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Wedding Trends for 2024

Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

At the heart of every wedding is the love between the couple. At GSW, we encourage you to honor your authentic selves and plan things that speak to you, no matter how unique or offbeat it is. The below is a list of ideas that may speak to you, or maybe they won’t. Whatever you want to incorporate in your wedding is up to you and no one else (you hear that, parents?).

Converse Wedding Shoes
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Giant Sheet Cakes

Move on over tiered cakes, it’s time for sheet cakes to take center stage. Not just any sheet cakes, mind you, but GIANT sheet cakes. We’re talking sheet cakes upwards of EIGHT FEET LONG. 

Perfect for a large guest list, these mega cakes offer a unique wow factor and have already been trending on TikTok. Once you find a baker willing to turn your extra long cake into a reality, you can truly customize it. Maybe it’s 4 different flavored cakes frosted together? Maybe you want to decorate it with flowers that match your decor? Maybe you want it shaped in a semi-circle instead of a rectangle? The options are endless and can truly reflect your own style and vibe. It’s sure to be one of the most photographed pieces at your event because chances are, your guests haven’t seen anything like it!


Giant sheet cake from Julia Gallay/Gallz Provisions
©Julia Gallay of Gallz Provisions Micro Bakery
Mega Sheet Cake for Wedding
©Julia Gallay of Gallz Provisions Micro Bakery
Extra long wedding sheet cake
© Roxanne Rosensteel
Extra Long Sheet Cake by Saltedrye and I Bake Mistakes
©Saltedrye, made with @IBakeMistakes

Flower Lapels

Girls don’t have to have all the fun when it comes to flowers! While the boutonniere has been around since the 16th century to ward off bad luck and evil spirits (Wikipedia), a “buttonhole flower,” as it’s called in English, doesn’t have to be the limit. If the groom is into it, why not have his whole lapel be FULL of flowers?

This accessory choice is bold, but can really complement the bridal bouquet or general floral aesthetic of the wedding. There’s tons of different flowers and greens to suit every groom’s taste and personality. This is a fresh and fashionable twist to the standard menswear.


Flower Lapel by Esther Griffin Photography
© Esther Griffin Photography

Custom Crests

A quick search on Etsy will provide you with a number of different artists who are ready to customize your own wedding crest! This crest can be used on your invitations, website, programs, beverage napkins, etc. It’s a piece of art that you can have printed and framed in your house for years to come.

We actually opted for a personalized crest for our wedding and used LanaDreams on Etsy. This crest includes imagery that is meaningful to us. In our welcome bags, I included a little information pamphlet including the meaning behind all the different elements in the crest. 

Wedding Crest by Lana Dreams on Etsy
©Lana Dreams, Etsy

Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses

Matchy matchy is out. It’s time to let the personalities of your individual bridesmaids shine (while still honoring your wedding aesthetic). Instead of everyone wearing the same dress in the same color, there are lots of unique variations:

  1. The same dress in different shades of one color for a nice ombre effect (would only recommend if the singular style is flattering on everybody).
  2. Different style of dress (picked by each person wearing it) in the fabric and color of your choice.
  3. Different fabrics with complementary colors to give some more visual interest and texture.
  4. Patterns! I am a sucker for a floral print and Birdy Grey recently came out with SO MANY MORE.

If you are going to have different colors or get dresses from different shops, make sure you take advantage of all the swatches to ensure they look good together!

Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses
These are my bridesmaids' dresses from my own wedding. All chiffon but different patterns and/or texture for each. Each dress was from a different store.

Not sure where to start on your hunt for mix-and-match bridesmaid dresses? Take a look at these options!

Kennedy Blue bridesmaid dress swatches
Kennedy Blue
mix and match bridesmaid dresses
Dessy Group
Birdy Grey
Birdy Grey

Sustainable Practices

With a growing emphasis on environmental consciousness, sustainability is becoming a cornerstone of modern weddings. From eco-friendly decor to locally sourced cuisine, couples are making conscious choices to reduce their carbon footprint and minimize waste. Reusable decorations, biodegradable confetti, and eco-conscious favors are just a few ways couples are incorporating sustainability into their special day, leaving a positive impact on the planet while celebrating love.

Ides for sustainable practices include:

  1. Silk flowers
  2. Renting bridal accessories, such as veils
  3. Digital invitations and RSVPs
  4. Finding vendors who prioritize sustainability and limit waste
  5. Vintage jewelry
Premium Silk Bouquet from Something Borrowed Blooms
Premium silk bouquet from Something Borrowed Blooms, available to rent or purchase.
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Wedding Ceremonies and Customs

Wedding Ceremonies and Customs Blog Post
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Your wedding day is a special moment that represents the union of two people and the start of a beautiful journey together. While traditional weddings are timeless and beautiful, many couples nowadays are choosing to infuse their ceremonies with unique and meaningful customs from various cultures and traditions. In this blog post, we’ll explore some captivating and unconventional ceremonies you can incorporate into your wedding, making it a day to remember for both you and your guests.

