The year of the wedding boom is officially in full swing. We’re two months into 2022 and the weddings and event industry is absolutely busier than ever before. So, rather than yet another wedding trend article that aims to predict what will happen, we decided to explore and uncover what’s really going on in the industry so far this year and what to expect this summer and beyond. To give us a sense, we tapped into a few wedding pros at the top of their game to take us behind the scenes and tell us what’s really going on!
New York-based event planner and designer, Marcy Blum recently took her website inquiry form off her website and moved her business to referral only. “What would usually be called a "nice kind-of problem" became absolutely untenable post-pandemic,” she says. “We had too many inquiries and couldn't even answer them all, let alone service them. We felt the most gracious way to take some of the pressure off was to only accept qualified leads––meaning referrals from people who know us and therefore have an idea of costs, etc.”
It’s nothing new to say that the event experience starts with the stationery. It’s unequivocally the first impression a guest has about the upcoming event. But according to stationery designers like Dami of By Dami Studios, “There seems to be a whole new emphasis on stationery and invitations that truly represents the couple with more thought and meaning behind every piece of stationery,” Dami says. “We recently sent out a boxed suite for an upcoming wedding weekend in Grenada. Not only did we incorporate embossed, debossed, and laser-cut patterns inspired by the textures of the island, the box included nutmeg, cinnamon, and eucalyptus because our client wanted the guests to be transported to Grenada with all their senses.”
Cocktail attire is taking the backseat this season in place of big, glamorous black-tie events. “We are seeing a huge shift back to glamorous, black tie, formal weddings that spare no detail,” says Jacquelyn Aleece, founder of The Wedding Plan & Company. “I think that after two years of wearing sweat suits while staying home and working from home in pajamas, our couples and guests alike are ready for opulence again!” And it’s all about the details: “We are seeing large crystal chandelier installations, specialty crystal glassware, modern flooring, luxurious wedding dress fabrics, incredible shoes, and table linens all making a huge comeback,” Jacquelyn says. “Two years of Netflix and Hulu have us all longing for that 5-Star service and atmosphere we’ve missed for so long.”
It’s not just about the opulence either: As wedding photographer Jose Villa told us, wedding weekends are getting longer and longer. With more days and events to cover, some photographers are ramping up their teams to ensure they’re able to capture every moment. “I had a team of 10 last year,” says photographer Allan Zepeda.“I thought I’d never have more than 3”
Gone are the days of a welcome bag in a guests’ hotel room. Event gifting has transformed and evolved into an experiential experience. Vanessa Kreckel, of TPD Design House told us, “We approach events by looking for ways to add the element of surprise. Whether it’s through unexpected packaging, thoughtful keepsake items, or creating an entire shopping experience for guests.” And many times her team is on-site with planners at destination events ensuring, “A seamless experience from beginning to end.”
Stylistically, recently married celebrities have leaned towards editorial and flash photography (think: Justin and Haley Bieber and Paris Hilton). “My clients are asking for flash photography inspired by fashion events and the runway,” says Allan Zepeda. Some couples are taking it a step further and asking, “For images with softer focus and motion blur that feel from an older era of time.”
Dramatic florals have been a longstanding wedding trend for a few years now (we’re talking floral walls, flowers hanging from the ceilings, and even under the floors). But now, those same installations are getting a bit of a makeover. “With weddings expanding to almost every corner of the country, being in rural areas gives us the opportunity to forage for unique and indigenous foliages, branches, floral and wildflowers,” says Rishi Patel of HMR Designs in Chicago. “The unique species of botanical elements never found at a wholesale market, or something that is not grown to be sold has a certain allure and luxury to events and weddings.” This is especially true for destination events: “Being “local” to wherever you are has never been more chic. And sustainability is only getting more and more important by the day,” Rishi says.
After a few years of on-and-off-again quarantine couples and their guests are ready to party! "As we’ve been diving into 2022, many of our couples have made requests for unique, diverse, and never-before-seen entertainment,” says Jordan Kahn of Dallas-based Jordan Kahn Music Company. Think storytelling through performance art. For example: “We performed live our clients' favorite song, “Everybody Loves Somebody” by Dean Martin, and paired it with 10 bespoke outfitted custom choreographed broadway-level dancers,” Jordan says. “Immediately following the performance, we introduced Country music star Brett Young who took the stage. After his performance, our 20 piece Orchestra filled the dance floor with our Immersive and Atmospheric team continuing to dazzle the guests all night long."
The days of sharing every single moment as it unfolds in real-time are gone. “More couples are asking for images, videos, and stories not to be shared with the public before they are able to share their day first,” says New York-based photographer Amy Anaiz. Instead of having their guests, wedding party or family members post about the wedding weekend, clients are increasingly requesting that their events remain private and totally offline––giving them the ultimate say in how their photos and video footage unfolds online. That said, a majority of couples and planners are asking for those highlights of the wedding to be delivered ASAP, even the next day!