22 Feb 2022 | 2022 Wedding Trends & Ideas For Couples Tying The Knot
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we plan and celebrate weddings. Here are the latest ideas and trends in weddings for 2022 and beyond.
2020 was a year for altered weddings – some called off, others postponed, and many radically downsized.
There’s no doubt that the events of the last two years will have an impact on weddings in 2022. Safety concerns, virtual attendance, and having to communicate date or venue changes on the fly were not a big part of wedding planning in the pre-COVID days. Nor were items like masks, hand sanitizer, and distancing signage.
As impersonal as these “new normal” adaptations and protocols may seem, they’ve sparked some highly interactive, experiential, and personalized wedding trends – dubbing 2022 as the year of intentionality.
“This is certainly what we have been seeing,” says Kathy Flynn, Senior Vice President, Merchandising and Creative at Personalization Mall, a US gift company. “People are just getting a lot more creative and adding little personal touches to make it a more intimate experience for themselves and their guests,” says Kathy.
Top 10 Wedding Trends in 2022
If you’re looking for fresh ideas, inspiration and a closer look at what is trending in weddings this year, here are the top 10 things to consider.
1. Personal Expression
Many of this year’s uber-creative couples are last year’s postponers or people holding a sequel wedding to their Covid micro-wedding.
“They’re using the extra planning time to express their personalities, tastes, and interests in ways they wouldn’t have been able to do last year,” says Amy McNall, owner of Unmistakably You, a boutique wedding coordination service in London, Ontario, Canada.
“I recently did a wedding where the bride, who is a huge Harry Potter fan, did an entire Hogsmeade-themed dessert table at the reception, with sorting hat cake pops, and cookies shaped in the crests of all four houses. It was so original and entertaining because she had all this extra time and energy to put into it,” says Amy.
Many couples – namely this year’s downsizers – are mindfully reevaluating what’s important and which aspects of the wedding to highlight.
“With a smaller event, they can now afford to say yes to things they might have said no to before, so they’re upgrading the experience with say an open bar for the entire evening or hiring a four-piece jazz band for the cocktail hour,” says Samantha Joder, Founder & Head Event Planner of Kaleidoscope, in Berkshire, Massachusetts, near Boston.
Mindfulness and really trying to highlights what’s important to the couple are some of the top wedding ideas mentioned for 2022.
3. Timeless and Classic
For some couples, 2022 will be a return to formality with timeless and classic themes, vintage touches and an elegant feel. Many couples are also incorporating their cultural traditions and honoring their heritage in creative ways.
“I see a lot more couples getting married in a church again, going back to a round bouquet with all white or bright bold flowers versus the whimsical look. With attire, we’re seeing more black tie and cocktail attire versus the casual, laid-back, or business attire that was previously showing up at weddings,” says Samantha.
Sarah Humpula, Planning & Production Manager at A Day in May Event Planning & Design in Traverse City, Michigan, which specializes in luxury destination weddings, is noticing similar trends. “There’s such an eagerness to celebrate, even though we’re not technically out of COVID yet, so it’s a lot of black-tie events, more formality, and couples pulling out all of the stops,” says Sarah.
4. Original Touches
In 2022, more couples are leaning towards brighter colors and bold patterns, including Pantone’s color of the year “Very Peri.” The main idea is to add an original touch, particularly when choosing wedding party attire, accessories and decorative accents.
Bridal attire is following suit, with the recent trend towards mismatched bridesmaids’ dresses giving way to an even more relaxed look, sometimes with varying colors, patterns, and fabrics like velvet and satin making a comeback. “Bridal gowns tend to be loose and flowing, reflecting a Boho look, rather than structured A-line or ball gown style dresses,” says Amy.
Other bridal gowns – particularly at formal weddings – are going in a different direction. “We’re starting to see some great angles with bodices, as well as pockets which are fun and practical and something brides are always looking for in a wedding dress. After all, why shouldn’t the bride have a place to put her lipstick?” says Sarah.
Pops of bright colors like bright orange, yellow, and burgundy are appearing in wedding attire for both guys and gals – and making their way to the reception décor and stationery. Tropical accents are also making a splash. “You see these bright greens, some vibrant birds of paradise, and bold corals, and even some black or black with mixed metals,” says Sarah.
