The Hottest Wedding Trends of 2022
Weddings are back and better than ever after a hiatus the last few years. In the United States alone, there are approximately 2.5 million weddings each year, and, as an industry, it spans a multitude of different businesses that rely on the traditions and events. As wild as it seems, weddings are a $58 billion industry!
While some wedding traditions have been around for decades and aren't going anywhere anytime soon, there are always new trends that pop up each year. Most of them fade as quickly as they appear, but it's clear that some of these new trends are making their permanent mark on the world of weddings.
So whether it's florals, dresses, tablescapes, themes, or cakes, it’s important to understand the emerging trends so that you’re not left in the dark for your own wedding! You might not want to incorporate every single new trend you discover, but it never hurts for a wedding to have a little "something new" right? If so, you've come to the right place!
These are the hottest trends we've seen in the wedding world for 2022, and we wouldn't be surprised if most of these stick around much longer than just a year.
Let's get started!
Bohemian is back in a big way—from flowers to color, trippy wedding rugs, unusual arrangements, and floral headbands. Featuring all things ethereal, natural, and vintage, boho wedding themes are here to stay.
Staple colors include corals, aquas, and heavy reliance on florals and ivy. So, break out your yellows (or your golds, your mustards, or ochres) and get ready for dancing without shoes under a starry sky!
Black & White Formal
After the existence of COVID for the past 2+ years, brides are embracing large, formal weddings again, and many of them are throwing black and white weddings. While the emphasis has always been on the bride wearing white only, guests are now encouraged to wear white with a pop of color, like a bright shrug or tie.
And it's no longer bad luck if the bridal attendees are in black. Actually, the only rule is no grey—unless it's your hair color!
You’d think the last thing that couples would want are backyard weddings, but after 2+ years of doing them, they’re still as important as ever. Many have found that the smaller, more intimate venue is more budget-friendly as well as manageable from a guest list standpoint.
That doesn’t mean they can’t be elaborate, though. They can include plated dinners, lighting and tents, and even lounges to kick back in.
With the increase in travel, destination weddings are back on the map but not quite exactly like they were before.
Previously, good old Las Vegas was the ideal destination for elopements, but nowadays, couples find that eloping at their honeymoon location is just as fun and gives them a chance to focus on themselves and their commitment as opposed to the large wedding or reception process. Resorts have made this process increasingly available and affordable.
Regardless of what theme you see this year, weddings will likely have an eco-friendly component, if not a zero-waste event altogether. What does that mean? It means that the couple wants to leave as small of a carbon footprint as possible for their event.
Whether they’re shopping for sustainable diamonds, reusable or minimal décor, and opting out of plastic, these environmental wedding trends are here to stay.
The wedding dress is a long-held custom, and many are passed down through generations. However, a recent trend in bridal separates is starting to become hot—which is a novel concept in the wedding industry.
Women have long embraced the idea of separates when styling themselves, whether it’s a pantsuit or a matching blouse/skirt. Because women are shaped differently, a wedding gown is tough to fit and even harder to alter. Bridal separates allow brides to customize their look based on their bodies and fit rather than the other way around.
Thanks to the rise of Julia Quinn’s novel series Bridgerton, Regency style is back, and nowhere is this more apparent than at weddings. Brides love the inspiration behind the Regency era—whether it’s a complete theme or just incorporating aspects like corsets, the drooping florals, and the entire rainbow of muted pastels.
It includes heirloom jewelry and elaborate updos, it includes off-the-shoulder dresses, empire waistlines, and string quartets. With six novels left to go, bet on Regency styles being around for a good long time.
Floral patterns are having a moment that mimics the early '90s when Jessica McClintock and Gunne Sax had a moment with bold florals in a variety of dresses.
While the bridals were concentrated in same-color floral appliques back then, the florals being used today in wedding dresses and wedding party dresses are anything but bland. Designers are embracing color in intricate detail, and the dresses are simply stunning works of art.
If you haven’t figured it out already, jumpsuits are here to stay. What emerged out of rompers has evolved into dramatic and stylish jumpsuits that even Elvis would be jealous of.
While still being a huge pain for women who want to use the bathroom on their wedding day, wide-leg pantsuits that elongate the look and scream elegance. Bridal designers are also including jumpsuits in their collections, as crazy as that seems!
Looking toward the stars, lunar weddings have always been magical. Relying deeply on the concepts of deep space, stars, galaxies, and celestial bodies, lunar weddings are big. However, they’re not all fairy lights and comets.
They can mirror the dark void that we sometimes think about space as well as glowing food and carefully managed mood lighting to enhance the theme. Stages of the moon are featured as well as starry nights, and hazy evenings.
As weddings fall upon us in the fall and winter, the plated dinner is making its grand return. Due to health reasons and likely, some loose standards, gone are the buffet line and circulated canapes. Plated dinners have always been elegant and a way to ensure food equality among guests without so much waste.
