Expo to showcase 2022’s top wedding trends

At last, Covid-19 restrictions are easing up and couples that are planning their weddings can dream big again. Make sure your big day is a big hit with a visit to the Wedding Expo. A premier showcase of all the latest wedding trends*, it’s your opportunity to connect in-person with the leading industry professionals that can bring your dreams to life.

From massive extravaganzas and wedding weekends, to reception-only celebrations and elopements, the overarching trend for weddings in 2022 is to create a far more individualised event. From colours, and décor, to destinations, food and entertainment, couples are looking to make everything more intentional and focused on the guest experience. Discover all the biggest trends at the Expo and let your personality as a couple really shine through.

Although many weddings were cancelled or postponed during the pandemic, engagement proposals continued, and the resulting backlog of weddings has seen the industry inundated with booking requests. Limited weekend availability of venues and services has given rise to the popularity of weekday weddings. Although inconvenient for some guests, couples can benefit from lower rates and more venue and supplier variety. The Expo is your chance to find out about fabulous weekday specials offered at top venues.

While some couples will be eager to make up for lost time with big guest lists and big entertainment, others will happily embrace the intimacy of a micro-wedding. Small ‘at home’ garden weddings boomed during the pandemic, as did ‘inside-out’ weddings which flowed from house to garden, and these trends are expected to continue. With the right suppliers, even a destination inspired wedding can be themed at home.

Where a couple opts for a big wedding celebration, it is the era of extra – think over-the-top musical additions like a pop-up boy band, a Broadway set in the middle of dinner, a saxophonist, or live performers such as flame throwers, circus performers, wedding portrait artists or caricaturists. Don’t be surprised to see bouncy castles, food trucks and pizza stations. The aim is to wow!

With travel restrictions eased, couples can also look forward to destination weddings – with guests, or without. Destination elopements are popular, where couples opt for a modest ceremony followed by a lavish honeymoon, instead of the other way round. Other couples will take advantage of full wedding weekends with loved ones at exquisite destinations where welcome parties, daytime activities and day-after brunches, as well as personal welcome notes and thoughtful gift bag items complete the guest experience.

Sustainable weddings are also on the rise with minimalistic design and eco-friendliness among the top trends in 2022. From digital save-the-dates and invitations, to plant-based menu options, food sourced from local farms, and creative décor that incorporates potted plants, dried foliage and flowers, couples are looking for service providers with a ‘greener mindset’.

Colour palette trends that are turning heads in 2022 move away from traditional white and pastels to include earthy, nature-inspired hues. Indulge in soft neutral colours with dashes of brighter rust, amber and coral tones; gentle pink mixed in with coffees, caramels and silky ivories; or go for bold splashes of colour, vibrant colour-block palettes and monochrome with striking colour flashes.

Wedding décor trends see metal elements for added industrial-chic elegance and lighting that uses curtain string lights for a romantic, fairy-tale feel. Bespoke neon signs add pops of colour for fun photo opportunities.

When it comes to bridal wear, designs to watch out for include larger than life sleeves, big veils, stylish pant suits, boldly coloured wedding dresses, one shoulder gowns and interchangeable separates to match your style and personality. The ‘black tie’ event is also back but with fun formal looks for 2022.

The arrival of the highly anticipated second series of Netflix’s Regency-era series has seen ‘Bridgerton’ inspired weddings again taking the stage. Having hit number one in 83 countries including South Africa, the influence of Bridgerton subtly finds its way into weddings with puff sleeves, empire waistlines, ruffles, gloves and ornate jewellery, as well as hand written notes, arrangements of English country roses and sumptuous afternoon tea.

Across the experience, “multi-sensory” is flavour of the day. Food and drink will not only look and taste good, but will feel exciting to the touch, create new sensations of taste and incorporate unusual ingredients. ‘Flavour with meaning’ cakes share special memories by using flavours that remind couples of their first date, childhood memories or of a favourite destination. Scent will go beyond candles – expect scented stationery, different scents in each room, or even a new room scent for each song the band plays.

Excited? All the latest wedding trends can be seen at this year’s Wedding Expo, the ultimate showcase of South Africa’s best in the wedding industry. The Wedding Expo will take place from 6-7 August 2022, at the Heartfelt Arena in Centurion, the perfect setting to welcome back the thousands of brides and grooms looking to get their happily ever after off to the right start.

Specialised Exhibitions – a division of world-renowned Montgomery Group – will head up this event, which promises an exciting and innovative two days. Specialised Exhibitions is a company with over 50 years’ experience and a reputation synonymous with innovation, integrity and professionalism.

“We are really excited about the show with its many features, competitions and promotions in addition to the many informative talks and workshops. An experience shared with loved ones, it will be a super fun two days of fashion, buying and bubbly,” says Charlene Hefer, portfolio director at Specialised Exhibitions.