2022 Wedding Trend: Less Guests – Bigger Party

2022 Wedding Trend

After the last two years, so much has changed with weddings and events – but what remains the same is that everyone is ready for a good party! In 2022, all rules are off the table. Celebrations may not have as many people as they did in 2019 and before, but they are extravagant as ever before. Luckily, The White Sparrow Barn is a beautiful blank canvas, versatile enough to bring your dream wedding to life. Here are a few creative ideas to give you an all-new wedding planning perspective for your 2022 or 2023 wedding at The White Sparrow Barn Venue.

2022 Wedding Trend

2022 Wedding Trend -Create a Curated (Downsized) Guest List

Although we all hope we’ve seen the worst of COVID 19 and the pandemic as a whole, events in 2022 aren’t projected to be as big in attendance as in years past. To some couples, this feels like a relief, a sense of freedom to really only invite those to who they are close. Smaller weddings of a 100 or less, or even micro-weddings, which are usually 50 or less, allow couples to focus on what they really want. Whether its flowers, multi-day events, or a grand exit, items that may not have been in the budget with an exhaustive catering tab and a large number of guests may now be.

A 2020 study shows that the average $27,000 ceremony and reception has roughly 124 guests. The factors typically deciding the number of guests for a couple are budget, the venue, and the wedding vision. Most statistics show that the average per-person catering cost of $125/pp for a plated meal plus a full bar. With numbers like this, it’s obvious how quickly you’ll save with a smaller guest list.

As with most industries, the cost of most services and products in the wedding world is projected to increase in 2022. Aside from a smaller guest list, there are some additional things you can do to save on your costs:

  • Pick a less desirable date – Saturday night wedding might be optimal, but it will also cost you the most money when compared to any other day of the week.
  • Hire a wedding planner. This may seem backwards, to invest on another professional – but the truth is, wedding planners know professional vendors who do what they do best, which in turn saves you time and money.

Lastly, when it comes to guest count, there’s one other benefit we should note (and it may be the most important yet). Studies show that at weddings with the guest count at 100+ the couple can end up feeling frenzied, never being able to sit still and have a full conversation, a full drink, a full meal. With a small guest list, you have more time to spend with your core group of people, and the receiving line is a non-issue. A small intimate wedding may be the perfect (and rare) opportunity to have all of your favorite people together in one room, and actually be able to simply enjoy their presence – rather than have to jump from group to group trying to say hi to everyone.

2022 Wedding Trend – Consider a Multi-Day (or Multi-Event) Experience

With a smaller number of guests, multi-day experiences and events are on the rise. From rehearsal dinners to a morning-after brunch, while your guest list is in town, seize the opportunity to schedule pre-and post-wedding events. Guests will feel like a part of the entire experience rather than simply attending your wedding night. Luckily, The White Sparrow Barn is a flexible space that can be transformed from night to day and back again, creating a custom experience for even of your multi-day events.

Does the thought of planning a multi-day wedding experience overwhelm you? Here are some tips:

  1. Plan a Schedule and Budget
  2. Respect Your Guests Availability and Downtime
  3. Establish Some “Me” Time
  4. Choose Your Venue Wisely (wink wink…)
  5. Make a Meal Plan
  6. Create a Wedding Website to help Streamline Questions and Organization
  7. Hire a Professional Planner
  8. Reuse what you can. If you have already invested in floral and centerpieces for the wedding night, consider using the same ones for the morning after brunch, or even using pieces of them to repurpose for the new experience aesthetic.

Here’s an example of a simple multi-day experience:

Day 1 could be arrivals, check-ins and a welcome party (with drinks and dinner)

Day 2 is the day for relaxed activities in the morning ahead of the ceremony and reception (keep in mind – you’ll probably want to avoid anything that will wear your guests out or offer too much alcohol before the big event).

Day 3 you could host a casual “wrap-up” brunch

Looking for more of an extensive multi-day experience, here’s another sample schedule:

4:00pm Rehearsal
6:00pm Welcome drinks
7:00pm Rehearsal dinner
8:00pm Later-night low-key activity: board games, a bar crawl, karaoke, pajama party, etc.

8:00am–10:00am continental breakfast open house
10:30am-2:00pm Low-key pre-wedding activity and lunch: hiking, bus tours, a wine tasting, and box lunches.
2:00pm-3:30pm Downtime to get ready for the ceremony
4:00pm Ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception afterwards

9:00am–12:00pm Open house brunch. This can be something as casual as brunch buffet or as extravagant as a formal sit down meal, equipped with entertainment and a timeline.

Specialty Wedding Vendors

Of course, when you start planning for your big day, you’ll think of the staples. The core wedding professionals like the caterer, florist, and DJ or band are typically the first to come to mind. As of recently, we’ve seen a lot of couples opt for the unique addition of specialty vendors. Adding something unique typically makes an event more personal and memorable. With a smaller guest list, some of these specialty vendors may work their way back into the budget.

Some examples of specialty vendors are:

  1. Live event painters / artists – this can be an amazing addition to your event as well create a meaningful keepsake for years and years to come
  2. Dueling pianos – talk about a party – dueling pianos bring the life to any event
  3. Beer burro – a fun photo opp at any event
  4. Added moment specific musicians (ie. a mariachi band at the start of dinner or a violinist as you walk down the aisle, etc)
  5. Dancers (think outside the box, LED robots, samba dancers, etc.)
  6. Comedians (this is a great addition for entertainment on the rehearsal dinner night, or even the next morning at the brunch)
  7. Animals (who does love the adorable addition of an animal)
  8. Live streaming (a smaller guest likely means some people will be left at home who may not be able to travel but would like to still see your big moment – live streaming is a great addition for this)
  9. Yard games (this also works for all of the events throughout the weekend agenda) – think corn hole, karaoke, giant checkers, and more.

Are you ready to start planning your dream wedding? Whether it’s a traditional, single-night event or a multi-day experience, The White Sparrow Venue looks forward to helping make your dream a reality. Stop by and take a look at our past weddings to spark your inspiration, or contact us today to set up a tour and talk to our expert team.