(NEW YORK) — After two years of postponed and canceled weddings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, couples are making their way down the aisle again surrounded by their loved ones.
And in 2022, which is set to be one of the biggest wedding years ever with nearly 2.5 million weddings forecasted, according to a report in the Wedding Report, Inc., couples are making sure their day is one they will remember forever.
In a survey from Zola, 2022 couples are “planning with more intention, excitement, love and specificity than ever before.” Whether in their wedding theme, the vendors they choose or the food, couples are using their weddings to let their personalities shine through.
One of the ways brides are incorporating those personal touches is with the help of wedding TikTok, where fellow brides have been candidly sharing tips and tricks from their weddings.
“TikTok is giving this support group for brides,” Taelor Pawnell, an art director and content creator from Brooklyn who is getting married this year, told ABC News’ Good Morning America. “People come on and talk about their dream dresses or dupes of items they can’t afford. So it’s really allowing a creative space for all of us to kind of just help each other.”
Pawnell, who is getting married in September to her fiancé, Aaron, has hopped on wedding TikTok since she got engaged at the end of 2020. There, she’s been sharing her planning journey with her followers and the trends that she’s incorporating. She’s even started a few of her own, too, with a PowerPoint template for bridesmaids about wedding details, which has been downloaded over 10,500 times.
See more 2022 wedding TikTok trends below:
Groomsmen first look
Chasity Scarboro of North Carolina, who got married in November 2021, said she wanted to include her groomsmen in a personal way because of her close relationship with them. After seeing videos on TikTok of a “groomsmen first look,” she decided to incorporate it into her special day.
“We’re all really close,” Scarboro said of her husband, Zach’s, groomsmen. “They’ve been so supportive throughout our entire relationship, and they’re just always like our biggest hypemen for me and Zach.”
Dryden and Emily Glod of Fuse Media Studios, which filmed the moment, said that other unique photo ideas include having the groomsmen race for a beer, which captures a hilarious photo and video moment, and having the groomsmen toss the groom in the air.
Los Angeles-based wedding planner Victoria Holland said brides are moving in the direction of an editorial vibe when it comes to their wedding photography.
“That is definitely the type of photography that a lot of couples are going for,” Holland said. “I would say the last two or three years, the wedding industry as a whole has kind of taken a turn toward editorial a little bit more, just because there’s more of a demand for those cool, candid shots.”
In addition, Holland said high-design moments are also an added request from couples because many want their weddings to go viral.
Many brides are also saying out with the old and in with the new with a “flower man” instead of a traditional flower girl walking down the aisle. Not only do brides get to include their best guy friend into their wedding ceremony, but the moment also creates a bunch of laughs.
“There aren’t many kids in my family,” said bride Lily Tran, who got married in August 2021 at the Columbia River Gorge in Washington. “I wanted it to be very personal to me, and the flower man is actually my best friend.”
Live painters at weddings are nothing new, but since TikTok has grown in popularity during the pandemic, the demand for them has increased to paint a newly married couple’s special moment at the aisle or during the first dance on their big day.
Artist Alicia Hale, a wedding painter in Southern California, started her wedding painting business after seeing a few artists paint weddings on TikTok.
“Painting in your studio all the time by yourself can get lonely,” Hale told GMA. “I really like how it’s gained popularity on TikTok because you can see the story of the couple and you know what it means to them to have a painting of their special day.”
Unique guest books
For couples getting married in 2022, Holland said many are adding more interactive activities for their guests. An example of this is through the wedding guest book. Instead of a book, some couples are opting for the viral After the Tone, a phone you can rent that allows guests to leave a sweet message for the bride and groom.
“It’s basically an audio guestbook,” said Jacob Yackley, co-founder of After the Tone. “Guests can just pick up the phone and start talking right away and leave voicemails for the couple and that message gets recorded.”
Couples can choose from an array of different colors for their phone to match their wedding aesthetic. Once the wedding is over, After the Tone can send an mp3 of the recordings back to you or have the recordings copied on vinyl.
No more garter tosses
Wedding planner Holland said that with the many weddings she’s producing this year, so many couples are forgoing some traditional wedding elements, including the garter toss — which some say can be both awkward and embarrassing for couples.
“My couples hate the garter toss,” said Holland, whose brides are for the most part mortified by the idea of their relatives watching their husband search for the garter. “It’s just the weirdest thing in the world. I think that speaks to the philosophy of 2022 weddings, and it’s: do what you want. There’s no tradition, this is your wedding.”
Wedding welcome bags
With some brides doing destination weddings, a personal touch they’re incorporating during their wedding weekend is providing welcome bags for their guests. Pawnell said she got the idea from a friend’s recent wedding, but shared what was in hers on TikTok, where many brides also shared what was in theirs.
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