Tips and Trends for 2022

Tips and Trends for 2022

📸: @jamalandlashanaphoto

13+ local wedding industry experts explain everything you need to know in order to plan your upcoming nuptials.

Eye of the Beholder

“Although boho and textured styles are very much in, classic glamour is making more of a presence in our weddings. Brides and bridesmaids alike are choosing ‘less is more’ types of looks. But listen, there’s always that super glamour girl, and we love those moments. They’re fun and they’re edgy. As for my ‘typical’ client, I would say classic, natural and simple are the go-to bridal looks. My team and I think that the venue says a lot about a bride. For beach front or barn weddings, those boho vibes are strong, while for your Newport mansion or chic city wedding, classic glamour is a little more popular.” — Sarah Depault, owner of Sarah Depault Beauty,

Communication is Key

“Utilize the planning services offered and communicate with each vendor even if you have a wedding planner! You can trust industry experts to guide you in the right direction!” — Greg Marcotte of Take it to the Bridge,

Under Consideration

“The trend we are seeing most is thoughtfulness. Not that there was no thought put into prior weddings, but we are seeing a true appreciation of what an honor it is to be able to host a wedding at this moment. Couples are carefully planning weekend-long celebrations to reconnect with and enjoy the company of their family and friends. Most of our 2022 couples are focusing on the guest experience.” — Danielle McCarthy and Ellen PJ Kelly, co-owners of Champagne and Ink,

Look First

“My number one piece of advice is to always do a first look because you get extra time with your spouse and you end up buying yourself so much time back to enjoy your wedding.” — Sara Smith of Sara Drew Photography,

Take the Cake

“There’s been a slight move back to big cakes — yay!  I am sensing a throwback to, ‘How can you have a wedding without cake?’ mentality. That being said, there is still a huge number of brides wanting a dessert table with their cake. I like to suggest a tiered cake as the centerpiece of the table, with enough servings for about half the guests, and then to embellish with other fun, small, easy grab-and-go desserts.  This is great for a dancing break and/or coming to or from the dance floor or the bar!”— Lisa Raffael, owner of Delicious Desserts,

More Than a Pretty Face

“Determining your hair and makeup team can be quite overwhelming. To start, I would review sites like the Knot or Wedding Wire. Always make sure you have an artist with many reputable and positive reviews and a strong contract. Sure, contracts protect vendors, but that contract should also protect you, the client. I highly suggest reaching out to multiple teams to see who is available and explain the style/vibe you are looking for. If your favorite stylists/artists aren’t available, ask them for suggestions. We all have great relationships with each other and can suggest other trustworthy vendors with potential availability. Be sure to invest in an artist who takes pride and invests in their brand, their education, and themselves. It will show in every aspect of their business, craft and personality.” — Sarah Depault, owner of Sarah Depault Beauty,

Say Yes to the Dress(es)

“Come in with the attitude that you are open to trying on different styles. We can’t tell you how many times ‘the dress’ ends up being what you least expect.” — Christina Carlson, owner of the Bridal Garden,

Custom and Creative

“Some personal touches from the couple for their guests that are popular are guest welcome bags and boxes, as well as personalized menu cards at the reception. There is no better way to really make your guests feel welcome than seeing a gift or card that is personalized to them!” — Danielle McCarthy and Ellen PJ Kelly, co-owners of Champagne and Ink,

Bevy of Bevvies

“On the beverage front, kombucha cocktails, non-alcohol beers (not just O’Douls!) and wines and seltzer bars with all the bling are a thing! Champagne towers remain strong and then Bourbon Bars and seasonal, local craft beers are as popular as ever.” — Elaine Twombly, Director of Business Development at the Catered Affair,

Double It Up

“Twins and stacks are top of the popularity this year for wedding bands. More and more brides-to-be are choosing not just one wedding band, but multiple. They are creating a symmetrical look with twin bands, or spicing up the stack with different shaped bands that create a dynamic look when combined together.”  — Janina Messerlian, Assistant General Manager of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry,

Stolen Moments

“My favorite trend of 2021 is couples choosing to read love letters or vows to each other privately. It’s a great way to take pressure off the ceremony while telling your partner how you truly feel. Bonus points go to couples who want to do this during sunset.” — Jarret Blinkhorn, owner and filmmaker of JB Horn Film,

Blushing Bride

“We’re seeing blush and nude tone linings on lace dresses. It makes the lace pop and is very complimentary on different skin tones. We’re also seeing clean, streamline-looking dresses in crepe, satin and mikado.”” — Christina Carlson, owner of the Bridal Garden,

