Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2011 Wedding Trends | Predicting Wedding Industry Trends For 2011

2011 wedding trends

2011 is going to be a very peculiar year for the entire wedding industry. Planning couples are slowly recovering from a negative economic situation, which is causing them to aggressively seek out the biggest bang for their buck. Strategic spending is the new frugal and over-the-top extravagance will be toned down to a new era of "casual" traditional. Wedding dress designs will focus on texture rather than color, and cakes will become more subtle and less of a production. Local is the new "organic" and antique family heirlooms will be a major fashion driver in 2011. DIY will remain strong and more online resources will emerge to capture that growing market. Grooms will assist in more of the wedding planning duties to ensure the big day is a reflection of both people involved and wedding videography will make a comeback.

Of course, all of these things I mention above are just my own personal predictions for what's in store for 2011. I'd love to know what you agree and disagree with. I'd also love to know any forward indicators that you are seeing that could cause a massive trend in the bridal industry? I love posts like this because it really gets me thinking about how far the wedding environment has come in the past 20 years. We are in the middle of a something special and it will be fun to see how it all unfolds.

Enjoy reading the rest of my wedding trend predictions for 2011!


• It will be a defining year for wedding photography in 2011. Quality, professional wedding photographers will keep their current rates while amateur photographers will budget discount themselves out of competition. Brides are beginning to understand that the cheapest photography doesn’t necessarily mean the best photography.

• 18-month engagements will become the norm It’s practical for couples to want more time to save up money.

• The Groupon trend will embrace the bridal market and begin offering deep discounts for group buying opportunities.

• Family owned-heirlooms will become hot. One-of-a-kind becomes the “new black”.

• Local is chic. Choosing a local area caterer will become more of a priority over organic catering.

• Due to the increasing popularity of Friday weddings, venues will begin to slightly increase their rental rates.

• Intimate weddings were hugely popular in 2010 and it will remain strong in 2011. Smaller guest lists allow a cozy, more personal celebration.

• Small, local bridal shows will become a huge resource for planning brides in 2011. These hometown events offer more practical discounts than their national counterparts.

• Couples will begin adding more luxury items to their gift registries.
Eco-friendly weddings will begin to take on a vintage flair with used organic and natural fiber wedding dresses paving the way.

• Bridal hairpieces will be huge in 2011. Handmade tiaras and heirloom fascinators will become a very important wedding accessory.

• Expect to see more professional wedding videography at formal wedding events. It’s best to let the pros capture the entire production instead of relying on uncle Bob.

• For the past few years, wedding cakes were infamous for their ultra-extravagant fondant cake themes. I predict 2011 to be a much more subtle year for cake designs. Think texture, not color.

Wedding dessert bar coordination will become an a la carte service offered by a growing number of wedding cake bakeries.

• New 2011 Wedding dresses will begin replacing bold ruffle designs with softer tulle accents.

• The champagne toast will make a comeback. The first thing most couples removed from their wedding reception budgets in 2010 was the luxury expense of champagne. A trend in smaller weddings now keeps this cost reasonable.

• The DIY wedding scene will become mainstream. It’s normal for most brides to custom create at least one or more elements of their wedding.

• Modern brides will start turning to smartphone apps for staying on schedule with their wedding planning and to create/update their bridal registries.

Grooms will begin choosing wedding suits over traditional wedding tuxedos. Designer bowties will continue to become popular throughout the year.

• In 2011, more flower shops will begin offering DIY flower clinics for do-it-yourself brides.

• Wedding caterers will begin offering smaller-size food portions to regain budget-bride customers. They will position it as healthier and cost-effective.

• Wedding invitation designers will continue to amaze us with fresh design concepts in 2011. Etsy will be a major marketplace for invites and bridal stationery.

Pocket wedding dresses. Big name brands are just beginning to get their feet wet in this area.

• Although ipods can be a financial-friendly alternative to hiring a professional wedding DJ, the word is getting out that one thing you don’t want to have to stress about on your wedding day is the music.

• Destination weddings will remain popular with more and more hotels and resorts offering heavily discount rates for advance bookings.

Wedding brunches will gain popularity in 2011. This is a fresh alternative to the traditional rehearsal dinner.

I'd love to know your thoughts!

34 comments:

  1. This is a great post and could not be more true!

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  2. This is a fantastic list! So many of these are already taking hold from what I can tell...well done :)

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  3. Your predictions are either REALLY good or I'm shockingly average. I'm going to go with you being good!

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  4. Great post! It takes a lot of courage to boldly predict trends and this list seems completely on point. Can't wait to check back in 6 months to see which ones came true! Keep up the great work Rachel!

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  5. ooh i like this. it will be so interesting to see what happens in 2011!

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  6. Seattle Wedding PhotographyOctober 27, 2010 at 1:20 PM

    Totally agree 100% with the first trend about wedding photographers. We're already starting to see this from our fly-by-night competition in Seattle.

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  7. My sister is having a wedding brunch instead of a wedding rehearsal dinner! Hope this catches on in the States!

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  8. This is a great post! It sounds very well thought out; you have obviously been paying attention to the market and it seems to be paying off! Thanks for sharing this.

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  9. We're seeing the same thing you're seeing regarding family heirlooms.

