The 2020 Wedding Trends Every Couple Needs to Know About
Must-haves in fashion, food, flowers, and more, according to local industry pros.
Delivering the latest in style, inspiration, helpful tips and tricks, and everything else you need to know to plan the perfect New England wedding.
Styled Seasonal Fruit
Incorporating fruit into floral arrangements is an unexpected way to bring a fresh look to your celebration, and as Forêt Design Studio’s Erin Heath says, it’s actually a time-tested look. “During the mid 1500s, Dutch painters were capturing the entanglement of fruit, flowers, seashells with other found oddities,” she says. Seems like a worthy source of inspiration to us.
Heath also that predicts that we’ll be seeing a whole lot of dried flowers in 2020. “The use of dried flowers, grasses, and branches creates more texture in the arrangements and adds a sculptural component,” she says. Another perk of dried flowers? “There’s no need to fret about wilting and hot summer days,” she adds. If you’re not ready to commit to the full-on look, the designer suggests incorporating small hints of dried blooms within lush arrangements instead.
Expect to see blouse-sleeved gowns prominently displayed in many of New England’s chicest bridal boutiques. “It’s a bit of a throwback, but [blouse-sleeved gowns] feel modern, light and easy to wear,” says Alix Childs, owner of Beacon Hill salon Ceremony. “It’s bold and has a fashion edge to it, but it feels soft and quite bridal.”
What goes around comes around. “After a couple of years of mixing and matching fabrics, textures, and colors, we’re seeing a trend back toward one style for the wedding party,” says Brittan Brilly, owner of Back Bay’s Bella Bridesmaids, who also noted that universally flattering, clean-lined silhouettes with v-necklines are the cut of choice.
You may have heard that wearing black or white to a wedding is a no-no, but you can expect to see plenty of ivory, black, and neutral-hued bridesmaid gowns at 2020 celebrations. One reason? These hues truly allow vibrant floral bouquets to stand out.
We’ve seen velvet take over furniture, linens, and the runway as of late, and it looks like the trend is here to stay into the new year. “Velvet has made quite the statement this year, and we couldn’t be happier,” Brilly says. The dress expert also says that, since it photographs beautifully, velvet makes a great choice for outfitting your squad.
Bronzed, Shimmering Lids
The days of smokey eyes are over—at least for now, says Christina Gallardo of Makeup by Christina G. “Brides want to look bright-eyed,” the makeup artist says. “Bronze, champagne, or nude shimmery lids are the best way to make every bride’s eyes sparkle.” To take the look a step further, Gallardo suggests applying a flesh-toned eyeliner to your waterline, too. “This will cancel out the bloodshot look and open the eyes right up. It’s also less harsh than the old-advised white liner,” she explains.
Both Gallardo and and Boston-based makeup artist Katrina Hess agree that an overall natural makeup look is in. It’s all about amplifying the bride’s natural beauty and giving her what Gallardo calls a “glow from within,” rather than covering up supposed flaws or incorporating harsh contouring. Hess suggests using sheer tinted products to create a “barely-there base” for the look, as well as practicing healthy skin habits beginning months before the big day.
The two pros also agree that full brows are here to stay in 2020, but, as Hess explains, these aren’t the “big, dark, defined ‘Instagram’ brows” we’ve seen in the past couple of years: We’re talking fluffy, almost messy looking brows. “We’re still filling them in, but not so precisely. The trick to this trend is using brow gel to brush the brow hairs up [and create] a fluffy look that stays in place,” Gallardo explains.
2020 grooms, don’t be afraid to play with color and pattern. According to 9Tailors head stylist Stephanie Muñoz, pinks, greens, and every shade in between are in-demand for menswear right now, as are wow-worthy prints such as geometric color blocking. Worried about pulling off the look? Muñoz recommends pairing the style with a crisp, white button-down.
Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with a tried-and-true look such as a custom double-breasted suit, which Muñoz says is making a welcome return. “I would recommend a fabric that has a little character, like a subtle window pane or a plaid, to really make it special and versatile,” the stylist adds.
While barns, tents, and industrial spaces have reigned supreme as of late, Janie Haas, of the eponymous planning firm, predicts a major comeback for hotel venues in 2020. “I think that people [appreciate] the ease of having weddings closer to home where their guests are afforded luxury-hotel amenities with food and great service,” Haas says. She also adds that urban hotel venues allow couples to take a more hands-off approach to keeping their guests entertained throughout the wedding weekend, noting that guests can “explore and dine in their free time without the bride and groom having to plan activities nor worry about weather.”
According to both Jerry Bennett, owner of Edgartown-based band the Sultans, and Nate Oinonen, owner of White Label Wedding DJs, tradition is out when it comes to reception proceedings. “[Fewer] couples are choosing to introduce the entire bridal party before their first dance and even fewer are throwing the bouquet, and I haven’t seen the garter tradition in a very long time,” Bennett says.
In the age of Spotify, couples seem to have more opinions on the music they want to hear (and not hear) on the dance floor than ever before. “Our process gives couples a lot of say in ‘plays’ and ‘do not plays,’ and couples more and more are taking us up on tailoring the party to their tastes,” Bennett explains.
Sourcing fresh, local ingredients will continue to be top of mind for 2020 brides and grooms who want to know where the food on their plates comes from, according to both Vinwood Caterers owner Rick Delisle and Chive Events co-owner Lindsey Wishart. Per Wishart, this is especially true for out-of-state couples who choose to return home to the region to tie the knot. “We’re finding that folks come back to New England to celebrate their weddings because it will always feel like home and there’s a tradition of flavor, food, and comfort,” she says. “In this scenario, we highlight authentic local foods like New England cheeses, as well as local seafood including oysters, lobster, and white fish along with the abundance of gorgeous fruits and vegetables available from our local farmers.”
As vegan diets become more and more popular, so too do more sustainable, veggie-centric wedding menus. “With the increase of couples making this dietary choice, we have worked hard to create a fully vegan-menu option that not only offers choices, but can also be customized to fit a couple’s perfect vision for their big day,” Delisle says.
While soft and romantic looks might be trending in the makeup world, 2020 cakes are all about clean lines and asymmetrical decorative elements, says Jocelyn Pierce of Mayflour Confections. “I think it speaks to the spaces that couples are choosing to hold their receptions in, as well as a desire for a slightly more sophisticated and modern aesthetic,” she explains.
The all-white wedding cake is a thing of the past, Pierce says, as couples begin to opt for more eye-catching hues. Unlike past color-forward cake trends, which often were either overly bold or focused solely on smaller details, the baker explains that hues such as a raspberry will be softer, but more widespread.
Towering, dramatic creations are about to make a comeback, says Jenny Williamson of Jenny’s Wedding Cakes, who couldn’t be more excited for the return of these large-scale beauties. “As much as I love small cakes, this trend makes me so happy,” she says.