Summer Wedding Trends for 2021

March 27, 2020

Summer Wedding Trends for 2021

Summer-summer-summer time, as the song goes, it’s one of the most glorious times for a wedding! With it being peak marriage season, especially August, there’s much to look forward to. Despite the Coronavirus outbreak many of you would have rescheduled to later on in the year over moved your wedding to 2021 so you can start to plan again!

wedding trends 2021, questions to ask a wedding photograpgher-1

(Image above by Gary Nunn Photography at Elmore Court)

For brides and grooms-to-be, there’s a couple of 2021 wedding reception trends everyone’s talking about, as well as fashion and food highlights. Here’s a lowdown of the top nine trends that will keep you in vogue, in oh so many ways…

Bring the Bling!

From stacking to engraving – 2020 is the year that wedding rings go personal. We’re in an experimental age where anything goes, particularly finer touches.

As a wedding photographer in Aylesbury, I’ve seen a break away from traditional gold bands, to more unique and exclusive rings in recent months. Brides are also experimenting with colour more – opting for emeralds and sapphires as much as diamonds.

Meghan Markle is ahead of a new trend we’re seeing too – customising rings post-wedding, such as adding more gems or stones to the piece. So it’s not just about brides in waiting.


Fashion Goes Forward

2021 wedding trends colours are bold and powerful. Bridesmaid dresses will move away from typical summery orange and pink tones, with dark navy, neo-mint (the colour of the year) and noir shades being introduced.

As with winter, feminine fabrics continue to rule come summer. Think vintage lace and light crepe materials, as well as embroidered dresses – these have all been gracing the catwalks in recent times.

wedding trends 2021, wedding-photographer-gloucestershire-ollie-jen-240

Practicality will be another consideration for fashion. We’re starting to see more wedding dresses with handy pockets, as well as easy-to-wear garments such as jumpsuits, which both brides and bridesmaids are embracing. Great for storing lippy and other assortments in!

Speaking of bridesmaids, expect to see far more  mix and match bridesmaid dresses. Long gone are the ‘uniform’ days of one dress fits all. No doubt this will be welcome news to many a bridesmaid to be!


Eco-friendly weddings are on the rise, as we all become more conscious of our global footprint.

2021 wedding trend décor is influenced by this, with many couples choosing sustainable materials.

So it’s out with single-use plastics (cups, bags, plates) and in with reusable materials. It’s goodbye to unnecessary food waste, and in with recycling food and packaging.

Instead of ordering copious flowers, lights, chairs and decorations, couples are sharing flowers with other parties using the same venue. It’s one of the game-changing wedding flower trends more of us will be embracing, especially in line with tightening our purse strings.

Where possible, websites and digital invites will replace print versions. For those still using printed materials, couples are taking a greener approach, utilising all space on invites to reduce waste., like printing on the reverse of RSVPS and invites.

Read More: 22 Amazing Wedding Tips When Planning Your Big Day

Outdoor British Weddings

After the weeks and months of self-isolating, it’s expected that the summer will be a time where we’ll be optimising outdoor space. Expect to see a move towards wedding receptions and wedding breakfasts held outdoors, weather permitting.

bridesmaids dresses, boho weddings, wedding photographer Milton Keynes

One of the 2021 wedding reception trends is to use natural greenery – which outdoor celebrating lends itself perfectly to. We may even see a move towards a more ‘tea party’ style sit down event for a fun informal touch.


Also, with fears around coronavirus travel, more couples will be bringing their wedding plans back to the UK. Expect more summer weddings and even honeymoons to be held locally than abroad this year. Think of all the great opportunities for your wedding photographer with the great British countryside for the backdrop.

This will also have a knock-on effect on attendance numbers. Microweddings  – that’s guests of 50 or under, will likely become more popular, as couples are forced to scale back.

Source Local Produce

On that note, wedding catering is going through a transformational time. As couples increasingly are shunning tradition, new and more creative ways are being adopted.

Top of the 2021 wedding reception trends list is grazing menus. Think of this as homestyle sharing, where guests can intermingle whilst enjoying a casual bite. This also tends to be a more sustainable approach to dining, with leftovers easier to box-up and enjoy later.

Private chefs will be employed, rather than big catering companies, to offer a bespoke tasting menu – achievable with lower attendance figures.

Locally sourced produce will also come to the fore. Supporting British farmers will continue to be significant, so locally sourced meats, fruits and vegetables will all be on the menu. Conversely, with a growing demand for meat-free produce, couples should be considering vegetarian food options.

Summer Cocktails

Summer and cocktails go together like gin and tonic! With an emphasis on British produce, seasonal summer fruits will be top of the list; think strawberries, raspberries and watermelon. With its resurgence, home-brewed sloe-gin is another top tipple you can expect to be quaffing by the barrel-load!

There’s also been a trend towards alcohol-free cocktails. One of the 2021 wedding reception trends to look out for is alcohol substitutes – Sipsmith have a growing portfolio of alcohol-free options which look and taste great.

As we grow more conscious of budgets, couples will be turning to creative ways to pep up the ordinary. For instance, ice-cubes infused with flowers and treats will be lighting up even the most ordinary of cocktails.


Ask any wedding photographer and you’ll be told that the cake-cutting is one of the highlights of the day. With cameras at the ready, you’ll want to wow guests with a sumptuous centrepiece.

wedding cakes, wedding trends 2021, Wedding Photographer Milton Keynes
Fresh fruits tend to be very popular for summer weddings, and this year is no exception. From delicate home-baked sponges tiered and layered with cream and strawberries, to flamboyant floral creations. Yes, that’s right florals will be big in 2021. Semi-naked cakes are highly fashionable, so it’s the perfect excuse to go low key in a big way.

Whether you choose to self-decorate with fresh flowers, or use artistic licence, keep on trend with flowers adorning your cake.


Wedding Wind Downs

Remember the hedonistic days of our youth, when chill-out rooms and post-event clubbing hangouts were all the rage? Well, it’s happily making a comeback.

According to Grazia, many couples are choosing to party later into the night, with ‘wind down’s’ for the hardcore revellers afterwards. This means a dedicated chill out space where friends gather for songs around the piano, or DJs play chilled beats on the dancefloor. And to support this 2020 wedding reception trends, venues are offering up outdoor alcoves, private rooms and drawing rooms especially for the occasion.

Something Old, Something New…

Sadly, with the recent pandemic, many brides will be wondering ‘will coronavirus affect my wedding?’ It’s possible that there will be some new challenges to face, such as less elderly guests in attendance and more hygiene practices in place.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to take out wedding insurance, to ensure you’re prepared for everything that comes your way. Read more here

2021 Take Out

There’s a number of exciting, unusual and unexpected changes for summer weddings this year. From bold 2020 wedding trend colours, to wedding flower trends and getting creative with catering.

The main takeout is that couples are reshaping weddings to be more personal and much more intimate affairs. It’s also likely that after all the months of staying indoors, optimising the great outdoors will be high on the agenda for many. 

Gary is a leading professional wedding photographer in Milton Keynes and Aylesbury.