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  10. This is a wonderful post! As a newly engaged couple, I can personally tell you that your pretty accurate. My fiance is going to wear a suit, not a tux. We were going to try and be organic-friendly, but it cost too much and now were going for local. My wedding ring is a 100 year old family heirloom and we are going to have a very simple wedding cake. You should do more posts like this throughout the year. Maybe semi-annual or something. Anyways, thanks for such a great read. Meghan and Doug

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  11. This is such a comprehensive and thorough post! Well done, Rachel. :)

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  12. This post is great and I definitely agree!

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  13. Great article!! Like using a professional wedding videographer, I'm also seeing a steady trend back to using professional wedding DJ entertainment over a relative, friend or, worse yet,...an Ipod. And, I'm also noting a desire to make weddings and receptions a more unique, personal affair. 2011 is looking to be a much better year for the wedding industry as a whole!

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  14. Love your article! You've made some great predictions.

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  15. I really hope hairpieces are huge for 2011! I'd also love to rework some vintage pieces for brides. Reusing fabric flowers, broaches, pins, beads, lace etc.

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  16. I couldn't agree more about the return to real professionals -- wedding photographers and videographers, especially. Brides have learned from prior couples that taking the lowest-priced photo/video pros leaves them disappointed. So there's a good amount of shuffling and prioritizing the wedding budget to make room for these important elements.

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  17. This is some cool article. Bold predictions for 2011. I totally agree with the DIY weddings becoming a hit! I just love DIY concepts. Great article you got here. Nice going!

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  18. Why are brides returning to true professionals on most things, yet still increasingly shunning the professional floral designer...who can really make a difference in final result and lowers the stress of a bride! Who wants to fuss with blooms a day before the wedding.

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  19. As a an Etsy seller (in Texas, I might add- just down the corridor near New Braunfels), I LIKE your invitation prediction. I'm not biased or anything ;), but I think there are some amazing paper designers on Etsy who offer brides the opportunity to really personalize the first items their guest will see....

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  20. "...amateur photographers will budget discount themselves out of competition. Brides are beginning to understand that the cheapest photography doesn’t necessarily mean the best photography."

    I'm already starting to see this locally. In the last 18 months, many of the 'discount' guys have fallen by the wayside.

    The 'heirloom' I think will also make a big impression in the retro/vintage wedding market.

    A hankering back to simpler days perhaps?

    Alex

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  21. Spot on! I'd agree with everything you've said!

    I see more Etsy involvement - lots of well-made, DIY-looking items & more bridal vendors trying to find ways to tap into that market.

    I also wonder if there won't be some kind of hybrid DJ/iPod service that becomes popular - more playlists for sale, sales of iPods already loaded with bridal-themed songs, etc.

    I've also heard there's a trend in photographers offering clients the option of an iPad loaded with pictures instead of an album. I see pros & cons to this one, but feel it will become popular!

    Oh, and I've come across more & more brides going non-floral (like I did!). I think that will continue to grow, as well.

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  22. Great post! I predict smaller intimate weddings, with the focus on the bride and groom and more Friday weddings will be the norm and unfortunately venues will take notice and raise their prices. I do hope that more brides will turn to the professionals who can offer better service with better vendor connections and referrals.

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  23. I love this post.....everything is true about 2011 wedding trend prediction. i think the use of lounges will be more prominent, weddings will be more intimate, destination weddings will also become popular again. I do agree with Naomi, that to make thing easier, brides should get assistance from professionals making it stress free.

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  24. Great predictions. I'm in the party rental industry. As an observation, once the reception is over the bride has fresh flower centerpieces that she has to bring home or toss in the trash. Do you think brides would be interested in renting crystal trees vs centerpieces of fresh flowers?

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  25. As a wedding planner, my advice to my clients has been: Keep things simple and let the pros do a great job for you. Sounds like 2011 will be a great year for this.

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  26. I like the crystal tree idea,because it would save the bride $, it's reusable so it fits in with being green, and it's pretty!

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  27. I agree with a comeback in hiring professional entertainment and photography, but to save a lot of money -like $1000- we're cutting out the wedding video. We're also setting up an info website people can post their videos and photos. We're also going for the cheapest photo package that includes the high-resolution CD of all the pictures. We did pick a highly touted photographer from our state.

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  28. You seriously know your stuff! One thing not mentioned here that we're seeing more and more of is the fusion of photography and video-- still not totally sure how I feel about the whole thing. Could be interesting, if done well...

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  29. As a recently engaged bride-to-be, I'd have to say you've definitely got it right! We're planning on having an 18-month engagement, and our photographer is the one aspect that we're not willing to skimp. Etsy is where I found my dress, my invites, save the dates, and so many other amazing details also!

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  30. This is one of the best 2011 wedding trend posts that I've read so far. Would love to know your thoughts on the popularity of weekday wedding bookings. Thanks!

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  31. I disagree that grooms will become more involved it is a big day for both. But at the end of the day it is the brides biggest day. Meaning the groom will always be in charge of suggestions only. Economical trends we have seen in the hen party world are a move away from the Cheif Bridesmaid collecting in money to buy accessories for all. A trend for hens to buy there own accessories is emerging. I think it is also possible that hen nights at home will increase due to tighter budgets. Seeing pole dance classes at home, wine tasting and chocolate tasting themes become more popular to accomodate this trend.

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  32. This is greatest post I've ever read and I certainly agree with your predictions!

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  33. Do you already have any predictions for 2012? This is really exciting!

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  34. This definately got me thinking and planning for my year ahead.

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