exciting journey into 2024, let’s celebrate the creativity and dedication of the wedding industry professionals who continuously push the boundaries, ensuring that each ceremony becomes a bespoke work of art. Whether you’re a bride and groom-to-be or a wedding industry insider, here’s to a year filled with love, inspiration, and the magic that only weddings can bring. Cheers to the trends that will shape our celebrations and create memories to last a lifetime!

Special Thanks

We are truly grateful to the wedding vendors that shared their insights with us. Those wedding vendors are: Alisha Freeman of One Twenty West / Alyson Thompson of Birdcage and Blushers Events / B. Gandy of B for Beaute / Bree Love / Camille Plummer of JunePlumm EventsCandace Darby of The Cocoa Bride / Cassandra Richardson of Cassandra Nichole Events / Chrissandra Jallah of Captured by Chris Photography / Ebony Foreman of Ebony’s Bridal Experience / Gabrielle Rosser of Gabrielle Blossoms / Jennifer Price of Event Shoppe Chicago / Kathryne Carter of Grace and Virtue Events / Lanise Harris of BABE Events / Leneille Moon of Special Event Factory / Toryn Lankford of Exquisite Sounds Entertainment