The options are likely to be lighter, too, in trying to accommodate everyone’s food sensitivities. Expect more salads, meatless dishes, and gluten-free rice dishes. And as we all know, rice is one of the cheapest things you can serve.
Couples are increasingly interested in individual portions of food, and that includes the traditional wedding cake, too. Instead, couples are turning to "fake" wedding cakes—usually made with Styrofoam and covered with individual cupcakes.
Wedding cupcakes are a genius idea because you can serve a variety of options, flavors, looks, and ingredients—ensuring that you can let everyone have a bit without all the concern about allergies.
Thank goodness that the food trucks are back in business just in time for the 2022-2023 wedding season! Food trucks are a HUGE hit at wedding receptions because they allow guests to choose their dinner in a fun way.
It’s unique and seems cost-effective because usually, the couple controls the menu for each truck. Ensuring that your venue allows them and that they’re easily accessible for everyone is the key to success.
Receptions After the Wedding Day
Couples are interested less in ceremonies and more interested in reception parties now. It's now common to see large receptions that may not be on the actual wedding date but closer to other important family holidays instead.
That’s not to say that the wedding didn’t happen, but as the age for the typical wedding couple has evolved, so has the need for “less stuff” and more quality time.
One of the consequences of COVID was the lack of travel and wedding planners, and couples are making up for it by restructuring the event to cover an entire weekend. This usually manifests itself in 3 days of fun that includes everyone in activities at a sequestered location or resort.
The new couple stays for Sunday brunch instead of immediately departing for a honeymoon, and all activities are held with attendees in mind. This is a great idea, especially if you’ve got a fall destination on your calendar. Natural seasonal changes can provide some of the best décor there is.
Gone are the days of monochromatic wedding themes or just pastels. Bold color is being used at weddings as its never been done before. From attendants' gowns/tuxes to bouquets and everything in between, color is the new white at a wedding.
And pairing contrasting colors is hotter than ever—coral and plum, olive and wheat, cobalt and cream...you get the idea! You can use bold patterns like dots and stripes to convey the theme and request that your guests are bold in attire too.
Non-Traditional Wedding Rings
While this trend was a novelty before the pandemic, its grabbed hold of weddings in a huge way. Men often don’t like the feel of metal on their hands, and silicone bands quickly became all the rage, with women often adapting them into their wedding style as well.
Now the trend is tungsten, intricately carved bands, and engraved bands. And as always, small tattoos are gaining popularity—even if it's not a full band but a symbol instead.
An economical way to save thousands of dollars on your wedding is to feature a micro ceremony—a scaled-back (and affordable) wedding. Generally, it's considered a micro wedding if there are less than 50 guests total, including the bridal party.
These intimate gatherings include time-honored traditions, just on a much smaller scale, and are great for couples looking for something different. Just because your wedding is small, it doesn’t mean it's nonexistent or not memorable!
One trend that is making your attendants very happy is the staycation/one-night bachelor or hen parties. Destination bridal party weekends are out, and unique, fun activities are making a comeback—such as bowling, ax throwing, or even a fun progressive dinner out in the bride’s hometown.
Let’s face it, these activities are about bonding as a group and less about the location. You can still level up your decorations and mood, all while remaining local.
This little trend grew out of necessity due to costs for venues and has started to skyrocket as something that may be here to stay. Saturday is the most common day to get married, so venues are hard to come by then.
But a Tuesday wedding? It's guaranteed to be less expensive at the venue and will likely be remembered by your guests for a long time. Nothing says fun like a weekday wedding—where you can escape from work a little early and celebrate a loving couple.
There was such a hullabaloo about email invites ten years ago and how rude, impersonal, and unfavorable the process was. The thought was that if you didn’t mail a proper invitation, then likely you couldn’t afford it.
However, these days, virtual invitations are all the rage, and companies have spent millions coming up with easy-to-use templates and importable data methods for even the least tech-savvy bride. Some have even gone as far just to send a QR code—which you’ll have to scan to get the deets. So 21st century!
Pearls & Bows
One of the biggest trends resurfacing shouldn’t be that surprising—pearls and bows are making another big splash in the upcoming wedding seasons. Both have been mainstays of bridal fashion and wedding décor for ages, but the two are now being paired in ways we haven't yet seen.
Pearls are one of the biggest trends in wedding jewelry, and bows, well, that’s just the girl in all of us.
One of the most elegant traditions is back, and that’s the tablescape. Gone is the sparse table décor in favor of elegant floral arrangements, natural materials, and beautifully paired seating arrangements.
No detail is too small when it comes to designing a tablescape—ensuring that your guests can indeed see one another and that no one feels lost in the weeds. Tablescaping can also be as cost-efficient as you choose.