The post-COVID-19 lockdown wedding boom is still very real. Experts anticipate approximately 2.2 million weddings will happen in 2023 – only slightly down from the 2.4 million weddings recorded last year. The pent-up demand, combined with popularity of wedding content on TikTok and Instagram, has led to a wave of new wedding trends crashing the party. What seems to be most important to couples is tweaking trends to make their wedding personal and unique to them.

As we usher in a new year, engaged couples should be prepared to watch these trends rise.

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Candid Photography

Couples are moving away from posed photos and are searching for photographers who can capture the essence of their day with minimal direction or interruption. This style of photography is often called editorial or documentary photography and is centered around non-posed interactions and natural lighting. Couples are even employing the help of their guests to capture candid and unseen moments, by providing and encouraging guests to use disposable cameras. Disposable cameras were commonplace in weddings decades ago and are likely to be seen in many 2023 weddings.

Blur motion photography is also on the rise. This style of photography celebrates movement with an artistic and romantic flair. Most photographers will include a variety of blur and editorial photos in their final client gallery.

Overall, capturing real, authentic moments is what couples are searching for in 2023.

Destination Weddings

Post-pandemic, people are itching to get back to normal life and traveling is a major part of that. This year, global air travel has reached nearly three-quarters of pre-pandemic levels. The pent-up demand for travel is a major factor for the surge in destination weddings.

Even though destination weddings are trending, these affairs are typically intimate and have a small guest list. Pre-pandemic weddings hosted an average of 102 guests, but currently average about 72 guests. Intimate guest counts, a necessity of the pandemic, seem to be staying.

Experts expect a rise in destination weddings in Europe, veering off from the typical beach-destination wedding. In the continental U.S., Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tucson are consistently sought-after destination locations.

Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

In the last few years, we’ve seen bridesmaids allowed more individuality with their dress options. Brides have opted to dress their party in one standard color but allow them to choose different necklines and styles of dress. Now, individuality and personality are going even further with mismatched colors, patterns and style.

Not only does the mismatched dress trend give bridesmaids more agency in selecting a dress better suited to their body type and their personality, but also ensures the wedding is unique to the couple. Many people may be adding this trend to their Pinterest inspiration pages but, because this trend allows bridesmaids the freedom to lean into their own identity and own tastes, no one wedding will be the exact same.

Personalized Wedding Scent

Wedding scent is a trend that has steadily been increasing in popularity the last few years and we predict it is here to stick around. There are many ways couples can incorporate a signature scent into their wedding, from personal perfumes to scented candles throughout the ceremony. Scent, emotion and memory are closely intertwined; weddings with a signature scent are sure to enhance the couple’s personal memories of the day and make memorable experience for their guests.

Here are a few ways couples are incorporating fragrance into their weddings:

• Selecting a signature perfume to wear throughout the wedding day

• Adding a subtle, universal fragrance to stationary (Elle Woods resume in Legally Blonde, anyone?)

8 Scenting the venue with scented candles, reed diffusers or essential oils

Regardless of what’s trending, the most important thing to do when planning your wedding, is to choose what feels true to you. Vendors at the Arizona Wedding Show can help you find the perfect fit for you. For attendees who register before January 7, admission is just $10. On the day-of, admission is $12.

Registration for the Arizona Wedding Winter Show is online only. To register, and for additional information, visit


Author: Jill Kivett is the Arizona Wedding Show manager.