As more and more couples are opting to individualise their wedding day, there has been a sharp decline in cookie-cutter weddings; after all, couples want their personalities to shine through and do their day their way. Because of this, the only limit on how to plan the big day (or days) is your budget and this is reflected in the up and coming trends of 2020.

Dress Trends

Unsurprisingly each bride is different, and each dreams of a different perfect wedding and a different perfect dress. Thankfully designers have taken note of this and have branched out from the classic meringue shape in ivory satin, and subsequently, no modern wedding dress looks alike. From contemporary and sleek to elaborate and full, the sky is your limit when it comes to fashionable expression on your special day.

Retro fashion is in a resurgence, and the bridal industry is following suit with classic designs from the '80s and beyond showcasing on runways anticipating 2020. Stylistic designs like 1960's revived bishop sleeves, 1950's inspires ruffle tiered dresses, and 1920's influenced beaded epaulette dresses are popping up in wedding boutiques across Ireland, all co-opted and repurposed with modern materials.

Papilio soft blush Deep v wedding dress with bishop sleeves and lace applique Papilio soft blush Deep v wedding dress with bishop sleeves and lace applique

A trend currently turning heads on runways is the colour blue. If the growing popularity of blush gowns has proven anything it's that white isn't the only popular contender. More and more designers are adopting colours like sweet pea blue in chiffon overlays, accenting belts and the overall material, giving a dreamlike and romantic aesthetic to their creations.

Groom Trends

Gone are the days of the wallflower groom expected to play second fiddle to the blushing bride. 2020 sees an increase in grooms standing out and taking their place as an attention grabber next to their spouse. Say goodbye to the basic black rented tuxedo and say hello to mixed materials. Mixing elements of various suit styles is a sure-fire way to get a bespoke and unique look for the big day whether that be colourful blazers, trousers or waistcoat, the effort goes a long way when it comes to the overall style and will make the groom a standout on his big day.

Green Tartan suit with camel waistcoat and ox blood tie photographed by Louise Scott Photography Green Tartan suit photographed by Louise Scott Photography

For the more understated groom, a statement suit with bright trousers or a checked blazer may not be ideal. Instead, a subtle way to tie in the colour scheme of the wedding and allow the groom to stand out from his groomsmen is through the use of smaller statement pieces, e.g. a patterned tie. Smaller elements of the colour scheme or overall theme of the wedding will not only look great in pictures but can also give the groom the chance to have their own Say Yes to the Dress experience.

Makeup Trends

Certain trends become and remain classics for a reason. Glowing skin accentuated by the use of gentle pinks, taupes and greys have taken the centre stage on Pinterest boards because of this. However, for many potential brides, a more modern pop of colour is still a necessity.

Natural Makeup by Sarah Lucero for Stila Cosmetics Alice + Olivia show Natural Makeup by Sarah Lucero for Stila Cosmetics Alice + Olivia show

A current trend that has taken Instagram by storm is colour strobing of the inner corner of the eye. "It used to be taboo to introduce a coloured liner or some shimmer into your bridal look. But we're finding a great way to balance it by keeping the skin bare." Stated Michaela Podolsky at Bridal Fashion Week. A quick and easy way to brighten up any makeup look without being overpowering is as simple as adding a bright colour to the inner corner of the eyes, that small punch of colour not only brightens the eye but also elevates a relatively neutral look to something both fun and sophisticated.

For many brides looking glamorous and beautiful on their wedding day is an important part of the celebrations. However, not everybody is used to wearing heavy makeup regularly, and so it can quickly turn from a glamourous day to an uncomfortable one. Glossy lips provide a high fashion look that won’t impede on comfort. Better yet, it can be easily reapplied if it gets messed up by food, drinks or the I do's.

Decor Trends

Not everybody dreams of the classic church wedding and hotel reception. A rising trend in the wedding industry is individuality and personalisation. The first thing couples are considering now when planning their wedding is "How does this represent us?" The venue itself plays a significant role in this, whether a couple chooses to book a museum for their reception, or hold the ceremony in a meaningful location, the personalisation will stand out for guests and deepen the experience for the couple themselves.

Wedding ceremony in Horniman Museum London taken by Babb Photo Wedding ceremony in Horniman Museum London taken by Babb Photo

Atriums and greenhouses are becoming popular venues to hold both the ceremony and reception. Greenery and flowers have always played a large and costly role in the décor of a wedding, instead of breaking the bank on flowers many couples are opting to hold their reception in a venue that already comes with flowers by the bucket load.

Another growing trend are cocktail bars tailored specifically to the bride and groom e.g. naming the drinks after important dates in the relationship, inside jokes or pets. Not every wedding needs an open bar throughout the reception, the combination of the overall cost and the tendency for people to drink a little too much make it less of an attractive choice for most. Hosting an open cocktail hour after the ceremony and pre-reception can be a show-stopper, a cost-cutter and act as a way to keep guests occupied while the wedding photos are being taken.

Sustainability Trends

One of the biggest global trends of 2019 and 2020 is sustainability and care for our environment. While it might take more effort, it is one of the most necessary trends to implement into your wedding. The wedding industry created a huge carbon footprint and this only grows as people continue to lavishly celebrate their love with no regard for their impact. Going forward the modern bride will be a sustainable bride, this may sound difficult to achieve but in reality, certain decisions can be made that put the environment first.

Entrance to La Réserve Ramatuelle in St Tropez, France La Réserve Ramatuelle in St Tropez, France

Talk to local florists about native flowers that can be sustainably harvested for wedding décor, not only will this reduce the carbon footprint from your flowers journey, but will also support local vendors and encourage sustainable harvesting for flower growers. Or better yet, host your wedding in an atrium or greenhouse!

When you think of getting married, you often think of the wedding day, the white dress and a big cake, but let's not forget the honeymoon! Jet setting to a beautiful romantic location with the love of your life and celebrating your marriage in the lap of luxury has become the norm. However, the environmental impact of a lavish honeymoon isn't considered if properly researched hasn't been done. Transport alone leaves a hefty mark, according to the European Commission “Direct emissions from aviation account for about 3% of the EU’s total greenhouse gas emissions and more than 2% of global emissions. If global aviation was a country, it would rank in the top 10 emitters.” But never fear! There are sustainable and ethical options, beautiful locations specifically designed and managed to be environmentally friendly as possible. Run by locals of the area, not only will you be able to cut down on your negative global impact, but you can also experience the beauty and wonders of the surroundings through the help of the people who know it best.

-  Grainne