What do you get when you add up two years’ worth of engagements and two years’ worth of delayed wedding plans? A summer wedding season that’s primed to be the biggest since before the pandemic.
“It’s going to be wild,” says Nicole-Natassha Goulding, a Toronto- and Montreal-based luxury wedding planner.
According to The Wedding Report, the US is primed to host 2.5 million weddings in 2022 (up from 1.9 million in 2021), and they’re going to be particularly pricey. “I am seeing a surplus of demand for weddings in 2022,” says Tessa Lyn Brand, a wedding planner based in Southern California. “Demand drives up price. Not to mention the labor shortage is truly a problem and that also drives up the cost.”
The average wedding in the US cost just over $20,000 in 2000 and rose to $27,000 in 2021. And according to a survey by Zola, 70% said they’re going to be spending more on their 2022 wedding than originally planned.
What’s a challenge for to-be-wed couples can be an opportunity for the business owners, who can provide the in-demand items and services for this year’s wedding season. And since the season is in full swing, the faster you’re able to provide those items, the better. Ahead, Tessa and Nicole-Natassha share their picks for the top-trending wedding products for the 2022 wedding season.
9 must-have wedding products for 2022
These are the in-demand items Tessa and Nicole-Natassha say couples are looking for this year.
1. High-end paper invitations
Paper products have been significantly impacted by supply chain shortages, and Nicole-Natassha says that couples are having trouble getting their hands on handmade paper invitations as a result.
You’ll be at an advantage if this is something you’re able to provide—especially if you can provide it fast.
2. Local gourmet gifts
Traditional wedding favors like personalized champagne flutes or a candle are falling out of favor, Nicole-Natassha says. Rather, couples are looking for curated gifts tied to the location of the event. This means welcome bags filled with local artisanal products that offer a sense of place, are in high demand.
Consider selling curated bundles of regional goodies that couples can order pre-assembled, and look into getting these products in giftable, miniature form.
3. Proposal boxes
Gone are the days of simply asking a friend or family member to be in your wedding party. Now, it’s all about the proposal box, a gift box containing goodies and a message that asks if the recipient will be a bridesmaid or groomsman.
While some couples create these boxes themselves, others are seeking premade proposal boxes that pair a personalized message with a few small tokens, such as bath products, cosmetics, or champagne. Nicole-Natassha says it’s even better if the boxes can be customized with the recipient’s name and the wedding date.
4. Dance flooring
Dance flooring is a time-tested staple of wedding planning, but it also has its own trends that go in and out of style. Tessa says that for 2022 in particular, she’s seeing a demand for retro-inspired black-and-white dance flooring. Like other items on this list, being able to provide dance flooring during this high-demand season will put you ahead of the competition.
5. Disco balls and other unique lighting
With couples seeking truly memorable and photo-worthy experiences, lighting is taking up a bigger portion of the wedding budget, Tessa says. And there’s a bigger demand for disco balls, too. Not all lights are equal though—Tessa says the neon lighting trend is now out.
6. Pashminas, blankets, and other comfort items
Guest comfort is more important than ever for 2022. “I am seeing less ‘This day is about me’ and more ‘I want my guests to be comfortable and have a great experience from start to finish,'” says Tessa. This could be by draping pashminas or blankets over chairs so guests in dresses can cozy up as the night wears on, or offering umbrellas personalized with the wedding date or couples’ names in case of rain for outdoor events.
Another popular item are flip-flops or other cheap but comfy footwear that guests can switch into if their feet hurt. Again, customizable options are a huge bonus.
7. Step and repeats and backdrops
The big trend at weddings used to be photobooths complete with a backdrop, props, and professional photographer. But Tessa and Nicole-Natassha both say couples are now looking to create backdrops for that perfect Instagram selfie moment. A customized step and repeat—like the backdrop you’d see at a red carpet—with a customized design is the perfect way to create that moment.
9. Deliver the basics with bold color
There are some items—unscented candles, guestbooks, linens, and florals, for example—that will always be in demand for weddings. What’s different for 2022 is that color palettes are changing. Soft hues are on their way out and jewel and earth tones are in—and couples want those basic items to match. Nicole-Natassha says that after two years of pushing back weddings, people are looking to make a splash with bold, bright colors—particularly with tapered candles, which match bright hues with lots of ambiance.
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Moving from 2022 to the 2023 wedding season
The 2022 wedding season has already begun, but those who didn’t plan in advance are still looking for these hot products to complete their event. However, the seasonal delays also mean that couples are planning further in advance where they can.
Tessa says that couples are now planning 12 to 14 months out for venues, and seven to eight months out for other items. That means couples are already shopping for the 2023 season, a time when these trends—and the shortages—are expected to continue.
This list can also help you predict what wedding products are going to be in demand for 2023. And making those products affordable, customizable, and available will always be in style.