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Wedding Wrap-Up: The Latest Trends in Weddings

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If Norman Rockwell painted pictures of destination weddings, the series of paintings would look something like this. A bride and groom are touching their bottles of Coke in a toast at sunset. Giggly flower girls are playing together on the porch swing. The groom’s dad steals a nap in a golf cart on the greens.

As for Rockwell himself, he would be painting all of these scenes live, on-site at the wedding as part of the entertainment. Could you even imagine? Norman Rockwell being the artist who paints your wedding portrait live at your wedding reception?

Of course, Rockwell is a fantasy, but you could call him the embodiment of some of the most prevalent 2024 wedding trends we’re seeing. Couples have thrown off the restrictions of the pandemic and are returning to old-fashioned styles and fashions. They’re also embracing bespoke forms of live entertainment (including having artists paint live) and southern destination weddings held in wide-open spaces. This year’s weddings are as individualized and intimate as the wedding portrait that our hypothetical wedding artist paints for us.

Here’s a look at some trends at southern destination weddings in 2024.

Destination Weddings: Activities Turned Into Week-Long Events

The pandemic really took its toll on our social lives. We missed connecting with our close ones, and nowhere is this more apparent than the trend toward weddings turned into week-long celebrations.

But the celebration happens one specialty event at a time. Basically, this trend focuses on turning wedding activities into many guest- and generation-specific events that take place over several days.

Here’s what this might look like. On Monday of wedding week, the bride, her mom, grandma, and other special ladies sit down for afternoon tea on the lawn. On Tuesday, the groom, plus his dad, the future father-in-law, and the rest of the crew spend the morning shooting sporting clays on the range.

Because wellness at weddings is also a big trend we’re seeing nowadays, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a spa day for the bride and bridesmaids mid-week during the wedding week. These individual events allow the couple to connect to the important people in their lives more individually. Such activities put guests front and center at weddings in Alabama.

The couples who pull off this type of wedding activities planning do so with their guests’ budgets in mind. It’s all about some pretty organized wedding planning. All wedding activities are clustered together in the same week and, ideally, in the same location.

This prevents guests from having to fly in and out for different wedding activities over the course of several months. Instead, they enjoy a week of relaxed luxury, with specialty wedding events sprinkled throughout the week.

The ultimate guide to planning a luxurious southern destination wedding

Trends in Southern Destination Weddings: A Nod to Yesterday

When times get tough, people’s thoughts naturally get more nostalgic, and they long for the old-fashioned styles they grew up with. This is reflected in some of the clothing trends we’re seeing at luxury weddings in Alabama this year.

The Netflix Regency-era show Bridgerton is having a moment right now, and unsurprisingly, this moment has spilled over into the 2024 wedding trends. Think lacy dresses and elbow-length glovers circa the 19th century, top hats, and tailcoats as the wedding attire of choice.

The trend toward 1800s dress and afternoon tea at weddings reflects a desire for the simpler times of yesterday. The styles give soon-to-be-marrieds a chance to dress up, play out their fantasies in real-time, and celebrate good old-fashioned love.

Southern Wedding Planning: One-of-a-Kind Specialty Events

Bespoke fun is the name of the game at this year’s luxury weddings. Before the pandemic, being invited to a fantastic destination wedding was like being asked to take a second (or third) vacation for the year. These weddings gave everyone an excuse to let their hair down and have unusual, sometimes crazy, fun.

COVID changed that. By necessity, big southern destination weddings in Alabama were out, and people replaced them with micro weddings. The immense fun activities like a charity-tournament-sized golf game with friends or UTV adventures were out during 2020 and much of 2021.

Happily, couples are making up for lost time this year, and many destination weddings once again feature clever, even out-of-this-world events. Some of our favorite specialty wedding activities include the 70s VW bus-turned-photobooth, food trucks on-site for the rehearsal dinner, paint your pet parties with friends, balloon bouquets instead of flowers, and a mean game of croquet or horseshoes.

Practical Wedding Planning: Luxury Destinations on US Soil

Wedding activities in 2024 are all about being able to connect with people we couldn’t see at the height of the pandemic restrictions. As such, couples getting married this year want to make their weddings as accessible as possible to people, even if they opt for a destination wedding.

They accomplish this by opting for luxury wedding venues on American soil. By doing this, everyone bypasses the need for a passport, allowing more guests to join the celebration.

Fortunately, the US has many luxury destinations suitable for weddings, including private estates, dude ranches, and world-class golf courses. These venues are big enough to accommodate a large wedding party yet intimate enough to allow the couple to plan something special.

This year, many of these venues also have another important feature: outdoor venue options. People got tired of staying inside during the pandemic. Nowadays, when couples look for places to hold a destination wedding in Alabama and beyond, they’re looking for sites that offer outdoor venue options. Couples want beautiful grounds lit by a backdrop of southern sunsets (and a million stars as the wedding party plays on into the night).

But couples want more than just an outdoor wedding at these venues. They hope for venues that also provide lots of outdoor entertainment options for the week of their wedding. They want to play golf and ride horses. Fly fishing, yoga on a mountaintop, and long leisurely bike ride with friends and family also hold a lot of appeal.

Final Words on 2024 Wedding Trends

2024 wedding trends center around fun with friends and family, outdoor living, and relaxed luxury. When it comes to wedding planning, couples are throwing off the oppressive mantle of pandemic restrictions and letting loose. Outdoor lawn parties complete with Regency dress, bespoke entertainment, and US wedding destinations count among the most prominent 2024 wedding trends.

If you’re looking for the perfect wedding venue for your southern destination wedding, talk with us about a proposal. Pursell Farms is home to exquisite garden-style landscaping, manicured grounds, fun outdoor activities, and farm-to-table-inspired catering options. Contact us today for more information.

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August 5, 2022

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Louie Martin

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Tim Spanjer

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Erica Lambert

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