Wedding trends for 2020
14 Oct 2019
With 2020 proving a popular year to wed, we take a look at the trends taking hold
For a 2020 wedding which strikes the perfect balance between tradition and modernity, the latest wedding trends are a good place to start. Allowing couples to put a personal stamp on their wedding day for a truly unique occasion, trends offer the chance to make a wedding memorable with creative and never-before-seen additions.
The Milsoms Weddings events team in Dedham, Essex, summarise just a few of the trends: "Signature cocktails designed by the individual couples, gin bars and glitter bars. We are seeing amazing moon gates and the natural look is still really popular with green foliage and succulents at the top spot."
Indeed it looks as though 2020 is going to be another interesting year for weddings. Delving deeper, we take a look at even more expert insights shared by a host of wedding suppliers who detail the current and emerging wedding trends for 2020 and beyond...
Wedding dresses and accessories
"The modern-day bohemian bride is going to be more rebellious in 2020 and will look cool without trying. At The Frock Spot it will be all about taking risks in colours never seen before. While blush, cashmere and latte are still going to be popular colours, warm ginger shades will be prevalent alongside apricot trims. Add the floral look into the mix and the whole outfit will be edgy yet bohemian.
"Complementing a wide range of skin tones, this look will be The Frock Spot’s favourite alternative to a bride in ivory. Pair these dresses with golds, silvers or bolder tone accessories and you will have a look that feels daring yet romantic and nowhere near basic." Amy Nichols, owner of The Frock Spot in Norwich, Norfolk
Above: Wtoo by Watters 'Dinah', available at The Frock Spot
"The new 2020 collections do not disappoint; designers have made use of fantastic fabrics, and there’s less lace in sight. Soft A-line skirts made from tulle or crepe fabrics are beautiful and flattering on the feminine figure, while off-the-shoulder straps and belts add detail and interest or a touch of sparkle. One of my favourite new dresses is style 7023 from Stella York (pictured)." Charlotte Reeves, owner of The Bridal Lounge in Hadleigh, Suffolk
Above: Stella York Style 7023, available at The Bridal Lounge
"The bridal industry, like the high street, has trends which change from season to season. These can sometimes be influenced by high profile weddings such as royal weddings and there's been a definite surge of plainer fabrics, higher necklines and simplistic styles since Meghan Markle and Princess Eugenie.
"As we cater for all tastes, I feel there is a slight shift from this and we're finding the softer and sometimes beaded looks are re-emerging. Straps and sleeves are here to stay, whether it's a delicate spaghetti style or full-length ornate lace. As each bride has a different venue and style, it's lovely to find that individual look to suit and help in finding that perfect gown." Marian Couch, owner of Pirouette in Exeter, Devon
Above: Sottero & Midgley 'Agata Louise', available at Pirouette
“The main trend for this season that is evolving is the use of plain fabrics. i.e. Mikado and soft crepe. Mikado is the fabric of the moment if you are looking for a ballgown with those all-important concealed pockets.
"Soft crepe never ceases to amaze – soft, figure hugging and sensual, highlighted with beautiful strategically placed beading, deep plunging necklines and low cut-away sides. If you have an amazing shape, then this is definitely the dress to try.
"Also for 2020, we are seeing the return to old style Hollywood glamour with large feature bows and knots on strapless gowns.” Melanie Fletcher, partner at La Belle Angèle in Norwich, Norfolk
Above: Badgley Mischka 'Carmen', available at La Belle Angèle
"One of our favourite takes on a modern classic here at Dress Code Nine is our classic bridal gowns with pockets. Always an added bonus when you are a little nervous and not sure what to do with your hands. Also great for storing your lipstick, mobile phone, tissues or even a sneaky snack." Carla Lynch at Dress Code Nine in Kelvedon, Essex
Above: Eternity Bridal 'Lucy', available at Dress Code Nine
"Brides are becoming braver with their dress choices, going for bolder appliqués and fabrics with unusual detailing and finishes. Crepe has been strong once again this year and I think we will see stronger influences from Israeli designers with striking fabrics, dramatic necklines, show-stopping trains and darker contrasting colour to highlight the beautiful details.
