The industry is just coming up for air following the busiest wedding season on record with clients from as far back as 2019 finally getting to re-book and plan their postponed weddings, often with a dramatically different vision from their original concept.
People no longer wanted a cookie-cutter large scale wedding package. We saw a huge shift in emphasis on what it meant to gather friends and family in one place, appreciating the importance of safety, intimacy and closeness after being denied it for two long years during uncertain times.
Our team saw more elopements and down-sized receptions than ever before, with clients instead focusing on factors such as giving their guests a more elevated and interactive experience with emphasis on intentionality. With a good reason to celebrate finally, clients are pulling out more stops than before and raising the bar with formalities and festivities.
With so many couples waiting out the two-year Covid window to pass, they had time to think creatively about their wedding. Instead of a traditional plated meal for 200+ guests, clients were now instead turning to venues with much smaller capacities and including options such as family-style dining, more meaningful and personalized wedding favors and lavish catered dessert tables.
Requests that came in included live caricature artists, jazz musicians, upscale electronic photo booths, and additional outdoor options such as s’mores stations, whisky and hot chocolate bars by the fire.
We saw a huge trend towards more personalized florals to fit niche themes, with couples choosing to upgrade bouquet options and decorate ceremony arbors with more volume and variations of both fresh and dried arrangements. The aesthetic value that florals bring to a venue space cannot be understated. One of the key themes in 2022 we saw was ‘boho chic’ using dried floral arrangements. Clients opted for more sustainable centerpieces and installments that could be used over again, or preserved afterwards in various different forms. Natural fibers and materials such as pampas grasses, bamboo, wicker and rattan were all featured at many weddings over the summer months, completely changing the vibe of a venue between one event and another. There also seemed to be an influx of ‘rustic feel’ weddings, with wooden farmhouse tables and vineyard chairs being two of the most requested rental items.
Sitting comfortably within the theme of customization is the up-and-coming accessibility of decor packages. Wedding professionals are realizing the value in customization. Clients can browse carefully selected options that have been curated to fit different client visions, whilst still enjoying the ‘turn-key’ element to keep planning stresses at a minimum. Venues in particular are experiencing the pull-factor of including more than just the outdated ‘room rental’ fee, and allowing clients to take the reins when it comes to in-house design.
We are seeing traditional values and customs be replaced with things that are more personal to the couple, such as swapping a classic two or three-tiered wedding cake for something they enjoy more. One example was a stunning croquembouche tower that also doubled as an impressive dessert after dinner. Another favorite of our clients is customizing their own bar menu. This is not just limited to their payment options, but gives them the opportunity to pick Mr and Mrs drinks or craft cocktails of their choice. One highlight from 2022 was a competition between two of the newlyweds as to whose cocktail would be the winning drink of choice during the reception!
As we begin booking 2023 and into 2024, it is clear that customization will become the new expected standard across the wedding industry. Clients expect more and it is up to vendors to deliver. And we are so excited to get the creativity flowing!
Photo credits: Nicole Fields Photography, Rocky Mountain Photo Co.