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2021 wedding trends shift to accommodate the ongoing uncertainty of COVID-19

By Christen A. Johnson, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Parenting News

When COVID-19 came and changed everyone's lives in March, it took down engaged couples' original wedding and honeymoons plans along with everything else, making many soon-to-be newlyweds postpone their nuptials to later in the year, or even into 2021.

Since the way we navigate life has changed due to the pandemic, it only makes sense that wedding trends fall in line too. Wedding planning website The Knot released its projected trends for 2021 weddings, dubbing it the "year of intentionality." While past trends typically fall somewhere between color palettes and cakes, those forecasted for next year were born out of the pandemic.

Welcome boxes filled with hand sanitizer, masks, favors and other knick-knacks will likely replace the welcome bags of the past for some couples, according to The Knot. Sentimental table tops with custom linens, diverse vendors, brunch weddings, and nanomoons — trips to a local destination or someplace within driving distance — are among some of next year's trends as well.

Mismatched seating and living room decor also are projected to be elements in many weddings next year.

Tents are expected to be a top request from couples as outdoor weddings are more common during the pandemic.

Lori Stephenson, owner and principal of LOLA Event Productions in Chicago, says outdoor weddings are of the essence to her clients right now.


"The biggest thing for us is that if people are downsizing or planning for something in the more immediate future, that outdoor space is even more important than ever," said Stephenson. "Any sort of option that we can have to provide some fresh air and circulation for an event is something that people feel a little bit more comfortable with."

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot imposed a 10-person limit on weddings and other gatherings starting Monday.

But just because couples have to scale back their wedding doesn't necessarily mean they're going to spend less; rather, they're finding different places to put the funds and make specific elements of their celebrations more special and elaborate.

The Knot expects to see couples using florals in a more dramatic and sentimental way in 2021.


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