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What’s Trending for 2022 Weddings

2022 is set to be a banner year in the wedding world, with a whopping 2.5 million weddings planned for 2022—that’s a 40-year high! With so much wedding buzz in the air, you might be curious to find out what’s trending for couples planning to tie the knot in 2022. If that’s you, you’re in luck—Zola just published their First Look Report for 2022, covering everything from guest list trends and top wedding colors to average budget costs. Here’s what you need to know!

Couples are planning with more intention than ever

According to the report, couples planning to wed in 2022 have been engaged for 18 months on average, which is much longer than the pre-pandemic average engagement length of 12 months. Surprisingly, just 17% of 2022 weddings are postponements—which means couples are intentionally taking longer to plan their wedding with more specificity and thoughtfulness.

  • 40% feel more excited than ever and are counting down the days

  • 42% say it’s more meaningful now to be able to celebrate with loved ones

  • 28% are just really ready to party

  • 59% feel closer to their partner than ever after wedding planning together

In addition to their wedding, couples are having 3+ celebrations

It’s clear couples are ready to party! In addition to their wedding day, couples are having 3+ events on average to celebrate their upcoming nuptials. Here’s a breakdown of what other events couples are planning:

  • Bach Party: 81%

  • Rehearsal Dinner: 80%

  • Wedding Shower: 68%

  • Reception After Party: 37%

  • Goodbye Brunch: 30%

  • Engagement Party: 26%

Guest lists are longer in 2022

In light of the pandemic and all the disarray it caused for couples who were planning to wed in 2020, data shows that 2022 guest lists are getting longer, with two-thirds of couples inviting over 100 guests. Here’s the full breakdown of guest list trends for 2022:

  • Keeping it small (under 30): 3%

  • 30 - 50 guests: 4%

  • 50 - 75 guests: 9%

  • 75-100 guests: 17%

  • 100 - 150 guests: 33%

  • 50 - 200 guests: 22%

  • 200+ guests: 13%

While guest lists might be getting longer on average, the trend of planning weddings with more intention than ever applies to the guest list, too. It turns out that 23% of couples are actually uninviting guests to their wedding, for four main reasons:

  • #1 - The relationship has changed and they no longer want them in attendance

  • #2 - They had to downsize their guest list

  • #3 - They found their values no longer align with these guests

  • #4 - They did not feel that these guests were COVID-safe

⅔ of couples are going over their wedding budgets

Whether it’s due to a longer-than-average engagement or simply wanting what they want, 69% of couples are spending more than they initially budgeted for two main reasons:

  • They found that wedding costs are more expensive than they anticipated

  • They’re willing to spend more to get exactly what they want

As far as how much they’re spending, Zola found that 27% of couples budgeted between $10,000 - $20,000 and 31% budgeted $20,000 - $40,000 in 2022. Otherwise, budgets are across the map, spanning from less than $5K to over $100K. Here’s the full spend breakdown:

  • $5,000 or less: 5%

  • $5,000 - $10,000: 11%

  • $10,000 - $15,000: 14%

  • $15,000 - $20,000: 14%

  • $20,000 - $30,000: 18%

  • $30,000 - $40,000: 13%

  • $40,000 - $50,000: 9%

  • $50,000 - $75,000: 9%

  • $75,000 - $100,000: 3%

  • $100,000 or more: 2%

Here’s a look at what items in particular couples are willing to splurge on:

  • Photographer: 73%

  • Open bar: 60%

  • Venue: 55%

  • Attire (wedding dress, suit, shoes, etc.): 47%

  • Catering: 42%

  • Music: 38%

  • Hair & Makeup: 31%

  • Flowers: 27%

  • Videographer: 27%

  • Cake: 14%

Couples are divided when it comes to wedding traditions

As we’ve seen, 2022 weddings are all about personalization, which means couples are pretty divided when it comes to how much they value traditional wedding customs:

  • 53% find value in participating in the same traditions as family & friends

  • 41% are indifferent

  • 15% find them outdated

Some couples are picking out one or two traditions that they like, or finding new traditions to replace the old ones. Overall, 43% of couples are incorporating at least one meaningful cultural tradition in their big day. That said, one third of couples expressed feeling pressure to incorporate traditions.

If one thing is for sure, we can all agree that 2022 weddings are more personal than ever. Couples are really leaning into the whole “it’s your day” thing, and we’re here for it! From choosing vendors that align with their own values to intentionally taking longer to plan the wedding of their dreams, couples are getting serious about making their dream wedding come true.

That said, planning your dream wedding doesn’t have to put you in debt (nor should it!). For help making your day grand while still being budget-friendly, Meant2Be Events is here to help you make it happen.

Guest Writer: Sophie Isbell

Sophie writes on behalf of Zola about all things wedding planning, serving couples from engagement to “I Do”. Specifically, she’s interested in simplifying the wedding planning process with the help of modern tools and actionable solutions for all types of couples.

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