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By Block Ice | June 25, 2021

Planning a post-pandemic wedding in Northern California? Events are coming back and the wedding you postponed or rescheduled last year is back on. Current events are still shaping the ways we’re celebrating this year, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing! As you can see, couples are still finding incredible ways to celebrate their love this year.

These are the 10 wedding trends we’re seeing in Northern California in 2021.

1. Go Small

Smaller wedding parties, limited guest counts, more intimate settings… 2021 is the year of the small wedding.

COVID has given couples the perfect excuse to downsize on the number of people involved in their special day. So stop worrying about inviting your dad’s former co-worker or your mom’s therapist and their plus-one, because this year you get to say “we’re going small to keep everyone safe.”

2. Embrace Bold Colors

We’re all slowly emerging from months of solitude, so celebrate with a wedding that expresses joy with big, bold colors.

Goodbye, neutrals. 2021 is the time to embrace rich jewel tones or bright tropical color palettes.

Need some inspiration for your wedding?

Start with the PANTONE Color of the Year: 13-067 Illuminating, a “bright and cheerful yellow sparkling with vivacity, a warming yellow shade imbued with solar power.” This beautiful yellow goes perfectly with everything from peacock blue to rust-colored orange to olive green.

Explore 5 different color palettes featuring the 2021 colors of the year at

3. Signature Cocktails and Mocktails

This custom-cocktail trend has really picked up speed in the last few years. This year, the mocktail is also having a moment as more people explore and embrace the sober curious movement, as well, so be sure your custom drink options include both cocktails and mocktails for guests.

Check out this easy guide to creating a signature cocktail for your wedding.

And this list of refreshing mocktail recipes is sure to delight the sober, sober-curious, and designated drivers at your event.

4. Elevate Drinks with Artisan Ice

No, we’re not talking about giant swan sculptures slowly melting away in the summer sun. (Although, if ice swans have always been a part of your wedding dream book, then you do you!) Artisan ice can make the difference between cocktails and mocktails that are good and those that are blow-your-mind-fantastic.

Crystal clear artisan ice makes a stunning difference in a cocktail. It’s perfectly transparent and beautiful, the perfect complement to a high-class cocktail. It also melts 2 to 3 times slower than a traditional cube which controls how fast a cocktail dilutes with melting ice, maintaining the drink’s flavor and integrity.

Artisan ice is a low-cost addition to your cocktails that can really make a difference in your guests' perception of the entire affair. “Did you see the ICE in those drinks? They thought of everything!”

Take it a step further and have your ice cubes personalized for your event. The Block Ice offers artisan ice stamped with your initials or can add edible flowers, edible gold flakes, and more to the cubes so they coordinate with your entire wedding theme.

Contact The Block Ice to learn more about our custom artisan ice for weddings.

5. Signature Appetizers or Desserts

Why stop at a signature cocktail when you can add a signature appetizer or dessert to the menu? Just like a signature cocktail, your signature appetizers can be a representation of your story as a couple. One appetizer can be a reflection of your tastes, a second reflects your partners', and a third can be a nod to an experience you shared together as a couple. Don’t forget to come up with clever and creative names for your signature dishes!

6. Home Is Where the Heart Is

Some of us have realized just how cozy and wonderful home really is in the last couple of years. And with many wedding venues booked out through 2022 or even 2023, an at-home wedding may be the perfect choice for those who don’t want to wait to tie the knot with their loved ones.

“Hosting your wedding at your home or your family’s home has always been one of my favorite places to create a wedding backdrop – there is something so magical about seeing a bride coming out of her home to walk down the aisle. A home wedding immediately creates a sense of intimacy and hospitality. Plus, in 2021, clients feel they have more control over regulations and shutdowns if it is on their own property,” said wedding planner Jennifer Zabinski.

7. Individualized Plates and Portions

Family-style dining is so 2019. With safety in mind, wedding food trends are leaning towards individual portions and smaller plates. Re-imagine larger scale platters, such as charcuterie boards, into smaller-sized plates for individuals.

Ditch the buffet and ask your caterer how you can get creative with food and beverages while keeping your guests safe. After all, no one wants to eat off that tray of cookies that your nephew has rummaged through with his unwashed hands, even in non-COVID times.

8. Keep it Local

This year’s weddings are even more locally sourced than ever. From the venue to food, beverage, and floral vendors, staying local is not only sustainable, but it’s also practical too.

From backyard weddings to venues that can only be found in Northern California, keeping it local means you and your guests don’t need to worry about the pre-flight COVID tests, proof of vaccinations, and masked airplane rides that will be de rigueur for destination weddings.

Lucky for you, Northern CA has the world’s most beautiful wedding locations, so there’s no need to go anywhere else. From the Sierra Nevadas to the Bay, Wine Country to Gold Country, there’s no shortage of gorgeous settings for your 2021 wedding.

9. Unforgettable Entertainment Experiences

Tarot card and palm readers, street artists to sketch your guests, petting zoos, magicians, acrobats, roaming musicians…there’s no shortage of entertainment options to fit your theme and amuse your guests. And since we’re downsizing the guest list and staying local this year, that frees up some budget to add some truly memorable entertainment experiences to your wedding this year.

10. Quality over Quantity

Smaller guest counts bring a unique opportunity for more elaborate details this year. Think quality over quantity, whether that’s your bridal party, appetizers, favors, flowers, and even your cocktail ice.

2021 is the year for quality over quantity, so you can go big even if you’re going small. Pour extra attention and love into the tiny details of your day, and it is sure to be a memorable event for you, your partner, and your guests.

Looking for a wedding planner for your Northern CA event? Contact one of these 10 best wedding planners in NoCal to help you bring your big day to life.