According to leading wedding planning website Hitched.co.uk experts, weddings in 2024 will be more personalised than ever. They will have more of a focus on the guest experience as couples go above and beyond to make sure their wedding truly sums up who they are.
Zoe Burke, leading wedding expert and Editor of Hitched.co.uk, says that couples are moving away from tradition and planning their days to be more aligned with their own lifestyles, budgets, and beliefs.
Thankfully, there’s no shortage of real-life examples for couples to take inspiration from when it comes to doing things differently, especially on TikTok, where users have consumed more than 8 billion videos featuring the tag #WeddingTok, with numbers increasing daily.
With more and more inspiration for truly original wedding days, Zoe predicts a rise in personalised and customisable weddings from 2024 couples.
Zoe’s Wedding Trend Predictions for 2024
One of the biggest trends that Zoe expects to see take off next year is customised celebrant-led wedding ceremonies, where couples can completely rewrite wedding vows, making them truly original.
Zoe says: “There’s been a 49% increase in Google searches for ‘celebrant weddings’ in the past year, and traffic to our article about celebrant-led weddings has increased by an incredible 157%, showing a clear trend for unique celebrant-led wedding ceremonies.
“Having a celebrant-led ceremony offers couples so much freedom they wouldn’t necessarily get in a traditional ceremony. There’s room for personal stories, inclusive language, and cultural diversity, and couples also get to spend quality time with their celebrant beforehand to ensure that the ceremony reflects their unique relationship. You don’t get that anywhere else.”
Google searches for “film wedding photography” have surged by 266% this year, highlighting it as a key trend for coming weddings. Zoe puts this down to the magic of anticipation, saying: “Nostalgia is always on trend, and in a time where everything is instantly available in digital format, the anticipation of film wedding photography has a huge appeal.”
Film wedding photographer Kate Bunny Hampson isn’t surprised to see film photography trending, noting that he has seen an increase in the number of couples asking for it as an add-on to their packages. “I personally have been shooting on film since 1981. I started offering it at weddings a few years ago, it was always my preference, but I noticed how many clients were jumping on the film photos.
“I ditched the digitals and went to full film two years ago. Ever since then, my business has boomed! I’m flooded with enquiries from couples who appreciate the beauty of film photography. Flooded!
“I personally choose film because of the look. There is a certain richness and depth you cannot get with digital photography. I also like how it forces me to think about what I photograph without the screen.”
What’s better than a wedding day? A whole wedding weekend! Google searches for “weekend wedding venue” have risen by 50% in the past year as couples seek to make even more of a celebration out of their wedding.
Taking inspiration from TikTok’s billions of videos on #WedTok and the American trend of having a rehearsal dinner the night before and a goodbye brunch on the following day, UK couples are now increasingly looking for venues that can host them for three days in a row to make the most out of their wedding.
Zoe Burke explains the boom behind this trend: “It’s no surprise that after all that time and effort, couples don’t want their wedding to be over in a day. Inspired by the more drawn-out wedding celebrations in the US, we’re seeing arrival parties taking place on a Friday, with drinks and ice-breaker games, ahead of the big day itself. Some goodbye event on Sunday follows this – usually a hangover brunch!”
As with fashion, wedding styles are pretty cyclical, and retro-inspired events are the next big thing. Online interest in “70s weddings” has grown by almost a third (39%) in the past year, no doubt following the highly anticipated release of Daisy Jones & the Six on Amazon Prime earlier this year.
Retro weddings are the future, and it seems couples can’t get enough of the cool vibes of the swinging 60s and 70s, with internal traffic to retro wedding hairstyles rocketing on Hitched, too, up a whopping 575% year on year.
Experts at Le Keux, who specialise in vintage bridal hairstyles, said: “I believe vintage and retro styling is becoming more popular because more people are discovering the golden age of Hollywood due to lots of exposure in mainstream TV and films such as the Mrs Maisel series, the 2022 Elvis film by Baz Luhrmann, and more vintage influences in wig styling and fashion through hit shows such as RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“From these cultural references, the next generation is now being introduced to a style that is so classically beautiful it’s timeless.”
Brass bands are not uncommon at a wedding, but couples are seeking out more unusual entertainment ideas for 2024. Zoe says that the appearance of a solo saxophonist at a wedding has been a creeping trend for a little while now but expects it to hit the mainstream next year as searches for a “saxophone wedding” increase by 143% yearly.
Wedding saxophonist James Burwell explains why he thinks the sax is becoming more of a wedding party must-have: “I think what sets saxophonists apart is their adaptability which allows them to cater to all different wedding styles and preferences.
“Whether it’s beautiful classical melodies, classic jazz standards, popular love songs, and even modern hits and Ibiza tunes, the saxophone can effortlessly interpret these styles, creating a refreshing twist to well-known tunes. This makes it the perfect instrument for ceremonies, drinks receptions, wedding breakfasts and the evening party!”
While renting certain things like venues, decor, and entertainment is entirely normal, the number of additional elements newlyweds can hire or borrow these days, such as fashion and accessories, is growing by the day – to a point where couples can rent almost every element of their wedding days.
Google searches for “wedding dress hire” have increased by 50% in the last year, while traffic to articles on wedding dress hire options on Hitched is also up by 152% as newlyweds look for affordable and sustainable options for their wedding days.
Additionally, Zoe says that she’s seen a massive traffic increase to her wedding hire guide on Hitched, by a whopping 1,545%, as couples look for ways to hire everything from decor and flowers to wedding fashion and footwear. “Renting makes so many items way more accessible to couples and removes the pressure of figuring out what to do with them after your wedding too.”
A recent poll by Hitched showed that almost three-quarters (71%) of wedding guests have no idea how much to spend on wedding gifts, which aligns with the 313% rise in traffic to articles on wedding gift ideas on Hitched.
Zoe says that while cash gifts are a popular option for couples to put towards bigger purchases such as honeymoons or couples’ experiences, gift lists allow guests to choose something the couple will genuinely love.
“As everyone feels the impact of the cost of living crisis, giving cash as a wedding gift can feel daunting. Gift lists are a great way for couples to communicate what gifts they would like to receive from their guests, and stops the issue of getting more than one of the same gift, too.
“It’s very easy to see exactly how much your gift is worth, and that can make some people feel exposed – especially if they are on a tight budget. Choosing a thoughtful gift is an easy way to make it look like you’ve spent more and to give something sentimental that the couple can keep forever. A win-win!”
The help of AI
2024 is going to see weddings get technical! Google searches for “AI wedding” have doubled in the last year. At the same time, Zoe says she’s seeing emerging trends around online interest in terms like “AI wedding speech generator” and “AI wedding invitations” as nearly weds experiment with the latest artificial intelligence available online.
“It’s interesting to see couples leaning on new tech to help them with their wedding planning,” says Zoe. “I recommend getting all the help you can get to plan your wedding, but if you are using AI, double check what it gives you, and edit and play around with it so it feels like it has come from you.
“We recently revealed that more than half of Brits (57%) tasked with writing a wedding speech would not admit to getting help with their speech, which is a bit worrying. I would suggest using AI to help give you ideas, but not actually to do the work itself. Things like speeches are way more meaningful when they come from the heart, not the bot.”