2021 Summer Event Trends
When it comes to weddings and events, this summer will certainly be much different than the last. With vaccines rolling out at a steady pace, many clients and their guests will be protected and ready to return to full-scale celebrations.
However, it should be noted that precautions will still remain in place for the foreseeable future. Yet, as we dive into the upcoming warmer months, the excitement of reconnecting and focusing on the trends will move to the forefront once more.
To prepare, we rounded up some industry experts to discuss what’s changed and which event trends are on the horizon.
Top event trends for summer
It goes without saying that outdoor events will continue to reign supreme – given the state of the receding pandemic and the warmer weather. Most hosts and their guests will prefer the safer choice of allowing attendees a comfortable amount of space until COVID is fully behind us.
Additionally, JoAnn Gregoli of Elegant Occasions by JoAnn Gregoli notes that destination weddings, in particular, will have a different take. “[From] creating Parisian-inspired design and décor to Morrocan-inspired casbah, creating the destination feeling at home is what we are seeing until the world opens up again. We love creating image projections of the city and displaying them throughout the venue. Since destination weddings are still restricted, this trend truly allows you to create the atmosphere you dreamed about from that country. We are also seeing a huge request for English garden vibes, thanks to the multitude of TV series from England.”
According to Joan Wyndrum of Blooms by the Box, couples will be taking on more projects for their weddings than in years past. “One of the biggest trends we are seeing emerge is the trend towards DIY. With rescheduled wedding dates and their time at home, DIY projects are going to be bigger than ever. We will be seeing everything from DIY floral arrangements to signs and everything in between.”
Logistics to keep in mind
Although event pros have become quite well-seasoned in terms of navigating tricky situations, the combination of weather and social distancing can add a few obstacles. Logistics will be the most important factor to consider when planning any summer event with these trends in mind.
Regarding DIY, Wyndrum continues, “When it comes to tackling DIY with clients, it is important to make sure they understand the undertaking that these types of projects will be a time and monetary investment. Try to guide your clients into scheduling the time of when the projects will be executed and finished. When it comes to larger projects like DIY florals, explain to them that they shouldn’t be the ones making sure everything is set out or arranging on the morning of. Instead, have them designate some time the day before the ceremony and reception to prep everything with family and friends. Then on the day of, they can give the job of setup to someone outside of the wedding party who they trust.”
For 2021, we have the unique addition of Brood X cicadas to think about on top of potential weather issues. Tents will come in handy here!
Gregoli advises: “When creating these experiences, be mindful of the weather and make sure you have rain and inclement weather backup plans. No wedding [or event] will be successful without a variety of backup plans.”
Trends that are on the way out
Let’s visit the trends that you likely won’t be seeing this summer.
After adjusting seating arrangements to accommodate safety guidelines, Kylie Carlson of The Wedding Academy says that unique setups are here to stay. “The concept of traditional row seating for ceremonies is being replaced by cozy couches, vintage armchairs, and antique side tables. Households are being seated together, and this is perfect for those that want to bring their beverages along from cocktail hour. This style of seating is also wonderful to transition to the reception, as guests can feel free to mingle and social distance as they please.”
Meredith Reed of Ace Party & Tent Rental says that buffets won’t be making a return anytime soon. “Yes, we all love an unlimited amount of food for our guests in the past, but the COVID-19 Pandemic has made it quite unappealing. Unless you are in Las Vegas visiting, I do not see a buffet at any event for a long time if ever again.”
When thinking ahead at the overall future of 2021 events, Reed really says it best: “We are moving in the right direction, but COVID isn’t over, and we still have to be cautious and make everyone feel comfortable.” We’re allowed to be excited and get to work on stretching our creative muscles, but let’s keep in mind that client safety should hold first place!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.