When it came to weddings in 2021, the only thing we could be certain about was uncertainty.
The pandemic quickly turned simple things like meeting your loved ones into complicated calculations of existential risk and tiresome catering scenarios.
But now as we look ahead into 2022 and (whisper it softly!) the pandemic seems to be retreating, we wanted to understand what we should be expecting to see from 2022 weddings. We got in touch with 20 of the UK’s top wedding experts to hear where they thought things would be going in the year ahead.
A few common themes we spotted in their responses were: wedding personalisation; ethical weddings; backyard and micro- weddings; weekday weddings; bold colours. Looks like finally we’ve got a lot to look forward to 😀
James McAulay, CEO & Co-Founder – Encore Musicians
- COVID is affecting fewer weddings: 65% of cancellations in December 2021 were COVID-related, but in February, we haven’t had a single Covid-related cancellation/cancellation caused by COVID! (this cannot be true???)
- The Bridgerton effect: more and more customers are booking string quartets to perform tracks from the hit Netflix series
- Cost-effective weddings: while we should be cautiously optimistic about the UK COVID situation, inflation and increases in energy costs in the UK mean many will feel a squeeze on their wallets by mid-2022. Looking to save money on your wedding band? Most bands offer smaller lineups for lower prices, and some will DJ for you after their performance, meaning you don’t need to spend money on a separate DJ.
- It’s going to be a busy year: we had nearly 7x more January bookings in 2022 than 2021!
Zoe Burke, Editor – Hitched
“At Hitched we’re seeing couples prioritising their guests’ experience more than ever, so personalisation is going to be a key trend for 2022. After the trials of the past few years, couples really appreciate having the chance to celebrate with their loved ones, so they’re making the most of it with plenty of personalised touches and incredible entertainment to ensure their party is unforgettable.”
Hamish Shephard, Founder – Bridebook
“This year is the busiest year of weddings in history! As friends and families reunite after 2 years of isolation, expect packed dance floors and busy bars. Couples continue to hyper-personalise their weddings based on what is most important to them. That could be from having a sustainable wedding, to having a distinct style of music, to custom stationery. Wedding businesses will stand out and thrive by demonstrating that attention to detail and going above and beyond for their couples. See you on the dancefloor!”
Hugo Campbell, Co-Founder – FeastIt
“My honest answer to this: Early invites. You’ll want to get all of your invites out as soon as possible because we’re looking at a year with around twice the number of weddings as usual so you want to make sure your nearest and dearest know about it as early as possible so they don’t get booked up elsewhere!”
Annabel Beeforth, Founder – Love My Dress
“I think after such a long period of time of being unable to actually see each other, couples are wanting to make their wedding more laid back and family/friends focussed than ever – so more weekend-long celebrations with gatherings the day before and after and creating experiences that will make these gatherings really memorable.
We’re also seeing a huge rise in queries at Love My Dress for more localised suppliers who can supply ethical and sustainable products and services, reducing their impact on the environment. So organic flowers and food grown locally, bridal fashion created from ethically produced silks and fabrics with supply chains that pay well. Suppliers who prioritise minimum waste and recyclable items.”
Emily Pettiford & Jessica Turley, Founders – Bespoke Bride
“Everyone is still talking about the Micro-Wedding trend that started back in 2020, thanks to COVID. We at Bespoke Bride believe this trend will grow even stronger in 2022, but with a twist. Couples aren’t just opting for more intimate weddings with fewer guests. They are looking to create wedding days that are completely personal and simple, with creative DIY invitations, games, glass stickers and so much more. We see this trend happening in our shop at Bespoke Bride, where digital printable items like our Mermaid Themed Photo Booth Props are among the best-selling products. We are seeing future brides downloading items, printing, cutting, and designing their special day, on their own, exactly how they want it to be.”
Sonia Collett, Editor – Want That Wedding
Emma Darlington – The Wedding Secret
It is no secret that muted colour palettes and pretty pastels have served us well for the past few years. However, there is a new movement for 2022 weddings and we’re here for it. Vibrant, bold and deliciously rich colours are set to be the backdrop to love stories near and far for 2022. Using monochrome with flashes of bright colour will be sure to pack a punch and make your wedding day pop. We’re expecting to see some unusual colour mixing with unexpected contrasting combinations, adding a layer of warmth, fun and playfulness to any wedding day. Start your married life as you mean to go on, surrounded by colour, as striking and bold as your love story.
Emma Douglas, Founder – Timeless White Wedding Planning
“High fashion inspired elements to bridal styling are a prominent 2022 feature. Perhaps because we’ve all been home for so long, many couples are choosing a more statement-led style. Large bows, ruffles, 60’s inspired short dresses, pearl detailed veils and headpieces are all going to feature heavily in 2022.
“Going big on entertainment. Again, perhaps a symptom of the events of 2020 and 2021, many couples are investing in truly amazing and immersive entertainment for their guests, adding more acts, more surprises or extended sets to really ensure there is an unforgettable oomph for them and their guests to remember.”
Mark Burgess, Co-founder – Say I Do
“What we are seeing so far this year is the eagerness and timely manner in which couples are booking in their suppliers. Due to the backlog of weddings from the pandemic, many vendors are booked out well in advance so the organised couples are the ones getting their big-ticket vendors booked in early.”
