Santa Barbara’s Wedding Trends in 2022

The 'Bridgerton' Influence, Sustainable Ideas, Streamlined Safety Guidelines, and More

The ‘Bridgerton’ Influence, Sustainable Ideas, Streamlined Safety Guidelines, and More

By Maggie Yates | February 17, 2022

Credit: Veils and Tails Photography

This year is going to be an incredible one for beautiful, safety-conscious, eco-friendly celebrations.

There is some interesting tweaking of traditions that couples are embracing. Due to so many wedding reschedules from the pandemic, venues are filling their calendars to the brim — meaning that couples looking to schedule something for this year may find themselves getting married on a weekday. Instead of a standard wedding registry, many couples are opting to ask guests to donate to a honeymoon fund or to give to a particular charity

Courtesy: Jocelyn & Spencer

And eco-conscious is the new black. “There can be a perception that hosting an eco-friendly wedding is difficult to do and will lead to compromises in what couples envision for their day or is out-of-budget—but this isn’t the case!” says Kim Forrest, Senior Editor at WeddingWire. “We know couples are interested in hosting more sustainable events … so my advice to planners is to become familiar with and actively promote sustainable alternatives like dried flowers, rental items over single-use, invitations on recycled paper, and online RSVP through couples’ wedding websites.” E-vites cut down on paper usage, and diamond alternatives, such as Moissanite, opals, and white sapphires, can be beautiful and personal.

Dried flowers are having a moment and are appearing on cakes, in bouquets, and as a more sustainable option for floral decoration. They’re versatile, too, because they can be dyed to match any color scheme. Match these florals with ornamental grasses and other dried accents, such as okra pods, branches, and oat stems, for a soft, natural look. Skip balloons; they’re outmoded and bad for the environment.

Ditch the bouquet and garter toss: They are outdated traditions that push too heavily on traditional gender roles and disrupt the organic flow of dancing and mixing. You can also consider alternate flower girls/ring bearers (especially for child-free ceremonies): It’s a lovely way to incorporate pets or grandparents or others who don’t fit into traditional roles of the wedding party. And if you want to commemorate your special day on social media, create a wedding hashtag for people to tag on Instagram, or even set up an opportunity to record TikTok reels of key moments of your extravaganza.

Color stories are wilder and bolder to match a more robust event energy. Watch for jewel tones, berry-inspired hues, and metallics. Inspired by the smash hit Bridgerton, regency-style gowns, with empire waists and square necklines, are in high demand. Retro-inspired gowns with ’80s and ’90s-era puff sleeves are also big on the runways this year (though it goes without saying that despite fashion trends, brides should wear what they feel most comfortable and beautiful in).

Credit: James & Jess

As Omicron persists, health and safety remain key concerns for those planning a wedding in the upcoming months — especially as bigger weddings are coming back into style as opposed to the micro-weddings of the early pandemic days. Luckily, here in Santa Barbara, there is a plethora of lovely outdoor wedding venues to satisfy the need for open space accommodating larger groups.

“Some couples are requiring guests to be vaccinated even if it’s not the law in their area,” says Forrest. “With rapid tests hopefully becoming more readily available in the coming weeks, we may see couples require guests to have a rapid test before attending their wedding…. Wedding websites are a great way to communicate health and safety protocols and update them in real-time; you can even collect vaccination status and testing results.”

For obvious reasons, buffets and shared plates are on the decline in the times of COVID. There will also be an increased focus on locally sourced food and vegan options on wedding menus this year. Get seasonal, local, fresh food! To give your event a fun, local twist, consider a taco truck.

Don’t forget to support local businesses as you choose your vendors! You can reduce that carbon footprint while putting money back into our beautiful community.

Read all of the stories in this year’s Wedding Guide here.


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