THIS YEAR USHERS IN a record number of weddings. According to wedding-planning website the Knot, there’s an estimated 2.6 million taking place in the United States! With the wedding boom of 2022, there are new trends from prep to the big party. To unveil the latest happenings, we chatted with local businesses who have their hands in making Louisiana weddings beautifully Southern.
OPEN AIR TENTS
Danielle Papania of the Southern Hotel says, “Big weddings are back! People are ready to get out and celebrate.” Danielle has seen a shift after the Southern Hotel covered their courtyard space to make the outdoor area more functional. “With that, we are seeing brides truly embrace romantic tent weddings. There have been a variety of designs incorporating the tent with specialty florals, lighting and draping. It’s truly been a magical change I’ve enjoyed.”
REFINED GUEST LISTS
She has also seen a sentimental outcome of the last couple of years: “People understand what couples have been going through with reschedules and having to limit guests lists. If you were invited to a post- pandemic wedding, you understood the severity of the decision to get you on that list. Guests are showing up with a different perspective. They are not only ready to party, but they are showing up truly thankful to be there and play an integral part in celebrating couples who have been through so much. The overall vibe and feeling of weddings have changed into a much more genuine celebration of union, love and friendship. I hope this continues into 2022!”
Susan Zackin, owner of Z Event Company, agrees that smaller guest lists may continue as prices go up. She adds, “The cost of entertaining is going up with inflation and the biggest part of a budget is food and beverage. I suspect once the brides see the overall cost of their wedding, they may choose to be more selective on who is included on their guest list.” Yet, she’s excited for more normalcy.
“I am super excited for all of our newly engaged couples and helping them to celebrate in the way they have always envisioned their weddings. Don’t get me wrong, I have the most respect and admiration for all of our covid couples as that was probably the most stressful time in my career. To see their resilience and patience through all of it was truly amazing. I feel we will all be connected through those memories forever.”
A TOUCH OF DRAMA
From Mardi Gras-style parades to firework shows, Bobby Asaro of Southern Oaks says he’s seen an uptick in exciting exits. “People are really excited about having fun again,” he says. Dramatic lighting effects both inside and outside of the venue have also been a common desire.
DIAMONDS EAST TO WEST
“Recently pear has been the top-requested diamond shape for engagement rings. We don’t see that slowing down and also predict oval solitaires as a top choice in 2022,” Tauqeer Imran, owner of Ron Jewelers says. “People are gravitating a lot toward elongated shapes and there has been many requests for elongated stones with East-West orientation.” Artisan- styles, alternative diamonds and vintage varieties are other trends Ron Jewelers is expecting.
Doll House Hair & Beauty Salon’s Liz Duboue shares that bridal beauty has taken a turn toward more classic styles. She says, “I think we are going to see a lot of polished simple looks for wedding season. Many of the brides we have seen coming in lately seem to be getting away from the messy undone looks and going for more polished and structured hair.”
For bridal makeup, Meggan Ory of Makeup by Meggan Studio says, “What I love most about current beauty trends is that we are idolizing skin. Healthy skin is in and that holds true for bridal beauty too! My cosmetic line is centered around makeup looking like skin, so our brides are in the right place.
“When it comes to eyes, we are seeing a lot of softer shadow looks with the focus on lashes and liner. This look is beautifully paired with rosy cheeks and glossy lips. I love a very fresh and classic take on bridal beauty; and remember, a classic bride is a timeless bride!”
“I love when a new bride comes to the studio for a consult, because it is just the beginning of our journey together,” Meggan continues. “We come up with a plan for her to get her skin in top notch shape so that her makeup looks flawless on the big day. We usually start with a series of alternating Geneo Oxygen Treatments and Hydrafacials. On the week of her wedding, I always pair a HydraFacial with Dermaplaning so that her skin is ultra-smooth and glowy!”
Amidst the planning and preparation, it’s important to slow down and enjoy the season. Tori Pasentine Owner and Spa Director of Mandeville’s soon-to-open Royal Retreat Day Spa says, “Our brides may bring their groom on a prewedding date to enjoy a ritual from Royal Retreat’s exclusives. I would recommend the Royal Escape, that uses tropical body polish, coconut compresses, and an aromatic coconut oil massage for ultimate relaxation and hydration. In addition, I offer a bridal package bundle with a gift. As an add-on for the couple’s retreat, the bride and groom may get a champagne bottle and chocolate.” Royal Retreat’s services are from their trade partner Natura Bissé, a four-time award winning spa brand for the world’s best spa.
LESS IS MORE
The Sadie Jane Director of Operations Terri Haithcock has seen that couples are wanting to simplify their planning. “Couples booking for 2022 to 2024 are looking for the convenience of all- inclusive wedding and reception packages. We are seeing couples that have less time to dedicate for extensive planning and love
the inclusive options to simplify and relieve wedding day stress,” she says. “I am most excited for the number of engaged couples that are hitting the ground running to search and secure their wedding venue. We are touring and booking couples within days following their engagement.”
For pre-wedding festivities Longue Vue House & Gardens happily hosts bridal luncheons and showers and serves as a perfect place for bridal photography. Laren Holzer says, “Many brides are moving toward simplicity and a less-is-more kind of vibe. Longue Vue House and Gardens is a stunning backdrop for this. With eight acres of beautiful gardens, 22 fountains, statues, and gorgeous live oaks, it’s a perfect space to capture on your special day.”
TO HAVE AND TO NOSH
Antoine’s Restaurant is the perfect place to host a memorable rehearsal dinner. Lisa Blount has recently noticed accommodation requests to various dietary restrictions and preferences. “Most people who come to Antoine’s are looking for a traditional New Orleans experience and that’s what we provide, but we have seen a trend in offering vegetarian options and vegan items.”
Single serve options are also on the rise. Ari Caffery of Caffery Catering says, “I think there will be a shift from traditional platters and displays to more single serve options. This not only brings a whole new artistic aspect but also allows for less contact amongst guests. I am so excited to work with couples to create one-of-a-kind menus that showcase the traditions of Louisiana and bring more personality into each dish.”
Ryan Haydel says Haydel’s Bakery has seen brides also moving to individual slices, or mini cakes or cupcakes for their guests. But for the brides that do want a full cake, he says, “We are seeing the trend of skim-coated wedding cakes with baked cake layers being visible from the outside. Most of these designs are being finished with fresh flowers from the bride’s florist’s selection. We are also seeing the intricate, traditional piping trims on the sides of the wedding cake from the 90s making a rebirth.”