Melanie Helen, Director – Cranberry Blue Events
We’re seeing a lot of couples subconsciously being inspired by the hit series, Bridgerton. It’s so quintessentially English and incredibly romantic with thoughts of trailing wisteria and a delicate colour palette of baby blues, soft lavender and dusky pinks which all work effortlessly for a wedding. The style also offers a variety of ways to add elegant details to elevate the luxury-feel of your wedding, such as having personalised wax seals, or a crest designed that unifies your new families. These can then be used in a variety of forms throughout the celebration such as on your invitations, printed at the end of your ceremony aisle or embroidered onto napkins for example.
After so much pent-up frustration at not being able to celebrate properly over the past couple of years, themed parties and also pre-wedding parties are far bigger than a more traditional ‘rehearsal’ dinner. Couples are going all-out to find a way to celebrate their wedding in a fun and stylish way and choosing a design or ‘theme’ that is relevant to them without being too literal or tired, but rather done in a stylish and modern way.”
Gwenda Jeffs, Editor – Green Union
“I might be a little biased, but I’d like to say ‘sustainability’ – and for once, I don’t think this is wishful thinking anymore! It’s easier than ever to find eco-wedding inspiration, to adopt simple, budget-friendly approaches to every aspect of the wedding day, and to find link-minded wedding professionals to help bring it all together. It’s not about doing everything perfectly, but trying to do your best wherever you can and making conscious choices where they present themselves.”
Melissa Woods, Founder – Un-Wedding
“I think the most important overall trend for couples celebrating weddings in 2022 is mindful fashion with an emphasis on sustainability over extravagance. That could come in the form of renting outfits, upcycling or choosing from ethical designers only.”
Emma McKinnon, Director – SuperNova Wedding Design & Flowers
“2022 is going to be HUGE for weddings after waiting so long after COVID restrictions. The bigger the better with hanging floral installations and statement arches/ceremony decor – after all this waiting, brides are going to be celebrating in serious style!!”
Dominique Douglas, Owner – Stylish Events
“I think the most important trend for couples celebrating weddings in 2022 will be to make their wedding “personal”. A wedding is really all about being surrounded by people who love you and are so happy to see you happy. So with that in mind, think about the things you love to do together and bring those elements into your day – whether that be in the food or wine your serve, the music you play, the design of your tablescape or even what you will name your tables. Your wedding should be truly unique. Don’t worry too much about trends, images on social media or what other people are doing for their wedding – it’s your day so do it your way.”
Dave Ross – Black Pearl Wedding & Events Wedding Planner
“Two trends, in particular, stand out for us. First, is the continuation of a trend that grew in popularity in the last 2 years, “Back Garden Weddings”. Providing a more secure venue, that can host their wedding to a more intimate collection of a couple’s nearest and dearest, back garden weddings and wedding receptions also enable couples to avoid potentially expensive venue hire costs, and instead concentrate their spending on other areas of their wedding, to create the perfect vision for them, in the safety and intimacy of their own home.
Secondly, are weekday weddings. While not entirely new as a concept, the popularity of weekday weddings grew during the pandemic, as a way to mitigate the huge number of rescheduled ceremonies. The costs are typically reduced during a weekday wedding, and given many people’s work commitments, it can help refocus the guest list to those most crucial to a couple’s big day.
Practicality is the common denominator in these continuing changes, allowing a couple to maximise their finances for the wedding, without compromising vision, attendance from those most important, and of course, wellbeing!”
Charlotte Green, Floral Designer – Verity & Thyme
“I believe the most important overall trend for couples celebrating in 2022 will be environmental awareness and sustainable sourcing. Many couples will hopefully be asking how their suppliers can minimise their environmental impact on their big day, and pick businesses based on their environmental credentials.”
The musicians’ view
Phil Swan, Alleycatz – 2021 Most Booked Wedding Band on Encore
“I think after the last 2 years, I’ve noticed people are now more open to having their wedding on any day of the week. This could be down to lack of availability at venues.”
Sam Burkey – most booked Singing Guitarist
“I think the backlog of weddings and wedding venue bookings will mean that more people will get married at home if it’s possible to do so”.
Lilac Sheer – one of most booked band leaders
“I think DJ Live will be a trend for 2022. This is essentially a manned DJ set with roaming instruments playing alongside, like saxophone, percussion, guitar, violin, trumpet etc. While the classic live band will never go out of style, the younger generation likes to have a good party and hiring a DJ Live service resembles being in a club. Also, the younger generation listens to current chart music which is heavily produced, meaning you would need a larger band to mimic the original track sound, but with the DJ live option you can get the original track sound, with 1, 2 or more live instruments adding to the texture, without the cost of a full band.”
Cristinel Bacanu – most booked wedding violinist on Encore
“It’s very hard to predict this year’s wedding trends, from the sort of bookings I’m receiving at the moment it seems that- “traditional fiddler” – seems quite popular with clients requesting me to perform without amplification nor backing tracks, I’m very excited about it as it’s something and I love “different”!
Rachael Gladwin – most booked wedding harpist on Encore
“For harpists and string groups, pop and movie music with a classical twist always stays popular. I predict we’ll be seeing lots of requests for recent romantic ballads such as Ed Sheeran’s/Taylor Swift’s ‘The Joker and the Queen’, plus hits from fab new films like Encanto and Sing 2.”