"I predict 2020 will be all about drama and flexibility, with amazing lace capes and detachable trains and bigger, more elaborate designs increasing in popularity with influencers and Instagram. Silhouettes are getting sexier with figure-hugging styles, daring plunge necklines and illusion panels all favourites with our 2020 brides.
"In contrast, boho, floaty styles are making a quiet statement as we move into the new season with delicate lace, spaghetti straps, flowing silk tulle and tiny bead details – perfect for an intimate, low-key wedding or a wedding overseas." Anna Hare, owner of Pure Brides in Norwich, Norfolk
Above: Rebecca Ingram 'Nia', available at Pure Brides
"One of the trends we have noticed lately is that brides are opting for more comfortable shoes. Not just at the end of the day by changing into a pair of flats, but for the whole day and making it part of their style.
"One example is of Tarryn and Jacob’s wedding which we photographed recently, where the bride opted for white Converse trainers to complement her dress and it really worked. It showed off her fun-loving personality and I’m sure it meant she was in a good mood for the whole day... no sore feet or blisters makes for a happy bride." Chris Boulton, wedding photographer at Chris Boulton Weddings – based in the Cotswolds
Above: Bride Tarryn opted for comfortable wedding footwear
Bridal hair and make-up
"Your hair and make-up is dependant on the seasons. Winter brings a smokey eye, the softest of blush and the sheerest of shimmers - a barely there make-up look. Hair is down, wavy and glamorous.
"Summer brings Californian fresh summer looks with natural peaches, corals and rose gold hues. Hair is kept soft but gathered up or left down with an unstructured movement.
"Spring brings pops of colour to the eyes, exaggerated in a '70s style. Hair is accessorised with headbands or silk ribbons folded around the head with hair slicked back, think Elizabeth Taylor.
"Autumn brings coppers, golds and platinum with a warm fireside blusher, celestial lips with plenty of starlight shimmer in reds and burnt nudes. Hair is plaited and haloed with fresh flower crowns, made with pieces of corn and sultry roses." Caroline Swaffield at Amazing Face Dorset
Above: A seasonal bridal look (Image by Peppermint Love Photography and flower crown by The English Florist)
"Brows and lashes have become the new manicure/pedicure and continue to play a big part in bridal make-up. Keeping them defined but natural, this look works well with a shimmering eye. With brands such as Nimue and their #NoMakeUpBride 12 Week Challenge, many brides are opting for better skincare and less coverage on their wedding day.
"Curls are always on trend, but loosely pinned with twists, and delicate hair vines are super popular. Eucalyptus and gypsophila are a fabulous addition to any hairstyle, and accessories take a look from everyday to bridal." Charlotte Hawkins, hair and make-up artist at Beauty in Bloom - based in Yorkshire
Above: Delicate up-dos by Beauty In Bloom
"At Groom we have seen the trend of tweed grow year on year and it is still proving popular for 2020 and 2021 weddings. Tweeds are now available in many colours including greys, earthy browns and even reds. Penny collar shirts can help to complete the look along with a baker boy style flat cap." Daniel Neilson, store manager for Groom Hire Warrington, Cheshire
Above: Tweed is still big business for 2020 grooms
"The classic round brilliant cut diamond is a key trend that continues to shine; with more of the focus on the quality of the diamond, our customers prefer quality over size. Oval cut diamonds and the trilogy diamond set ring with pear tapered baguette side stones is another key trend gathering momentum.
