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You’re not the only one!
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The 2023 Wedding Trends That Work Beautifully For Small Weddings

Last year, we reported that couples were emerging from pandemic lockdowns with wedding visions that were imaginative and creative.

With everything opening up there was a sense that anything was possible. It’s been difficult to see how 2023 would top that.

But as one of the busiest wedding planners in Nevada, all the signs are pointing to it being another mega exciting year.  

Between what clients doing and what some of our top vendors are saying, we’ve put together 15 surprising 2023 wedding trends.

Which will you be brave enough to incorporate into your own wedding day?

Bride walking in front of groom, holding his hand.

Trend 1: 50 or Fewer Guests

Guest numbers were hitting the micro wedding limit of 100 last year, for good reason. The opportunity to gather together in a group after years of being told “nuh-uh” was hard to resist.

But we’re seeing micro wedding guest numbers trend back down. According to The Wedding Report, the average number of guests attending a Nevada-based wedding is 79 to 89.

Most of our couples are inviting 50 or fewer guests as they choose an intimate, memorable destination wedding with their most cherished family and friends.

Unfamiliar with this wedding style? Here’s why micro weddings continue to hit the headlines.

Trend 2: Weekday Weddings

Saturdays will always be the most popular days to get hitched. But Tuesdays and Thursdays are right behind that.

Couples are capitalizing on the lower weekday fees that many venues offer.

The least popular day to get married? Our data says Sundays.

Trend 3: Destination Weddings Are Back on the Map

Destination weddings haven’t full recovered from the pandemic. Yet.

But the recently-engaged are daring to consider locations beyond their backyard.

In the last half of 2022, we’ve had an increase in couples booking from overseas, with soon-to-be-weds coming from locations such as the UK, Canada and Australia.

Newlywed couple opening champagne at mini reception.

Trend 4: High-Quality Wedding Albums

High-end wedding photography is at the heart of every Cactus Collective Weddings package. We pride ourselves on this.

And we love seeing how our couples make the most of their photos.

Right now, we’re getting the vibe that online albums ain’t enough. Couples want a tangible wedding album, either to keep and show to visiting family or to gift to their parents as a way of saying thanks for their support.

Trend 5: Pet Ceremony

All those pandemic puppies have ushered in a new era of pet appreciation that goes beyond what we’re seen in previous years.

Pets, especially pups, have become such an important part of the American family that more couples are including them in their special day.

Some are given the duty of ring bearer, while others watch on with the rest of the guests.

There are even companies such as Fairytail Pet Care in Las Vegas, who offer trained handlers to dress, wrangle and occupy your fury family member.

If this is a trend you’ll be following for your 2023 wedding, find the best pet-fiendly hotel in Las Vegas, so you can all enjoy a comfortable stay.

Trend 6: Bye-Bye Bridal Party

As part of our planning, we ask our couples about their bridal party.

And one trend we’re seeing is that lots of our couples are kissing goodbye to the traditionally gendered lineup. Mixed bridal parties with a Best Woman or Bridesmen are more common.

And if 2020 and 2021 taught us anything, it’s that couples realize they don’t need nearly as many people at their celebration as they once thought.

In 2023, couples are asking one or two of their closest friends and family to be part of their bridal party rather than large, bloated guest lists.

Trend 7: From Bouquets to Boucakes

Flower-inspired cakes are set to be B.I.G. in 2023. Whether it’s cakes that are adorned with real flowers or cupcakes iced with intricate floral designs, this trend is set to blossom this year.

According to the Pinterest Predicts report, there’s been:

  • an 85% increase in people searching for daisy cupcake ideas, 
  • 110% increase in wildflower cupcakes, 
  • and 210% increase in sage green cupcakes. 

As a company with a love for nature-inspired weddings, we love how this trend extends the theme. Couples are quite actually giving people a taste of the great outdoors.

Trend 8: Say “I Do,” Take Two

Couples who recently tied the knot under less than ideal circumstances, are obliterating the idea that vow renewals are reserved for milestone anniversaries.  We’ve had more vow renewal bookings for 2023 than ever before. Many wed as recently as 2020. 

Couples are telling us they’re seeking a do-over without having to wait until they’ve been married, 10, 25, or 50 years. They want to add to their wedding day story now.

