The experts agree—weddings are back in a big way. Despite the current uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, people are ready to celebrate and get back together. We spoke to experts about the top wedding trends for 2022, including everything from plan flexibility to diamonds and unique floral arrangements.
Blowout bashes and long wedding weekends are here to stay. Multi-day celebrations have always been a great way for families to reconnect and for the couple to have a chance to properly spend time with all of their guests, which is even more important now. Accordingly, guest lists are ballooning, since couples haven’t seen many friends and family members for two years. Marcy Blum, a top wedding planner in New York, says, “All of the weddings we produced in the fall, as well as the ones we have coming up in the spring, have very large guest lists.”
Micaela Erlanger, a celebrity and bridal stylist, agrees. The majority of her clients are planning ‘blowout celebrations’ that span three to five days. Blum notes that planning a long weekend can be tricky, because the wedding itself must be the most important event, despite being in the middle of the trip. “A multi-day wedding celebration has to be planned carefully so that it’s fun for the guests and the wedding itself is the jewel in the center,” she says.
In addition to newly engaged couples and couples who postponed their weddings, couples who had intimate ceremonies, or ‘mini-monies,’ as Erlanger calls them, are planning spectacular, multi-day celebrations in 2022 with their families and friends—herself included! She had a small wedding ceremony last year and is planning a fabulous celebration this year. “It was really special to get to do it in two parts. My fiancé and I had a special and intimate moment for ourselves,” she says. “Was it disappointing that we couldn’t have the people we love around us? Yes. However, we are getting to plan the celebration of our dreams with the people that we love in a bigger and better way.”
Diamond Bridal Jewelry
According to Shelley Brown, Senior Fashion & Beauty Editor at The Knot, diamond engagement rings, wedding bands and chandelier earrings still reign supreme for 2022 wedding trends when it comes to jewelry, while round engagement diamonds remain king. However, it’s no longer all about the solitaire. Brown has seen more three-stone, toi et moi and open ring settings for brides who want to express their sense of style and individuality. In addition, oval rings are quickly gaining popularity, accounting for nearly 20% of all engagement rings.
Minimalist settings are also becoming more prevalent. These simple settings let the natural beauty of the diamond shine through from every angle. Erlanger recently designed a collection of bridal jewelry for DeBeers Forevermark, Forevermark x Micaela, that includes some pieces with a thin bezel setting and pavé diamonds underneath for sparkle from all angles without competing with the solitaire stone.
“Many people have taken the time and perspective provided by the forced coronavirus ‘pause’ to reevaluate what is most important in their lives,” says Dakotah Terrace, founder of Jardinère Events in Hilton Head, South Carolina. “We see this clarity translating into our couples’ wedding designs. Traditions are still important, but every detail of the day is chosen with intention.”
Blum agrees, especially when it comes to food and beverage. Her clients are offering more special options, including inspired vegetarian and vegan options, as well as an “interesting selection of non-alcoholic drinks.” Brown is seeing quirky, personal touches such as childhood favorites of the couple being served.
Erlanger sees this not only in the ceremonies and events, but in the fashion, too. Her brides are looking for custom designs for themselves, purchasing made-to-measure couture gowns and customizing bridesmaid’s dresses from cool fashion designers—not traditional bridesmaid companies. “A lot of brands offer a sort of demi-couture… You can customize their silhouettes and color ranges.” She notes that Markarian, Brock Collection and Zimmerman are go-to brands for her fashionable clients. Brown also sees personalization in bridal parties, including mismatched bridesmaid dresses.
Don’t Forget the Groom!
Even the grooms are getting a touch of sparkle on their big days as part of the wedding trends for 2022. Brown says, “Diamond-encrusted wedding bands and engagement rings, watches and lapel pins are all on-trend for the groom who wants a more glamorous wedding day look.” Even men who prefer simple bands are finding ways to add diamonds to their wedding attire. “Men’s jewelry on the wedding day goes far beyond the ring,” says Erlanger, who is seeing more and more diamond cufflinks, studs and lapel pins. In her Forevermark collection, she even designed a simple band with a hidden diamond inside that adds a discreet special touch.
In the past, grooms have sometimes—err, frequently—been overlooked in the planning process. In the spirit of equality and inclusivity, some planners and designers are ensuring that the groom’s name is on all paperwork and instead of simply referring to the bride, referring to the couple. Terrace’s firm is doing away with traditional wedding terms in her contracts, using the more inclusive term ‘partner’ instead.
Gifts from brides to their bridal parties are becoming more meaningful. Many brides are looking to diamonds for stunning gifts their bridesmaids will truly cherish, and that will last a lifetime. Some of Blum’s clients have gifted their bridal parties with diamond-set name necklaces. Erlanger’s have given little pendants or delicate bracelets.
As for flowers, there isn’t a dominant trend. In fact, Terrace says bouquets are split down the middle. “Many brides are choosing a smaller, clutch-style nosegay—easy to hold, with understated elegance. Think Grace Kelly or Megan Markle,” she says. “Others are committing to a grander look: cascading blooms and greenery, and a true focal point of a wedding.”
This grand yet relaxed look is carrying over to ceremony decor. “It’s all about asymmetrical, whimsical floral designs built specifically to accent the uniqueness of the ceremony space,” according to Terrace. For centerpieces, Blum notes that floral designers are minimizing their use of floral foam and metal construction, which leads to more organic floral designs.
With all of the uncertainty in the world and supply-chain issues, even the most detail-oriented brides have become understanding and embraced flexibility. Terraces says couples have been understanding from the get-go, and actually find being flexible to be a bit of a blessing. “Free from the mindset of “I have to have x,” couples are now more open to suggestions and alternatives, allowing designers to be more creative,” she says.