- According to wedding experts, some trends are timeless while others are set to expire.
- Bouquet tosses and balloon arches are expected to become less common at 2022 ceremonies.
- Trends like electronic invitations and recorded weddings are likely here to stay for a bit.
Even though some wedding trends are timeless, others fade year to year.
So Insider asked wedding experts about the trends they expect to disappear in the coming year, and which ones will likely flourish.
Don’t expect wedding registries to be filled with physical items
Although we’re used to seeing items like kitchen essentials, home decor and necessities, and backyard accessories on wedding registries, Rachel Jo Silver, founder and CEO of Love Stories TV, a wedding-focused online marketplace, said she expects a shift.
“During the pandemic when everyone was stuck at home, they invested in things to make their living spaces more comfortable,” Silver said. “Couples aren’t looking for items for their kitchen, bedroom, yard, etc. — that’s where they spent their own money last year.”
More couples may opt to include donations to a charity of their choice or a honeymoon fund.
Bouquet and garter tosses may continue disappearing
Although bouquet and garter tosses were previously seen as a wedding staple, photographer Thomas Beaman of PA Unveiled said this old tradition might be on its way out.
“Couples do not want to clear their dance floor for these outdated traditions,” Beaman said. “We planned and photographed 47 weddings last year and only four or five couples did a bouquet/garter toss.”
Instead, couples are coming up with unique events of their own, like a private dance, to replace these reception activities.
Couples may pass on wedding favors next year
Lindsey Nickel, owner of and wedding planner at Lovely Day Events, told Insider that couples are rethinking what details are important on their big day, and wedding favors likely won’t make the cut.
“Favors will fade in 2022,” Nickel said. “Planning a wedding during COVID taught couples to focus on the things that really matter to them, and for many, that was not a favor.”
Nickel added that couples are “becoming increasingly aware of wasted funds” and don’t want to spend money on souvenirs that’ll just get left behind.
Balloon decor is predicted to decrease in popularity
Even though balloon arches have made their way into just about every type of event, this trendy decor may be on the outs, according to Katie Brownstein, director of marketing at Joy, a wedding-planning platform.
“Balloon installations and arches have been synonymous with wedding decor — and let’s be honest, basically all types of event decor — the last couple of years, but this trend is fading fast,” Brownstein told Insider.
She said that flower walls and arches are becoming a lot more popular instead.
Minimonies and micro-weddings will likely become exceptions to the rule
As couples eagerly sought creative ways to wed without being able to have a large gathering over the pandemic, there was a surge of minimonies and micro-weddings.
But Kim Forrest, senior editor at WeddingWire, said we’ll see less of these going forward.
“I wouldn’t say that minimonies and micro-weddings will disappear in 2022, but I do think we’ll see them become the exception rather than rule,” Forrest told Insider. “After COVID-related gathering restrictions loosened up, couples were eager to celebrate with loved ones, paving the way for the reemergence of larger guest lists.”
Open eating at weddings has seen a drop in popularity
Doughnut walls, grazing tables, and quick-to-grab champagne flutes swept the industry in recent years.
But Allyson Maynard, owner of WISPP, a company that films weddings, told Insider that even though these trends make for fun social-media photos, they’re becoming less popular.
“Free-for-all food grabs out in the open are definitely out,” Maynard said. “Catering is much more refined this year and couples will revert back to table service.”
On the other hand, you should expect to see more weekday weddings
Beaman told Insider that he expects a rise in the number of weekday weddings in 2022.
“Every single wedding venue that we work with is either completely booked for 2022 — Friday, Saturday, or Sunday — or they are getting very close to being fully booked,” he said. “There are still so many couples who pushed their wedding to 2022 because of COVID-19.”
Venues and other vendors also might offer weekday discounts.
Electronic invitations are having a major moment
Electronic invitations entered the industry at a rising pace as weddings were rescheduled and postponed during the pandemic, and Nickel told Insider that they’re here to stay.
“2021 saw the rise of electronic invitations since guest lists and dates were uncertain until close to the wedding date,” Nickel said.
“Electronic save the dates and invitations will continue to be popular for 2022 as couples focus their budget on the wedding day experience and being conscious about waste,” she said.
Sparkler exits are still trending
Many couples choose to be sent off through a sparkler tunnel at the end of their wedding night, and that trend’s not going anywhere any time soon.
“Sparklers started as a wedding trend but have made the transition to a wedding classic,” Brownstein said, adding that a lot of couples think sparklers are “timeless.”
Couples are opting to support charity funds as part of their wedding
Melissa Trentadue, manager of community at Zola, a wedding-registry website, told Insider that more couples are including charity funds in their wedding registries.
“While we’ve seen that couples are getting more specific with cash funds generally, charity funds, in particular, have increased in popularity,” Trentadue said.
Trentadue explained that opting to support a charity raises both money and awareness for the cause.
Diamond alternatives are surging in popularity
Maynard told Insider that alternatives to traditional diamond rings will continue to rise in popularity.
“Handmade rings from boutique and artisan jewelers are on the rise. The conflict-free diamond-alternative stone, Moissanite, is soaring in popularity,” Maynard said.
She added that Mountain Range Topography rings are particularly popular among couples who eloped in “epic or adventurous locations.”
Sustainable weddings are set to take off throughout 2022
Younger generations are giving their attention to sustainability and doing their best to eliminate waste — even when it comes to their big day, according to Esther Lee, senior editor at The Knot.
“Sustainability will gain even more popularity in 2022 with more to-be-weds pursuing deeper conversations about their environmental footprint with their planning team,” Lee told Insider.
The wedding expert added that millennial and Gen-Z couples are “more mindful about sustainability and the future of our planet,” so they’ll “approach wedding planning with deeper care and concern.”
Customized wedding activities, such as reversed timelines, will likely replace standard traditions
After wedding postponements, and cancellations, couples are ready to do things their way and make their big day everything they want it to be.
“Several wedding professionals we talked to referred to a sense of freedom when it comes to planning 2022 weddings,” Forrest said. “Couples have waited so long to celebrate with loved ones, they’re going to do things their way and not do things just because they’re ‘tradition’ or expected by family.”
She added this could mean incorporating bold colors, booking a food truck, or switching up the usual wedding-day timeline, like by putting cocktail hour first.
Videographers and filmographers may be a nonnegotiable for many couples
Matt Dalley, cofounder and co-CEO of Simply Eloped, a group of elopement planning experts, told Insider that after an era filled with recorded and livestreamed weddings, videography will continue to be incorporated for years to come.
“The smaller weddings and elopements are all about the couple, but they still want to share every moment later,” Dalley said. “The best way to announce you have tied the knot is via a video announcement of the moment you became a happy couple.”
Couples are looking to find more ways to share their big day with loved ones, and videography is filling that gap.