Brexit Wedding Trends for 2020
The 2020 bride will want three things: a fairytale dress, decadent tablescapes and an overall eco-conscious wedding.
This is in stark contrast from 2019's wedding season, which has seen glamour and ‘hyper-personalisation’ at the forefront. The coming year will see couples working with lower budget weddings, thanks to Brexit, with a shift towards sustainability and even some alcohol-free receptions.
For the biggest wedding trends for 2020, we offer our predictions, with a little help from people in the wedding industry.
Mini-moons and 'buddymoons' will be big for 2020, with many couples sticking to the UK for their mini-moons as the value of the pound remains uncertain post-Brexit. Mini-moons and British honeymoons are on the rise due to the weak pound, as are UK stag and hen dos. Honeymooning with friends – aka buddymoons – continue to be popular in 2020.
Cost and location
Expect lower budget weddings as millennials switch priorities from splashing out on Insta-worthy bashes to saving for the future. A significant number of couples have been reducing their budgets due to Brexit. Because of that we are seeing more 2020 couples planning crowd-funded weddings, more couples asking guests for a financial contribution and more ‘group weddings’ – where you share your wedding day with your BFF or family member.
However, those flush with cash have been inspired by celebs and are opting for split destination weddings and even week-long weddings.
Guests can also expect to attend more inner city weddings in 2020 as these, along with manor house weddings, will be the locales of choice. We expect to see more city weddings. This is because there are more and more venues with licences, and couples are choosing to get married in their favourite bars and restaurants instead of leaving town.
There has been a noticeable rise in popularity of the stately home, aka Ellie Goulding. Millennial couples love the grand backdrops of a stunning historic house or castle.
Next year will see the return of the fairytale dress. Brides are choosing bigger ‘Princess’ dresses and cathedral length veils are very popular again, worn both on and off the face.
Brides are wanting ‘clean' simpler designs - we are seeing less lace and the strapless dress is far less popular.
As Ellie Goulding's wedding in August showed, Victorian-style high neck wedding dresses is the style to be seen in, and there has been a rise in brides opting for this kind of dress. High-neck dresses are still popular (as seen on Pippa Middleton and Ellie Goulding). Corsetry remains the most important factor for our brides - they love to have their waist really defined.
Dresses with ruffled collars, long sleeves and high necks, the Victoriana and Bourgeois trends from the catwalks are already starting to come through. There will also be lots of tulle in every shade thanks to Killing Eve’s Villanelle.”
Having two wedding dresses - at least - has been a staple of the society bride ever since it was revealed that the Duchess of Cambridge had two separate Alexander McQueen creations for her ceremony and reception in 2011, a tradition that was repeated by the Duchess of Sussex and Princess Eugenie in 2018. There will be a significant rise in the number of brides wearing a second, evening wedding dress. Again this is a knock-on effect of the royal weddings and high-profile brides – Sabrina Elba wore three dresses and influencer Chiara Ferragni wore two couture Dior dresses.
More brides are wanting a second wedding dress for the evening, or for their dress to totally transform so they have two very different looks. Not only could they add a belt or remove some sleeves - they could also have a totally removable top layer of embroidered tulle, so the dress is barely recognisable after a quick and easy transformation.
When Ferragni married Italian rapper Fedez in 2018, she not only had two custom Dior dresses but also had the reception dress embroidered with her and Fedez's love story and lyrics from the rapper. Bespoke embroidery is set to be a standout trend for 2020. You will see more and more bespoke embroideries as brides really want a dress that tells their story and is totally unique to them with special personal messages. One Phillipa Lepley bride wanted her dogs paw prints embroidered in, and a few have asked for their new initials to be discreetly hidden in the embroidery.
Personalisation is the key to making any wedding stand out, and it's now appearing in the floral arrangements used on the big day. Expect wedding flowers to be informal, relaxed, totally bespoke and unpackaged. Lots of unstructured shapes and lots of natural fragrance.
Colour-wise, the bolder the better, natural but colourful flowers making strong statements will be seen at weddings everywhere in 2020, along with lots of foliage.
Brides are definitely becoming more fearless when it comes to colour. 2019 has been about dusty, muted blush and burgundy colours - next year’s Pantone colour of the year is predicted to be bolder, stronger and deeper - think hot pinks and fuchsias.
On dinner plates, expect peonies to be replaced with dahlias and that weddings will be more consciously sustainable in 2020. More eco-conscious brides and grooms are going green, recycling flowers, hiring wedding day outfits and going plastic-free.
2020 will be the year of ethereal flowers. Flowers are becoming more ethereal and fairytale-esque (think chandeliers under trees, pergolas with hanging fairy lights) - a feeling of escapism.
While Pantone's colour of the year for 2020 is yet to be revealed, it could be 'neo mint' - a colour expected to become more prominent at weddings in 2020. Balloon walls and wall murals will be the backdrop of choice for those eager to make their wedding stand out, and tablescapes are set to be extra decadent.
Expect more patterns and a mix of textures – particularly velvet and tapestry-like fabrics. There will also be fruit, think lemons down tables - Italian inspiration coming through (in decor and food).
Evenings dancing under fairy lights and cosying up on sofas under the stars is what guests can expect for receptions in the coming year. We will see loads of indoor furniture being moved and set-up outside. For example full rooms will be moved outside - long dining tables and chairs, Chesterfield sofas and rattan vintage chairs with chunky coffee tables.
Grub will reflect the changing eating and drinking habits of the UK - with a number of 'free-from' and non-alcoholic receptions. In 2020 there will be yet more vegan and free-from menus. There will also be more food stations and less informal eating arrangements. Aperitifs are becoming more and more popular, more commonly being served before the ceremony.
Couples are not only creating their own signature cocktails, but they are personalising canapés and desserts too. In contrast to that there will also be a rise in non-alcoholic weddings for the health warriors.
For the couple that loves a tipple, however, gin will be the spirit of choice at weddings during the 2020 season. There will be a big rise in gin at weddings for 2020. Expect make your own G&T stations and personalised gin cocktail menus.