What The Knot’s Top 2021 Wedding Trends Mean for Your Venue


It’s that time of year again. No, we don’t mean engagement season – although that is very much in full swing, too. We’re talking about the time where, as we transition from one year to the next, all different kinds of industry resources are cranking out their 2021 trend predictions on what’s hot, what’s not, what’s in, and what’s out to inform, not just for consumers, but the businesses targeting them. And the wedding industry is no different.

But this coming year is undoubtedly different, given how much the coronavirus affected and transformed weddings in 2020, building the foundation for what 2021 weddings will look like. And you see that weighing heavy in The Knot annual’s Top Wedding Trends for the Year report, which overall brands 2021 as “the year of intentionality.” While, traditionally, this report encompasses color palettes, cake trends, floral inspiration, now, more than ever, “couples have leaned into experiences over aesthetics, creating hyper-personalized affairs and curated guest ‘moments.’” Here are a few of the key takeaways and how your venue can lean into them, as well.

Going Big in Smaller Ways

Just because wedding guest counts are down – giving rise to the popularity in micro weddings – doesn’t mean that the details associated with a bigger bash are down, too. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: Couples that opt to keep their guests lists down often do so in order to really lavish their guests with details and accompanying experiences (see our blog post “How to Leverage Micro Weddings to Upsell Couples” to learn more). The Knot annual trend report states that they’re seeing couples go really “deep into the details” with regards to florals as big-budget décor statements, elaborate and sentimental tabletops that don’t spare any details, welcome boxes packed with more goodies than ever and customized to guests, custom canned ready-to-drink cocktails to go, and additional fun and unexpected forms of entertainment (i.e. having a mentalist perform or a celeb sing your first dance song over Zoom.)

How a Wedding Venue Can Lean into This Trend

  • For one, simply having your finger on the pulse of this trend (and all those that follow in this article, too), allowing you to suggest ideas to potential couples, makes your venue all the more valuable to them – and your blog content is a perfect place to serve that up to them (see our post “Blog Content Ideas – that Couples Will Actually Value – to Push Micro Weddings at Your Venue”).
  • Secondly, find ways to partner and build packages that couples can build right into their wedding pricing when they book with you – a few examples: custom calligraphy from a preferred vendor who can do handwritten invites, personalized place cards, menus, and more; a vendor who makes amazing custom welcome boxes; and unique forms of entertainment (cigar-rolling demos, floral-crown making sessions, magicians and illusionists, etc.)


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Putting a Focus on the Outdoors

Open-and-airy environments not only allow for the appropriate social distancing, but it makes guests feel at ease to be able to enjoy themselves. For that reason, welcome events, ceremonies, cocktail hour, receptions, are all being held outdoors through the event, and The Knot also reports predicting “a curation in weekend itineraries to help guests take advantage of nature’s splendor.”

How a Wedding Venue Can Lean into This Trend

  • Invest in ways to be able to offer couples more ways to maximize your outdoor space, like providing lawn games (something super trendy with micro weddings as is), firepits throughout the property with custom s’more kits, more whimsical and elegant tented or covered spaces (after all, tents are the new ballroom). But you should also reevaluate what you can offer couples in terms of your outdoor ceremony spaces as well, especially as many of your potential scenic locations and sites may have once been out of the question for 150 guests but are now perfect for a party of 15.

Visual Planning & AR Technology

Virtual technology is playing a huge role in how couples plan and experience their wedding days – for example, brides can now try on dresses virtually, weddings are streamed live through a variety of platforms, even guestbooks are now virtual. Naturally, couples also expect it from their venue.

How a Wedding Venue Can Lean into This Trend

  • You’ve likely already offer one-on-one virtual site tours via FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom, where you virtually “walk” couples through the event spaces so that they can ask questions and address concerns as they come up in real-time. But you should also consider building a virtual tour that couples can access at any time (Matterport is one such virtual software with 3D cameras that help you to virtually record your property and various venues). If you haven’t already, share videos of the spaces transformed during real weddings on Instagram, Facebook, and your website (and, as forecasted by our digital media manager in our upcoming Digital Marketing Trend Predictions for 2021, TikTok, too, will become more of a player for this specific feature in the future).
  • One such wedding venue collection that nails the virtual trend is Bijou Weddings based in the UK, with several of its venues, like Cain Manor, featuring website pages dedicated to “Take a Look Around” and “Real Weddings & Films.”

Weekday Weddings & Brunch Weddings

Weekday weddings have been on the rise in the last few years, but they’re expected to rise even more in 2021, according to The Knot, a result of the increase in smaller weddings and couples really wanting to use their budget to really luxuriate their guests with details and experiences. The same goes for brunch weddings, where “couples are taking advantage of daylight and sun-kissed experiences, including lush garden brunch parties and mouthwatering brunch boxes under airy tents.”

How a Wedding Venue Can Lean into This Trend

  • If you don’t already, offering weekday and brunch weddings can help make up for lost revenue in 2020. So how do you book more guests within these timeframes? Our post “How to Book More Weekday Weddings” serves up several ideas, including how to reposition a weekday wedding/brunch wedding as a bold, deliberate alternative.

Personally Portioned Plates

A safer way to serve guests at your cocktail hour or reception, “smaller plates and individualized portions are on the upswing with examples including single-serve grazing boards, mason jars supplemented by dips and dressings and, even, picnic baskets (to stay or to go),” reports The Knot.

How a Wedding Venue Can Lean into This Trend

  • If you’re a venue that provides your own catering or has couples select from a list of preferred caterers, the key isn’t just to say “yes, we do this,” but showing them the amazing presentation that accompanies these smaller, individualized portions. Think mini-gourmet mac ‘n’ cheese bowls that come covered in their own personal glass covers, different skewered bites arranged artfully on individual plates, and more.


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Tinymoons & Nanomoons

Even as travel restrictions lighten, couples will still opt to consider more local destinations for their honeymoons as opposed to the far-flung dream destinations. The Knot reports “local exploration is on the rise among newlyweds, whether it be a short trip to a local wine country or an extended road trip to a nature-driven destination near a U.S. National Park.”

How a Wedding Venue Can Lean into This Trend

  • First familiarize yourself with the differences between these two types of honeymoons: tinymoons are small honeymoons immediately following the wedding where couples stay in the same city where their wedding for a few days, while nanomoons are road trips to explore more local destinations – like a drive through wine country while staying at local inns – not immediately following the wedding.
  • If you’re a venue with rooms for rent, the tinymoon is the perfect feature to leverage to get couples to stay a few extra nights on property (which, obviously, means more money in your pocket). If not, it’s the perfect time to consider building special packages with a few of your preferred local hotel or resort partners to add more value to your venue. Lastly, create service-driven content around things to do in your destination on a tinymoon in the form of printed collateral or blog content to entice them to extend their stay.


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