Back to Basics

“I’m finding people are really appreciating ‘classic’ desserts such as mini whoopee pies (which is one of my biggest requests), a good old fashioned chocolate chip cookie, mini cupcakes or standard cupcakes, and, if you’re not doing a tiered display cake, a small ‘ceremonial’ cake for photo ops.” — Lisa Raffael, owner of Delicious Desserts,

Look Off Season

“January weddings have been on the up-trend in Rhode Island! Considering off-season dates (November through April) is a fantastic way to save money and secure the vendors of your dreams during the beautiful winter season.” — Greg Marcotte of Take it to the Bridge,

Timing it Out

“Couples are booking from eight months to two years out—really all over the board. As for the timing, Fridays and Sundays are still popular and cost-efficient.”  — Elaine Twombly, Director of Business Development at the Catered Affair,


“Trolleys and antique cars have always been the most popular vehicles because of their classic look. However, there has been an increase in the amount of wedding bookings for luxury vans.  They seat roughly ten to fourteen people, depending on the make and model. They have forward-facing seats and are tall enough to stand up in, with steps to walk on board.  I always tell people that if you are transporting garment bags or lots of items, avoid a limo at all costs— a limo’s trunk space is the same as a regular car.  If you have a twelve-passenger limo with twelve garment bags, they will never fit in the trunk of a limo. Luxury vans have enough room to hang them in the back and store luggage. For quick rides or for transporting items, this is the most cost-effective and smartest way to transport wedding party groups.” — Meagan Peter, director of Sales and Marketing at Rockstar Limo,

All Fired Up

“My husband, Brad [of Brad Smith Photography], and I are loving the outdoor fire pits (with s’mores!) at weddings! We’ve noticed a significant uptick in fires put on by the venue—I think this might be in response to COVID and allowing for more time/the option to be outside with something to do. Pros: they give space for people to take a break from a loud reception and to cool off when it starts getting sweaty. Cons: The DJ has to compete with fire to keep his dance floor going!” — Sara Smith of Sara Drew Photography,

Budget for Blooms

“Plan for 15 to 20 percent of your total wedding budget to go towards flowers. They really transform a room. Save on the venue and splurge on your flowers, food and music.” — Angela Rotondo, owner of Bloom Back Flowers, LLC,

Designated Driver

“Rely on professionals. Obviously, friends and family won’t let you down, but anything is possible and relying on a professional company ensures professional vehicles and chauffeurs and if anything were to actually happen, professionals will know how to resolve the situation.  Still on the fence?  Go and visit the company, check the fleet and ask the difficult questions.  The answers will certainly point you in the direction you would feel most comfortable.  I say, let the guests be guests and rely on a professional to take care of the transportation.” — Meagan Peter, director of Sales and Marketing at Rockstar Limo,

Lip Service

“No matter how classic or boho the look is, I feel like a bold lip is taking over 2022. Nudes and mauves will always be the go-to lip for most, but those fun pops of color are so beautiful on any and everyone.” — Sarah Depault, owner of Sarah Depault Beauty,

Alone Time

“Brad and I also tell clients to take a moment to step away from your party together and enjoy a few minutes just being alone and newly married. A wedding day can get so crazy, it’s always good to take a step out of it and really remember what the day is all about. Plus, it’s super fun to walk back into your party hand-in-hand with your new spouse!” — Sara Smith of Sara Drew Photography,

Puppy Love

“Another trend I’m 100% here for is involving fur babies. What will make your wedding day a million times better? Puppies! Put a bowtie or flower crown on that pup and bring them along for some pictures. If they can’t make it on the day, you can always get their adorable faces on socks, signature cocktail signs or in the case of my own wedding… temporary tattoos.” — Jarret Blinkhorn, owner and filmmaker of JB Horn Film,

Trust Your Gut

“It’s okay to love a dress on your first trip out! Some brides do not mentally prepare themselves to love something so early in their shopping trips. When you put that special dress on and suddenly nothing seems to compare, it’s like falling in love. You just know!” — Christina Carlson, owner of the Bridal Garden,

Fashion First

“When narrowing down your hair/makeup look, I would think strongly about the style of dress you chose. The style in dresses has had a slight shift and we’re seeing more traditional lace and classic silhouettes come back. Our team suggests asking your hair and makeup artist for suggestions when it comes to what type of style would be best for you, especially depending on the neckline, back, detailing or style of your dress.” — Sarah Depault, owner of Sarah Depault Beauty,

Two is Better Than One

“We are seeing a huge trend of couples deciding to separate their ceremony and reception dates. It’s always a great option (especially during COVID) to keep your ceremony small and intimate while scheduling a big reception celebration for friends and family on a later date.” — Greg Marcotte of Take it to the Bridge,