"Personalised jewellery continues to be big business — with an emphasis placed on customers curating their own style. Moving into 2020 we will continue to see personalisation as a key trend; it’s much more about how we deliver inspiration to our customers by staying ahead with new technology and craftmanship. Shapes, stacking, diamond coverage, metal choice are all key, so too are laser engraving options, choice of stone and flexibility of design." Michèle Whittam, director at Bullen's Jewellers in Norwich, Norfolk
Above: Just some of the rings available at Bullen's
“At Drakes, we are seeing an increase in the amount of brides looking for more sparkle when it comes to choosing their wedding ring. Diamonds are becoming the increasingly popular choice over traditional plain wedding bands, which is set to continue well into 2020. Diamond set wedding bands certainly add an everlasting sparkle and can also frame your engagement ring. They can really make a statement." Natasha Manning, manager at Drakes Jewellers in Plymouth, Devon
Above: Diamond set wedding bands, available at Drakes
"This year, trends are similar to the previous years. White metals are still incredibly popular; platinum, which has fallen in price, has become far more popular than it already was. This is seen in all types of bridal jewellery, not just the rings, available from our extensive in-store collection." Chris Ellis, managing director of Dipples the jewellers in Norwich, Norfolk
Above: White metals, including platinum, are ever popular (Image via Unsplash)
"Semi-naked cakes decorated with fresh fruit and fresh florals are still a huge trend. However, our couples are opting to present them in slightly different ways, such as separating the tiered cakes and displaying on different height cake stands.
"Another key trend is cakes iced in indulgent white chocolate ganache, this gives a fabulous modern yet classic look especially when the cake is finished with rough edging”. Pia Cato, founder of The Vanilla Pod Bakery in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
Above: Semi-naked cake display by Vanilla Pod Bakery
"We are still booking the very popular semi-naked and buttercream coated wedding cakes dressed with fresh flowers, however we are seeing new trends starting to emerge. These include teal and peacock blue colours incorporated into wedding cakes as well as traditionally iced wedding cakes and personalised cakes to suit the couple's interests and themes." Jennifer Bronsell, owner of Coast Cakes in Dorset
Above: A peacock-blue wedding cake by Coast Cakes
"We have noticed that the new flower trend certainly seems to be floral hanging installations. From marquee poles to chandeliers, our couples this year are certainly keen on creating the wow factor in their venue. Show-stopping floral hanging displays seem to be the perfect way to transform a venue and gives the impression of opulence without breaking the budget.
"Displays can be incorporated using the bridal flowers and allows the theme of the day to flow right through to the evening." Sam Raindle, owner of Stock Florist in Essex
Above: Stock Florist's hanging installations
“With more of us now conscious about how our lives are effecting the environment, growing numbers of couples want to ensure that their wedding day is both environmentally friendly and sustainable. There is an increasing demand for stationery that has been printed on card stocks produced with recycled materials.
"Couples thinking green should look at invitation options that utilise all available space to reduce waste, such as printing on the reverse and RSVP postcards. Combine tradition with eco thinking and still enjoy a beautifully designed invitation suite but with sustainability on your wedding agenda.” Suzanne Merrylees, creative director at Silk & Ink Designs in Norfolk
Above: Eco-friendly stationery by Silk & Ink Designs
"2020 will be out with the old and in with the new. Individuality will be the keyword and planning your wedding the way you really want to without being stereotyped is the way forward. Wedding stationery will be full of greenery and couples choosing bold, striking colours. Gold and white may well make an appearance to set an opulent theme for the big day." Kal Osahan, wedding stationer and creative director at Quint London
Above: Make your wedding stationery all about you
Among other things, we have noticed a return to more neutral shades like ivory and blush, but complemented with a touch of sparkle. Glitter liners and mounts are very popular at the moment, particularly in rose gold or champagne. We are also receiving lots of requests for foil and shimmer – though as subtle accents rather than a bold statement. Classic and beautiful.” Charlotte Bright, director at Laser Cut Stationery by Pop Goes the Weasel - based in the South West
Above: Pale colours and lots of sparkle
"Wedding trends can come and go quickly, but one of my favourites as a photographer is the emergence of alternatives for confetti exits. I have photographed a few alternatives: paper aeroplanes, a pitchfork walkway and this amazing bubble exit from Jen and Chris' wedding. It always brings an element of surprise and fun for the guests and I can't wait to see what other ideas 2020 brides come up with." Christina Davies, photographer at Fish 2 Photography - based in Lancashire
Above: Lancashire wedding photographer Fish2Photography captures a creative alternative to a confetti exit
Styles of wedding
"The ceremony seems to be geared toward the personality of the couple in a much more holistic way. It’s not just a bit of blocked out time before the celebrations begin. Couples are giving greater thought, time and effort to the ceremony content, choreography and backdrop itself.
