Wedding Trends and The Planning Process are what we make of them... There are no absolutes when it comes to putting together the details of your own unique Special Day. But here are some ideas for what many wedding pros think that 2022 has in store, as far as trends and fresh inspiration!
Grey & Organic Green, often accompanied with a hint of Silver or Copper
Romantic Color Palette - soft, subdued (though not necessarily pastel), often with a recurring jeweled accent
Bold & Vibrant - think beach theme... but bringing these hues to any wedding, anywhere! So many couples (and guests!) are eager to let loose and PARTY, that bold colors are definitely trending for 2022!
Pantone Color Of The Year? "The new Pantone color of the year for 2022 is Very Peri (aka Pantone #17-3938). This is a unique blend of red and blue which displays “a carefree confidence and a daring curiosity that animates our creative spirit”." It can be paired easily with crisp white or the shine of sheer black... varied hues of purple... natural greens and organic browns (earth tones)... peach / soft rose are lovely accent color but as a single pairing with Very Peri results in a downplay of the boldness of this Pantone pick.
Personalized - The LGBTQ+ community has always stayed true to authenticity, when it comes to wedding plans... but with so many celebrations having been postponed this past two years... many couples are more committed than ever to personalizing just about everything about their Big Day. From picking just the right date (maybe an anniversary of the first meeting... or a blending of birthdates...) to going beyond diamonds in the wedding jewelry and opting for birthstones or anniversary-based gems... to selecting a themed wedding... and certainly to Wedding Colors. If your partner adores purple and you adore brown - find hues such as lavender and mocha, and make it work! After all, this day is all about the two of you - Enjoy!
GOING EASY ON THE FLORALS---
Many couples are getting creative with their decor, and not including as many florals. Sure, bouquets and boutoinneres are still very popular, but for centerpieces and accent decor, many are opting to look beyond the beauty of flowers. Why? Well, there is indeed a shortage of florals anticipated for 2022, and of course supply issues in many areas continue to be a challenge. Also, more and more couples are thinking "green" and choosing to use FABRIC DESIGNS, ARTISTIC LIGHTING, and other display items that are considered to be more environmentally friendly, since they can be rented and easily re-used. That being said, couples who do opt to indulge in floral decor often find ways to donate the pieces after their reception is over - either to family and friends, or to local retirement homes, hospitals, etc.
Other Decor Trends?
*Discretion and Beauty with Florals - finding ways to add polish and finesse to your celebration by using florals, but not over-using. Consider pressed, edible flowers as decoratives on your gorgeous wedding cake or mini-cupcakes... Garnish a signature drink... Wear a floral crown. Giving a visual of flowers throughout your celebration brings them in, without going over the top.
*Water Features - these can be tabletop, electric displays or larger waterfall-like features that adorn pathways or corner areas... Or get creative with vases and other glass accessories filled with colored water, beads and decoratives that suit your theme, bubbles, waterproof lights, floating candles, etc.
*Simplicity & Elegance - this can be easily done! Imagine a bottle of wine or champagne, set as a centerpiece on each of your reception tables, along with all the wine glasses for each guest. Accent with a fabric piece or center linen, and a small strand of beads or battery operated lights. Drape colored tulle or satin over and around to bring it all together... Beautiful, as well as interactive! Other ideas include table centerpieces using goodies for your guests - such as a rustic basket filled with bags of springtime flower seeds, accented of course with your custom wedding label and memorable quote such as "Love is Always in Bloom!" Personalized koozies, coasters, and other small gifts are also options that can be set lovingly in to a bowl or basket as a centerpiece at your reception tables or serving stations. Sparklers or vibrant ribbon wands (for use at the end of the evening) in decorative vases are another simple way to bring a functional, yet appealing polish to your reception decor.
*Connection to Nature - many 2022 wedding designs are inclusive of natural elements. Yes, 'rustic' is still trending, but you don't have to choose that look in order to include Mother Nature in your wedding decor. Unique plants, that accent your theme, and leaf or succulent bouquets.. and options such as tree limbs or tree-inspired decoratives continue to be very popular. Hanging seating cards or small keepsakes from the bough of a tree or naturally created archway are not new for 2022, but remain eye-catching and beautiful. Your floral designer may have exciting options to suggest, such as bark or other leaf decoratives, or dried florals such as pampas grass... that you may find are the perfect fit for your accents. Combining COLORS & TEXTURES... wooden signage... hand crafted woven baskets... pottery / wooden / crafted serving ware... uniquely created gifts for wedding attendants that are made by local artists... these are all popular for this year's celebrations!
OR... NOT GOING EASY ON THE FLORALS---
On the other hand, some couples this year are eager to boldly bring Nature in to their wedding theme. So much so, that turning their event into a garden scene (whether an indoor or outdoor ceremony/reception) is their unwavering vision. Florals often are a big part of that! Hanging florals that make the ceiling seem like a living canopy... multiple floral and naturally created archways... a recurring blend of texture and diverse natural elements... Invite elegance, whimsy and creativity in to your Special Day with a breathtaking design based on florals!
