After two years that were anything but ordinary, it’s safe to say most people are ready for a “return to normal”’ in 2022. It’s predicted that the next lap around the sun will have more weddings than ever, so if you’re planning on saying “I do,” it’s smart to get started ASAP. After selecting the venue and your vendors, you and your soon-to-be spouse have the fun task of putting together your wedding registry.
While movies always feature a couple in a department store scanning their must-haves, the digital age has made it much easier and accessible to browse online. Plus, not everyone wants household items anymore, and instead, opts for the products and experiences that make sense for their life stage.
Here, we spoke with experts who predicted wedding registry trends for 2022. Consider this your inspiration guide for your upcoming nuptials:
While we all love a good registry, many couples who cohabitate often find it challenging to know what to put on their registry, says Kirsten Bulock, the chief operating officer at MarriedinVegas in Las Vegas, Nevada. After all, when you combine two apartments into one, you likely have duplicates of many items, so asking for more goods seems unnecessary. Instead, Bullock says couples prefer an enjoyable experience together over collecting more stuff that they don’t need. “While honeymoon funds have been popular for years now, being stuck at home during COVID 19 has really given many the itch to get back out and travel,” she continues. “And remember, a honeymoon fund doesn’t even have to be to some far-off island or out of the country! Simply providing the couple a chance to share the newness of their marriage in an intimate setting creates such a good start to a lifelong connection.”
Just because the honeymoon stage is over, the newlywed feeling doesn’t have to disappear. Many couples want to keep the romance going by having regular date nights throughout their marriage. This is why Bulock says couples will register for experiences that allow them to connect and learn more about one another. “Being gifted a cooking course, dance class, a photography session, or even a couples massage can bring the couple together in a way that getting things will never be able to do,” she says. “Being able to still step away for a date night allows the couple to learn new things about one another still, even after the excitement of saying ‘I do’ has worn off.”
As the average age of marriage continues to rise, newlyweds are not fresh out of college anymore. Instead, they’ve had time to grow into themselves and their careers, and they have a realistic perspective of what they actually need. So when it’s time to marry their one-and-only, more couples are getting creative with their ideas, rather than the typical linens and pots and pans, says Nora Sheils, the founder of Bridal Bliss and the co-founder of Rock Paper Coin in Lake Oswego, Oregon. “Couples are registering for wine or funds for a down payment,” she says. Truly, there is no ‘rule’ on what is appropriate for a registry. It’s more about what will enrich your life as you begin your marriage.
With so much time being spent indoors over the last two years, couples will be registering for items that they can use together outdoors, predicts Bri Marbais, the founder of The Bridal Finery in Winter Park, Florida. “Couples are not only striving to spend more time outdoors together but are looking to incorporate as much outdoor space into their wedding as possible,” she says. “We anticipate items such as hammocks, bistro lighting, fire pits, and corn hole boards to be very popular items found on wedding registries next year.”
Local Goods and Services
As we have all adjusted to pandemic life, we’ve grown more aware of the immediate world around us. Without the ability to travel far and wide, many couples have made investments in their local community. Marbais says this will be illustrated via registries, as duos encourage their guests to shop at small businesses instead of the big-box stores. “Couples are going to be more conscious as to which tool they use to create their wedding registry to ensure that their guests have the choice to shop local,” she continues. “Many will offer couples the opportunity to include items and experiences that can be sourced and purchased locally.”
Sadly, many people lost their jobs during the pandemic. With this loss of income and resources, couples will keep the budget in mind when registering for items for their wedding, Marbais says. “They are taking into consideration their needs more than their wants,” she explains. “With the effect of the pandemic still taking a toll financially on many people, brides and grooms are being more aware of the price points of the items they are choosing to register for. It's more important for couples that guests are able to attend their weddings and celebrate with them rather than overspending on a potentially unnecessary item from their registry.”
Registries That Give Back
On that same note, more and more couples are thinking not about themselves but instead want to make an impact on the world around them, says lifestyle blogger Elise Armitage. There are many ways to go about this, either by specifying charities and non-profits that are dear to their heart or allowing guests to select their own.
“The couple can take full charge of setting t up the donations themselves or to ease some of the wedding planning stress, there are websites that will walk them through setting up the donation, choose the charity, setting up wedding events, and will distribute the money in their honor,” she says.