11 wedding trends emerge in 2022 — the biggest year for weddings

Weddings are back, bigger and more expensive than ever. 

The Wedding Report, a market research firm, estimates 2.5 million weddings will be held in 2022, the highest in the United States since 1984.

And couples are spending more to get the wedding of their dreams, with a lot of that money going toward nontraditional themes, over-the-top florals, one-of-a-kind cakes and highly personalized elements throughout the celebrations. 

From bouquets to venues — and everything in between — check out what regional brides and vendors have to say about what’s in and what’s out for weddings this year.

Tuesday is the new Saturday

Paula Bernstein remembers that weekday wedding bookings “used to be an absolute never-in-a-million years.”

The ballroom at Château Grande Hotel in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Bernstein is vice president of sales and marketing for David Burke Hospitality Management, which manages Orchard Park by David Burke and provides food and beverage for events at Château Grande Hotel, both in East Brunswick, New Jersey. 

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Those million years seem to be over. Château Grande Hotel hosts at least one weekday wedding per week, with about 5 to 10% of its weekday bookings taking place between Monday and Wednesday.

Weekdays are viable alternatives for many couples otherwise struggling to find available venues, many of which are booked years in advance. The backlog of countless postponed weddings from 2020 meant that in 2021, venue and vendor availability on Fridays and Saturdays was scarce.

An outdoor ceremony at Chateau Grande Hotel.

According to Wedding Report, 1.27 million weddings took place in 2020, nearly half as many as usual. Then, in 2021, 1.93 million couples tied the knot. And, according to a Zola report, 20% more weekday weddings are booked for 2022 than in 2019.

“The weekends are booking and booked, so if you want to get married and your favorite Saturday night in October is not available but that Thursday night is, you’re heavily considering that more so because of COVID,” Bernstein said. “The reality is, couples are going to have many more options available to them if they choose those midweek days.”

Although Katryn Flynn and Colin Pascik of Hackettstown, New Jersey, who got engaged in December of 2020, booked their 2022 Thursday wedding on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, well in advance anyway, they found booking vendors was easier due to their midweek date.

Katryn Flynn and Colin Pascik are engaged to be married this year.

Flynn found both venue and vendor prices were discounted. Vendors generally charged about 10-15% less for Thursday weddings, she said.

At Château Grande Hotel, weekday weddings generally cost 25% less than their weekend counterparts, a big pro for couples on a budget.

The biggest weekday wedding “con?” Keeping guests happy, stress-free and in attendance, said Bernstein.

“Brides and grooms do have some nerves about who is going to be attend and what kind of challenge that is going to provide to their guests,” she said. “They don’t want to put guests in a position where they have to make choices, so they struggle with that.”

Before Flynn got engaged, she said she would “never never never” considered booking a weekday wedding to avoid inconveniencing her guests. But since she is having a destination wedding and her guests are scattered around the country, she figured it didn’t make much of a difference what day they chose.

A wedding at the Dunes House at the Palmetto Dunes Resort on Hilton Head Island in South Carolina, where Katryn Flynn and Colin Pascik are getting married.

“People say, ‘Oh well, if I have to go that far anyway, I might as well take some extra days and go see the area and hang out and actually see the bride and groom,’ “ she said, adding that she has received few declines from her guests and little negative feedback about her date.

“We also figured anyone who wants to be there will be there,” Flynn continued. “Anybody that is really important to us will find a way to make it work.”

Weekday wedding attendance is typically smaller, Bernstein said, but widespread remote work opportunities also have made weekday weddings more doable.

A wedding ceremony at Château Grande Hotel in East Brunswick.

“Everyone’s work schedule has completely changed,” Bernstein continued. “Now everyone can work from everywhere, so to go to a wedding on a Monday or Tuesday night is not so farfetched because you can work from your hotel room all day and still go to the wedding that night.”

Personalized themes are big

Devon Mendoza and her fiancé Andrew Savage will marry at Cedar Mahantongo Lodge in Dalmatia, Pennsylvania, on Memorial Day weekend with a theme that is dear to both of them — a Juarassic Park/Notre Dame mashup. 

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