Couples are leaning more towards meaningful wedding planning and including heirloom details that pay homage to their family as well as their love story. From their jewelry to their registry (engaged to newlywed), we’re covering all the most popular heirloom wedding details.
WHAT HEIRLOOM WEDDING DETAILS ARE ALL ABOUT
An heirloom is defined as a valuable object that has belonged to a family for generations. When it comes to heirloom wedding details we’re seeing all kinds of elements in this trend from an heirloom wedding dress to an heirloom wedding ring — and even non-traditional or future heirloom elements.
Appreciation for Meaning and Quality
This heirloom trend is driven by a desire for longevity and an appreciation for meaning and quality. Where independence and uniqueness were prized, we’re seeing a return to connectivity and meaning in wedding planning.
Repurposing is Eco-Friendly Too
Part of this is also a companion trend toward eco-friendly solutions and better resource stewardship, which eventually leads people to vintage items that have stood the test of time or well-made items that will!
COVID Brought a Focus on Simple Pleasures and Nostalgia
COVID pushed this trend into overdrive with a desire to reminisce about simpler times and brought greater nostalgia. It also increased the awareness of simple pleasures and helped couples have to realize what really mattered to them.
HEIRLOOM WEDDING DETAILS YOU’LL SEE
1. Heirloom Wedding Dress
Heirloom wedding dresses are surging in popularity. Much of that current popularity is due to Princess Beatrice’s micro wedding in 2020. She wore her grandmother’s (the Queen) coronation dress remodeled slightly to fit her more modern wedding.
She was the first royal bride in recent history to notably wear a direct family heirloom. After that, we began to see an increase in this same act from brides everywhere.
There are a few different ways this trend manifests.
Firstly, brides are keeping their heirloom wedding dresses as close to the original as possible. This is similar to Princess Beatrice, who kept the adjustments minimal.
Secondly, brides are using pieces from an heirloom wedding dress. Not every bride gets presented with a dress in such good condition. Some brides pull pieces like vintage lace or the bodice from a gown to use in a new one.
Brides that do this are also taking the opportunity to pay homage to the dress’s history by including signage and photos on the wedding day like the bride below.
Thirdly, many modern brides are opting for a future heirloom by creating a swoon-worthy one-of-a-kind gown that can be passed down for generations.
This is a wonderful option for the future-minded couple that wants to start their own traditions.
2. Heirloom Wedding Veils
Sometimes brides opt for their own wedding dress, but an heirloom wedding veil like this bride with her ethereal, family veil.
Similarly to wedding dresses, other brides create their own meaningful future heirloom by having a bespoke veil designed like this bride.
3. Wedding Heirloom Gifts
Brides aren’t the only ones using wedding heirlooms. Grooms often join the fun with accessories passed down from previous generations including cufflinks, ties, and even a flask like the one below.
4. Heirloom Wedding Flowers
That’s right — heirloom blooms. With the rise in the popularity of gardens and flower-culture, more and more couples are using flowers they can plant for the future.
Wedding flower trends having garden roses and local flowers on the rise. In addition to that, flowers that can be grown at home such as lilacs, hydrangeas, roses, dahlias, etc., are more en vogue. These are flowers that have a beautiful scent which, in the future, will bring back the memories of the day. And they will prompt telling the story to the next generation as the blooms sit in a vase or grown on a bush in the yard.
5. Fine Art Wedding Photography
One way couples are creating heirloom wedding details is through fine art wedding photography. Another term for this might be editorial photography. There’s a focus on beauty and aesthetic. It’s less about mere documentation and more about composition and story.
This style of photography tells a story and would look natural in a stunning magazine layout.
The appeal here is to give more context and highlight the subtle touches that reflect the details of the day of your wedding as you look back.
6. Heirloom Wedding Rings
This is one of the more common — and beautiful heirloom wedding details. Heirloom rings are often restored or put in new settings to give an updated appeal to a family heritage piece.
Another strong trend is bespoke or custom wedding ring design — a future heirloom piece.
7. Heirloom Wedding Stationery
From custom portraits to bespoke wedding invitation design with hand-drawn maps, couples are creating wedding stationery as part of the heirloom wedding details.
While these wedding invitations aren’t going to be re-used, they are custom art that can be cherished for many generations — and they help tell the story of the couple. In some cases, they are opting to tell the stories of their families which is truly an heirloom piece.
8. Vintage Cake Toppers
Vintage cake toppers are part of two wedding trends. Vintage-style cake toppers are showing up more and more — and now family cake toppers are growing in popularity as an heirloom piece.
Many couples are choosing to top their modern cakes with vintage family cake toppers like the one below.
10. Signature Wedding Scent
Scent is playing a bigger role in wedding planning as couples begin to focus more on the experience of the day. One heirloom wedding details couples are adopting is a signature wedding scent — such as perfumes and cologne brands that their parents or even grandparents used.
Brands like Chanel No. 5 have been around for 100 years, which means multiple generations of brides have enjoyed it!
Another facet of this trend is the rise in couples picking a new signature scent for the purpose of keeping the bottle to use on special occasions so that the next generation can enjoy it as well.
Engraved perfume bottles are an increasingly popular gift item.
11. Home Wedding Tradition
With COVID restrictions, home weddings have begun to be more common. From simple backyard setups to grand affairs at large estates, part of the heirloom wedding trend is to have a family home serve as that heirloom element.
More couples are opting to begin their lives together in a place that is filled with family and heritage.
12. Wedding Album Built to Last
Along with fine art wedding photography that we already covered, modern couples are creating future heirlooms by investing in high-quality books that are built to last for generations.
Wedding photographers are getting more involved in the heirloom wedding books. There’s even been an uptick in companies that specialize in in creating these albums, but they are a far cry from the old days. These are well-made, highly curated books with artisanal detailing.
13. Heirloom Wedding Registry
Wedding registries will always have the basics, but engaged couples are now adding heirloom wedding registry items that are made to be more than their first set of sheets — but something they can pass down to their children and grandchildren.
Businesses like the one below specialize in sourcing these heirloom items from makers with a focus on longevity, quality, and responsibly-sourced materials.
14. Commissioned Artwork
Live painted artwork or even commissioned artwork will continue to grow in popularity as an heirloom wedding detail. This is specifically leaning towards future-heirlooms and we’re seeing many artists join this unique trend.
15. Making Family a Focus
Whether it showcasing your family’s culture and heritage or making the family a bigger part of the day, couples are leaning in.
We love to see couples featuring heirloom elements that are more than decor such as food, traditions, etc.
Having a multi-generational wedding party — including grandmothers as flower girls — is one of the more charming ways to make family a focus. Today’s couples aren’t relegating kids and grandparents to a table in the corner, they are celebrating all the generations in the family.
HOW WEDDING PROS CAN PLAY A ROLE IN THE HEIRLOOM WEDDING TREND
Heirlooms have stories attached to them that bring a natural sense of connectedness that people are craving.
Moreover, expect to see this trend stay around for a while and as wedding pros, you can help couples by highlighting ways to incorporate family heirlooms or traditions, or even meaningful locations into their big day. For other couples, this may look more like creating future heirlooms by selecting custom or bespoke wedding items that can be passed down to future generations.
Find out more about what couples are looking for in bespoke wedding elements here — 8 Bespoke Wedding Details Couples Are Loving.
Written by Corrie McGee