By Jessica Morgan
2022 Summer Wedding Trends
Some wedding trends, like a focus on sustainability, remain but there are several twists on the way — from the return of pearls to non-traditional flower girls.
Blame Bridgerton, but it appears that the return of Regency-era fashion is now being combined with a little ’80s flare. So, corset bodices … but also puffy sleeves! After years of Zoom weddings and socially distanced ceremonies, brides are looking to make a statement.
A FLORAL TWIST
Back in 2013, wedding flowers were bold and bright. A couple of years ago, the trend began moving toward more neutral colors. Look for brides to start mixing it up this summer, as neutral color palettes get a boost with splashes of bold accents.
NON-TRADITIONAL FLOWER GIRLS
Your flower girl doesn’t have to be a “girl,” or even a woman at all. Grandmothers will be dropping petals down some summer wedding aisles, while a “flower man” takes over at others. Mix it up to add a bit of fun.
The classic black-and-white color pattern is also set to return in a big way, as traditional styles and simple lines take center stage after years of exciting experimentation. What’s old is new again!
If the color scheme is simple, then why not give your cocktails a boost? This summer will be marked by ever more interesting ingredient choices, made complete with eye-catching details like garnishes, stir-sticks and sparkles.
The sustainability trend continues, as eco-conscious weddings dresses and lab-grown engagement rings are joining hip picks like biodegradable cutlery.
In this case, it’s the color green, a hot new color for bridesmaids’ dresses. Emerald engagement rings are increasingly popular, too. Some adventurous brides are incorporating shades of green too, as they tie in their ceremony with the simplicity and grounding qualities of nature.
The return of Regency-style fashion was dubbed “regencycore.” So, call this trend “pearlcore,” as these traditional gems move well beyond the choker. Look for pearls everywhere from wedding cakes to décor, accessories like veils and capes, to shoes and manicures.
Rather than tried-and-true sit-down dinners built from a series of serving stations, look for summer weddings with their own kind of progressive dinner featuring appetizer-sized portions. There’s an increased opportunity for food adventures, and it’s so much easier to mix and mingle.
Buying the most important dress you’ll ever wear doesn’t come with a handy manual. But there are certain typical missteps you should try to avoid.
RUSHING TO DECIDE
With so much to consider, from shape and fabric to cut and size, the process of shopping for your summer wedding dress can be simply overwhelming. But rushing through the experience can leave you regretting your decision when the big day finally arrives. Don’t settle on a particular style, or even color, too early in the process. Go past initial online searches and your first fitting. Instagram and Pinterest are great resources nowadays for discovering new gown ideas. Seek out designers, blogs and salons where you can see the dresses on real people. Remember the perfect dress probably won’t be one of the initial ones you try on.
BUYING TOO EARLY
It’s tempting to purchase as soon as you’re engaged. After all, gowns may take anywhere from 4 to 10 months to complete. Shipping time, multiple fittings and alterations can add to the lead time. Even so, don’t order a dress too early. This is a huge investment, often running well past the $1,000 threshold, so there’s no need to purchase before you’re ready — either personally or financially. Purchase too early and you might miss out on a dress that better fits your pocketbook (and taste). Take advantage of sales opportunities. Savings here can be put to use elsewhere on your special day.
TOO MANY VOICES
Every bride wants to surround herself with friends and family as a wedding day approaches. Moms may provide valuable insight, while gal pals are always there for emotional support when planning becomes overwhelming. But you’ll want to cull the group down to a trusted confidant or two when deciding on a dress. This isn’t the time for sweeping group discussions, or someone telling you only what you want to hear. (You’ll also want to check how many guests are allowed in the room at your bridal salon beforehand; many limit it to only a handful of guests, including the bride.) Your mother or a trust bridesmaid can help make the experience as relaxed as is possible — while also giving you clear, considered advice.
Skipping the Cake
Cake seems to go with weddings like brides and grooms. But don’t be afraid to buck with tradition when it comes to dessert.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Wedding cake traditions date back at least to ancient Rome. There were mentions in the medieval era, too. Early recipes relied on barley and wheat, long before newlyweds happily smashed desserts in one another’s faces. Instead, according to Gastronomica, they’d eat just a few crumbs from these scone-like creations as one of their first acts as a couple. The British started the tradition of stacking these scones, buns or cookies as high as they could, creating a forerunner for today’s tiered cakes. Sugar became more affordable into the 18th century, bringing on the advent of white icing. Brides originally handed out the cake to wedding guests, before it became a shared activity. The cake-cutting ceremony followed.
Couples are increasingly choosing something besides cake, as intricately designed petit fours, ice cream, cake pops and sorbet move onto the menu. Cupcakes have been the fastest-growing alternative, since they boast a cake-like quality, have an advantage of being very portable and can be stacked. Cheesecakes and pies can also showcase summer’s freshest fruits — and they’ll link back to earlier wedding traditions. Back then, a ring was hidden in the wedding pie and whoever found it was thought to be the next to marry — similar to our bouquet-tossing tradition today.
Miniature items are likewise easily transported as guests mix and mingle. Match different donuts, Madeleines, cream puffs, macarons and pies — or do something more exotic like banana beignet bites or tiramisu pudding shots. Summer weddings can sometimes get steamy, so consider tiny frozen creations like sorbets or daiquiris. Setting aside the tried-and-true cake option opens up a world of new options.
DO BRUNCH INSTEAD
Stack cinnamon rolls with cream-cheese icing for a fresh take on dessert that will delight your guests. Or stack them without icing, then place a fountain for dipping nearby. Try a pancake or waffle tower. They will resemble the traditional tiered cake, while giving you a chance to let your imagination run wild with decorative ideas like greenery or blooms. Then instead of cutting the cake, you can pour the syrup together as your first married act. The result is a symbolic sweet!
Apps and Your Wedding
Diving into the? world of wedding apps can be a time-consuming and confusing journey. Here’s how to know which one is right for you.
CAN’T GET STARTED?
Wedding Wire links engaged couples with thousands and thousands of vendors and venues, with millions of reviews written by real-life newlyweds. This will help you narrow things down if you’re not sure about location or pricing. There are also checklists, and templates to make and keep a budget, so you can stay on track.
PLANNING WITHOUT A PLANNER
The free Wedding Happy app works like an online personal assistant, with preloaded tasks to guide engaged couples every step of the way. You can set up reminder alerts that a wedding planner would normally handle for signpost moments in the run up to the wedding, like invitation mail outs or putting down various deposits. Your event details can also be shared with anyone in your wedding party.
Mint wasn’t designed with weddings exclusively in mind, but the popular money-management site provides an easy-to-use budgeting system to help you track costs. You can sync this free app with your credit cards and bank account to monitor spending.
Who hasn’t seen a cool Instagram centerpiece and wondered who made it? Carats and Cake provides expansive details on everyone who works their weddings, from florists to caterers to photographers. Eliminate the summer wedding guesswork by digging into their reviews and portfolios. You can also book these vendors through the same site.
Destination weddings are all the rage, but where? The Venue Report offers a directory of trendy hotels, can’t-miss event spaces and party spots. From the south of France to the wilds of Montana, the site helps you filter results by price, capacity and place. Information about fees is also included, as well as direct contact information.
Household appliances are fine and all, but what about something even cooler? You can find all of the basic essentials on Zola, as with any standard department-store registry. But the app also links you up with higher-end and specialty items like Waterford Crystal stemware, the Sonos sound system, or comfy Matouk bedding. There are also group-gifting options that offer your guests the chance to go in on pricier items together.