Other Artistic and Theatrical Designs are indeed on the rise for 2022. Ask your wedding designer, your venue's onsite wedding planner, floral artist or other vendors for inspiration and ideas about how your decor can go over the moon! Remember, your vendors truly want to make your day one-of-a-kind, and most of them welcome your inquiries and love to help with suggestions and referrals!
Guests Dressing to Impress - So many of us have felt isolated this past couple of years due to the ongoing challenges of the pandemic... And if there's one thing most of us can agree on, it's that we're all soooo past ready to gather together and PARTY!! Play on this enthusiasm, and openly invite your guests to either dress to join in on your wedding theme... or DRESS UP in classically formal attire, or theatrically inspired attire, or go all out with whatever style they may choose. We definitely suggest going all out, and inviting others to do the same!
LARGER, MORE INTERACTIVE CELEBRATIONS---
While many LGBTQ+ couples throughout the years have held large wedding celebrations with budgets topping hundreds of thousands of dollars... most couples we have chatted with since the launch of RainbowWeddingNetwork.com (back in March, 2000) have opted for more conservatively priced events. Many visionaries in the wedding industry are telling us that 2022 will bring escalating numbers of larger weddings; however, we're not sure we agree - at least not within our community. What we do agree with, however, is that most LGBTQ+ couples will want to CELEBRATE on a large scale, and definitely include elements that will facilitate authentic interactions and bonding between everyone attending the wedding. We are also seeing extended timeframes for receptions, to make the enjoyment last even longer!
Ideas to promote more Interactivity and Fun??
*DANCING, of course! Let there be dancing!!
*DANCING with a FACILITATOR, INSTRUCTOR or EMCEE
(...prompt everyone to get involved!)
*MUSICAL INTROS - Remember to include your heritage and/or interests through music! Plan ahead with your DJ so that s/he can intro songs or musical pieces, provide backstories, history, etc to accompany what is played. This simple addition will be a memorable way to invite your guests (even those who don't dance!) to take part with the vibe and entertainment.
*CARICATURISTS or WEDDING SKETCH ARTISTS
*STROLLING VIOLINIST or GUITARIST (a strolling magician can also add a certain flair, especially if you're having a themed event or if you will have a high number of kids attending your reception!)
*ARTISTIC KEEPSAKE STATION/s - such as a serving plate for the Happy Couple, which each guest autographs... or a digital guest book in which everyone not only signs in, but also shares inspriational quotes or images... or a station where guests create their own sand art with rainbow colored sand, as a take-home keepsake for themselves...
*WEDDING PINATAS - if you have a lot of children attending your reception, the traditional way to open your Wedding Pinata may suit just fine. Other options however include pulling dual ribbons (as a couple); it makes for aa casual and preliminary intro to the fun of your cake cutting ceremony that will take place later. Remember, kid-oriented candy is not the only thing that can fill a pinata! Consider small keepsakes, rainbow colored lollipops, small sized plastic bottles of liquor. Your Pinata can be custom made, to match your wedding colors and theme!
*CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY IDEAS
(such as a few polaroid cameras circulating midst the guests: the spontaneity of a polaroid never goes out of style! ...A large screen that is synced with your wedding keywords, so that guests can upload their chats and photos and broadcast throughout your reception for all to see... Chat with your wedding photographer or photobooth vendor in advance, about fun ways to create photos inclusive of all of your guests, or groups of guests. This can include props, furniture, custom-made signs or other elements, or the natural scenery of your reception decor - get seriously creative!)
SIGNATURE DESSERTS & BEVERAGE STATIONS---
Along the lines of promoting interactivity and FUN... varying dessert options and offering beverage stations is not a new idea, but it's certainly trending for 2022. Enjoying the tradition of a wedding cake is still a must-do for most couples; however, multiple desserts is certainly not out of the question!! Fruit pies are a nostalgic treat... offering a Pie Station, or serving small slices after dinner is a lovely way to indulge your guests, and you may be surprised just how many conversations this simple sweet treat can inspire. Cookie tables (a Pittsburgh favorite!!) are also a very special way to allow everyone to nibble throughout your reception, and also share recipes and promote fresh dialogue. Cookies brought in by various guests are an amazingly touching way of blending families! Macaroon Towers are also quite popular, and offer a more sophisticated style to your accent dessert. Signature drinks from your bartender will also be a hit - multi-colored martinis are an easy way to bring in the rainbow theme.... Fruit Stations are a great way to provide kids at the party with some favorite options, so that they have a variety of yummy, healthy choices. Beverage Stations beyond the bar too, are a simple yet lively way to allow guests to pick and choose what they'd like. And varied beverages can fit in so well with different THEMES and SEASONAL WEDDINGS - a hot coffee and cocoa station for a nighttime, outdoor reception... an iced tea and infused water station for a daytime, summer reception... Snow cones? Rainbow frozen treats (sometimes infused with liquor)? An ice cream bar, because "Love is Sweet??" Consider all your options!!
