As Over The Moon toasts to the end of 2021 and welcome in the new year, it’s exciting to see how weddings will evolve, change, and remain consistent in some ways. And with two new dominant strains of Covid seen in 2021, safety protocols are still at the top of our minds in order to keep everyone safe. “Patience and empathy are the names of the game,” wedding planner Augusta Cole says.
To help manage stress as much as possible, planners emphasize reading vendor contracts carefully early on, keeping watch on local restrictions, and having a plan B. It’s also helpful to have a wedding website or a way to communicate any changes to all the guests in real time and recommend home-testing prior to the celebration.
We talked to some of our favorite wedding planners, who travel the globe for their events, to get a sense of what’s coming in the next 12 months, from exaggerated florals to going all out on reception entertainment. The jury’s undecided on how long intimate weddings will be here to stay, as some planners are seeing weddings being planned for fewer than 100 guests, while others have clients who still want bigger bashes. Aside from that, everyone was in agreement on the following seven must-know wedding trends for 2022.
1. Pack Your Bags, More Destination Weddings
As guests become more comfortable traveling and navigating any restrictions, Lindsay Buzaid of L. Scott Events says, “People are ready to travel! I’m a little biased as a destination wedding planner, but 100% of my clients are getting married in destinations outside their home state or country. They want to make a long weekend or even a full week out of their wedding celebration with friends and family.”
Cole adds, “Demand for exotic domestic destinations is soaring, and we will be encouraging longer and longer lead times for committing to a date and asking your friends and family to mark the weekend.” With destination events, Buzaid also advises couples to check their contracts for clauses regarding postponing due to Covid.
2. Meaningful Elements Spread Out Over a Long Wedding Weekend
Planner Lyndsey Hamilton, of her namesake events company, assures us that wedding weekends still span four days, from Thursday to Sunday, but each day will have more of a meaningful component to a couple’s marriage story. “There is still the traditional welcome event on day one, an intimate ceremony and dinner on day two, and the cocktail party—or another dinner—and dancing on the third night,” Hamilton shares. “Finally, the farewell brunch brings everyone together again on day four.” Brides often recall how quickly the wedding day passes, and this new format allows the pressure to diffuse and the couple to be as present as possible.
3. A Celebration of British Style
With grandmillennial style remaining popular, the Cotswolds-chic aesthetic will continue for weddings. “Layered design, incorporating rich palettes, patterns, and whimsical illustrations will continue to make a splash in 2022,” Cole assures us. “American interior design is currently celebrating classic British style, and our event environments will follow suit.”
4. Brighter Pops of Color
The traditional color palette of all-white with hints of green, gold, or blue is still great, but who doesn’t love being surprised by an elegant array of colorful shades? “I’m seeing fewer requests for traditional, muted palettes and more interest in brighter pops of color,” Buzaid assures us. “Clients want something unique that can differentiate their wedding. Our clients are investing in custom tabletop elements like linens, napkins, and placemats they can keep after the wedding.”
5. Instagrammable Florals
Next year, we’ll see more attention-grabbing floral moments, which is no surprise after restaurants and storefronts have upgraded their floral game to attract customers in the past year. “There has certainly been an increase to ‘the floral budget,’ with many couples wanting a show-stopping floral arch or large overhead installation, often placed above dining tables or dangling over the dance floor,” U.K.-based planner Natalie Hewitt says.
6. It’s a Party, Dance!
The celebratory element of a wedding will get more of an emphasis in the coming year. “We’re seeing a larger focus on the party elements of the event—getting guests to the dance floor faster,” Buzaid says. From the newlyweds’ entrance into the reception, people will be on their feet and ready to bust a move. Get ready for some weddings to prioritize dancing so much, as to leave room between dinner courses for a few hit songs. In conclusion, wear comfortable shoes to weddings next year because you’ll be partying long after the reception too. “Almost everyone is opting for an additional after-party!”
7. Epic Entertainment
Couples are moving toward putting on a show for their guests. “Some of our events we’ve planned have featured live sketch artists drawing guests, French Renaissance stilt walkers serving as ushers, a magician making tequila appear during dinner, and drag queens entertaining guests throughout the night,” Hewitt says. “No idea seems to be off-limits.”