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Inspiration » Wedding Planning » 2024 Wedding Trends to Inspire Your Special Day 

2024 Wedding Trends to Inspire Your Special Day 

by Joy Editors
two newly weds walking out of a wedding venue together.

In 2024, more couples are cutting out traditional elements that aren’t unique to them and making time for what matters most, like being with your friends and family.  

This year, our team is seeing trends rise in popularity, like retro-themed and colorful celebrations, simplicity in decor, cakes, and attire; and personalized interactive experiences, like audiobooks and QR codes. 

Check out more of these 2024 wedding trends that are sure to inspire your upcoming celebration. 

Intimate and Out-of-the-Box Celebrations 

In 2024, couples are trading out opulence for meaningful connections, opting for smaller gatherings or micro weddings that allow for creativity, self-expression, and genuine connection.

For example, themed rehearsal dinners were traditionally just formal parties but now they’re turning into immersive and out-of-the-box experiences that tell the couple’s story or show off their shared interests. These smaller events allow for more creativity and self-expression leading up to the day itself.

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Pre-welcome parties give couples and their guests a laid-back way to kick off the celebrations, mingle, and meet one another. 
  • Day-after-brunches provide another opportunity for an intimate and casual gathering where you can chill out and extend “thank you’s” to your guests. 
  • AirBnB or backyard weddings provide an intimate setting and can be more cost-friendly than renting out an entire venue.

Destination Weddings

Another way that couples are achieving more intimate celebrations is through destination weddings. Typically, destination weddings help you control your guest list so that you celebrate with your closest friends and family. And, they’re ideal if you want a whole weekend of celebrations with them versus just the day of. 

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Tulum, Mexico, offers the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure with stunning beaches and ancient ruins.
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico, is another vibrant city with culture and history, offering couples and their guests a nice getaway with plenty to do. 
  • Lake Como, Italy, provides a romantic experience with its scenic mountains and charming village.

Retro and Vintage Revival 

Nostalgia is reigning supreme this year — couples are turning back the clock and revisiting retro and vintage elements in their celebrations. 

From dresses to decors, these trends surely embody the glam of the 1920s and the old-school charm of the 70s and 80s.

disco ball at a wedding venue

Examples we’re seeing: 

  • Pearl and lace trim have made an appearance on wedding attire and invitations.
  • Retro wedding dresses complete with regal lace, full skirts, satin, veils, and vintage-inspired necklines have brought romantic charm back into wedding fashion. 
  • Groovy decor — think record players, disco balls, and retro-style save-the-date cards

Monochromatic Blooms

A monochromatic theme for wedding flowers has bloomed this year. Couples are choosing bouquets and arrangements with flowers all in the same color to achieve the cohesive look they bring to their big day. They’re even repurposing flowers from the ceremony to the reception to save some cash and make the celebration more sustainable. 

Examples we’re seeing:

  • All-white weddings featuring white rose and baby’s breath bouquets 
  • Peach-tone floral arches 
  • Floating floral installations in earthy tones like brown and salmon

Colors That Pop

Alternatively, some couples are focusing on mixing bold and vibrant colors rather than going the monochromatic route. This means colorful venues and wedding attire that pops. Showcasing more color in the traditional wedding celebration is emerging as a way to show a couple’s uniqueness and personality. 

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Couples are opting for venues that serve as a canvas for their colorful vision, whether it’s a vibrant garden, a modern art gallery, or an urban loft. 
  • No more matchy-matchy bridal parties — couples are encouraging their bridal party to embrace individuality by wearing different colors and styles of dresses or suits.

Peach, Pearls, and Bows

When it comes to wedding dresses and attire, more brides are incorporating peach tones (it’s Pantone’s color of the year, so it’s a very trendy choice), as well as bows and pearl elements. These trends are sure to bring a touch of elegance to any wedding look or celebration. 

the back of a wedding dress with a bow

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Bows added to candle decor, napkin holders, and napkins
  • Bow and pearl detailing on wedding dresses
  • Peach-colored bridesmaid dresses and florals 

“Come-As-You-Are” Attire

Gone are the days of strict dress codes and cookie-cutter attire. In 2024, guests are encouraged to express their personal style with a refreshing shift towards more casual and nontraditional clothing options, striking the perfect balance between fashion and comfort. 

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Maxi dresses and jumpsuits over cocktail dresses
  • Casual shoes like classy tennis shoes rather than dress shoes 
  • Nice shirts with slacks — no tie necessary 

Natural and Candid Photography

Couples are embracing a more natural and candid approach to capturing their special day and nixing the more costly option of professional photography. More couples are also incorporating photography into the guest experience. 

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Giving guests Polaroid and disposable cameras to shoot candid shots throughout the celebrations 
  • Photo booths complete with props 
  • Hiring wedding content creators to help snap pics and take videos 

Interactive and Audio Guest Books

Guest books have long been a cherished tradition at weddings, offering guests a space to share their well wishes with the couple. However, in recent years, couples are opting for more creative and interactive approaches, like video or audiobooks where guests can record messages.

audio wedding guest book

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Vintage-style telephones, like a rotary phone, where guests can leave you voicemails to listen to later
  • Digital audio guestbook kiosks or phone booths where guests can leave messages using a touchscreen device 
  • Message in a bottle guest books so guests can write notes and leave them in a decorative bottle  

QR Codes 

Forget save-the-dates that clog up inboxes — QR codes are the hot new way to invite guests to weddings this year. Couples are customizing QR codes to use on their wedding invitations, website, welcome bags, and more to add a fun tech twist and provide an easier way for guests to receive information about your special day. 

