Wedding Trends According To Pros


Looking Back on 2022 Weddings: Professionals Say Smaller Weddings Are Here to Stay

Ashayla Blakely

Written by: Ashayla Blakely

Ashayla Blakely

Ashayla Blakely is an experienced storyteller who has fun writing authentic and relatable content for As a hopeless romantic, Ashayla has always enjoyed sharing good conversation and advice about dating. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in Telecommunications from the University of Florida. She is currently enrolled in the graduate program at Florida State University's film school. You can often catch her with a script in her hand, calling out the shots in her many directorial roles on set.

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Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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The Short Version: Everyone has a vision for how they want their future wedding to be. If you’re as prepared as I am, you may even have the nitty-gritty details of the color scheme, the Spotify playlist, and who will be in the wedding party. One of the first decisions of wedding planning is how big you want the wedding to be. Based on our research on 2022 wedding trends, it seems smaller weddings have been the way to go for many couples. We talked to wedding professionals about the upside of the small wedding and why it’s become more common for modern couples to make their big day a smaller affair.

Weddings are a wonderful opportunity for a couple to celebrate their love and new union with the people who support and care for them. It’s a traditional celebration going back before technology, dating apps, and DMs were ever thought of. However, this tradition has changed over time, and the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially impactful on how couples and families celebrate.

Small weddings have become more appealing as couples focus less on the aesthetics and glitz of weddings and more on creating a meaningful experience. The trend of having a big wedding is slowly starting to disappear. People prefer to have an audience filled with faces who share a deep connection with them — rather than a guest list with a bunch of acquaintances. As a result, wedding ceremonies are diminishing in size.  

Kim Sexton, the Venue Manager at The Venue at Crooked Willow Farms, told us that she’s noticed wedding inquiries coming in with lower tentative guest counts. She said that wedding parties of 60 to 100 guests are becoming more popular rather than the 150 to 250 count that used to be more standard for weddings.

Smaller weddings certainly ease the financial burden on couples and can give them more budget to put toward experiences, decorations, and services they care about.

​​”Couples are able to spend less money on their wedding, while also being able to add in more details,” said wedding planner Kelsey Caligiuri in a Brides article. “Wedding costs can be extremely high and couples are able to both celebrate their love and put the money they saved towards a house, or starting a family.” 

A wedding ceremony doesn’t have to be a massive event shared with the whole world. In our fast-paced world, some couples find it’s nice to have a sacred and intimate moment with friends and family on their wedding day. Couples should invest in a wedding they want with people they love. After all, if there’s anything that COVID taught us, it’s to cherish the moments we have with those we hold dear. 

Prioritizing Quality Over Quantity

Weddings are meant to be a time of fun, laughter, and love. When planning for a wedding ceremony, couples have a lot to consider, and the first thing they need to decide is how big — or how small — they want their wedding to be. Many wedding professionals advise couples to be conscientious and include family and friends who are important in their lives. 

Inviting people to keep up appearances or “just because” isn’t a good route to take when planning your wedding. A quality wedding does not need a large number of guests. Outside of saving money, smaller weddings give couples a greater sense of community and personal support.

Picture of Blue Rose Photography owners, Brittany and Joe.
Blue Rose Photography founders and CEOs, Brittany and Joe.

Making your love the center moment of the event is what will carry a wedding. Some couples don’t like the thought of having a big wedding but also aren’t too pleased with the idea of eloping. Having a small wedding of 50-70 guests is a good medium between the two. 

Like my father used to tell me, bigger does not equate to better. Wedding planning is a lot of work, and the bigger couples try to go, the easier it is for them to get lost in the pomp and circumstance and forget to focus on each other.

Wedding photographers see this all the time when working with couples, and part of their job is to help couples prioritize the moments they want to enjoy and capture throughout the big day.

“My biggest piece of advice to couples getting married is don’t get so wrapped up in your wedding planning that it takes over the fun of your relationship. Your relationship is what is left after the big day, and catering to that is priority number one!” said Brittany Marshall of Blue Rose Photography.  

Striving for An Authentic & Unique Story

Your love story is what makes your wedding day a memorable event. Taking full advantage of the moment and being fully present with your partner will be the most important part of that special day, so try to put aside social media and other external pressures.

Swiping through Instagram, Pinterest, or Snapchat stories can put pressure on brides and grooms to plan their weddings a certain way. It’s common for couples to get caught up in comparisons with the weddings they see in their feed. Soon enough, their wedding starts to become a competition or a headache of trying to live up to Instagram trends, viral videos, and other people’s expectations.

“Drown out the outside influences,” wedding photographer Brittany Marshall advised. “Do this together, make it for you, for your partner, and not for anyone’s acceptance.” 

Officiant Alisa Tongg said modern couples are looking to make the wedding more personal.

Once couples disregard all the outside noise, they may begin to recognize the value of smaller weddings and the personal touches they can add to the relationship. Couples can get creative and personalize their footwear with their initials, or customize their wedding cake topper, or even make their own wedding bands.

Jeweler Stephanie Selle of With These Rings told us that couples come to her jewelry-making workshops to create unique wedding rings and have a meaningful experience. “When you pick up a torch, saw, and hammer and take the time to make them yourselves, even the most simple rings truly become one of a kind since they are imbued with your love,” she said. “I have worked with over 1,000 couples now, and many people tell me that the process is more fun and less stressful than they thought it would be.”

Whether it’s hosted in a barnyard, a church, or an art museum, the best weddings are those that highlight the couple’s love story to the fullest. 

According to wedding officiant, Alisa Tongg, some of her favorite weddings are the ones where couples had an interesting story on how they got together. Adding laughter and reflecting on the past at a wedding is a beautiful way for a couple to come together.

“When you match with someone [on an app], it becomes part of the landscape. When I say they swiped right, people chuckle because they’re not used to hearing something that ordinary in a sacred wedding ceremony, and being integrated into this is how it happened,” said Alisa Tongg. 

Smaller Weddings Are Rightfully Taking Over

As mentioned earlier, there has been a major change in the wedding industry since COVID shook up our world. Many wedding ceremonies had to be placed on hold in 2020 and 2021, which has snowballed into the current high demand for weddings. According to the Washington Post, the wedding industry has struggled to keep up with the high demand. 

“That pent-up demand, combined with too little supply, is also leading to higher price tags. Average spending on weddings rose 25 percent last year, to more than $27,000, according to the Wedding Report. Many wedding planners say they expect that cost to tick up even higher this year as companies raise prices and tack on fuel surcharges,” shared the Washington Post.

Screenshot from website.
Since COVID, smaller weddings have taken over in the wedding industry.

Smaller weddings also mean fewer vendors on hand as well. Over the last couple years, Kim has learned to make the wedding day work with a smaller team at The Venue at Crooked Willow Farms. She told us that COVID impacted the hospitality industry staffing and made leaner wedding staffs more common — and more flexible.

“Because of the staffing shortage across the board for all vendors, our Event Managers have found themselves stepping up to help catering set tables, chairs, ceremony areas, clearing tables, and barware,” said Kim.

Smaller weddings allow businesses to thrive and help couples pay more attention to the little details of the ceremony and reception. It gives opportunity for more personal relationships to shine through. And that’s what wedding planning should all be about!