Everyone has their own style and preferences when it comes to saying “I do”.
Over the years we’ve seen a variety of trends dominate the wedding scene, from minimalist themes to cupcake towers and disposable cameras.
In Australia there are usually 120,000 weddings each year, but in the face of the pandemic those numbers dropped drastically, with 78,989 weddings happening in 2020, and just over 89,000 in 2021.
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Brad Vincent of The Colourful Celebrant says his mind has been “blown” by some of the wedding ideas he’s seen emerging. (Instagram)
With a wedding boom on the verge, 9Honey spoke to some Aussie wedding experts and service providers to suss out what we should expect to see at weddings this year.
Natasha Tarabey has run her florist business Radiant Blooms from home for over two years, and has worked around weddings long before her own business venture.
She says we should prepare ourselves for a year of weddings featuring colourful, natural and sustainable flower arrangements.
“During COVID it was really difficult operating, but now that it’s been out of lockdown and events and weddings are picking up again after being pushed back, things are great,” she says.
Tarabey, 25, has noticed neutral tones in wedding blooms are slowly starting to phase out in favour of colour.
Florist Natasha Tarabey says colourful blooms are trending. (Supplied)
“People are drifting away from the neutrals, all-whites or soft blush tones and they’re wanting to express themselves now through colour, a lot of bold colours,” she says.
She’s also found a lot of recent requests are reviving a wedding flower style that was popular in the noughties.
“Blues and purples are starting to make a big comeback, early 2000s style coming full circle,” she says.
“People are drifting away from the neutrals, all-whites or soft blush tones.”
The young business owner noted people are preferring natural floral arrangements over fancier styles that have dominated the past decade.
“Instead of doing big grand arbors, people are opting for a more natural garden aesthetic arrangement,” she says.
“So they’re doing more ground work with florals coming out of the ground rather than on a stem of some sort, so it looks a lot more natural and free-flowing.”
To complement the bold, colourful arrangements, brides are opting to keep bridesmaid bouquets simple.
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“I’ve noticed people are more focused on having local flowers rather than importing.” (Instagram)
“More people are starting to do single -variety bouquets, so rather than doing a mix of flowers, each bridesmaid would have mass of one specific flower and each bridesmaid would have a different version of that.”
Sustainability also seems to be a priority, with Tarabey highlighting requests for local flowers and more environmentally-friendly options.
“I’ve noticed people are more focused on having local flowers rather than importing. I don’t know if it’s because of COVID that they want to support more local growers, but there’s definitely been more of an emphasis about getting ‘local roses’ or ‘local stock’,” she says.
“People have also been coming across as more conscious, wanting to be more ‘foam-free’ when we’re doing our installations, so they’re wanting to be more sustainable and better for the environment, opting for better mechanics.”
Makeup artist Melissa Sassine with one of her bridal clients. (Instagram)
Melissa Sassine has been doing bridal makeup for over 20 years and notes trends are changing more than annually.
“They change every quarter sometimes, the trends are just so quick and there’s so many out there to choose from that some brides actually find themselves indecisive,” she said.
“So my job is to make sure that I keep it timeless but enough on trend so they feel good.”
“I think blush is still going to carry through this year. Thank God, because I love blush.”
Getting into the business to share confidence and allow women to feel important and special, Sassine found herself leaning towards weddings that opened her up to a more intimate experience.
“Everyone’s unique in their own way, I do like to meet them and get to know their personality before suggesting a look for them,” she notes.
“If they know what they’re wearing, I ask if I can have a look so I can see the colour of the fabric so I can complement it.”
Despite the intimate experience of adapting make-up styles to each bride, Sassine noted there are some general trends to keep an eye out for in 2023.
“In general I think blush is still going to carry through this year. Thank God, because I love blush,” she said.
“With bridal, it’s definitely becoming more popular and it just gives the bride a little flush of colour, but as a makeup artist it’s important to pick the right tone of blush as well.”
Other trends she pointed out include long-lasting creamy lips as opposed to long-lasting matte lips, and matte eyeshadows as opposed to shimmery eyeshadow.
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It’s going to be a big year of love for Sami Al-Sarawi who is booked out with weddings for the year. He loves the intimacy of working with couples preparing for their ceremony.
“I love weddings so much, because you get to be a part of someone’s special day, everyone’s there to celebrate with the bride and groom and you get to learn so much about people on a personal level,” he said.
“It’s a very special job, I feel.”
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Sami Al-Sarawi knows how to get a wedding dance floor moving. (Instagram)
He mentions some couples prefer to be as alternative as possible, but music trends prevail regardless.
“There are couples that you encounter that want to be different, but at the same time there are some hit songs that end up becoming generally popular for weddings,” he said
“Ever since Perfect was released by Ed Sheeran, that was a hit for a long time, also Back at One by Brian McKnight was quite a hit for a while.”
“It’s still very early stages to determine or predict the song of 2023.”
With the introduction of TikTok, Al-Sarawi explains couples’ wedding music selection has reflected popular trends on the social media site.
“Recently with TikTok there’s that Middle Eastern twist song, which is My Love by Inez and it’s a remix of an Arabic song called Ya Ghayeb, which is really popular,” he said.
“Even people who don’t understand Arabic are liking the song because of the feeling it gives them, so there’s definitely songs becoming popular because of such trends.”
