With the 2022 wedding season on the horizon, couples are grappling with the waning popularity of a few wedding mainstays. Following the global wedding shakeup that 2020 brought, no trend or tradition is safe.
To get an insider’s perspective on a handful of hot button topics, we asked our wedding consultants to weigh in with the pros & cons of each. What’s set to remain a fixture and what’s on it’s way out?
Traditional Registries and Gifts
For decades, registries have been a critical part of weddings. To both prevent double gifting and to receive the items they actually need, couples would typically engage a department store registry that guests could use as reference.
This practice is especially typical of younger couples, as they may not have yet acquired the homewares they need. So, for many, the registry is where you’d indicate your toaster should toast four slices of bread, not just two.
But especially as people get married later and later in life, are registries still relevant?
PRO: “Traditional registries are going the way of the dinosaurs, but only in their current format. At the end of the day, they’re wishlists—couples may just choose to unmoor them from specific department stores in order to zero in on items they really want.”
An overhaul is one option; today, there are websites and apps that let couples create their own ‘registries’ for a truly custom experience.
CON: But more and more couples are choosing to forego registries and traditional gifting altogether.
“My clients are consistently opting to avoid the registry. As many of these couples have been dating for years, they have already accumulated the things they need to furnish a home. In these cases, wedding gifts themselves can feel unnecessary.”
It used to be considered very tacky to ask for money as a wedding gift but, in today’s housing market, guests are realizing how that monetary gift can make a real difference. Instead of new appliances, couples are humbly requesting cash or cheques.
The last decade or so has seen an emphasis on floral decoration. Elaborate, colourful, and complex arrangements used as centrepieces or altar backdrops have set an incredibly high standard for florists and planners alike. But this wedding decor comes with a steep environmental cost.
CON: “I’ll be glad to see these elaborate florals disappear. They are undeniably beautiful, yes, but they are so hard on the environment. The floral foam used in many of these arrangements never breaks down and the chemicals used in bleaching and drying are terrible for the environment.
That environmental price tag is enough to turn many couples off—but not without a pang of disappointment.
PRO: “In recent years, I’ve started collaborating with my clients to find environmentally friendly floral vendors. It’s the biggest day of your life—you should be able to have the florals you want. By partnering with eco-friendly vendors, couples can do both: have the big installation while still supporting healthier practices. I really think it’s possible to do both.”
Digital Photo Booths
In addition to their photographer, many couples will also opt to use a digital photobooth. These arrangements typically come with a backdrop, a handful of props, and a remote shutter release to let guests photograph themselves. After a decade of consistent popularity, however, interest is waning.
CON: “I hate to be a naysayer, but I really think these photobooths are over. The wedding photographer is on site capturing all of the best moments anyways; do you really need 1,000 photographs of your inebriated friends wearing plastic moustaches? Probably not!”
PRO: “Those little snapshots capture the candid moments that will make your wedding day so special. I had a digital photobooth at my own wedding and it was a great call. We had a blast sorting through the photos and now I’ll have those memories forever.”
A word of advice from both consultants: if you want to set up a digital photobooth, hire one—don’t try to do it yourself.
“You don’t need the added stress on your special day. There’s a price tag associated with hiring a photobooth but coordinating the technology, photo storage, lighting, props, and backdrop is a huge task. If you can, just hire a vendor and save yourself the headache.”
For decades it was tradition for the bridesmaids to dress in identical gowns with matching corsages and updos. This bridesmaid “uniform” has been the source of much ire in pop culture and has created at least a few rifts between friends. Are today’s brides still embracing this tradition?
PRO: “The tradition of dressing bridesmaids in matching gowns really has more to do with upholding the general colour scheme of the wedding than anything else. I’m encouraging my brides to let their bridesmaids select their own gowns in a style and colour that they prefer—as long as it fits the overall theme of the wedding.”
Some brides might request uniformity in the length of the bridesmaids’ gowns, for example, or ask that colours be kept in the navy blue family.
“Usually, that degree of similarity has the same effect as the tradition of matching perfectly and the added benefit that everyone typically feels a bit more comfortable.”
CON: Other brides are choosing to forego this tradition altogether.
“I am firmly in the camp that bridesmaids should be able to wear something they love and feel comfortable in. There are ways to create a beautiful and cohesive aesthetic without needing to ‘match’. I would encourage couples to be creative or just let bridesmaids select their own gowns altogether.”
“Ultimately, allowing each bridesmaid to wear their own choice of gown just reflects their personality. That seems way more important than getting everyone done up in royal blue. And aren't their individual personalities what hold you together as friends in the first place?”
As you can see, wedding planners, too, have as many opinions as there are choices. In the end, which trends or traditions you opt to include on your wedding day will serve to build the memories you will treasure forever.