Hollywood-style photo booths, booze tastings and flowers galore: Here’s a look at some of the hottest wedding trends for 2022.
BY LEENA RAO
Love is in the air, and even Year Three of the pandemic can’t hold Metro Detroit couples back from hosting their dream weddings. “Couples are ready to go big and celebrate because of what’s happened over the past year[s],” says Carlyn Roth, owner of Birmingham-based event-planning company The Bash.
From 3-D photo booths and blinged-out dresses to tequila tastings, over-the-top florals, and more, SEEN surveyed local wedding vendors and planners to find out about 2022’s biggest wedding trends.
2022 WEDDING STYLE TRENDS
Feel the romance
Brides are embracing feminine, romantic silhouettes and embellishments this year, says Anna Castaldi, owner of Birmingham bridal atelier Roma Sposa. “Lace is still very popular,” she says, but with a touch of personalization like bows or macrame accents. A-line dresses paired with strapless corsets, another nod to the Romantic Era, are also having a moment. “The idea is to put focus on the waistline,” says Raeshawn Bumphers, owner of Detroit’s Pink Poodle Dress Lounge.
Bump up the bling
Other trends include gown embellishments like pearls and crystals — “brides now always want more bling,” says Bumphers — and experimenting with color. Castaldi says brides are choosing gowns that are pale blue or blush pink, and asking their bridesmaids to wear multi-colored or patterned dresses.
Say yes to the dress(es)
It’s not all about the official wedding gown in 2022 — lots of brides are choosing a traditional dress for the ceremony and opting for a more dance-friendly, shorter dress (or even a jumpsuit) for the reception. “The bride is more practical now after Covid,” says Castaldi. “She wants to really enjoy her party and be comfortable when mingling with guests and dancing.”
Slim-fit tuxedos are still in style, but men are moving away from the classic black, says Ray Hines, a clothier and fashion consultant at Cicchini Custom Clothier in Birmingham. “With the pandemic, men are ready to have fun,” he says, and they’re bringing playfulness into their wedding-day wardrobe with color. Hines is seeing many grooms choose blue, green or burgundy-colored jackets — or even patterned jackets with a black lapel — which they pair with black pants and a black bowtie. Another modern twist: Many guys are going sock less with velvet slippers, Hines says.
Don’t pass the tongs! When it comes to feeding guests, individual portions are all the rage these days. Couples are coming up with creative ways to offer hors d’oeuvres, like filling single-serving paper cones with meat, cheese, and olives, says Kate Berris of Troy-based caterer Forte Belanger. “Individual packaging gives a sense of Covid-19 safety but makes it cheeky,” she says.
Around the world
Buffets and family-style dinners are out, too, Berris says, with many couples opting for food stations and a “roaming chef ” experience featuring various cuisines, from sushi and burgers to pizza. One popular choice, according to Berris: poke bowl stations, where guests can create custom poke bowls with raw fish and veggies.
Dancing and drinking work up an appetite, which make late-night snacks a must. Jennifer Hines Ajlouny, an event planner at Ferndale-based Star Trax Events, says they’re being offered in clever ways — she’s seen sliders and fries packaged in retro takeout containers, or mini Champagne bottles accompanied by chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Couples these days are focusing less on the wedding cake and getting more creative with smaller, passed desserts that make it easy for guests to stay on the dance floor. Berris has created mini donuts paired with syringes full of margaritas or caramel apples on lollipop sticks. “It’s another opportunity for a wow moment,” she says.
In the spirit
When it comes to booze, in addition to the standard full bar, many couples are offering more experiential bars — think a rare-wine tasting, or a high-end tequila station. “It’s more about the experience than even the drink,” Berris says.
Sleek, modern, and lush are three words that describe this year’s floral trends, and a lot of couples are choosing white flowers and greens to bring the “outdoor experience” indoors. “Couples are leaning towards timeless, elegant, and classic with florals,” says Roth, of The Bash. Boxwoods are popular, with many pairs sprinkling their space with the plants. “Florals are not just for dinner tables,” says Star Trax event planner Shannon McConnell, who adds that flowers are now draping the bar, food stations, and even the dance floor. At one wedding Star Trax planned, the couple covered the DJ booth with Boxwoods.
Couples are putting their stamp on everything these days, says Ajlouny, who’s seeing custom acrylic monograms of the newlyweds’ initials or LED lights with their names set against a backdrop. Another popular design trend: wrapping a plain white or wooden dance floor in vinyl, then jazzing it up with monograms or other designs.
Pump up the volume
More couples are hiring DJs alongside their wedding band, says McConnell. The DJ emcees the night and takes over when the band breaks. “The best DJs really engage with guests,” she says, adding that couples are focused on keeping guests on the dance floor now more than ever to avoid crowding at tables.
Move over, standard photo booths — Roth says couples are bringing in “glam booths” (popularized by — who else — the Kardashians) with black-and-white photos and Holly-wood-worthy lighting. The booths can also be interactive, taking 3-D videos of whoever steps inside. And, of course, the booths let guests send photos directly to their social media accounts. “It’s all about Instagrammable moments,” says Ajlouny
The unique moments extend to activities, too — no longer are weddings just about eating, drinking, and dancing. Couples are setting up mini pop-up basketball games, or beer pong tables, or hiring artists to draw caricatures of guests. “People are seeking originality now more than ever,” says Ajlouny. “People have spent the last two years not going to events so [they] want to go all out.”
Air it out
When it comes to venues, many couples will be choosing places with both outdoor and indoor options. “We are seeing a huge demand for these types of venues with the pandemic,” Ajlouny says. “Many couples want guests to feel comfortable, and not be in an enclosed space.” Unsurprisingly, fully outdoor venues are increasingly popular, Roth says, adding that if couples are opting for an indoor reception, many are gravitating towards expansive venues with tall ceilings that provide better ventilation.
If you think planning a wedding is stressful, try doing it during a pandemic. Every couple handles the stress differently, says Roth, who’s seen clients do everything from requiring guests to test themselves prior to attending to asking partygoers to submit vaccination cards. Ajlouny and McConnell say that their clients are using platforms like RSVPify, which lets guests submit their RSVPs as well as their vaccination cards.
Aside from fond memories (and maybe a hangover), Roth says that many couples are sending guests home with something to eat and/or drink — everything from apple cider and doughnuts from a local cider mill to cookies and milk. A lot of couples share a treat that holds special meaning for them, whether it’s simply a favorite dessert or nods to somewhere they may have lived. Think mini bumpy cakes (originally created by Detroit’s own Sanders) or black-and-white cookies, a New York City staple.
See how some of these trends have been implemented at these Metro Detroit and Michigan weddings.