2022 Wedding Trends According to a Luxury Wedding Planner in Carmel

Trends in the wedding world do dictate a lot of what couples want when planning their special day. There are many elements thanks to social media that we see come and go each year. I like many planners, love some of the trends that come and loathe some of the others.

In the world of Luxury weddings design trends are not as common as they are in the lovely market, but the trends are more focused on the couple’s and the guests’ feelings and experiences. 

Looking back at 2021 one of the big trends that I saw all the time was customized Neon signs, but already we are seeing that trend burn out (pun intended) prior to the end of the year. 

I started looking at some of the themes I am seeing a lot for 2022 and doing a round up of trends I see as growing in popularity for 2022. And I should mention, these are all trend I am super on board with!  

Statement Wedding Accessories

I love a bride with style and flair, I am loving the looks of bridal accessories that are a statement in and of themselves. Over the last few years we have seen the rise of Capes on wedding dresses and while I think those are beautiful I am seeing Brides think more of hair pieces, really ornate veils, and one that I personally love, headbands. One style of headband that I just can’t get enough of are the gorgeous pieces of art from Lena Rom and Jennifer Behr. I expect to see a lot of veils adorned with Pearls and really classic, elegant looks to take veils to a new level beyond lace trim in the coming season. 

Couple on a vintage car with custom leather jackets and custom Nikes. Photo by Brandon Scott

Another fun element I have seen growing in popularity is brides wearing custom sneakers for the reception. Being comfortable is key to having fun on your day and for many women, that doesn’t mean stiletto heels all night, instead it means kickin off your heel and donning a pair of kicks. I had one couple that had custom ordered nikes to wear at their reception and I love that they will be able to wear those and think of their wedding day for years to come. 

Immersive Experiences

Couples planning their wedding no longer come to me asking for just a single day’s celebration. Almost every couple I work with now wants to give their guest an entire weekend experience. After so much time secluded, couples want to spend as much time with their friends and family as possible and the best way to do that is to plan an entire weekend away for everyone. This means being a great host for the whole weekend and organizing multiple events. Retreat style weddings are not a new concept but they are growing in popularity. I recently shared why I (and most of my couples) love retreat styles wedding and you can read more here

Welcome Party and Taco Night at Gardener Ranch Oaklands Lawn. Photo by Pocketful Of Plans

Unexpected Entertainment

Entertainment is a huge part of your day, from the music that greets guests at the ceremony to the band or DJ that gets the party going late into the night, but what about some really fun and unexpected elements. I love all the fun, interactive, and unexpected elements that couples are excited to incorporate into their day and so many creative people are taking entertainment far beyond the original music and photo booth options of the past. 

Some fun examples of new and exciting unexpected entertainment are; The After The Tone Guest book, a cool whiskey bar or interactive champagne experiences, honestly, I have even seen fire dancers at weddings, night time glow golf, creativity knows no bounds. There are so many fun possibilities. It’s really important to think of elements that relate to the couple and their interests, hobbies, or personalities. I spend a lot of time trying to get to know my couples and their daily lives and how to really incorporate them into the day. You can also check out my blog of 3 Ways to Personalize Your Wedding. 

Group of men cheers-ing with whiskey from a whiskey bar. Photo by Britt Rene Photography

Surprise and Delight Moments

Guests are often traveling a great distance to be with you for the weekend and expressing your love and gratitude to them is important. The best way to do this is to think of ways to surprise and delight your guests. A lot of focus on the surprise and delight is often given to the actual event but it is important to think of other touch points through the weekend. A great way to do this is to surprise and delight them upon arrival. I think the days of giving a welcome bag full of “things” are over, it’s important to think of quality and useful items and products that are local and relevant to the destination. I am really seeing couples focus on quality over quantity when it comes to thoughtful gifting. It’s also important that the items be something that they can either enjoy/use over the weekend or easily take home. 

Another option that I love is sending guests away from the wedding with a little treat for the morning after. Maybe you don’t have time for a farewell brunch or don’t love the idea of making guests scramble to get to another event before their departure so send them away with a gourmet muffin, croissant, or specialty granola to enjoy on their way to the airport. 

Welcome bag for wedding
Wedding Welcome bag with custom Monterey Art. Photo by Barkis Co art work by Little Bird Paper Company.

Black tie and Dressing to impress

We were all stuck at home for the better part of a year to 18 months, so now people want to get out and dress to impress. This year more than ever my clients are really embracing the Black tie and upscale opulence more than ever. Before when we all had calendars filled with obligations I feel like people didn’t look forward to an event to get really dressed up for but now it seems like everyone is excited for a reason to get dolled up in their best attire.

Guests at The Inn at Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach. Photo by De Joy Photography.

Statement Bouquets

Now is the time to make a statement, and what a better way to do that then a really gorgeous and beautiful bouquet. A bride’s bouquet is easily one of the most photographed elements of the day next to the couple, so it is a great opportunity to really shine a light on your style. I love a good statement bouquet, and a statement doesn’t just have to be a huge amount of florals but it can also be bright colors, small single flower bouquets (think a petite bouquet of Lily of the Valley), or unusual elements that really stand out like protea or ginger. 

Large statement Bridal Bouquet
Statement Bouquet from Luxury Wedding at De Tierra Vineyards. Photo By AGS Photo Art

Casual Elegance

Casual elegance is something that we have seen grow in popularity over the last several years, and I don’t think it is going anywhere soon. This trend in wedding decor is when something feels elegant, gorgeous and thoughtful but also warm, welcoming and inviting. California is the home of casual elegance, with so many weddings taking place outdoors year round its the perfect setting for a casual elegant wedding. Elements that exude casual elegance to me are outdoor garden ceremonies, cocktails pre-ceremony, soft and plentiful seating areas for the reception, a thoughtful and fresh menu, and attention to details which guests interact with, from the place settings to the space they have at the tables. Comfort is key, when you feel relaxed and comfortable at an event you can help but feel the elegance and attention the hosts put into it on your behalf. 

Casual but Elegant wedding at Gardener Ranch. Photo by Photo Flood Studio

Really unique ceremonies blending heritage and traditions 

More than ever I have seen couples placing a lot of time and attention to detail on the ceremony. The ceremony after all is the reason that everyone is gathered to celebrate. I am also seeing couples who want to blend their backgrounds, religious, cultural traditions in new and modern ways. I have had couples mix together persian and christian wedding traditions to make their own really personal and beautiful ceremony. Another that mixed their jewish traditions with their partner’s muslim and Indian traditions. The results are some of the most memorable ceremonies I have ever witnessed. I highly suggest if you are planning, put a great deal of energy and thought into what your ceremony actually looks like and what you would dream of incorporating. I find that sometimes it is a bit of an after thought for some couples and that shouldn’t be the case. 

Persian Christian Ceremony at Tehama Golf Club
A Persian Sofreh and Christian Arch to mix the couple’s heritage in their Ceremony. Photo By Britt Rene Photography.

I hope that you enjoyed my take on some of the biggest trends in weddings for 2022. If you are planning a wedding in the Northern California area, specifically a wedding in Carmel Valley, Carmel, Monterey or Pebble Beach I would love to help you personalize and create a stress-free dream wedding experience. Reach out today to see how I can help you. 


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