A Look at Trends in 2021 Wedding Aisle Style

A new year, a new source of style inspiration

OVERLY COMPLICATED HASHTAGS are out. Photo booths? Still in. And small, intimate ceremonies and receptions are more popular than they’ve ever been before. We asked three wedding pros who work for popular MKE-area venues to tell us what else they expect to see more of in the coming year.

Personalized Everything 

Annie Champeau, who oversees events for the Harley-Davidson Museum, says she’s seeing couples “invest more of their time, and more of their budget, into interesting enhancements and personal details” in order to transform a cookie-cutter party into a unique event that reflects their personalities and interests. Ideas include handmade welcome bags at the hotel rooms of out-of-town guests, a signature cocktail crafted by a favorite mixologist at the reception, and kicking off the weekend with a laid-back welcome party at the coffee shop where the couple met. 

Color-Soaked Soirées 

While white weddings are still popular, industry insiders have seen more couples embracing color – specifically bold shades in unexpected combinations, like mauve and mustard yellow – in recent months. “Greenery is still in, but I’ve also been seeing more pops of color beyond the traditional white and blush,” says Megan Maikowski, the rentals manager for the Charles Allis and Villa Terrace art museums. “Bright colors feel celebratory. And I think people are going to want that feeling even more in 2021.”

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Luxe Looks 

“I’m seeing a return to formality,” says Megan Scherer, part of Destination Kohler’s weddings team, adding that she expects to see more black-tie events in 2021, along with more plated dinners and more opulent floral installations. “Classic elegance never goes out of style.” Many couples also cite the grand but understated weddings of real-life princes and princesses as a source of inspiration. 

Focus on Food 

Many couples are putting more emphasis on the reception menu than ever before. Maikowski says she’s seeing an uptick in multicourse meals, and that couples sometimes personalize their menus by dedicating each course to a different family member, or by choosing dishes that reflect their backgrounds. Some of them are turning the food they serve into a source of entertainment, too. “A couple we worked with served a multicourse meal that was a two-hour experience,” she says. “They had a chef come out and give a description of each course.” 

Glam Garden Parties 

“Outdoor weddings are more popular than ever right now,” Champeau says. “Couples are choosing to have not just their ceremonies but their receptions outside.” That means that decorations specific to the outdoors – from twinkly bistro lights strung across patios to garlands that can be draped over tree branches or hung from tents – are trending. And other naturalistic elements, like oversized leaves that double as escort cards, are also enjoying a moment in the spotlight.


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s Weddings issue.

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Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.