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Special Events Blog

SOI: A Changing Tide in Weddings

Part 2 in our annual State of the Industry (SOI) report

Fall weddings are officially in, eclipsing spring as the most popular season to get married. Back in 2022, The Knot found that September 23, 2023 had the most weddings booked.

While destination weddings remain popular, we saw the rise of small-scale weddings with micro-weddings gaining traction and pop-up weddings and elopements increasing. And regardless of size, across the board we’ve seen multi-day festivities, with pre-ceremony welcome night parties and farewell brunches being common and more adventurous and opulent activities like snorkeling, liquor tastings, even cruises filling the luxury scene. 

As couples prolong festivities, they’re including friends for more of the celebration, too: a recent article from People magazine noted that “honeymoons aren’t just for two anymore. More and more newlyweds are celebrating post wedding by inviting friends and family to continue to post wedding festivities.” People chatted with event superstar Marcy Blum, who is “seeing group honeymoons more often and adds that one of her clients who recently married in Marbella opted to have her mother, sisters, and friends join for the first leg of the honeymoon and then ended the trip with a few days alone together. ‘It’s basically an extension of the party but with everyone paying their own way and no real schedule to adhere to,’ she says.”

Timeless traditions are on the way out, or at least on pause, as the younger generation steps onto the scene. “Say goodbye to the bouquet and garter toss, and possibly a few other long-held wedding traditions,” says Ian Ramirez (Madera Estates). “For the better, I predict this new generation will continue to adapt their weddings to focus less on tradition and put more emphasis on having fun and personalizing their guests’ experience.”

In the place of these traditions are new activities that will either be passing fads or new traditions—only time will tell. 2023 was the year for stepping into pre- and post- ceremony vibes—we’re seeing more wedding party members having separate ensembles for the ceremony and the reception. There’s even a growing trend of party members cutting their hair post-ceremony, what some call a “second look.”

The Knot 2023 Global Wedding Report found that “couples across all countries are relying heavily on vendors, hiring an average of 10 pros,” with photographers being a top vendor (85% of couples across the globe hired a photographer to capture their day). No doubt this is due to the effects of sharing scenes from the special day on social media.

And if capturing these spectacles wasn’t enough, the New York Times published an article about Join My Wedding, a platform that allows tourists to buy tickets to observe and even be a guest at extravagant Indian weddings. We’ll be interested to see how this takes hold in 2024.

For more on wedding trends, click here to see what’s on the horizon for 2024.

This article is part of a series where we take an in-depth look at the state of the event industry. 
View Part 1

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