How to Plan the Most Fabulous Wedding of 2022
— By Raashka Mannie
03 March 2022
Let’s have the time of our lives this wedding season, just as Dirty Dancing (sort of) taught us.
What’s in a wedding trend? Well, pretty much everything to do with your big day. Wedding trends follow the rules of fashion: some people don’t pay them much mind, but, either way, they’re still going to impact the way you plan your wedding. All kinds of wedding vendors lean into wedding trends as they come and go because so many couples want the latest in style and statements when it comes to their celebration. It’s thrilling, after all, to be so vogue and fresh as you glide down the aisle or snap those stunning pre-wedding shots in the sunlight. Our talented wedding planners and stylists have given us some insight into wedding trends for 2022 and how you can plan a day that’s as glamorous and gorgeous as you are.
Image by Patina Photo + Film
1/ Weekday weddings
It’s the hassle-free way to plan when it comes down to it. Weekday weddings are popular for any number of reasons, including the money-savvy aspect. On the whole, it’s much more economical to plan a wedding on a weekday than a weekend. This is a wedding trend we expect to see for a long time. “Weekday weddings will be totally normal in 2022 as people will celebrate anywhere, anytime,” said Sarah from Elegant & Wild. “[There are] so many weddings and unions to catch up on that have had to be put on hold in the last few years. We're thinking that non-traditional arrangements (like small ceremonies followed by big parties or intimate weddings) will be here to stay because people have become a lot more open to a day that better fits them and their lives, rather than [just] focus on traditions.”
Additionally, tons of Wellington venues and others around the country are booked out well in advance when it comes to weekend weddings. For this reason, we predict this wedding trend lasting for a while. These days also lend themselves beautifully to micro weddings and elopements at a fraction of the price. A win-win, don’t you think?
A 2022 wedding trend that will hopefully be sustainable in more than one way is sustainability. In recent times, there has been an enormous boom in environmentally-friendly weddings: cutting down on waste, reusing, recycling, the whole shebang. Couples compost flowers or food after the big day, upcycle plastic or styrofoam by incorporating them into their décor and much more. There appear to be a million creative ways to get extra sustainable with your wedding.
“In the past, eco-friendly weddings have had a certain look: vintage/rustic, with Autumnal palettes, an emphasis on second-hand decor items and, often, dried flowers,” said Lyndal from Little Lace Flower Company. “I’m now seeing a trend towards a more savvy, elegant and modern take on ‘eco’. Leading the charge is a strong interest in bespoke floral hire. This is where florals are created for a client using faux, dried and preserved flower hire stock. Not only is floral hire a more eco-friendly option than fresh flowers, but it also allows couples to have the floral designs of their dreams at a fraction of the cost. Another part of this ‘new eco’ trend emphasises foraged floral materials. Couples are keen to collect greenery, driftwood and dried grasses for me to use in their wedding florals - which is, again, more eco-friendly and keeps costs down. Foraged materials can then be composted to keep waste down. I’m currently working with a bride-to-be who has even asked her mum not to cut down a tree in her garden until just before the wedding so we can use the branches in her woodland-themed design!”
3/ Destination weddings
Think friendly escapes, sunny beaches, whispering forests or rolling farmland. Basically, think of any ideal escape for you. It’s most common for destination weddings to be domestic, diving into tourist spots or hidden gems around the country for a getaway wedding that feels luxurious while also accessible to guests. With many couples opting for micro weddings in these modern times, it’s much simpler for them to plan destination weddings to look forward to, given that there are fewer people to plan around and for.
It’s also a chance for people to refresh their surroundings. After so many months of being cooped up, a destination wedding - international or not - brings a welcome change of scenery. Couples and their guests can spend the weekend at their destinations or longer if their schedules allow. There are so many gorgeous places to explore in New Zealand; it’s a veritable cornucopia of local destinations for weddings and elopements, fitting perfectly into this trend.
Image by Sarah & Nora Photographers
4/ Bold palettes
It’s getting bold out there - and don’t we love it? It’s time to shelve monochromatic, pastel looks and go for palettes with more oomph. It’s rather like a manifestation of the emotions couples feel as they look forward to what the future brings, especially in these trying times. Hope, vitality, and brightness through colour bring the same feelings to the special day, which is always welcome. In fact, Pantone’s colour of the year, Veri Peri, is an electrifying shade of purple that perfectly reflects this 2022 wedding trend.
Britt from The Wedding Coach shared with us: “Couples are being braver with colour! And I’m so here for this: opting for a bolder colour palette that is playful, modern, and stylish! We’re talking rich purples, ocean blues, and earthy corals. The easiest way to bring through your colours is using florals, linens, signage, attire, furniture and décor, and then going that next level up with your candles, glassware, dinnerware, cutlery choices [and so on].”
5/ Bold outfits
Following the bold palette trend is its spritely sibling, the bold outfit trend. It’s not just about how the couples look, but also about the guests and the wedding parties too. “Bridal party dresses are continuing to mix patterns, colours, and styles, so our besties feel good in what they [are] wearing while still matching the overall colour palette and style for the wedding. Love this, and long may it continue!” said Britt.
Happily, we’re seeing this translate into cooler looks for brides, grooms and couples on every level. Bows are back in business, making funky statements in hair or on the backs of dresses. Some wedding dresses are dropping the standard shades of white and going for blues, pinks, greens or oranges. They can appear in sixties style, mini and adorable, or not appear at all as some choose pants or jumpsuits over more traditional dresses. You get wedding suits that are just the same, branching out in colour and cuts to make statements. This 2022 wedding trend knows exactly what it’s about, and we admire that. “[There are] plenty of dresses with puffy sleeves - which I'm absolutely loving!” Lauren added.
Now that it’s time for the couples of millennials and Gen Z to get hitched if they so choose, we’re definitely seeing a shift in wedding registries. One of the most common changes is to do with honeymoon registries. This is a modern solution to an old-school problem: what to do with the toaster you didn’t need or the ice teaspoons you’ve no use for? Rather than be wasteful (that’d ruin the whole sustainability thing we’re after, you know), honeymoon registries like Hitchd offer monetary contributions.
They don’t necessarily have to fund honeymoons. Some registries ask for funds for other reasons, including payments for their dreams, wedding parties, their own shopping splurge or more. However, it eases the burden on guests having to figure out what to pick off a registry and on couples when it comes to accepting gifts. In this age, it’s more about funding experiences than material goods.
Image by Bowtie and Bloom Photography
7/ Going local
We love local. We love local so much that we have an entire article dedicated to our favourite local wedding vendors, from wedding venues to florists. Going local is part of the upward trend in sustainability. On top of being more economical, it’s lowering carbon footprint and offering a more personalised experience for you as you plan your big day.
Some couples choose to go entirely local as they plan their weddings; others mix and match, depending on their tastes. No matter the path you choose, check out your local wedding vendors before you start Googling Swiss chocolates or trying to find the perfect South Korean rice cake. For all you know, they could be right next door.
8/ Pearls of wisdom
Here’s a 2022 wedding trend that we adore to no end. Pearls are as elegant as it gets. For a while, they fell out of vogue. People conflated them with stuffy traditions and boring outfits. Today, pearls have evolved into a vintage fashion statement, especially when utilised so inventively.
Dubbed “pearlcore,” you’ll find them worked into weddings in a myriad of ways. Some decorate their wedding cakes with them, while others have pearl-encrusted bows or a pattern sewn into their bodices. Pearls are here to add that handcrafted, old-timey look in a modern and refreshing way, giving wedding fashion a new facet.
9/ Big parties
With restrictions easing day by day worldwide, we’re steadily witnessing the return of bigger celebrations. Of course, they can be held in tandem with micro weddings, elopements and private ceremonies. Sort of like an after-party, these celebrations are here to help you get down and boogie with your loved ones like we used to - and don’t we deserve it?
“We're seeing a shift back to larger celebrations, both cocktail style and sit-down dining, as the world starts to open back up again and couples [can] accommodate bigger guest lists,” said Lauren from George & Co. It’s slow going when it comes down to it, but the change is definitely there. While we don’t necessarily think we will be forced to pick one or the other when it comes to wedding size, it’s nice to have the option.
