Millennials have come of age and are getting married. They may not be able to afford a deposit on a house but they sure know how to throw a party on a shoestring budget.
Not only that, but they’ve managed to ensure their penchant for saving money on their big day doesn’t interfere with their desire to protect the planet.
It’s no secret that couples today want to celebrate their individuality, and that means wedding packages are now less likely to fit the bill as young trendies shun a one-size-fits-all model. But that doesn’t mean they’ll escape this host of trends for 2020 nuptials.
Bare-faced brides, clean conscience couples
The trend for looking as natural as possible on the big day has resulted in a host of brides deciding to cut down on the amount of foundation they use on the wedding day, or take the plunge and use none at all.
But, as we all know, looking effortlessly beautiful takes a lot of work with some brides opting for chemicals peels and collagen treatments ahead of the big day to remove the upper layers of skin that are often dead or damaged and regenerate new layer. On the hunt for a glowing look, brides who opt for even medium-depth peels like the The Zein Obagi 3 Step Peel apply three different acids to their face to encourage skin turnover.
With such high tech solutions, brides and grooms are looking to science as well as tradition in 2020. In pursuit of ethically-sourced rings, some are looking for pre-loved rings and others are turning to the laboratory. There are others who prefer their rings to come with a story, so some socially conscious buyers are heading for pre-owned diamonds and recycled jewellery.
“There is a growing percentage of today’s shoppers who are demanding transparency into the ethical practices within the diamond industry, especially when it comes to looking for an engagement ring,” says Kate Earlam, design director at lab diamond specialist Taylor & Hart. “Throughout 2019 the lab-grown diamond industry took great leaps in aligning practices closer to that of earth grown diamonds. This has led us to witness the highest diamond demand shift in the last 20 years.”
But despite space-age technology, these couples are also looking to incorporate as much nature into their days as possible.
Wedding by nature
In keeping with the trend for things to appear natural, brides are moving away from cobalt and Tiffany blue colour schemes, the hot colours of 2019.
Instead, ivory, mint, cassis and blush are back in, according to luxury shoe designer Aruna Seth. Those colours will continue through to decoration and floristry, while plants and flowers will prominently on invites, representing appreciation of nature. That represents a step up from 2019, when leaves and vines were as far as many floral invites went, says Vaishali Shah, founder of stationery designer Ananya.
“Couples are more eco-conscious than ever and want to play their part; whether it is by only using recycled paper or paper from sustainably managed forests, replanting trees or wildflower seed packets as a wedding favour, using locally sourced produce or eliminating the use of plastic,” adds Shah. “Couples will be thinking of ways to preserve their stationery such as keepsake wedding favours - for example, paper flowers as everlasting place cards. Soy and vegetable-based inks can be used for printing.”
With demands for green wedding credentials extending to the minutiae of dyes on invites, those venues, caterers and jewellers racking up the big expenses have had to step up their game too.
“Requests range from locally grown organic flowers to vegan catering using produce from ethical farmers,” says Lisa Hatswell, managing director of Unique Venues of London. “Going further, some caterers have dispensed with plastic and non-recyclable paper while a few florists even offer the opportunity for couples to donate their arrangements post-wedding to charities of their choice.”
Meanwhile, venues are introducing green policies and preparing for a summer surge in terrace and garden receptions to make the most of warm weather and long evenings while reducing energy use.
“Woodland weddings have become popular in recent years and couples are looking to bring these outdoor elements into their cake,” says cake designer Debbie Gillespie. “For a way to make this trend truly unique to you, think about maybe a favourite walk you and your partner may enjoy together and incorporate elements from this walk into your wedding cake.
“The second biggest trend is hand painted cakes. Couples are more often asking for hand painted details on their cake to represent things that are special to them.”
Sign of the times
With ‘climate emergency’ becoming Oxford Dictionaries’ Word of the Year for 2019, local, low key and sustainable weddings are of paramount importance to those starting out in married life in the new decade.
Looking at everything from English sparkling wines as an alternative to champagne or prosecco with a smaller carbon footprint. Such demands will extend beyond to menu to elements like flowers and attire.
Meanwhile, the modern age is set to be represented in the bridal parties, says Bernadette Chapman, founder of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners. “I’m predicting more fluid bridal parties, so a great mix of males in the bridal party and females in the groom’s party. Couples today openly have friends of the opposite sex so it’s only fitting they should play a big part in their wedding.”
With the wedding season fast approaching, there have been plenty of royal weddings to take inspiration from in recent years, seeing modern brides and grooms mixing tradition with personality. So take inspiration from them, and keep an eye on Princess Beatrice’s upcoming nuptials to ensure yours is bang on trend as well as eco-friendly.