After three years of podcasting and almost a year consistently on TikTok, we feel more tuned in to the evolving and steady trends found in the wedding industry, particularly among Black brides and Black weddings. Trends come and trends go, but there are several that we feel are going to take over in 2023. We’re going to break down each trend and explain its popularity and why we think it’ll be impactful this year.
Wedding Prediction 1: Cushion-cut and princess-cut rings will gain popularity.
Engagement ring trends are usually cyclical. About eight years ago, round-cut stones were popular. That evolved into oval-cut stones around 2018 and 2019. We saw the emergence of pear-cut and emerald-cut rings become the go-to cut so naturally, cushion-cut and princess-cut engagement rings are next. Now, we believe 2023 is the early point of this style trending upwards and guess that it’ll become more widespread within the next 2-3 years.
Wedding Prediction 2: The glam B&W photo booth & the 360º video booth will be here for years to come.
Nobody is doing the old school photo booth with the props that you might do at a corporate holiday party anymore. In 2023, we are either getting the glam Black & White photo booth that was inspired by the Kardashians or the 360° video booth as one of the go to wedding entertainment pieces.
Honestly, it probably lends itself to the couples and what they want from their wedding experience—classic moment in time or a vibe. The glam booth is for the brides that dream of a luxury or traditional aesthetic. The Black & White photo softens and captures the wedding day in a way that feels timeless—like it’s something that your grandchildren can frame and refer back to in future decades. It also makes for a great wedding favor for the guests that they’ll enjoy, too.
But on the other hand, the 360° video booth can be for the party couple. Instead of leaving with a photo, the gif or movie from the booth can be texted or emailed to the guests. The couple of honor can select the audio and the design on the video which can add to that energy. You get your guests hype off the libations and the good time which can make for a memorable digital keepsake.
We believe that these entertainment pieces will maintain a favorite throughout the year due to its affordability and accessibility. Almost every type of couple will want one of these booths at their wedding.
Wedding Prediction 3: Expect more 2-in-1 wedding day looks due to removable wedding gown & tuxedo accessories.
Work smarter, not harder. This can also apply to the wedding day aesthetic. Brides and grooms are drawn to multiple looks for their wedding day, but sometimes, it can be costly—especially if you total in the cost of alterations. Some budget-savvy couples are realizing they can elevate or transform their wedding day look with their accessories, making adjustments in the alterations stage, and/or purchasing a 2-in-1 gown or dinner jacket.
Instead of a bride buying two gowns, she can add or remove sleeves, capes, jackets, straps, skirts and/or trains easily to make one outfit into two. Wedding designers are becoming more aware of this design shift and are creating bridal and wedding outfits to be dynamic (This Keo Bridal gown is the perfect example of such.) Tuxedo wearers can create or wear a reversible jacket which can allow for a more playful aesthetic that’s perfect for the reception.
And of course, the change of shoes can also set the tone for the reception. This can be another opportunity to stunt or a chance to get comfortable. Either way, we believe that these 2-in-1 looks will continue to gain popularity, especially as more designers and wedding apparel stores provide more options for convertible wedding outfits.
Wedding Prediction 4: Brides & grooms will continue to intentionally select diverse wedding vendors.
This is a trend that has been popular among Black brides and grooms for years, but in recent years, we saw other demographics make this shift to purposefully picking diverse wedding vendors to assist them on their wedding journey. This became popular in 2020 and 2021 as most mainstream bridal publications and platforms temporarily placed these vendors in lists and social media posts for their audience to get to know them. Those types of awareness-building content have started to diminish, however, there are still many couples that seek diverse vendors for one of two reasons.
One, couples that realize they are in a place of privilege (through financial means, ethnicity and background, etc.) may seek out a vendor that may not have the same network or experience to take on their wedding. This will hopefully allow them to add a great wedding to their portfolio which can create opportunities for exposure through word-of-mouth, publications, and social media virality.
But also, there are Black and other diverse couples that are looking to find a vendor that can relate or empathize with their experiences. These vendors can recognize disparities within the nuances of existence which can honestly make or break the wedding day experience. Like, a Black wedding planner or photographer may find an interior location for the cocktail hour photos if inclement weather pops up that could ultimately damper one’s hairstyle. Granted, many vendors may be able to predict these circumstances, too, but sometimes it just hits differently when it comes from someone that understands.
