Irish Country Magazine spoke to the experts to see what has changed in the wedding industry this year
After several years of rescheduling, PCR tests, face masks and outright cancellations, it’s no wonder that people are ready to embrace weddings again in all their glory.
And although everyone is delighted to see the back of the pandemic, there’s no denying that the last three years have changed the way couples are getting married. There seems to be a shift from tradition and more autonomy over where they will hold the wedding, who will be invited and what the ceremony will involve.
2023 has brought in some changes in the wedding industry and we are loving them. These are five trends that continue to be big this year:
1. Mixed bridal parties
Bridal parties have traditionally had bridesmaids on one side and groomsmen on the other but that could soon be a thing of the past. Niamh Smith, a wedding photographer with The Photography Hub in Dublin says:
“The last few weddings of 2022 that I attended, mismatched bridesmaid dresses and mixed sex bridal parties were most definitely a thing and I think they will prove very popular in 2023.”
The move is a modern step forward whereby couples can now involve all of their friends in their ceremony – or even their pets!
2. Outside expertise
You may have heard of a wedding planner but have you heard of a wedding stylist? This is someone who organises the aesthetics of your big day – the mood, the style concept, the design details and even the finishing touches on your venue. The service is becoming more and more popular with busy couples who want to reduce their stress levels.
Roisín Moloney’s El Paradiso Events is based in Spain and helps couples to plan their perfect destination wedding on the Mediterranean. She is a wedding planner and stylist and, as well as seeing a surge in European destination weddings post-pandemic, she also predicts many changes in venue style choices.
3. Multi-functional bridalwear
We could all stand to be more sustainable when it comes to occasionwear and what you wear on your wedding day is no exception.
One way to get more wear out of your bridal outfit is to incorporate a detachable element to it. Carolyn O’Sullivan of Not Another White Dress, says: “A detachable element is a more practical option that gives the bride more freedom to enjoy her day.” Worrying about getting a long train dirty should be the last thing on a bride’s mind.
Designer Aoife Kennedy of Aoife Kennedy Paris, says: “I love the idea of a bridal style that can be worn again and it’s something I see more and more requests for. White silk halter neck tops, corsets, body skimming skirts with high slits and wide leg trousers can create modern bridal looks and easily be incorporated into a wardrobe to be worn time and time again.”
4. A sweet surprise
It’s always great when a wedding introduces a surprise element that no one sees coming.
The Irish Horsebox Bar is an award-winning vintage horsebox-turned-mobile-café-bar that can be hired for coffee service outside the church, day two parties, cocktail receptions at the venue and more.
Owner Dillon Hunter says: “We’re finding couples are really wanting to add custom and personal touches to the service. Be it coffee cups with their names and the date, which we can design based on their wedding colours or theme, or signature cocktails named after each of their dogs! They are thinking about their guests and how they can add unique touches that will be remembered long after the day is over.”
5. Tailoring the walk up the aisle
Walking up the aisle is a tradition that isn’t going anywhere but it is undergoing quite a change.
Wedding planner and stylist Róisín Moloney says: “If you as a couple want to walk down the aisle together, or you want your mother, brother, best friend or your dog to walk you down the aisle…why not? I chose to have my mother walk me down the aisle and it was such a special moment for us both.”
She adds that while it might feel difficult to break away from traditional wedding expectations, it adds a wonderful surprise element to a day that most people have come to predict from beginning to end.