"With the rise in celebrant-led ceremonies comes a rise in couples researching sand ceremonies. They are discovering the choices they have when it comes to the content of the ceremony. Blending families, tastes, religions, cultures or family traditions with their own story is what is powering the creativity behind the ceremony design." Helen Noble, Celebrant of Surrey
Above: Matt and Erika personalised their wedding ceremony (Image by Weddings by Nicola and Glenn)
"Over the last few years we have seen couples steering away from traditional weddings and instead wanting their celebrations to reflect their personalities rather than being led by colours and themes. More recently, we’ve seen a rising demand from our guests to incorporate fun and quirky group activities into their day in a way that their friends and family will always remember.
"This is difficult to organise alongside the wedding planning, which is why we introduced our ‘Tie the Knot with a Twist’ wedding package to include a selection of activities as part of the wedding brief. This includes on-site activities such as archery and clay pigeon shooting as well as animal experiences such as alpaca walking and Meet the Meerkats which are available at our adjoining Lake District Wildlife Park. Couples can schedule activities for before the ceremony to calm nerves or save them until the next day to round off the occasion in style." Simon Steele, general manager at Armathwaite Hall in the Lake District
Above: Alpaca walking at Armathwaite Hall (Image by Camilla Lucinda Photography)
"Dogs are part of the family and for 2020/21 we will see more dogs than ever before attend their owners' weddings. Couples are actively seeking dog-friendly wedding venues and are keen to find ways to include their four-legged friends in their celebrations. Registrars are also happy to include dogs as part of the ceremony, as a ring bearer or for photos." Amanda Fraser Fish of pet chaperone service Amanda's Ark in Suffolk
Above: Have your canine companion by your side on your special day (Image by Nicola Dixon Photography)
"Our brides are leaning towards less formal gatherings, favouring afternoon teas, a champagne reception or a simple cream tea to celebrate their nuptials.
"The lovely Suffolk registrars are lucky enough to use the beautiful, iconic Athenaeum as the ceremony room for their many happy couples tying the knot. Very often our couples head off to hold their reception elsewhere, but couples can also host their reception at The Athenaeum too with a number of rooms to cater for grand celebrations through to more intimate occasions, for a truly bespoke wedding day." Klaudyna Grela Revell at The Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Above: Afternoon tea at The Athenaeum
"We are seeing more and more brides and grooms having their wedding ceremony in a marquee, which then flows seamlessly into the wedding reception…and why not? A legal ceremony does need to take place separately as you can’t currently conduct a full marriage service in a marquee, but with various decor options available to make your marquee your own - including this beautiful clear roof (pictured), you can have your big day your way." Claire Wotton at Hatch Marquee Hire, covering the South West
Above: Francesca and Jack tie the knot at Crantock Bay in Cornwall (Image: Mark Shaw Photography)
"Year 2020 is going to be an exciting time for bridesmaid fashion. It will be a celebration of the new, soft and romantic hues that are soon to be trending in the industry. Be prepared for an array of dresses in pale yellow, melon, peach shades and pastel greens. Soft pastels are set to be popular in the spring, while autum/winter collections will see russet shades come into play. The colour trends of the year will beautifully mimic the changing colours of the seasons and moods of the Earth.
"There is also an emerging trend toward less conventional styles. This year, you will be pleasantly surprised by modern jumpsuits and I predict that prom-style dresses, made of very sparkly glitter and sequin fabrics, are going to be more prevalent in 2020." Alan Dessy, CEO of The Dessy Group
Above: Bridesmaids' dresses from The Dessy Group
"Table styling has become an important part of the wedding design, co-ordinating the tableware with flowers and coloured table linen to bring together a stunning look that matches the wedding theme.