If you incorporate any of these ceremonies into your wedding, be sure your officiant is aware and has a script ready.

Ceremony List


Originating from ancient Celtic traditions, handfasting is a beautifully symbolic ritual that involves binding the couple’s hands together with ribbons or cords. Each ribbon represents different aspects of the couple’s life, such as love, trust, and unity. The couple’s hands are then tied together, symbolizing their commitment to each other. Incorporating handfasting into your wedding ceremony not only adds a unique visual element but also serves as a powerful symbol of your bond.

Preserve your handfasting ceremony by putting the knotted cords into a shadow box or special storage box with other wedding memories. Amazon offers many unique cords in a wide variety of colors from which to choose. 

handfasting ceremony
Image Source:

Unity Candle Ceremony

The unity candle ceremony is a popular addition to modern weddings. It involves the lighting of two individual candles by the couple’s parents or by the couple themselves. The couple then uses their individual flames to light a single, larger candle, symbolizing their union as a married couple. This simple yet powerful ritual is a beautiful way to represent the joining of two families and the creation of a new one.

You can create your own set or buy a set adorned for wedding use

A bride and groom light the center unity candle during their wedding ceremony
Image Source:

Sand Ceremony

The sand ceremony is another symbolic ritual that signifies the blending of two lives into one. The couple pours different colored sands into a single container, often a glass vase, creating a layered effect. This artwork represents the unique qualities and individual histories of the couple, which, when combined, create something beautiful and inseparable. It’s a wonderful way to visually demonstrate the coming together of two people in marriage.

The resulting art can be displayed in the home as a constant memory of your joyous day. If you prefer something more custom, there are many sand vessels that double as picture frames, such as this one:

Image Source:

Unity Glass Ceremony

Full disclosure – this is what we did, and we loved it!

The Unity Glass ceremony is a hybrid of the unity candle and the sand ceremonies. The parents and the two partners each have their own set of glass chips to pour into a vessel (minimum of 4 colors), symbolizing the blending of two families. After the wedding, you send the combination of glass chips to the glass blower and they create a beautiful piece of art to display in your home. Each piece of glass art is unique and the colors are a reflection of the couple. Choose colors that coordinate with your home decor or are meaningful to you.

We used Unity in Glass for this and they were wonderful to work with (this is not an affiliate link, just a positive experience I’m sharing). If you don’t want the piece of art, you can opt for a vase for an extra fee. They also offer parent gifts such as Christmas ornaments and paper weights, all out of the same mixture of glass from your wedding. We even have leftover glass that they sent back to us, so if we ever want something else created in the future, we can send it back to them.

unity glass artwork
Our unity glass artwork on display in our home!

Ring Warming Ceremony

Incorporating your guests into the ceremony can be a wonderful experience. In a ring warming ceremony, the couple’s wedding rings are passed from guest to guest, with each person briefly holding and bestowing good wishes upon them. By the time the rings make it back to the couple, they are infused with the love and blessings of their friends and family, making the exchange even more meaningful. Many couples tie the rings together with string or pass them in a small dish. 

Sometimes, the rings are taken in advance to close family members who may not be able to attend the actual wedding, ensuring that their best wishes are bestowed upon the ring.

Image Source:

Tree Planting Ceremony

In this eco-friendly ceremony, the couple plants a tree together during the wedding. The act of nurturing the tree as it grows serves as a symbol of their love and the growth of their relationship. It’s a beautiful way to represent the longevity and deep roots of their commitment.

Choose a tree that has significance to you, whether it’s a favorite type or one with personal meaning. Consider the climate and location of the venue to ensure the tree can thrive in that environment. Prepare the tree in the days leading up to the wedding to ensure it’s properly potted or wrapped for easy planting. Make sure you have selected a spot ahead of time!

As a symbolic gesture, couples can exchange small containers of soil to represent their individual lives and histories. 

Care for the tree together and revisit it on your anniversary every year. You can water it, exchange notes or messages, and reflect on your journey as a couple.

An alternative is planting a tree inside a large container and taking the container home with you.

Image Source: (LCG Photography)

Your wedding day should be a reflection of your unique love story, and including meaningful traditions and ceremonies is a beautiful way to achieve this. Whether you’re inspired by ancient rituals or want to create something entirely new, the ceremonies mentioned in this blog post can add depth and meaning to your wedding day. Remember that the most important thing is to make your wedding a representation of your love and commitment to each other, and these ceremonies can help you achieve that in a distinctive and memorable way. Embrace the beauty of tradition and the uniqueness of your own love story to create a wedding that will be cherished for a lifetime.