The Top Wedding Reception Trends for 2022

Couples are ready to gather their friends and families for the ultimate celebration of their 2022 wedding.

By Jennifer Prince

Wedding Reception Trends for 2022
Photo by MarianaI Banez

The First Look ✨

Every couple looks forward to tearfully seeing each other at the first look, reciting their vows, and being pronounced as newlyweds. After all, those are all significant parts of the wedding day that seal their union. Then, after the ceremony ends, it’s time to celebrate with loved ones at the after-wedding party. But, what are the best wedding reception trends for 2022?

To learn more, Zola's First Look Report polled 3,309 engaged folks to find out what they have in store for their post-ceremony events. From fun activities to themed entertainment, here is what to expect during wedding receptions in 2022.

What Couples Said About Their 2022 Wedding Receptions

After years of uncertainty, couples are finally ready to get together with their family and friends, and a wedding is a great reason to celebrate. It’s not surprising that 40 percent of couples feel more in love now than ever before, and they highly anticipate their wedding day. During the pandemic, wedding planning time has lengthened, increasing from 12 to 18 months; yet, this has caused 59 percent of couples to say that the planning process has brought them closer.

Getting together is now more meaningful to 48 percent of engaged folks, as they’re looking forward to concentrating on celebrating with their loved ones at their 2022 weddings. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said that they’re just ready to party, and that’s precisely what receptions are all about. From traditions (such as dancing and cocktails) to unique activities (such as games and costumed characters), there is a lot of fun to be had in 2022 to inspire your special day.

Top 2022 Wedding Reception Trends to Watch

Couples getting married in 2022 want to ensure that their big day contains plenty of memory-making moments. Of course, this includes tender times with their significant other, but getting together with family and friends is a top priority. As a result, 2022’s couples are ensuring that their guest experience at the wedding reception is high on the priority list. Here’s how:

Dance Floors

Although a dance floor may not seem unique, couples with 2022 weddings are making them a focus. Everything from checkerboard patterns to messages in lights displayed on the dance floor are en vogue. Brides and grooms are also making the dancing itself a focal point by arranging tables around the perimeter and planning choreographed routines.

Photo Booths

Having a photo booth is the perfect concept for couples who want to maximize their budget. Not only is having a booth entertaining, but the resulting pictures can also double as a wedding favor. Hire a company or make your own area stocked with props to add to the festivities. Another option is to have a unique photo booth housed in a luxe tent or vintage trailer for added interest.

Video Booths

It’s one thing to have photos of your guests having fun at a reception photo booth, but video booths (also known as speech booths) are quickly breaking into reception entertainment. One polled couple is swapping photos for a speech booth. “We’ll have videos of everyone having a great time,” they said. “Their well-wishes will be fun to rewatch in the future.” they added. Capturing sentiments on video is a beautiful keepsake.

Beverage Bars

No matter how you structure your bar—open or cash—having alcoholic beverages is a focus for 2022 weddings. Couples want their wedding guests to party and enjoy themselves. They are doing so by having cocktails, beer, and wine flowing throughout the night. Many are also making the bar itself a focal point with handwritten signage and lavish floral arrangements.

Cigar and Hookah Bars

Long gone are the days of cigarettes; however, having a hookah or cigar bar is a more upscale way to treat your guests to something different. Purchase cigars from various countries or offer different flavors of hookah. When choosing this option, be sure to ask your reception venue if having a cigar or hookah bar is allowed.

Face Painting

Face painting isn’t just for kids anymore. You and your guests can channel your inner children by following the 2022 trend of face painting. Consider having an artist create mini art pieces. Artisans can paint more detailed florals, flourishes, and even landscapes onto the cheeks of your wedding guests.


Acrobatics, live painters, and circus performers are all creative ways that couples are choosing to entertain their attendees. Although these shows are small-scale, they are high quality and add a wow factor to wedding receptions. Providing your guests with something interesting to watch will set your special day apart.

Costumed Character Appearances

According to our respondents, from entertaining the kids to providing the adults with a bit of fun, characters in costume are part of upcoming reception trends. Dressed-up superheroes, movie impersonators, and princesses will be entertaining kids of all ages in 2022. Build on your theme to select a character, or simply go with one that children will enjoy.

Interactive Games

Providing games is a fabulous way for guests to get to know each other. Keep it simple and play a few lawn games, such as cornhole and horseshoes. Another option is to have more organized contests throughout the reception. Either way, games are both fun to watch and participate in, so they will provide entertainment for outgoing folks and wallflowers alike.

Although these are upcoming trends for 2022 weddings, receptions will continue to be looked at as a chance to socialize and celebrate. If you need help, Zola can help you plan the perfect wedding after-party. From coming up with your reception timeline to the logistics of having an open bar, Zola is here to help.

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