Image by Honestly WTF
10/ Tiny guest lists
On the other hand, this is a wedding trend continuing into 2022. Curated guest lists are carrying over from the last year or two, not just because of the pandemic but also because couples have reassessed how they celebrate. Enormous guest lists full of acquaintances you haven’t spoken to in years, or your parents’ neighbours are no longer the norm; couples are leaving this tradition behind as they choose to celebrate with the people that matter the most to them.
Micro weddings are also still a big thing for engaged couples. Planning around older and younger loved ones mean having smaller, safer weddings in our personal bubbles. There is time for a big party after all is said and done - but for now, all you need is love.
11/ Exciting entertainment
People are getting super funky with their entertainment. “Entertainment that isn’t just music during the social drinks hour,” said Britt. “We are loving activities like archery, axe throwing, and golf to keep guests entertained.”
And it’s true! Couples offer everything from lawn games to tarot reading at their weddings. Due to the more personalised nature of modern weddings, a fun trend that has emerged alongside this is personalised entertainment. Guest experiences can be as unique and engaging as you want them to be, especially when you don’t have to consider pleasing hundreds of them.
12/ Backyard bashes
Part of the micro and sustainable wedding trend, backyard weddings are all the rage. The sentimentality and economic value of having a wedding in your backyard are key reasons to have couples considering this. Generally quite intimate, backyard weddings award tons of couples with a more relaxed and controlled atmosphere during their special day. On top of that, if you’re going to throw a micro wedding, why not do so in your own garden? It might be simpler than you imagine.
“We'd love to deliver some more backyard celebrations in 2022,” said Sarah. “We're thinking teepees, heaps of fairy lights, beautiful, big florals, and bringing great vendors together in a space that means something special to the couple.”
Image by Ryan McCauley Photography
13/ Virtual save-the-dates
Save-the-dates have always been something people have been on the fence about. Are they really necessary? Should we really send an invite about an upcoming invite? Why can’t we just send the wedding invitations out in advance instead of mailing something that could potentially get lost on the way?
Well, virtual save-the-dates are here to save the day. Costing you much less and environmentally friendly, they are a quick and simple solution to ensuring that your guests can make it to your big day. You can get them customised by a professional or choose a standard design from several wedding vendors or websites online. All you have to do after that is send them out - ta-dah!
14/ Floral fantasies
“A continuing trend is the desire for large floral installations as backdrops for wedding ceremonies,” Lyndal said. “In the past, this has, more often than not, taken the form of arches. But increasingly, couples [want] something different: oversized arrangements on pedestals, hanging installations and garden-style florals that look like they are growing out of the ceremony floor. These no-vessel garden-style arrangements are also very popular on tables right now and, I think, are a reflection of the ‘cottage core’ aesthetic that is still going strong.”
It all ties in with sustainability and the bold colour palettes, ultimately. Couples want that ‘bang!’ of brightness and vivacity to underline their big days, which is the 2022 wedding trend. “To get maximum value, couples want these big, bold backdrop florals to do double-duty as backdrops for the wedding-party table, cake table or for group photos,” Lyndal continued. “Where the ceremony and reception spaces are separate, this means that the florals need to be easily moved and reassembled.”
This is a fun one. Something has fundamentally changed about the way society views weddings. It’s led to a richer, deeper set of emotions that comes with the romance and gratitude of the day - more like an experience that’s shared with guests in the most touching of ways. Couples go out of their way to ensure this is present.
“Covid has changed both the look and feel of weddings,” Lyndal told us. “With smaller guest numbers, couples have more money to splurge on the styling of their wedding - such as a big, bold floral installation. But there is also a change in how weddings ‘feel’. There is a stronger feeling of gratitude for friends and family, as well as a sense of having overcome a lot of obstacles to even have a wedding - and couples want to acknowledge this. I’m being asked to include symbolic and sentimental items and images in my wedding design work: plants, animals, sayings, colours and patterns that reflect family traditions and/or remind couples of loved ones who can’t attend their wedding; special memorial tables to be part of the ceremony space; place-settings with special details for guests to enjoy; thoughtful keepsakes for guests as a ‘thank you’. If there is a positive to come out of Covid, this wedding trend is one that I hope will continue!”
Image by Lucky Wedding Rental