Their vow renewal will build on their masked-up rushed COVID wedding or courthouse ceremony, giving them a celebration that delivers the beautiful wedding photos, guest list and reception they originally wanted.

Trend 9: Back By Popular Demand, Festival Weddings

When it comes to micro wedding themes, the headliner is still festival weddings. 

But without the mud.

This style is all about creating unique, memorable experiences for the couple’s guests.

And what’s more memorable than going to a private mini-festival, in a crazy location, with your closest friends and family?

Couples that book big outdoor spaces such as Dry Lake Bed, are finding ways to pitch up for the day to create their own Burning Man wedding vibe.

Trend 10: Pop Culture Weddings

Move over Star Wars, Disney, and Lord of the Rings.

Cool couples are looking beyond the big screen for wedding themes, favoring ones that celebrate iconic musicians instead.

We’ve seen Ziggy Stardust inspired makeup, color schemes that include Prince’s telltale purple hues, and Metallica’s logo-typeface splashed on wedding stationery.

Couples are speaking volumes when it comes to what inspires their wedding style.   

Photo by Electric Sugar Elopements

Trend 11: Dressing Up the Dress

For so long, “The Dress” has been the the sole focus for most brides. Find the perfect dress, and the dress does all of the talking.

Well, according to Danyelle from Grey Pearl Bridal Gallery, 2023 is going to screw with that idea. 

Danyelle said, “The biggest dress trend I’m seeing is accessorizing. And not just little accessories to complement the dress.”

Rather, brides are looking for accessories that pay homage to bygone eras and movie star glam.

Danyelle explained, “2023 is about dramatic accessories that dress the dress. We’re talking capes, gloves (both short and opera), bows, florals and color, color, color. Brides will not be binding themselves to white (or off-white) this coming year.”

Wedding ceremony in front of moon art.

Trend 12: Green Thinking

As a partner of the Leave No Trace initiative, we’re encouraged to see more couples planning with an eco-friendly eye.

Second-hand wedding outfits, upcycled décor, thrift-store accessories and buying locally are just a few of the sustainable wedding trends we’re seeing couples explore. 

Trend 13: Fresh Trends for Wedding Flowers

Our friends at Gaia Flowers are reporting a lot of change when it comes to bouquets and arrangements for 2023 micro weddings. 

For example, eloping couples want this adventurous wedding style captured in their flowers-for-the-day.

They’re choosing bright, colorful, tropical blooms and nixing the greenery.

Style-wise, they’re small and compact, boasting high-end flowers, such as orchids, hibiscus and bromeliad. 

At weddings with bridal parties, the color pallet is shifting.

Pinks and whites are falling out of favor, with burnt orange and terracotta blooms becoming the in-thing. (More on this shortly.) 

Now let’s talk arrangements, specifically arches.

Single arches are so yesteryear. Now we’re seeing turbo-charged layered arch arrangements that give the ceremony site some depth. (And then double up as a beautiful backdrop for group photos.)

Trend 14: Orange Is the New Hue

From flowers to cake decorations, dresses to accessories, Pinterest Predicts that terracotta, copper and burnt orange hues are set to dominate color pallets.

Searches for “burnt orange wedding theme” have shot up by 695%, with copper saree and orange dress outfit wedding, both increasing by 285%.

Trend 15: Low-Alc or No Alc

Whether it’s driving duties, kid wrangling, or simply wanting a clear head the next day, wedding guests are searching for non-alcoholic alternatives.

And couples are happy to oblige. We’re getting more and more requests to swap the mimosas for mocktails or champagne for…well, a low-alc champagne alternative.

Looking for more wedding trends and inspiration?

Whether you’re planning your destination wedding, need advice on the micro wedding essentials or want to know all there is to know on marrying in Las Vegas, our destination wedding resources have got you covered.

McKenzi Taylor
McKenzi Taylor

McKenzi Taylor is America’s go-to elopement and micro wedding expert, often featured in small and major media outlets, such as the New York Times. With over 15 years of wedding photography experience, it was after planning her own Las Vegas elopement in 2016 that McKenzi felt her purpose shift into elopement coordination. She started Cactus Collective Weddings soon after in 2017. Since then, she’s become a WIPA board member, and has helped well over 1000 couples get hitched in style around Las Vegas, San Diego and Black Hills.