So many in the LGBTQ+ community have been environmentally conscious for years, even decades. That translates, of course, to thinking similarly when planning a wedding... and there are some easy ways to incorporate a sense of "GREEN" into any celebration!
Consider organics, as well as go local whenever possible. Organic farmers, restaurants and chefs, whether for your catering... or for your florals... Just that choice alone can seriously lessen the impact on the environment overall: think how much trucking, gasoline, shipping etc is involved in sending food, florals and other perishables across the country or across the world. And don't be shy to inquire with your decor specialists, wedding planner and other vendors about their own commitment to going local. The more, the better!
Re-use and Recycle. Many brides and grooms of course want their own wedding apparel to be unique and custom made... but sometimes certain apparel for your wedding can be gently used. Consider lightly used apparel for your attendants... (online searches can sometimes yield amazing results!)... or even consider asking your attendants to pick out their own attire - and encourage them to choose something they might wear again to another function or celebration someday. You can certainly specify style and/or color, but let them choose the rest, and it may end up an outfit they'll wear out on the town someday. If you are planning on having children as part of the ceremony, for instance as a ring bearer or flower attendant, gently used formal wear for kids is relatively easy to find online! Oftentimes others have to purchase new for their little one to participate in a wedding, and it is never worn again... so they turn to eBay or another similar platform to try and pass it on. -An easy way for you to not only find ways to save a little cash, but also lessen your celebration's environmental impact.
Fabric or wooden florals? Many of them truly are incredible!! Take a look at some of your options, and remember what great keepsakes these make!
DESTINATION EVENTS & LONG WEDDING WEEKENDS---
Thinking of a destination event in an exotic location... where EVERY DETAIL is taken care of for you?? You're not alone! The intimacy, the adventure... PLUS the perk of getting away for a trip even before the wedding ceremony begins! Destination Weddings today often have larger guest counts than in the past, but of course if you're planning to go big then it's suggested to give ample advance notice so that your guests can make appropriate travel arrangements. Smaller events can still be more spur of the moment; however, destination wedding planners today are offering quite an expanded array of amazing opportunities, so be sure to look into this option ahead of time so that you can decide what is right for you and your fiancee, your budget, and the expectations you have for Your Special Day.
Locations? Be sure to do your research, or consult with your travel agent or wedding planner to be sure the location you choose is LGBTQ+ welcoming. And not just for the wedding itself, but for your honeymoon plans after. You want to be sure you can display your affection comfortably as you indulge in outings, meals and all your honeymoon adventures.
Extended Wedding Weekends are also on the rise for 2022. Again, so many of our couples (and guests!) have anticipated gathering together after a long two years... planning an ongoing wedding event over several days might be the perfect way to enjoy your celebration to the fullest! These events can include amazing experiential excursions for you and your attendants and/or many of your guests, whether adventurous (white water rafting, custom jewelry making), fun & upbeat (party bus / citywide tour on a private transport or private bicycle bar, back-to-back reception parties), relaxing (spa day, family picnic), nostalgic (trip to some of the places you and your fiancee frequented while dating: a favorite park, museum, sports stadium, coffeeshop or restaurant...) And keep in mind that relaxed time is important too, to allow everyone the opportunity simply to gather, chat and enjoy celebrating the circle of loved ones you've brought together.
And... remember to look into creating a custom Wedding Map for your extended weekend, to guide and inform guests about all the activities you have planned! These can be adorable keepsakes!
Thinking of inviting your guests to contribute to a favorite charity or organization, in lieu of gifts? Many couples are choosing LGBTQ+ resources, and other couples are focusing in on organizations of all kinds, particularly local ones. While non-profits that offer services for people with diverse needs, or animals, or the environment, are all well worth your investments... many are considering local for-profit businesses as well; specifically those hit hard by the pandemic. Small businesses of all kinds, including bookshops, independently owned restaurants, decor/houseware/craft shops, even service oriented small businesses such as spas and salons have all been impacted by ongoing challenges these past two years. With customers in quarantine, or reluctant to go out... and so many consumers turning to online purchases instead of in-store, countless business owners have struggled to keep doors open. So if you are thinking about sharing the love of your celebration by GIVING BACK, consider a broad scope of options when referring family and friends to donate!
Remember, the journey of the PLANNING PROCESS itself, and YOUR FABULOUS WEDDING DAY, are as unique as you are! There are no rules, nor limits. Gather resources wherever you can find them: from family & friends, inquiring about expanded ideas from your wedding vendors, researching online, browsing planning books, spiritual books, works of literature and other treasures at the bookstore or library... Take time to set aside date nights with your sweetie and simply brainstorm! The planning process itself can be stressful, certainly, but it can also be lively, engaging and fun. You may learn new and wonderful things about each other, as you make plans to celebrate your love. Planning is a special chapter in your lives too, and culminates in that amazing manifestation of the vision of your wedding day becoming a reality. ENJOY!!