Weddings are back, bolder, and better than ever for 2022! It’s expected to be a record-breaking year with over 2.6 million weddings planned in the United States next year. That’s the most weddings in a year here since 1984! Because of the high volume, it’s essential to start planning early and lock in your wedding vendors as soon as you can.
Next year is all about tossing tradition and embracing unique ideas to express yourselves and wow your guests, from bold colors and trendy “dopamine dressing” to over-the-top themed events and jaw-dropping ceiling florals. Event planners envision larger multi-sensory gatherings that tell a cohesive story, from invitations to menu and décor.
Now is the best time to channel your creativity into a day that reflects your unique vision. Skip traditional whites and muted colors, dated bouquet and garter tosses, stately monograms, and speech-filled receptions. Instead, opt for surprising touches and unconventional elements that let you celebrate one of the most incredible days of your life. We’re sharing the best 2022 wedding trends so you can get a head start on the vision board for your Big Day!
Photo Credit: Oliver Li, Pexels
Interactive Entertainment That Wows
In 2022, brides are looking for ways to keep guests entertained all night or weekend long. Many are skipping the DJ and picking live bands instead or going all out with a combination of both. They’re turning their wedding into a performance with up-close instrumentals, dancers, and singers during the ceremony and cocktail hour in addition to the reception.
Beyond music, lots of unique entertainers are expected. Think Hoola-hoop performers, aerial violinists, live painters, flash dance mobs, caricature sketch artists, and carnival rentals. Even food turns into mini entertainment with dinner theater setups involving open-fire cooking or singing waiters. Hands-on interactive food stations are also gaining popularity with caterers who roll sushi, make mozzarella, or fill cannolis in front of guests.
For multi-day weddings, venues are now offering pre-wedding activities or recommending unique vendors to keep your guests engaged throughout the entire weekend. Some favorites we’ve seen include cooking lessons, candle making, custom fragrance classes, morning yoga, or scenic boat tours.
Lavish Themed Events
Most wedding themes are more of a preferred aesthetic like “springtime pastels” or “beachy summer vibes.” When we talk about themes in 2022, we’re referring to over-the-top themes like a masquerade ball or retro 70’s party where guests are expected to dress the part. Kitschy bashes filled with whimsical, fun touches like a Halloween costume wedding are all fair game for the year ahead.
Elegant “Old Hollywood” weddings, pool parties, disco nights, cosmic celestial receptions, and country-style rodeos are all themes we expect to see more of during upcoming nuptials. Take a cue from Paris Hilton’s blowout wedding weekend, and don’t skip the afterparty either. Her outdoor neon carnival is precisely what this themed trend is all about.
Photo Credit: Carolyn Christine, Unsplash
Spacious Indoor/Outdoor Venues
Because of the pandemic, couples are now more conscious about providing well-ventilated airflow and giving guests extra room to move around. For 2022, this has translated into more spacious venues with roomy tables and larger dance floors.
Indoor/outdoor venues and open-air tents continue to be in high demand since they let guests easily flow from one area to the next. Another popular choice for 2022 brides is a romantic garden venue that provides naturally lush space.
Furniture rentals are also becoming a larger part of couples’ budgets as event planners aim to provide alternate seating for guests to lounge in. Think foyer accent chairs, benches near the dancefloor, and multiple lounges in the cocktail and reception spaces.
Unique Reception Layouts
Guest safety concerns have led to some wildly creative reception layouts. Forget the days where the same round tables are scattered throughout a room; wedding stylists are now envisioning serpent tables in an outdoor field, X-shaped tables circling the dancefloor, and other inspiring designs. Tables of varying shapes and heights mixed with couches, benches, unique chairs, and other furniture add dimension to the room.
These creative layouts lend a modern restaurant or lounge feel to the space rather than tired catering hall vibes. Work with your planner and venue to vary your table styles and create a floor plan that’s far from traditional. Incorporate patterned and solid linens or mix different height centerpieces to add an extra spark to these unconventional layouts.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Borba, Pexels
This year is all about bright, lush florals. Couples are looking beyond centerpieces and bouquets, requesting statement-making arches, backdrops, and large hanging installations. Floral chandeliers are being used as centerpieces at VIP tables or above the sweetheart table for added drama.
Cascading florals that span a rectangular table, elegantly draping onto the floor, are also having a moment. And cake tables are getting the special treatment with floral hoops and small arches that make this main dessert a focal point of the reception.
