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Wedding Trends for 2021: The 3 Trends from COVID-19 that Are Here to Stay

Close-up on the hands of a woman and man exchanging wedding rings

For those that said “I do” during 2020, their dream day looked different than planned. 

A need for social distancing forced a limit on the number of guests. Limited travel options cut out destination wedding plans. Business changes and safety restrictions meant that many venues, catering services, and other vendors were forced to cancel.

It’s not all bad news, though. For many, COVID-19 had an effect of heightening commitment desire. A survey by Brides found that 82% of couples reported wanting to marry more after the pandemic. Uncertainty will come, but respondents agreed that it’s better to go through it with a partner by your side.

What Weddings Looked Like During COVID-19

Those who had weddings scheduled after March 2020 had a choice to make: adapt or postpone.

A number of couples decided to elope or to have smaller, more intimate ceremonies. Many postponed their big weddings by months or a year. Others decided to do both—a personalized mini wedding now with a larger party planned for post-pandemic.

For couples who choose to still go through with their nuptials, here were some of the major COVID-19 driven trends that emerged last year:

  • Couple-only elopements
  • Local backyard ceremonies
  • No wedding party receiving lines
  • Mini individual desserts replacing shared wedding cake

Wedding Trends Sticking Around for 2021

While no one was unable to escape the major changes required in the pandemic, some found the silver lining in their unconventional ceremonies. For those that celebrated, planned, or observed weddings in 2020, some new wedding trends are becoming popular options. 

Even with fewer restrictions now, many things that came out of pandemic weddings have lasted into this year, and are expected to continue through the rest of 2021.

Here are some of the wedding trends that remain:

Smaller guest lists

One thing that became popularized in the pandemic is a reduced number of invites. The Brides survey found that 47% of people report that they are now planning a smaller guest list for their wedding.

Big parties with a huge invite list can be a lot of fun, but also a lot of stress. Many who attended (virtually or in-person) scaled-down weddings in 2020 found they liked the idea of a cozier ceremony. This 2021 trend shows that couples now would rather spend more per guest rather than spreading their budget thinly over a large crowd.

Removing old-school rituals

Within adjusted receptions, couples had to cut out some of the more expected rituals of a wedding in the US. And a lot of people found they didn’t miss them. With a trend towards having a more personalized wedding, couples are focusing more on what traditions have meaning to their relationship.

In 2020, rituals like a garter and bouquet tossing, or a traditional cake cutting, were made difficult with limited attendance and safety protocols. Today’s couples are more likely to ditch old-school rituals in favor of a celebration that is more unique to them. That means that you’re likely to see fewer of some outdated traditions in 2021.

Protecting your investments 

A lot of couples lost out in 2020 when they couldn’t get wedding deposits refunded when they had cancelled plans. The pandemic confirmed to people that even with the most detailed wedding planning, there are some things you can’t prepare for. When it comes to uncertainty, the best way to plan for the unexpected is by getting insurance on your wedding costs.

Be aware, in most cases, wedding event insurance purchased now doesn’t cover COVID-19 related expenses. But there are many parts of a wedding to insure. Travel insurance can be a lifesaver when you have flights booked for yourselves or guests to a destination. Many couples choose to insure wedding dresses and suits. 

For engagement and wedding rings, as well as bridesmaid and wedding party jewelry, look into jewelry protection plans. Getting coverage on your bling is a smart investment to save money, and reduce stress, leading up to the big day. Jewelry claims can cover a variety of damage, as well as loss and theft.

Planning Your Wedding in 2021

Wedding trends come and go, but love is always in style. No matter what you decide to do for your wedding this year or beyond, make sure it’s the right fit for you as a couple.

If you want to protect your wedding jewelry before the big day, Mulberry offers jewelry protection plans through retailers. If you’re filing a claim on your jewelry, learn what to do to get your warranty claim approved. We’re here to make your process fast and easy so that you can focus on your wedding.

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Janessa McQuivey

About the author

Janessa McQuivey is the Content Marketing Manager at Mulberry. Her degree in Human Development fueled a love of understanding customer experience. She has been in research and writing for 3 years and has covered everything from AI technology to her own dating life. Janessa has published across blogs, newspapers, and academic journals.

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