With travel having been so limited in 2020, we thought we would include a feature on weddings around the world to appease our wanderlust (just a little) and to give you some snapshots into what is trending on the wedding front in other parts of the globe. The contributors in our Correspondents Corner aren’t all wedding pro’s (they are a mix of event planners, marketing specialists, photographers, chefs and entrepreneurs) but we loved their creative insights and hope you do too!

To view the full image gallery for this article go to the 2020/2021 Marriage Meander e-book (pages 26 – 37) on ISSUU.

Enhanced nature experiences in Colorado, USA
By Kirsten Le Roux
Photos by Kierstan Renner

Wedding trends in Colorado continue in the direction of sustainable, natural, earthy, informal and intimate. Cosy, smaller groups are becoming the norm with cell phones and even shoes being more routinely ‘left at the door’.

Upscaling and recycling continue to dominate the décor scene but these themes are now spilling over into other areas like bridal and bridesmaid dresses. Some brides are choosing to repurpose wedding and bridesmaid’s dresses previously worn by a mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, favourite aunt or older sister, adding a richly sentimental note to the day. Brides are choosing natural hair and make-up, and some are even opting to go barefoot or wear light, flat sandals.

Wildflowers, succulents, and herbs like rosemary, lavender and thyme are finding their way into bouquets and floral décor. More greenery and less traditional flowers are being selected, and these are being locally sourced within the wedding venue area. Potted plants, seedlings, tea and seed packets are finding their way into favours and table décor, as earthy, sustainable wedding themes are intensifying.

Bridal parties are seeking ‘an enhanced nature experience’ with Nature being invited into as many aspects of the wedding as practically possible. Couples are choosing to tie the knot next to a river, beside a waterfall, in a forest clearing or in a much loved neighbourhood park – even if it means hiking for a kilometre to get to their desired location! The natural environment, unique vistas, or flora and fauna are being used as the primary backdrop instead of trying to enhance a constructed venue.

Snow-white weddings in Sweden
By Kristin Viklund
Photos by Asaf Kliger

More than half of all weddings in Sweden are held during the warmer, brighter months of May, June, July and August, when temperatures rise above 20°C. But for some couples a white wedding is about more than a traditional white gown and involves a trip to the very northern parts of Sweden. During the harshest winter months, temperatures can average around -15°C, with occasional lows of about -30°C. The dry, crisp air and vistas of snow provide a romantic and striking backdrop for a wedding.

Ice Hotel, made of ice and snow, in Jukkasjärvi, offers couples a snow-white wedding in every sense. It is not unusual to invite guests for a full weekend, to a magical destination wedding starting with a ceremony in the Ice Gallery, followed by champagne toasts in the ice bar, wilderness dinner next to a ‘Just married’ ice sculpture, romantic first dance with the possibility of seeing the Northern Lights high above your heads, and ending with a wedding night in a luxurious suite made of ice and snow.

Other popular activities during the wedding weekend can include sauna rituals, ice sculpting competitions, or reindeer racings. A frozen fairy-tale dream come true…

Simple civil ceremonies vs all night parties in Germany
By Prini Petal
Photos by Christian Manthey

All German couples that wish to marry, start their wedded bliss off with a civil ceremony in a courthouse months or even a year before the big wedding. Very often this courthouse nuptial may be their only celebration. The “brautpaar” (bridal couple) gathers at a “standesamt” (registry office), dressed in smart clothes with a handful of close family and friends. Once the forms are signed, a “sekt-empfung” (sparkling wine reception) follows.  This day can sometimes be a grand affair but is often low key, especially if the couple plan to host a second celebration.

For those who choose to host a special big wedding celebration, this includes the reveal of a traditional white wedding dress during the service, and a reception party with food, cake, drinks, music, and dancing. The guests often arrange surprises for the bridal couple in the form of songs, poetry recitals, dances, or gift presentation riddles/games. Gifts are usually monetary but are presented as cash origami arranged in elaborate dioramas or three-dimensional figures. The couple is sometimes given a task to complete together such as cutting a log or cutting out a heart from a bedsheet, the myth being that the winner establishes dominance in the marriage.

German wedding reception parties often go on through the night until the morning with guests and the bridal couple sometimes ending their celebrations with a communal breakfast!

Eco-friendly nuptials in the United Kingdom
By Trudy Baxendale
Photos by Trudy Baxendale

With the current single use plastic and pollution crisis on our planet, many brides are making a conscious decision to show some love for the planet on their special day.

Helping to make eco-friendly nuptials trendy, Princess Eugenie and her anti-plastic, eco-friendly royal wedding to Jack Brooksbank is earning her the spot as the most sustainable bride in royal history.  With so many decisions to make, couples have plenty of alternatives to consider, to ensure their day shows eco love too. Here are a few of decisions favoured by royal princesses Eugenie and Beatrice.

Consider a pre-loved gown like Princess Beatrice did. She borrowed one of her grandmother’s dresses and gave it a bit of a modernised tweak to personalise it. She also borrowed one of the Queen’s tiaras and chose to wear a pair of shoes she had owned for over ten years. If you’d like a brand-new creation, consider an ethical designer who takes into account organic, sustainable materials.

Feeding your guests seasonal, local produce not only gives your guests delicious fresh cuisine, but also supports local farmers and businesses. Using seasonal blooms from the area where you will be getting married and choosing local service providers for all aspects of your wedding not only cuts down your carbon footprint by reducing travel and transport, but also shows support and love for local businesses too. It’s a win-win.

Intimate, country weddings in regional Australia
By Hazel McDiarmid
Photos by Rachel Emmily Photography

Quaint little towns along the great Murray River in regional Australia lend themselves to the most picturesque wedding venues. From high banks, to sandy river beaches, the shade of hundreds of Eucalyptus trees, native animals, rolling green golf courses, botanical gardens, old woolsheds & barns, or vineyards and orchards, this region has it all. April, May, October and November are the more popular months in this area due to excellent weather.

The general trend for weddings is smaller, more intimate gatherings of close family, relatives and friends. The more unique and unconventional, the better. There is also a definite focus on greener, eco-friendly weddings.

Food still plays an important part at weddings, with an array of grazing platters, dessert bars, food trucks and spit barbecues. Some still opt for the more traditional sit down, plated meals.

Many wedding couples are using Celebrants (wedding officers) for their outside locations. Celebrants are willing to personalise the ceremony to the couple’s specific requests and will more readily travel to their destination of choice.

Pastel colours aren’t disappearing, but they are being combined in much more unique and interesting combinations. We are also seeing lots more rich, vibrant and adventurous colour palettes coming to the fore.

Photographers are using drones for great aerial shots and are keeping photos more candid and natural with fewer posed photos being taken.

If you ask me, country and riverside weddings are a must!