Earlier this month, many predicted the return of lavish destination weddings abroad. With recent uncertainty and increased travel restrictions, it’s too soon to say if this will still be possible. In the meantime, one trend we can bet on is travel-inspired weddings that recreate the vibe of destination weddings stateside. From lemon-filled Tuscany-inspired dinners to authentic Mexican fiestas, brides are dreaming up breathtaking settings to “transport” their guests.
Finding a magical venue is the key to pulling off this trend. Some of the most popular places are in stunning locales like among the redwoods in Big Sur, California, during a beachfront luau in Maui, Hawaii, or at a Gatsby-esque mansion in Long Island, New York. Many brides are also planning to get married aboard yachts or at waterfront hotspots during sunset for that true vacation feel.
Photo Credit: Jen Vazquez, Unsplash
Gone are the days of white and muted color palettes. 2022 is all about impactful shades like rich greens, vibrant marigolds, electric blues, fuchsia, vivid corals, and a bold purple like Pantone’s Color of the Year, Very Peri. Think technicolor florals, bold stationery, and colorful wedding dresses and suits. Expect dark, moody tones to take center stage for weddings during the colder months.
If you love creams, peaches, and neutrals and aren’t ready to part with them just yet, mix them in with an array of vivid brights or moody dark shades. Another new idea on the horizon is selecting two complementary color palettes, using subtle shades for the ceremony, then transitioning into more intense counterparts for the reception.
Inspired by the runway and interior design shows, couples are selecting luxe patterned linens, textured napkins, and colorful glassware for their table settings. Carry this aesthetic onto a wallpaper-wrapped backdrop mixed with bright florals and use it as a statement piece behind the band or for the entrance welcome sign.
Menus That Tell a Story
What started as a safety precaution is now a mainstay on the wedding scene, as the trend of individual servings and plated dinners continues in 2022. Take this idea up a notch with mini charcuterie board place settings, single-serve wedding cakes, and chic canned cocktails at the bar. Couple these with elegant glass cloches, custom Lucite covers, and small dessert plates in the new year to stay on-trend.
Meet with your caterer to discuss options that go beyond the typical menu and use this as a chance to share your love story through your wedding’s cuisine. Include meals from your first date, or hire your favorite local food truck to serve late-night snacks. Bring in wine from your favorite travels or incorporate a dish you’re known for cooking at home. If tying in a destination theme, bring an authentic feel to the table with cultural dishes you would expect to find abroad.
Photo Credit: Kelly Jean, Unsplash
No More Wedding Season
Given the large number of weddings being hosted in 2022, many are marking the end of wedding season as we know it. Shifting schedules and limited date availability have led many married couples to host their wedding during what used to be considered off-seasons like winter, late fall, or early spring.
Expect to see many weddings taking place next year during the weekdays too. As many scrambled to reschedule postponed weddings, all available weekend dates were quickly taken. Rather than sulk, brides adapted and embraced midweek parties instead.
While slightly more inconvenient for guests, weekday weddings offer some perks for soon-to-be newlyweds. It’s a major plus for budgeting as these midweek days usually come at a lower expense. Vendors are also more likely to have availability during the week, especially on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, so couples will have a greater chance to work with their preferred suppliers.
Recent postal struggles with lost or delayed mail caused a lot of issues for brides over the past couple of years. As a result, digital save-the-dates have become perfectly acceptable and even encouraged. Plus, it makes it much easier to manage any changes or guest list updates.
Companies like Paperless Post make it easier than ever to send digital designer save-the-dates that match your stationery. It’s also an eco-conscious solution for brides looking to reduce paper waste. We predict this will be the norm in 2022 and beyond. If you have older guests who are not technically savvy, you can always follow up later with matching printed invitations.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Borba, Pexels
2022 will be all about putting a personal and creative touch on your wedding. Hand-painted details, pressed flowers, and colorful embroidery are trends we look forward to seeing more of. We’re expecting these bespoke elements to appear on everything from custom-painted chocolates to favor ribbons, printed napkins, and taper candles. It’s a nice touch for your wedding photos and the perfect way to make your guests feel special.
Some event planners are taking this trend to the max with dramatic art installations like fish wire-hanging floras, live mural or portrait artists, or painted acrylic dance floors. Bring your lighting vendor in on the fun too, with a custom patterned gobo projected onto the ceiling for a truly artistic atmosphere.