Weddings are back! As of March 2022, the Irish government has lifted most restrictions on weddings, including guest numbers for indoor and outdoor venues, curfew, live music and dancing, and the number of people allowed to be seated around the table. Even masks are no longer required. But, although I can’t wait to see weddings back in full swing this summer, there are of course some long-lasting impacts from the COVID pandemic. So what are the biggest changes to expect in weddings in 2022?
An unprecedented number of weddings. 2022 is likely to see the most weddings in recent history. In the US alone, 2.6 million weddings are expected this year and that doesn’t include celebrations like so-called ‘anni-ceptions’ for couples who had to settle for a minimony during lockdown. That means packed schedules for wedding suppliers and venues. What we consider ‘wedding season’ has been blurred, as more couples choose weekday celebrations, as well as autumn and winter dates. It also means booking your planner, photographer, florist, etc. as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Destination weddings and elopements. With travel restrictions on top of lockdowns, destination weddings were out of the question for many couples in 2020 and 2021. Now, destination celebrations are back with a bang! Couples and their families and friends are excited to get back to travelling and spending time together after so long apart, and a destination wedding ticks both those boxes. Other couples are opting for an elopement in a beautiful, faraway locale. where they can really celebrate life and focus exclusively on one another. Whether you’re dreaming of an intimate ceremony or want to go big with an entourage, Ireland makes a great destination!
Outdoor weddings are here to stay. COVID restrictions made outdoor weddings a necessity from a safety standpoint over the last 2 years. However, couples have embraced the open-air vibe and outdoor weddings and ceremonies are definitely here to stay long-term! Many couples are opting for garden celebrations – whether in their own homes or at venues with gorgeous garden spaces. Even dance floors are moving outside! (There really is nothing quite like dancing the night away under the stars!) Ireland has so many incredible venues with indoor-outdoor spaces that can create that beautiful flow and let the fresh air in.
Increased costs. Unfortunately, one of the changes to expect in weddings in 2022 will be the cost of important elements like flowers. Rising energy costs, labour shortages, Brexit rules, and a decrease in supply due to the fact that many growers had to plough their fields in 2020 have resulted in the cost of flowers being at its highest in years. As well as this, supply chain delays and inflation have affected the costs of décor items and rentals, and suppliers are having to charge more to cover increased fuel prices and labour costs. If you set your budget 2-3 years ago, you may need to revise some of your expectations. (You can read more about how COVID has affected the floral industry here.)
Next-level entertainment. The ban on live music made us all more creative when it came to entertainment options. That will continue in 2022 (think surprise performers, drag queens, bouncy castles, circus performers, live painters, silent discos, and more). The only difference is that this time, couples will be able to have a live band or singer too, and they’ll make the most of it! It’s all about having fun and making up for all those celebrations we missed.
Those are my key changes to expect in weddings in 2022. Are there any others you have noticed?
Slán go Fóill,