By Simon Daukes



COVID-19 has caused an economic slowdown for many industries, but the world of weddings has been hit particularly hard. Not only have thousands of couples had to cancel or reschedule their big day, but there are continuous changes to government guidelines about whether weddings can go ahead. Despite restrictions, many couples are still planning to get married in 2021 and are thinking of creative ways to maximize what they can do safely at their wedding. Many wedding venue managers, as myself, have carefully followed regulations and applied them to the ceremonies we were able to host this year, and unfortunately, they will be trending for a little bit longer. For those planning a winter wedding, here are my Covid-friendly wedding trend predictions for 2021.



Typically, weddings start in the afternoon and carry on until the early hours with a big party. However, with continuous government guest restrictions, the bride and groom are limited to a smaller celebration. Therefore, many couples have chosen to go ahead and be creative with their intimate micro-weddings. The brunch wedding trend is a great way to still have a sit-down meal with a smaller crowd in safe, socially distanced seating.



Wedding cakes have previously been extravagant, multi-layered and expensive. However, with fewer guests at the wedding and a need for increased hygiene when cutting and disturbing the cake, single tiered cakes or cupcakes seem much more fitting for the smaller celebration. If you are still getting a cake, why not support your local independent bakery to see if they can create a beautiful cake that can be safely delivered to your wedding.



The great outdoors never closes completely! Even if indoor venues have to close, your ceremony may still be able to go ahead in a licensed outdoor location. In September, Harry and Abbie were married under the oak tree with a handful of close family members in attendance. They chose park bench seating and followed the ceremony with a lovely picnic feast. It is likely that we will still be expected to keep to our social bubbles in 2021, so we will see more alternative ceremony seating placed ‘in the round’ with the couple at the centre to allow everyone to get the best views.



In the past, we would hand our phone to someone to take a photo and all gather round to look at the picture just taken. As well as teaching us to be more hygienic when carrying out simply acts like taking a photo, COVID-19 has also taught us to cherish our time with family and loved ones. Due to this, many brides and grooms have, and will continue to opt for an unplugged wedding. This is when guests are asked to refrain from using their mobiles or at least not touch anyone else’s. A professional photographer is there to take pictures, and guests are simply asked to be present and enjoy the moment.



Fewer guests equals less spend. Brides and Grooms who originally had a big budget to blow on their wedding day can now spend more on their intimate wedding and honeymoon. 2021 may see more fireworks displays being held at weddings, as a beautiful and socially distanced activity everyone can watch together. If you have excess budget, why not customize your fireworks displace to match the colors of your wedding theme? Or perhaps, set it to ‘your song’ to create an incredibly romantic, impressive display.



You may have never imagined accessorizing your wedding dress or suit with a mask, but they are now a key part of wedding ceremonies. In 2021, wedding face masks will evolve to become keepsakes for you and your guests to take home and wear again. They can be personalized with embroidered names or match the color and design of your wedding theme.




Editor’s Note: I hope you enjoyed our last blog feature of 2020. It’s been a rough and painful year for us all, I hope 2021 will bring hope and serenity to you and your families! We’ll be back with more vegan wedding planning tips on January 6th! Happy Holidays!






Simon Daukes is the loving owner and manager of Ash Barton Estate. Originally, he bought the house in 2009 after spending months searching for a holiday ‘cottage’ in the North Devon area. He  has had a hugely successful career as board director of a number of large businesses including the Haymarket Media Group and the Slow Food movement. Now, his key focus is to keep The Ash Barton Estate running like clockwork for happy brides to have their perfect ‘DIY: decide it yourself’ wedding.

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