The sweater trend for bride and bridesmaids – popular in the mid-2000s, is being replaced with custom denim or leather jackets. “These are often personalized with names of the bride or bridesmaid embroidered on the back or something quirky associated with the couple or the wedding,” says Kathy.
5. Guest Experiences
Experiential and creative elements all take center stage at the reception in 2022. “Couples really want to honor their guests by wowing them and giving them an experience so they may book headliner entertainment or fireworks display as a surprise gift for their guests,” says Sarah.
Food trucks are becoming increasingly common, especially at outdoor weddings where there may not be access to kitchen facilities for plating. “Again, it’s an experience for the guests, a little more interactive, a little off the beaten path, and it gives the couple an opportunity to incorporate more of their personal tastes instead of the standard beef and chicken options,” says Amy.
While some couples still go for the traditional cake cutting ceremony, others are opting for individualized dessert stations or more interactive dessert options, like a Ben and Jerry’s or Cookie Monster ice cream truck.
6. Interactive Elements
These entertainment and experiential wedding ideas are also extending into interactive elements for guests and couples to enjoy together.
In lieu of guest books, guests are marking their attendance and well wishes in more interactive and entertaining ways. Gift booths, photo booths, and Jenga games with pieces guests can sign are some popular options this year.
With distancing requirements and the questionable status of dancing – a standard part of the wedding entertainment – couples and their wedding planners are incorporating non-dancing elements into the entertainment. “DJs are finding ways to run table karaoke, trivia games, or music bingo,” says Amy.
“I’ve also seen people hire artists to draw live caricatures during the cocktail hour or do an onsite painting of the ceremony or reception, so the bride and groom have a canvas with a scene of their wedding,” says Amy.
7. Outdoor Venues
Whether a large, intricate, formal wedding or a smaller, scaled-back, casual one, the great outdoors is an increasingly popular venue for nuptials big and small.
“We were starting to see that already shortly before COVID, but now it’s more prevalent with couples wanting their guests to feel safe and comfortable. Having it in the backyard of your childhood home also adds a personalized touch,” says Samantha.
Backyards, vineyards, farms, beaches, woodlands, and estate homes are common sites – and tents are the new ballroom. “Barns are also turning into a very popular venue, and there’s definitely a market for the rustic look these days,” says Kathy.
8. Natural Accents
In 2022, florals are appearing ‘au naturel’ with a touch of whimsy. “We’re seeing more natural elements like grasses and loose unstructured bouquets focused on texture and movement rather than on structure and a solid color palette,” says Amy. And dried flowers are making an inaugural appearance. “It’s something we’ve never seen before but dried, bleached, or colored florals are definitely a trend,” adds Sarah.
Bridal hair and make-up are also trending toward a natural, less-is-more attitude. “I think the focus is not on making the bride look like someone else for the day but as the best version of herself,” says Sarah.
9. Symbolism and Personalization
Practicality, personalization, and symbolism rule the day when it comes to welcoming and thanking guests with wedding favors and small gifts.
“It looked like the welcome bags had died out a bit, but it’s a trend that’s really picked up speed,” says Samantha. In addition to the now requisite masks and hand sanitizer, the guest bags include personalized items that represent them and who they’ve become as a couple.
“It may be mints from Philadelphia where the groom is from, or some Cape Cod chips because the bride is from Cape Cod, or a sweet treat known to the city where they met and fell in love. These small touches make their wedding more authentic to who they are versus a cookie cutter wedding and will be more memorable for years to come,” says Samantha.”
The same sentiment carries over into wedding favors, as well as gifts for the wedding party, parents of the bride and groom, and other close friends, family and people helping out with the wedding.
“Couples are finding so many ways to bring in their own interests, culture, or favorite activities,” says Amy. “I have one coming up where the groom is a chef who has created his own spice blend and the couple is getting married on a farm that sells honey, so part of the favor will be the spice blend and the other part will be a little bottle of honey to symbolize that marriage is both sweet and salty,” says Amy.
With so much thought, originality, and meaning, 2022 weddings are sure to go down as among the most memorable. And that’s something to celebrate!