By LAURI GROSS
Planning a wedding is always exciting. Throw in a pandemic and the possibility of celebrating as we (hopefully) move past the pandemic, and you’ve got all the makings for a lot of creative nuptials in 2022. Wedding trends, from food to dresses to flowers are indeed moving in fun new directions this year. Let’s take a look.
Weddings of 50 or fewer guests – which became a necessity as the pandemic raged – remain popular but increasingly, couples are making the most of it, rather than seeing it as an unwanted necessity. With fewer guests, a couple’s budget goes further, which often means there’s room to splurge on extras such as neon signage, personalized menus, lavish guest book displays, comfortable seating, custom throw pillows and other touches that add comfort and nostalgia. Can’t think of what you’d put on a neon sign at your wedding? Come up with a meaningful personal message or try one of these: “Mr. and Mrs.,” “till death do us part,” or just feature your last name(s).
The popularity of smaller guest lists also means destination weddings are more common than ever, since it’s easier to coordinate a small number of guests travelling, than to do so for a huge group. Rather than a destination thousands of miles away, today the destination is often just a nearby town or a pretty spot in a neighboring state.
At smaller weddings, it’s also easier to incorporate non-traditional food options such as food trucks, pizza stations, appetizers only, or picnic style. Picnic weddings, by the way, can be anything from an event that includes a hike to a mountain-top reception, picnic tables set among the rows in a blueberry farm, or an English high-tea picnic with live violinists.
Specialty vendors are also popular now, including live event painters, dueling pianos, and even beer burros (small donkeys fitted with decorative, mini saddle baskets containing – what else – beer).
Couples who find that vendors, as well as venues, are booked for every weekend in 2022, are often choosing to marry on a weekday instead and there are usually price breaks for doing so.
Traditions such as the bouquet toss and garter grab are not as popular as they once were, while new traditions, such as including parents, grandparents or kids in the wedding party, are gaining in popularity. In fact, in the bride and groom’s entourage, age and gender are no longer important: Bro-maids or groom-women are common, as are grooms who ask their dad or son to be their best man, or brides who have their mom or daughter as maid of honor.
To keep the environmental impact of your wedding to a minimum, consider a venue that recycles and composts, or have a locally sourced farm-to-table menu, use recycled-paper invitations, offer electric vehicles for transporting guests, incorporate local and in-season flowers in vessels that your florist will re-use or use potted plants for centerpieces.
Choosing the color scheme is an important and fun decision. From invitations to the cake and flowers, and wedding-party attire, color helps set the mood. Today’s popular palettes include silver and sage combined with mustard and dry rose. Also, warm and vibrant shades of coral, from yellows to pinks make weddings buoyant. Or, combine bold colors with classic shades, such as pops of hot pink or orange mixed with creams, blushes, and peaches. Dark, rich and complex colors also make a beautiful statement. Think dark wood tables and dark pewter tableware with deep jewel-tone florals. Or follow the lead of some couples who choose a muted color scheme for the ceremony anda more vibrant one for the reception.
Wedding gown styles range widely but some popular looks now include one-shouldered dresses, which works on formal as well as simple silhouettes. Many modern brides are seeking dresses full of sparkle that are covered in beading or sequins, for a look that says princess, goddess or rockstar. Many of today’s most popular wedding gowns also feature plenty of elaborate, sophisticated lace.
It’s a good time to be a bridesmaid, as these dresses tend to be more elegant and fashionable than ever. And, despite taboos of the past, it is now ok for bridesmaids to wear white or lace, whether they are part of a beach wedding, a city wedding or something in between.
Wrap-style bridesmaid gowns are nearly uniformly flattering, especially when the look incorporates a flirty high-low ruffled hem.
For their wedding-day hair, brides everywhere are embracing the beach wave trend but many now include an elegant hair accessory to elevate the look. Floral crowns are making a comeback and these, too are less rustic and more sophisticated than their predecessors. Even braids can now be seen on stylish brides who usually wear one headband-style or a simple braid down the back. Current wedding makeup often features the minimalist look of a natural face, with glamorous red lips and bold eyes done in metallic shades.
The metallic touch carries over into trending venue décor, with many couples choosing a metal arch for an edgy look, or incorporating metal into centerpieces, chargers, candleholders, barware or even table runners and lanterns in bronze, silver, gold and black metallics. Keep the industrial look going by having tables without linens.
Metallic colors are even appearing on wedding cakes with silver, gold and bronze-colored cakes taking the… cake. Some couples have cakes covered in metallic shades or just add a ribbon or flower in shiny metallic. Drip cakes are also popular now, with icing that appears to be dripping down from the top edge of each layer. Instead of a traditional tiered cake, many couples now opt for a mini-cake for the cutting ceremony surrounded by lavish and artistic mini-cupcakes.
The ever-evolving wedding arch is now often a complete circle known as a floral moon gate, or an infinity arch. It’s a dreamy look that adds a wow factor and serves as an epic backdrop for vows and for guests to use for photo ops later on. Depending on the style, whoever stands in front of the infinity arch is framed and encircled in blooms, greenery, natural grasses, lights or some combination.
In addition to lighting their infinity arch, couples are incorporating lights in other creative ways, such as a curtain of string lights that recalls the look of a waterfall. Others hang elegant strands from tree branches to resemble a sparkling rain shower.
Good old-fashioned balloons are now a new wedding trend. Florists and wedding planners are intertwining them with flowers, adding them to arches or cakes, or incorporating balloon columns for photo backdrops, or for marking the entry to the reception area, the corners of the dance floor etc. Latex and mylar styles are both popular, as are balloon creations that incorporate both types. They are certainly available in hues to match any wedding color scheme and their fairy-tale vibe may be just what every wedding needs right now.
Sources: SouthernLiving.com, WeddingForward.com, OneFabDay.com, Wedding-Spot.com
Pandemic creates opportunity for creativity when planning weddings
By LAURI GROSS