certified wedding planner article mwai yeboah mar 2 2021 feature image

The 3 Types of Weddings Trending in 2021

Mwai Yeboah is a certified wedding planner with over 15 years of industry experience. She is the proud owner of the luxury wedding and event planning business, Love, From Mwai. She is also one of QC Event School’s leading tutors. Mwai is known for helping culinary enthusiasts, fashion admirers, and adventure seekers. Her goal? To plan experience-focused weddings that exceed her clients’ dreams and leave their guests in absolute awe! In addition to the countless awards Mwai has received over the years, she’s also written and published her own book about wedding planning. 

certified wedding planner, Mwai Yeboah

Being a Certified Wedding Planner in 2021

If you’re working to become a certified wedding planner in today’s world, you’re likely no stranger to the shift in celebrations we’re seeing as of late. From hybrid weddings to microweddings, couples have been getting incredibly creative since the pandemic began. It takes hard work and innovation to celebrate one’s love in a world that’s ripe with restrictions on gatherings and tricky travel logistics.

As these types of weddings are still fairly fresh, our expertise and insight as certified wedding planners is needed now more than ever! This is because couples are seeking support. They need help planning a seamless wedding in the modern world.

Today, I want to give you an at-a-glance breakdown of the different types of weddings that are trending in 2021. Below, I’ll explain everything you need to know about microweddings, hybrid weddings, and virtual weddings. So, let’s dive in!

The 3 Types of Weddings a Certified Wedding Planner Will Organize in 2021

1. Microweddings

What Are They?

The answer is in the name! A microwedding is a wedding on a much smaller scale. Typically, I categorize any wedding that has a guestlist of 50 or fewer people as a microwedding. Just like with a traditional wedding, a microwedding will include a ceremony and reception. Tons of thought, as well as all of the dreamy design details, still needs to go into a microwedding. The only real difference is that fewer people will be present.

The Benefits

With COVID-19 restrictions in place, microweddings can be a great “middle ground” option for your couples. They allow your clients to still get all of the excitement of wedding planning (i.e. sending out invitations, deciding on a color palette and theme, picking out bridesmaids dresses, cake tasting, etc.). However, they get all this without having to go the much smaller (and often less exciting) route of eloping.

micro wedding ceremony venue setup

Why You, as a Certified Wedding Planner, Will Love Microweddings

Personally, I love that microweddings are all about quality over quantity. Your couple’s wedding budget can stretch so much further when you’re only accommodating 20 guests instead of 200! You can elevate the guest experience by allocating more dollars to sourcing immersive design elements from incredible vendors. You can invest in high-end catering and/or custom bar options, secure unforgettable entertainment, and opt for handmade artisanal wedding favors in place of unnecessary “swag”.

Another way that microweddings benefit a certified wedding planner is that they open up a lot more venue options! There are some truly stunning, intimate venues that might not have been an option if your client had a larger guest list. Here are just a few examples:

  • Small, private estates;
  • Quaint gardens;
  • Countryside cottages;
  • Charming, local restaurants, etc.

Keep in Mind…

As a certified wedding planner, it’s important that you understand the difference between microweddings and elopements. After all, a microwedding is different from an elopement! Elopements only involve the couple getting married (and possibly a few additional people). Plus, most elopements are kept secret until after the marriage. They don’t have receptions or much design involved. Rather, they consist of just one secret ceremony. That ceremony might have a few small florals or a ceremony setup, but beyond that, it won’t have much else.

You might have a client who’s initially leaning towards eloping because of restrictions on in-person gatherings. However, he or she loves design and the idea of a great party. In that case, I would recommend a microwedding instead. This way, it’ll still scratch that “big-wedding” itch by allowing your client to dive deep into design and craft a customized experience for their guests. If your client is craving a great party, an elopement might feel a little too small and anticlimactic.

videographer filming hybrid wedding

2. Hybrid Weddings

What Are They?

A hybrid wedding is one that has in-person guests, but is also live-streamed. Thus, additional guests can join in on the fun from the comfort and safety of their own homes! Hybrid weddings allow couples to include everyone they desire, while still adhering to the COVID-19 gathering restrictions.

The Benefits

The main benefit of a hybrid wedding is fairly obvious: couples can have their close family and friends in attendance, while still safely inviting others in on the action from afar.

