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Digital wedding planning destination The Knot is lending its global wedding expertise to Abercrombie & Fitch this season ahead of what they predict will be the busiest wedding and event season ever.
According to The Knot, 50 percent of the weddings that were supposed to happen last year are now planned for 2021 and 2022, with summer and fall being the most popular. And guests are excited to celebrate. In July, The Knot’s guest optimism study found that 90 percent of guests planning to attend upcoming weddings say they are willing to spend more than they normally would on the event, with half citing plans to splurge on a gift for the couple and 46 percent planning to spend more on their own outfit.
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“It’s been a long year and we’re seeing this pent-up demand from couples and guests to celebrate,” said Kiara Kempski, vice president of global consumer marketing at The Knot Worldwide. “The debut of our collection with Abercrombie & Fitch comes at a great time as the wedding boom is upon us.”
Notably, the “wedding boom” is excepting to see a busy late summer and fall 2021, but a packed 2022.
“We’re laser-focused on listening to our Millennial customers and providing clothing that fits their lifestyle needs,” said Carey Krug, senior vice president of marketing at Abercrombie & Fitch. “In 2020, that meant comfortable, work-from-home ready pieces — and this year, we’re again bringing them the products they’re looking for as they return to celebrating these wonderful life moments that were so greatly missed. We couldn’t ask for better partners with whom to co-create this collection than our friends at The Knot, the true experts in weddings and events.”
The collection, called “Best Dressed Guest” features 52 different pieces including dresses, pantsuits, blazers, button-ups and more, all imagined for events such as rehearsal dinners, ceremonies and receptions, bachelor and bachelorette parties and brunches. The collection features trending colors and styles, including neutrals, sunset colors and patterns as well as some minimalist silhouettes. Notably, some pieces have been designed with sweat-wicking technology for a packed dance floor.
“As celebrations of love resume after a challenging year of isolation from loved ones, we are thrilled to work with Abercrombie & Fitch on our first fashion collaboration with the brand,” said Shelley Brown, senior fashion and beauty editor at The Knot. “The collection embraces what the return of weddings is all about — joy, love and an incredibly fun time — yet it’s also an inclusive collection that was created with comfort in mind and ensures every wedding guest will find something that speaks to them.”
According to data from The Knot, 94 percent of couples are not planning on reducing their overall guest count while 95 percent do not anticipate lowering their budget because of the pandemic. At the same time, The Knot expects new trends will emerge as weddings return to normal, including more weekday weddings to absorb the pent-up demand. In fact, Brown told WWD The Knot expects the wedding weekend to grow from Friday through Sunday to Thursday through Monday — meaning more events to dress up for.
“The pandemic brought on new trends and opportunities for innovation within our products and services,” said Kempski. “We pride ourselves on being a destination for wedding dress inspiration and content on top trends coming off the wedding fashion runways, as well as the go-to marketplace to connect our couples with local salons in their area to shop and buy their dresses. We’ll continue to support our partners who are the backbone of the wedding fashion industry to create the very best experience for couples on The Knot. As part of our commitment, we will always keep the door open for innovation and product development, meeting the ever-growing needs of our couples and partners.”
Another highly anticipated trend is prioritization for health and safety concerns as couples work to make guests feel comfortable. This will include couples using their wedding websites to centralize all important information to help their guests, particularly with topics on health and safety.
Moreover, Brown said, “the pandemic has also changed wedding fashion [for couples]. Many wedding dress designers are offering custom masks to match their gowns. Maximalist attire — think bling, feathers, ruffles, oversize bows and metallic suits — is also trending more than in previous years, as couples are eager to make the most of their long-awaited fashion moment.
In terms of the events themselves, The Knot’s data shows couples have leaned heavily into the use of outdoor locations to celebrate. In 2020, nearly 60 percent of the scaled-down receptions that did happen were either fully or partially outside, compared to just 43 percent in 2019.
“This is a trend expected to continue,” said Brown. “In our May 2021 survey of engaged couples, 81 percent agreed that having wedding events outside rather than indoors is a trend that’s here to stay. It was the highest among all options.”
In response to the escalation of couples searching for outdoor venues, The Knot even launched an “outdoor spaces” filter within The Knot Marketplace so couples can specifically search for outdoor venues or venues with outdoor spaces.
Additionally, in response to couples wanting to have more experiences both indoors and outdoors, The Knot Registry launched The Knot Experiences earlier this month, offering over 600 unique experiences, like classes and tours, that guests can purchase for couples as a wedding gift.
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