2021 Wedding Trends: Design + Decor

It’s no surprise that weddings are looking different these days. All the rules, regulations, and safety precautions of the Covid era have changed the wedding industry in a lot of ways. There’s no denying that it’s been an incredibly tough year for couples and industry professionals alike, but not all of the changes have been bad; in fact, we foresee many of them becoming the norm! Here are some of the trends that we’re expecting to see last well into the new year – and beyond.

It goes without saying that weddings have become smaller and more intimate out of the necessity of social distancing and keeping our loved ones safe. With that shift, though, has come a new and, quite frankly lovely, change in focus – namely, from the Instagrammable to the truly special and meaningful. We’re seeing such a change in priority, and the result is that more and more couples are forgoing the elaborate and Pinterest-inspired for the details that make their days personal, comfortable, and guest-oriented. There’s been a definite turn toward nostalgic details (think custom paperie, comfort food on the menu, and playlists full of the classics) and elements meant to make guests feel at home – like comfy lounges, which are just as much a design element as they are a way to ensure the comfort of your guests.

While guest counts are dropping, budgets largely aren’t, so we’re seeing much more flexibility in spending than hat we often had before. After all, a budget of $50k looks very different for a 150-person wedding than it does for a 20-person wedding! With all the extra money left in our clients’ budgets, we’ve been seeing lots more custom pieces and major design statements, like high-dollar floral installations and gourmet dinners that may have been unattainable before.

Some of the old stand-bys are still holding for 2021 – jewel tones in winter, pastels in spring, soft dusty blues in summer, and earth tones in fall – but we’re also seeing a major rise in bright, cheery colors. Vibrant pinks, oranges, and yellows are striking, eye-catching, and celebratory, and couples who have been through 2020 are wanting to celebrate in the biggest ways.

One of the biggest shifts we’re seeing in the planning process is in the way couples are choosing their vendors. It’s no longer enough to see good reviews and a gorgeous Instagram feed; couples want to know that their vendors share their values. Whether it’s support of marriage equality, inclusive and accepting content on websites, or a Black Lives Matter sign in the office window, couples are more in-tune with vendor values than ever before.

(And, just so we’re as clear as can be, Julep Events loves, supports, and celebrates ALL couples.)

We’ve also seen a major shift toward nostalgia in our clients’ designs. More than ever, our brides are having their dresses heirloomed and their bouquets pressed, and grooms are picking out cuff links and ties with timeless designs that they can pass down to their sons for their wedding days. We love to remind our couples that a wedding is a celebration for the whole family, and it’s so special to be able to pass pieces of it down to future generations as heirlooms.

Overall, 2021 is showing us that traditions are being upended. Couples are wanting to create designs and experiences that are unique to them and that reflect their love stories instead of recreating what they love on Pinterest, and they’re focusing more than ever on celebrating their guests and loved ones, too. Everything has a more personal touch to it – and, quite frankly, we’re here for it.

Looking for more trends to get inspired by? Check out the rest of our blog series:

Style + Beauty


Catering + Bar

Guest Experience

Photo credits: (1) Kelsey LeNae Photography, (2) Lightly Photography, (3) Lightly Photography, (4) kikki.K