Why You, as a Certified Wedding Planner, Will Love Hybrid Weddings

I also find that hybrid weddings tend to take some pressure off of couples when it comes to the guestlist. When hosting people in-person with a limited wedding budget, you have to make some tough calls as to who will and won’t be invited. When the cost of providing a meal for everyone is no longer a consideration, though, your client can suddenly include a lot more people! During this pandemic, it’s proven way easier to include guests virtually than it is to include them all in-person.

certified wedding planner making notes for client's event

Keep in Mind…

While a hybrid wedding might seem simple on the surface, there are a number of important factors to consider. As a certified wedding planner, your couples are going to expect you to have some insight and expertise when it comes to the following questions:

  • Should virtual guests receive a paper invitation (to help things feel more formal), or will they solely receive digital invites?
  • What platform should be used to host the wedding virtually (i.e. Zoom vs others)?
  • Does the venue have reliable Wi-Fi to allow for a smooth livestream?
  • Should they hire a professional videographer to live-stream the wedding? If so, what is that going to cost?
  • If they don’t want to hire a videographer, who will be in charge of hosting the live-stream? What device will they use and what will the video/audio quality be like?
  • What additional audio elements will need to be prepared (microphones, etc.) to ensure virtual guests can hear what’s going on?
  • What’ll the lighting be like at the time of the live-stream? Will the sun create a major glare for guests who are attending virtually?
  • Will they be live-streaming the ceremony only, or will they live-stream certain parts of the reception as well (such as the first dance or toasts)?
  • Should any of your client’s virtual guests give a toast? If so, how will that work logistically? What A/V equipment will be needed to ensure things run smoothly?

3. Virtual Weddings

What Are They?

A virtual wedding is a wedding that’s hosted entirely online, using platform like Zoom. The couple getting married, the officiant, and possibly a few very close friends or family members will be on-location for the wedding. But beyond that, all guests will experience the wedding from the comfort of their own homes.

videographer livestreaming virtual wedding

The Benefits

While a virtual wedding is certainly unique, it definitely has its perks. Guests from all over the world can attend without worrying about travel restrictions, arranging child care, or paying for pricey airline tickets. Virtual weddings also allow guests to dress up and enjoy a festive celebration without needing to worry about the potential risk of COVID.

Why You, as a Certified Wedding Planner, Will Love Planning Weddings

In general, I really love the cost-effective, pressure-free nature of these weddings. Plus, you have to appreciate the creativity that’s involved in pulling off an entire wedding on Zoom!

Keep in Mind…

Some clients might initially think that a virtual wedding doesn’t need a certified wedding planner. But this couldn’t be further from the truth!

Couples are doing everything they can to make their virtual weddings feel like special celebrations. Some will transform their living room into a stunning ceremony space, complete with tons of fresh flowers. Others might want to send out paper invitations before the wedding, as well as thoughtful gifts to the guests who attended afterward. All of this takes time and requires LOTS of organizing. Just like with a traditional wedding, these things can quickly add up and make the process unnecessarily stressful for the couple!

By offering a “Virtual Wedding Planning” service and charging a fee, you can help couples organize and plan their virtual wedding in a structured, stress-free environment. Offering virtual services such as this can be a really great way to pull in some income for your business while we wait for larger, in-person weddings to resume.

Tips for Helping Your Clients Plan a Virtual Wedding

  • Source out event decor to help transform the ceremony space into a setting that feels celebratory!
  • Work with your clients’ family and friends! They can help you put together a timeline for toasts.
  • Curate Thank-You cards and/or wedding favors. Go one step further by mailing them out to guests on your couple’s behalf!
  • Source a photographer, baker, and florist for your clients!

bride and groom on video call with elderly relatives

Virtual weddings also require some level of technical support. So, here are a few quick tips to help you with that:

  • Set up and manage different cameras/screens. This will help you capture the ceremony from different angles.
  • Manage any music that will play at different points in the ceremony.
  • Create online invitations and track guest RSVPs for your couple.
  • Ensure a strong Wi-Fi connection beforehand. Also, prepare any additional equipment needed to ensure a smooth streaming process.

Final Thoughts (from One Certified Wedding Planner to Another)

While the world of weddings may be shifting a bit for the time being, the need for couples to have an expert wedding planner on their side certainly has not gone away! Organization, creativity, and visual storytelling will always be at the heart of any great wedding – regardless of whether the celebration is taking place in-person or online.

As long as you can bring those skills to the table, you’ll be well poised to develop a stunning portfolio as a certified wedding planner!



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