Examples we’re seeing:

  • QR codes on physical or digital invitations that let guests RSVP quickly
  • QR codes on signs so that guests access seating charts for the reception dinner
  • QR codes that let guests drop their photos so everyone can see them in one place 
  • QR codes that give guests quick access to wedding information, such as the schedule or wedding registry link

Family-Style Catering

More wedding day celebrations are shifting away from the traditional plated service with wait staff to offer a more communal and interactive dining experience for guests. Family-style wedding catering brings people together around the table, allowing guests to chat and mingle with one another. Plus, it’s a great way to save some cash. 

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Platters and sides being offered to the table to be passed around, rather than serving guests an individual plate of food 
  • For smaller weddings, having a main buffet-style table where guests can choose food options as they please

Comfort Food Favorites Over Traditional Bites 

Couples are putting a delicious spin on wedding dining by opting for fun comfort food favorites that cater to their guests’ tastes and cravings. This year, we say goodbye to traditional hors d’oeuvres and hello to mouthwatering options like pizza, tacos, and gourmet burgers. 

a person at a food truck handing an order to a wedding guest

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Reception food trucks, especially for warm weather and outdoor celebrations
  • Grazing tables filled with various snacks
  • Interactive food stations, like pasta prepared on the spot, build-your-own tacos, and DIY sushi bars
  • Party reception food delivery from a local restaurant to satisfy end-of-night cravings 

Simpler Wedding Cakes

Wedding cake designs are taking a cue from the less-is-more philosophy, favoring simplicity over grandeur. Designers are replacing elaborate icing and fondant with more natural textures and delicate floral arrangements. Additionally, couples are turning to cake alternatives to mix things up.

Examples we’re seeing:

  • “Naked” wedding cakes paired with colorful berries
  • Bouquet cakes that feature flower arrangements
  • Simple heart-shaped cakes
  • Donut and cupcake stands or towers

Personalized Food Bars 

For a more interactive and unique experience, food carts are shaking up the wedding scene in 2024. Instead of traditional bars and buffets, couples are opting for persionalized options that can roam the venue, keeping the party going and the hunger at bay.

Examples we’re seeing: 

  • Champagne and caviar carts
  • Churro carts 
  • Smoked-old fashioned bar 

Personalized Cocktail Bar 

Personalized cocktail bars are taking center stage in 2024 weddings, offering couples the opportunity to infuse their love story and personality into every sip. 

Signature wedding cocktails are a highlight, with couples crafting concoctions that reflect their tastes and experiences, often accompanied by fun and unique names that add a playful touch to the celebration. 

As generational preferences evolve, there’s a shift towards more mocktails, catering to guests who prefer non-alcoholic options. Couples are getting creative with personalized mocktails, ensuring that every guest can raise a glass and toast to love in their own way. 

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Spicy cocktails, like jalapeno margaritas with a twist unique to the couple
  • Cocktails named after the couple’s pets to help incorporate them into the wedding 
  • Personalized coffee drinks for late-night celebrations 

Champagne Walls 

Bubbles, anyone? A champagne wall has been the ultimate wedding centerpiece this year. With rows of champagne flutes lined up and ready for the taking, guests grab a glass straight from the wall and cheers to the occasion. This wedding trend can also be a fun DIY project if you’re up to the task.

champagne wall at a wedding

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Champagne walls paired with hedge greenery, florals, and lights for the perfect photo opportunity
  • Layered champagne classes on a bookshelf 
  • Champagne glasses stacked in a tower rather than side by side

Custom Wedding Branding 

Couples are elevating their wedding celebrations with personalized branding that reflects their unique love story and interests. 

Custom wedding branding goes beyond traditional monograms, incorporating symbols and motifs that hold special meaning for the couple. We’ve spotted them being used in various wedding elements, from invitations to escort card displays — even on custom wedding websites

Examples we’re seeing:

  • Custom illustrations that depict special moments between the couple 
  • Symbolic motifs that represent something special in the couple’s lives, like their pet or their favorite place
  • Family crests can represent and honor the couple’s unique family history 

Honeymoons With Adventure 

In 2024, couples are trading traditional relaxation trips for adventurous honeymoon escapades, including event-driven itineraries and “buddymoons,” which are honeymoons with friends. This shift reminds couples how important it is to make memories by experiencing things together instead of relying on material items for happiness.

Examples we’re seeing: 

  • Jungle safaris over beach resorts 
  • Concert and festival honeymoons
  • Mini-moons, which follow the wedding and are smaller versions of the real honeymoon, giving couples more time to save and plan 
  • Buddymoons which are a honeymoon celebration with family and friends included

Plan Your Dream Wedding With Joy

In 2024, it’s clear that couples are prioritizing personalization and creating lasting memories on their special day. From personalized cocktail bars to interactive guest books and simple yet elegant cakes, these trends reflect a desire for authenticity and a celebration of love in all its unique forms. 

To incorporate these trends into your special day, use Joy to help plan and invite your guests, as well as use the all-in-one wedding registry services. 

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