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Trend Alert: Ethereal Décor and Design on the Rise

There’s nothing quite like the stars-in-their-eyes clients that are big dreamers. They have a knack for design and surround themselves in all things light and airy. In 2021, these are the people responsible for elevating the ethereal vibes we’re seeing all across the industry—especially in the wedding space. 

This trend is bringing delicate details to the forefront, with a special focus on organic elements like soft blooms, greenery, and cotton textures. While this design theme isn’t entirely new on the scene, it has emerged as a beautiful way to lean into the smaller intimate weddings that have popped up as a result of the pandemic.

Photo courtesy Adrian Wood Photography from the Wedding Trend Report. 

If that means more sweet, romantic design inspiration, sign us up! Here’s what the experts have to say about this refreshing trend.

Soft, delicate shades

While ethereal designs make use of light and airy hues, it doesn’t mean that they can’t make a splash and create a one-of-a-kind design. In addition to Pantone’s colors of the year, Ultimate Gray and Illuminating (which can both easily be translated into ethereal design!), there are a few other tones on the scene. 

“Romance is back!” assures Mindy Weiss, celebrity event planner and co-founder of Mad About Weddings. “And romantic colors are on the rise. One hue that is hot this year is mauve. Try mixing hellebore with roses for a unique and glamorous look.”

Photo courtesy Colette Marie Photography from the Wedding Trend Report. 

Pamella Dunn, owner of Pamella Dunn Events, shares the colors heating up her design inspiration: “Crisp white with soft tones of barely-there blues remain a firm favorite as Pantone inspires us with an electric shade of AI Aqua.”

Virtually any color family can be softened and toned down to match the ethereal energy, so don’t be shy about experimenting with all sorts of palettes.

Garden vibes

Think sunny days, flowy dresses, soft music, and lots and lots of lush flowers. This year, the Secret Garden vibes are here as we re-emerge from our homes to spend more time in nature. 

Photo courtesy Rebecca Goddard from the Wedding Trend Report. 

Julie Roth Novack, CEO and co-founder of PartySlate, elaborates: “Beautiful draped cabanas offer guests the intimacy and seclusion of a secret garden. There’s something oh-so-glamorous about a beautiful lawn with stunning tablescapes or lounges under a cabana. From modern to romantic, preppy to chic, we predict cabanas will be popular in 2021 as events continue to be hosted outside.”

With outdoor weddings at the front and center of the industry this year, get creative with the landscape and find new ways to use what Mother Nature has to offer—whether it’s finding an idyllic open-air greenhouse setting or bringing in a bounty of fresh blooms to accent the space.

A sustainable focus

Organic and ethereal designs are on the other end of the spectrum from lavish and extravagant celebrations, so it’s natural that those who opt for a softer vibe are more inclined towards sustainable events. With the climate crisis becoming more severe, many couples are looking for an environmentally-friendly wedding that also captures their personalities.

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Clémentine Ward, wedding planner and founder of Awardweddings, affirms this shift in the market: “One of the styling trends that is coming high on the agenda is the organic and sustainable design. It’s very natural, organic with soft and soothing tones. And it marries itself very well with various styles (fine art, boho, rustic chic, etc.).”

Ward adds: “It applies across the whole styling with the flowers and the decorations: natural looking wooden tables, soft airy linen, candle holders, stationery… Couples are looking for unique hand-made decorations, supporting local artists.”

So, there you have it. 2021 is a year for intimacy, romance, and sustainability—and what better way to achieve that than with muted colors, nature-inspired details, delicate blooms, and flowy textures? 


Kylie Carlson

Founder / CEO, The Wedding and Event Institute
Kylie Carlson is the owner of ...