Having been a DJ for over 10 years, Sami’s been a part of weddings featuring a variation of music service providers to complement his set, including swing bands, dabke drumming groups or live singers. He even offers drumming alongside his music mixing.
DJ Sami drumming at a wedding. (Instagram)
“I expect live singers to be popular this year. I personally love weddings when live singers are involved, the reason is because when they’re singing these songs, the way it can flow is a lot nicer,” he said.
“The way the singer can incorporate the bride and groom’s name into the songs can give it a bit of a personal touch.”
A hit song for 2023 is too hard to determine at this stage, according to the DJ.
“It’s still very early stages to determine or predict the song of 2023, there are a lot of hits that have come out last year but ultimately it comes down to the individual couples,” he said.
“For dance music, I predict a popular song for this year will be a resampled old song, for example a popular one that came out last year was I’m Good by David Guetta, which was a remake of Blue (Da Ba Dee).”
Meet wedding-singer-turned-celebrant Brad Vincent.
Also known at The Colourful Celebrant he has been marrying couples for three years and is glad to be back as weddings return.
The Colourful Celebrant, Brad Vincent. (Instagram)
“At weddings recently, if given permission by the couple, of course, you can really unleash sometimes and really be yourself in terms of as a guest, couple or as a vendor,” he says.
“Couples give you a platform and say, ‘Just be you’, which is great.”
Vincent says couples have recently been open to ‘out-of-the-box’ suggestions, resulting in a range of new wedding trends arising.
“Lots of couples get caught up in what they think they should be doing, but you don’t have to do anything traditionally if you don’t want to,” he said.
“It’s great to give couples the opportunity to know that they can have an option that makes them say, ‘This is so us'”.
Traditional vows are on the out, according to Vincent, with couples choosing to find unique ways to make the ritual more intimate.
“Some couples are preferring to do their vows after the ceremony, some write letters and read them to each other at their photoshoots or before the ceremony starts,” he said.
“Some couples are preferring to do their vows after the ceremony, some write letters and read them to each other at their photoshoots or before the ceremony starts.” (Instagram)
“Other people are even writing letters and sealing them in a box with a bottle of whatever beverage they like and reading the letters out to each other on their first anniversary.”
Despite the comfortable, fun atmosphere Vincent is hired to provide, he says lots of couples opt for ‘unplugged ceremonies’, really wanting everyone to be in the moment with them on their special day.
“We usually notify everybody before the ceremony starts not to take any photos of videos. The couple have paid big money for videographers and photographers,” he said.
“Some celebrants set a timer and give people a few minutes to grab a selfie with the couple.”
Most times the couples only want no phones present during the ceremony, whereas afterwards, phones being out isn’t a problem.
“Some celebrants set a timer and give people a few minutes to grab a selfie with the couple before the ceremony before it’s phones off,” Vincent explained.
“Then after, it’s full party mode and you can get your cameras out, but it’s suggested not to post on social media before the couple does.”
The way couples decide to incorporate their guests varies, with guestbooks becoming a staple of wedding ceremonies. However, twists on the traditional version are emerging.
New takes on the traditional guestbook including “old-style” phones allowing guests to record a message. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
“Some people are getting these old-styled phones installed at their weddings that allow guests to record voice messages that are compiled at the end,” he said.
“Taking Polaroid photos to add to the guest book has also become wildly popular.”
Ultimately it’s down to the couple, but Vincent suggests that if you’re seeking a unique wedding, the options are becoming wilder than ever.
“My job is just to suggest things and ultimately it’s up to the couple, but there are so many ideas for couples to choose from if they’re open to it, from jumping castles to DIY Airbnb hires,” he said.
“The options that have come out in the past few years I’ve been a celebrant, as opposed to weddings I’ve attended beforehand, just blows my mind.”
Alex Johns has noticed couples are choosing unique spots for their wedding photos. (Third Wheelin’ Co.)
Couples are increasingly choosing unusual but aesthetically stunning locations for their wedding portraits, says photographer Alex Johns.
”In the trends within my bookings so far, a lot or people are getting married in really unique spots that are far from where they may originally live,” Johns says.
“They’re picking locations that may be a bit further away, but that look amazing.”
“The last couple of years has bottled up creativity … it’s given people this desire to do something different.”
Some of the locations Johns expects to see more of this year include cattle stations and nationally based destination weddings that have a unique look to them.
Elle and Burt on their wedding (Third Wheelin’ Co.)
“The last couple of years has bottled up creativity for a lot of people, especially with restrictions on travel, and it’s given people this desire to do something different.”
Johns runs Third Wheelin’ Co, and has noticed people are loving the outdoors for weddings.
“There seems to be a big push towards outdoor weddings, especially black-tie garden party style weddings,” he said.
“It’s great, there’s a bit of class and a bit of nature, it works well.”
Newlyweds Matt and Regina are showered in confetti. (Third Wheelin’ Co.)
According to Johns, a lot of photographers at the moment are offering other services such as videography or disposable camera images to spice things up.
He echoes the sentiment of other service providers when discussing the intimate relationships vendors can build with couples as their wedding approaches.
“It’s a great experience to get to know the couple, particularly in smaller celebrations where you get made to feel like you’re part of the whole thing,” he said.
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