2022 will go down in history as the year of the post-pandemic wedding boom but what’s the scoop on wedding trends for 2023? If you are looking for inspiration for your 2023 wedding, I’ve got some goodies to share with you!

The Marriage Meander Company publishes an annual wedding planning publication to help South African brides plan all the details of their big day! We keep a finger on the pulse of what’s trending overseas as well as the local scene, and these are some of the things we are excited to see more of this year.

1 – Bold colour!

Bright, bold, unashamed colour is not a new idea but I’m happy to say that we are set to see a lot more colour at weddings this year.

As part of their trend forecasting, Pinterest says we can expect to see plenty of terracotta, copper, rust, and burnt orange. Apparently Pinterest has seen a 695% increase in searches for “burnt orange wedding themes”.

Bride with bridesmaids wearing burnt orange dresses

Modern brides are asking for courageous and even clashy colour combinations and playful palettes.

If you didn’t already know, Pantone announced its 2023 colour of the year as Viva Magenta, a vibrant, optimistic, reddish shade, a colour we are bound to see at trend setting weddings this year.

2 – Blurry wedding photos

2023 will be the year of the blurry wedding photo. I’m talking about the one that captures the surreal, dizzy euphoria you felt on your wedding day.

If you have been seeing these on the ‘gram, it’s not that photographers have lost the plot or started drinking on the job 😉 This is an intentional effect and you either like it or you don’t. Your photographer may opt to take a few of these blurred shots to add some variety to your wedding gallery but don’t worry, if you have chosen a professional, you won’t land up with an album that looks like every picture is out of focus!

As social platforms lean into authenticity and away from staged perfection, we can expect wedding photography to follow suit. Couples are favouring more candid, unstaged shots.

Blurry black and white photo of bridal couple

3 – Petite bouquets

According to Pinterest, pinners are seeking out petite bouquets in place of the over scaled arrangements we’ve seen in previous years. These pared-back handhelds not only look elegant, they’re also super practical and don’t obscure your gorgeous wedding dress.

4 – Dramatic ceiling installations

Whilst bouquets may be downsizing, dramatic suspended ceiling installations are having a big moment. Think florals, draping, and eye-catching lighting. This is the year for Love at first height!

5 – Statement aisles and ceremony areas

Statement Aisles are also trending on the global circuit. I for one cannot wait to see local couples embrace S-shaped, serpentine or circular ceremony seating areas.

6 – Curated guest lists

Since the easing off of the pandemic, average wedding spend has increased but something that’s been a little slower to grow is the guest list. Pre-covid, international stats say that couples were inviting an average of 102 guests to their wedding, but this has dipped to a new average of 72 guests.

During Covid, couples had to cut down their guest lists if they wanted to get married. For some, this was heart-breaking but for others, they felt free to cut their guest list to only include people they really wanted to invite.

Intimate and relaxed wedding reception beneath pretty portico

7 – Creating a wow wedding experience

Whilst guest numbers may have dropped by about a third, spend has not. I believe that we’ll continue to see more selective guest lists as engaged couples ditch the pressure to invite Plus Ones and family members thrice removed and focus instead on creating a wow experience with their nearest and dearest.

8 – Themed bachelorette parties

The concept of a bachelorette party – not to be confused with a bridal shower –  has evolved. These days, bachelorette parties are about more than just a night on the town with glitzy tiaras and sashes. Bachelorette parties now have their own theme and “aesthetic” and often take place over an entire weekend. Think girly getaway with all the frills – customised invites, table décor, signature drinks, selfie frames, outfits and props.

Kiss the Miss Goodbye selfie frame

9 – Unique honeymoons and safari honeymoons

Travel is back and it’s bigger than ever in 2023! According to travel experts, Google searches for ‘unique honeymoons’ have risen by 3,900% since the beginning of 2022, as couples are once again able to celebrate their marriage with a trip that really meets those bucket list goals. Safari honeymoons continue to gain in popularity, with travel experts revealing that there has been a 236% uplift in Google searches for that specific term.

Sunset views over the river mouth at Umngazi Hotel & Spa

Vibrant sunset overlooking a valley with elephants crossing a river

10 – Wedding dress trends for 2023

Dress trend 1: The Reception Dress

Brides are starting their wedding day in a statement gown but changing into a flirty party dress that’s easy to move around in for the reception.

Dress trend 2: The puff sleeve

An old style reinvented, the new modern puff sleeve is probably one of my favourite trends this year. Just look at that gorgeous volume!

Dress trend 3: Pearl detailing

Pearl detailing on dresses and veils is having a moment and searches on Pinterest for pearl wedding dresses have doubled.

Dress trend 4: Slits

Another old trend resurfaces as slits are once again popular on wedding dresses. This is an opportunity to show some leg – and those gorgeous shoes.

Dress trend 5: Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

Offering your bridesmaids some fashion autonomy is the new norm. Give your girls a theme: whether it be jewel tones, or florals and let them choose a dress to suit their body type and skin tone.

The result: a bevy of beauties who feel considered, confident and stylish because they were involved in the process and now find themselves wearing outfits they love.

I personally love this trend as it gives your bridesmaids the ability to show off their personalities and results in a very modern, chic aesthetic.


Bridesmaids in mismatched dresses gathered around bride in field

Dress trend 6: Open backs

2023 is bringing sexy back – pun intended! Gowns with low backs and cut-outs ensure you look just as breath-taking from behind.


I would love to hear what wedding trends you are most looking forward to in 2023! ⬇️😍💗

Happy planning, and be sure to follow The Marriage Meander Company on Instagram for more wedding tips and trends.