"Vintage styled dining, layering beautiful patterned vintage plates including a contrasting charger plate, brings colour to the table. Tables have bright glassware and coloured cutlery to create an elegant setting, while coloured table linen can completely change the feel of rustic tables where vintage china can look striking." Mandy Hart at Swingletree Vintage in Dorset
Above: A vintage tablescape by Swingletree (Image by Annie Rose Photography)
"The trend with sharing style menus seems to be continuing as more and more couples opt for less formal weddings. We have seen a strong interest in the grazing board platters, or - as we like to call them - ‘Amazing Grazing’, as the boards look visually stunning and create a real wow factor as guests see them.
"They can also be completely adapted to suit each couple's tastes and budget. We can add hot options to complement the boards or style them along a theme such as Spanish or Italian, but most popular is the Norfolk and Suffolk boards where everything is sourced locally and we celebrate all of the fabulous food we have to offer in this region." Natalie Creegan at Trios Catering in Norfolk and Suffolk
Above: Grazing tables offer an alternative to the traditional wedding breakfast
"The prosecco wall and barrel bar has become a current trend for drinks receptions. I am seeing that our couples are looking at how they can wow their guests with an upgraded drinks package. Cocktails and gin and tonics are very popular in all bars and I am seeing these drinks more and more in weddings. Our outdoor barrel bar and prosecco wall not only looks fabulous but logistically works well for our team too." Kate Southall, cluster wedding and banqueting sales manager at De Vere Horsley Estate in Surrey and De Vere Selsdon Estate in Croydon
Above: Drinks beneath the stars with the De Vere outdoor barrel bar and prosecco wall
"Personalisation is a theme that has continued to grow at Upton Barn & Walled Gardens. Gin and prosecco bars adorned with various fruits, flowers and herbs give guests the choice to create their own. Our caterers offer ‘make your own stations’, providing burgers and bagels (among other things) - a theme which can be carried through into the evening party.
"We are also seeing a demand for more exciting, unique welcome drinks so we've developed a fabulous new menu with some delicious cocktails. Decorative ways to display drinks such as beer barrows are still proving very popular." The team at Upton Barn & Walled Gardens in Cullompton, Devon
Above: Wedding reception drinks with a personal twist (Image by Kathryn Clarke Mcleod Photography)
"We are finding that more couples are choosing to have a luxury afternoon tea as their wedding breakfast meal. It’s a delightful choice in which guests can sit back, relax and enjoy a delicious selection of both sweet and savoury choices accompanied with tea or coffee and served in beautiful vintage cups and saucers along with a glass of fizz." Helen Golland, owner and manager of Angel Delights Outside Catering in Suffolk
Above: Afternoon tea for a wedding party
“How many weddings have you been to where you dread the drinks reception? That lull between the ceremony and wedding breakfast where the bride and groom are busy with the photographer and you’re standing around twiddling your thumbs. We’ve been to so many weddings where the drinks reception entertainment has been overlooked.
"More and more couples are looking for ice-breaking entertainment for those quieter interludes. We decided to create our wedding themed mobile crazy golf course as an icebreaker for guests to get to know one another.“ Phillip Butler, co-owner of Crazy9 - based in Cheshire
Above: Crazy9 golf hire in action
"We have found that more wedding ceremonies are being carried out at venues as opposed to churches, therefore the way in which wedding cars are being used has changed considerably. Silverline encourages couples to hire a wedding car even if they are staying at the venue prior to the big day; the wedding car remains in situ throughout the service and after the formalities of the ceremony are completed the newlyweds can be whisked off for an intimate drive, allowing them some special time together.
"This time is so precious after the emotion of making their vows, it’s also a fabulous opportunity to make a stop at a pre-selected beauty spot to obtain some fantastic natural pictures for their photo album." Diane Harper, director at Silverline Limousines - based in Norfolk
Above: A moment alone (Image by Just Big Smiles Photography)
"More wow moments are being incorporated into weddings using alternative forms of transport. I've seen a helicopter arrival, a wedding aboard a Thames paddle steamer departing from underneath Tower Bridge, a vintage double decker bus transporting guests from a castle art gallery, and a farm wedding with tractors galore, each one executed to perfection." Toastmaster Nigel who is based in Norfolk
Above: Alternative wedding transport galore (Image via Unsplash)