Also, there are more platforms that are being created to highlight diverse wedding vendors and diverse weddings which can provide places to find inclusive wedding vendors. Hue I Do launched Find with Hue I Do, a wedding directory that has an identity categorization feature where anyone can find vendors just like them easily. We believe that all the reasons above lend itself to this trend never going away, especially for Black couples.
Wedding Prediction 5: Earth tones will continue to gain momentum.
Earth tones have been trending upwards for the last two years. It might be because nature is healing but we ultimately think that it boils down to two reasons:
Like fashion, wedding color schemes can be cyclical, too. Black brides are definitely still in their neutrals and jeweled toned eras, so earth tones jump out. Earth tone weddings work year-round so brides don’t feel conflicted with selecting warm colors in non-fall seasons. Give her a good brown, burnt orange, copper, rustic red, slate blue, or olive green, and she’s good to go.
Beyond the colors working all year, they also complement everyone’s skin tones so well. It doesn’t matter if the wedding party is dark-skinned, light-skinned, fair-skinned… this palette just meshes perfectly. We expect brides to continue to select earth tones for their wedding colors throughout the year.
Wedding Prediction 6: Publications will start highlighting more “alternative” glam aesthetics.
Honestly, publications are realizing that there is so much diversity in our weddings. They’re also realizing that they hold the power of wedding inspiration and after lowkey being put on notice in 2021 and again in 2022, we believe that #BigWedding magazines are going to show the other types of glam weddings. Glam can’t go anywhere because it is inspirational and the maximalist aesthetic draws attention. But as brides start investing more in quality photography and videography and embrace other wedding aesthetics like boho, vintage, and industrial modern, these pubs have no choice but to post—especially if the vendors in their paid networks are working these events.
Wedding Prediction 7: More wedding vendors will provide collaborative, bundled services with other vendors.
Whatever recession or financial crisis we are in is impacting everyone and vendors are feeling it, too. Let’s go back to a time: pre-2020. Weddings were expensive, but eggs weren’t $7. Now, flowers cost as much as a used car AND eggs are $7. What is really good? We believe that vendors are going to try to help the bridal girlies out by bundling their services with other vendors. But, the real reason behind this isn’t as altruistic as one would guess.
Yes, on one hand, collaborating with two or more trusted vendors makes the vendor selection process a little less stressful for many bride-to-bes. However, we really think that vendors have had enough with clients and prospective clients selecting subpar wedding vendors. After working in the industry for many years, they develop relationships with other vendors in complementary spaces. (Think of a wedding photographer working in tandem with a wedding videographer. Or the wedding floral designer working with the wedding rental company.) By joining forces, it allows them to prepare and work together and provide a richer experience overall. There may be a monetary incentive, also. It’s a win-win.
Wedding Prediction 8: The wedding content creator as a bride and a vendor is going to shake up the industry.
The wedding content creator is here. This is a multifaceted individual that is going to set and shift trends for years to come. Prior to the last few years, wedding media and vendors held the control of what brides and grooms knew, could do, and wedding day expectations. But not anymore. Not with the emergence of the wedding content creator.
There are two types of wedding content creators: the bride and the vendor. The bride content creator uses social media as her wedding planning diary where she documents her journey. Using visual platforms like TikTok and Instagram allows them to not only spitball ideas, but receive inspiration and information from other bridal content creators. Bride content creators are gaining a community they may not be afforded in their offline lives as their family and friends may not understand what they’re experiencing. Wedding vendors may struggle to find their place among these creators, so we expect them to reject this kind of bride initially.
Then there is the wedding content creator vendor. This vendor emerged from the former wedding content creator learning from her own wedding journey and wanting to help someone else document their day in these micro-moments fit for social media. This vendor type will likely threaten photographers and videographers that don’t recognize the difference in the service this vendor provides. We believe that towards the back half of 2023 and 2024 will show more of these vendors popping up and more photographers and videographers adding this to their offerings.
We’re excited to see how 2023 unfolds and how these predictions take form. What do you think about these predictions? Which ones do you foresee gaining momentum this year? Which do you think will go away? Let us know.