In Shape

“Elongated center stone shapes are also making a comeback. Ovals, emeralds, radiant and even marquise shapes have been nearly surpassing round in popularity due to their complimentary appearance on the hand. For the same size carat, the elongated shapes take up more length on the hand, giving them a bigger overall appearance and an undeniable sparkle.” —Janina Messerlian, Assistant General Manager of Baxter’s Fine Jewelry,

Life of the Party

“Cocktail parties are becoming mainstream for wedding dinner service in 2022. What I love most about this trend is the variety it provides for picky eaters and food connoisseurs alike. You’ll experience the benefits of a multi-course meal without the hefty culinary fees and the extended seating times associated with multi-course dinners. Plus, for loved ones coming from afar, this may be a great opportunity for them to indulge in multiple styles of cuisines they may not be accustomed to. Cocktail-style parties also encourage more more mingling in a lively atmosphere. If you are a couple that loves to socialize, they create the opportunity for a larger dance floor with more interesting floor plan configurations.” — Pearl Farquharson, Owner and Proprietor of Designed by Delsie,

Come Full Circle

“Engaged couples are also getting creative with circle-shaped arches. Either full or asymmetrical, these designs take your breath away and create a beautiful backdrop. I love creating these beautiful pieces in an eco-friendly manner to keep them light and able to repurpose.” — Angela Rotondo, owner of Bloom Back Flowers, LLC,  

For Your Entertainment

“We are seeing weddings add many more experiences, including digital photo booths (in fact, we just introduced our 360 photo booth—it’s comparable to the Hollywood red carpet where the camera drives completely around the guests as they stand on a platform), hedge walls with the last name in neon, big marquee letters on the dance floor, slide shows, picture walls where guests send pictures to a TV and so on. We are also seeing the most active and fun dance floors as people are excited to celebrate after lock down.” —Luke Renchan, owner of Luke Renchan Entertainment,

Get to Know the Area

When planning a local wedding weekend, schedule a time to visit the destination before signing the contract to ensure that the venue and area meet your expectations. In addition, while it is imperative to schedule structured events, be sure to leave some room for resting, rejuvenation and exploring. For your guests’ convenience, provide them with a list of local attractions or self-guided tours that can be disclosed on your wedding website, in addition to wedding welcome bags.” — Pearl Farquharson, Owner and Proprietor of Designed by Delsie,

Trash the Dress

“After the dress goes on, I always tell the bride, ‘This is the last time this dress will be clean today. Once you accept that fact, you will have way more fun.’ Spending time worrying about getting a huge white dress dirty takes away from some of the day’s most joyful moments (why we haven’t trended away from white dresses yet is beyond me). Truthfully, even if the dress does get visibly dirty, it’s never dirty enough to actually show up in the photos!”
Sara Smith of Sara Drew Photography,

Commute Schedule

Don’t print guest shuttle schedules too early. Shuttle times can change so much based on the smallest changes with final hotel room block numbers, the weather, local construction or festivals/events.  Shuttle times often take longer than most people expect, especially when you factor in loading/unloading time and maneuvering a larger vehicle back and forth. Work with your transportation company to get a suggested schedule that allows for plenty of time and publish it after confirming with them.  Most guests will not be concerned about what time a bus is picking them up until they are checking into their hotel room the week of the wedding. Give them their shuttle times on a welcome note, post them on a wedding website, or ask the hotel to list the shuttle times. If you are printing welcome notes professionally and need the wording finalized much earlier than shuttle times can be confirmed, list a website where they can view the full schedule.” — Meagan Peter, director of Sales and Marketing at Rockstar Limo,

Inclusive All Around

“Many weddings have been looking to be more inclusive with their guests and wedding parties with the use of pronouns and appropriate titles or even just removing titles all together. The standards have always been groomsmen and bridesmaids, Best Man and Maid of Honor, but we have seen changes to bride’s person or groom’s person, person of honor or best person. In some cases, we have just introduced the party without a title and sometimes even just the first names.”
Luke Renchan, owner of Luke Renchan Entertainment,

Pops of Color

“With stationery, we are seeing the strict rules of traditional etiquette fall away and the excitement for a fun, playful party build. While the wedding day color palette remains mostly neutral (whites, ivories and champagne), we are seeing playful pops of color in wedding invitations — lots of mixed hues of green and blue, with different textures and patterns coming in, as well.” — Danielle McCarthy and Ellen PJ Kelly, co-owners of Champagne and Ink,

Plain Vanilla

“Sometimes simpler is a good option with cake flavors.  Keep in mind your guests have been eating for a long time—cocktail hour, dinner, plus drinks—so simpler combinations are appreciated.” — Lisa Raffael, owner of Delicious Desserts,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *