Wedding venues, florists and dressmakers have got their work cut out for them, because 2022 is set to be a bumper year for celebrations.
Outfits and decor are likely to look a little different compared to pre-pandemic ceremonies and receptions, though. The past year-and-a-half has caused couples to re-evaluate their priorities, with many now throwing out the traditional wedding rulebook in favour of elements that spark joy, protect the planet and support local businesses.
Here are seven themes trend forecasters are expecting to see, according to wedding planning site Hitched.
Rented wedding dresses
Carrie Johnson made headlines this year when she tied the knot in a rented ivory tulle and silk gown by Christos Costarellos, costing just £45 against its retail price of £2,870. With the average wedding dress costing £1,313, the newlywed joins a movement of money-savvy and eco-conscious brides using wedding dress rentals, with 14% of Hitched brides revealing they would now consider hiring a dress for their big day.
Upcycled occasionwear is also expected to be big at weddings in 2022 as consumers continue to search for ways to reduce their impact on the environment.
Sober curious weddings
Traditionally, alcohol has always been seen as an essential feature of a “good” knees-up. However, experts predict a rise in sober curious weddings, with newlyweds choosing to avoid or reduce their alcohol intake for personal or wellness reasons.
The majority (89%) of couples surveyed said they will have guests who aren’t drinking alcohol at their wedding, so we can expect to see an increase in mocktail menus, alcohol-free beers and coffee bars at weddings across the UK.
As the UK eagerly awaits the launch date of series two of the hit Netflix series, Hitched predicts the Regency period will subtly infiltrate weddings in 2022, with splashes of blue pastel, empire-waist wedding dresses, elegant gloves, trailing wisteria and vintage china tablescapes.
Ebay also reports a 205% rise in searches for ‘puff sleeved wedding dresses’ as brides continue to be inspired by the fashion of Daphne, Lady Whistledown, and other popular characters from the show.
With everyone spending more time outside during the pandemic, a newfound appreciation of nature is likely to influence 2022 wedding decor as couples focus on the environment, with traditional whites and pastels replaced by earthy, natural colours and textures. Expects to see lots of terracotta pots, driftwood and linen napkins with honeyed neutral colours and pops of brighter rust, amber and coral tones.
Couples are also using colour schemes to reflect their personality, with many still opting for the traditional all-white palette but with bold splashes of bright colour weaved into their big day. Trend forecasters predict that vibrant pink-purples, earthy olive greens, creamy yellows, tropical oranges, and ocean blues will all be popular interjections of colour in spring and summer 2022 nuptials
Two-piece wedding dresses
Searches for ‘two-piece wedding dresses’ on Hitched are up by 176% this year and, with wedding dress shopping typically starting nine months ahead of the big day, beautiful bridal separates are likely to show up at weddings across 2022. Popular due to their versatility, two-piece gowns can easily transform from day to night, and their re-wearability is popular among sustainable brides.
Following the pandemic, elopements and micro-weddings are continuing to rise in popularity. Brides are also looking away from traditional gowns in favour of more modern, minimalist styles. Hitched has seen a 197% increase in searches for ‘casual wedding dresses’ since March 2020, and searches for bridal suits up by 167%.
‘Flavour with meaning’ cakes
To add a truly personal touch to their sugary centrepiece, many couples are selecting cake flavours that remind them of a special memory. Whether that’s their first date, flavours from their childhood, or a connection to a favourite destination, these types of bakes allow newlyweds to share special memories with their guests.
Recent data reveals that there has been an 80% increase in searches for ‘maternity wedding dresses’ as the pandemic creates a new wave of post-pandemic pregnant brides. From the couple’s children to the guests’, we can expect more children than ever at 2022 weddings, and this demands new and unique ways of keeping them entertained, with wedding creches and nannying services expected to boom in popularity over the next year.