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Back to Weddings

5 ways weddings have changed for 2022 and beyond

How does the big white wedding look in a post-pandemic world? We asked the Muddy Award-winning team behind The Tythe Barn in Bicester.

1/The guest list is smaller

Image: First Sight Weddings

One of the biggest ways weddings have changed is the size of the guest list. These days, couples are far more likely to have an intimate wedding than a grand gathering – ideal if you’re on a more reserved budget, or you’d rather keep things cosy.

“Most weddings in 2020 and 2021 took place with hugely reduced guest numbers, so I think 2022 couples are reevaluating, prioritising and creating their ‘VIP’ list,” says Emma from The Tythe Barn. “Not to mention, the word on the street right now is ‘inflation,’ and couples will be being savvy about how to be the most efficient with their wedding budget.

That’s not to say that couples are opting for rule-of-six type figures – simply scaling down slightly. “Pre-pandemic, Tythe would see couples considering a guest list of around 90-120 for the ceremony and wedding breakfast,” says Emma. “Now our average at present is around 70-90 guests.”

2/The vibe is more intimate

Image credit: Jonny Gouldstone

With smaller guest lists, there’s a real danger that guests can feel like they’re rattling around in a big, empty wedding venue – that is, unless you choose one that’s adaptable.

“The main barn at Tythe is just over 29 metres long, but our huge, moveable barn doors draped in fairy lights can track round to close in the room and create a more intimate setting,” explains Emma. “We also have a gorgeous linen curtain at the opposite end of the main barn which can be drawn to make the space feel smaller. We had a number of weddings at Tythe for 15 during the pandemic and by making these changes this number felt perfect in the barn!”

Another way to stop smaller gatherings feeling out of place is to make the most of outdoor spaces, which can be surprisingly flexible compared to fixed rooms.

Image credit: Poppy Carter Portraits

“Smaller weddings tend to gather in our intimate, manicured back garden, filled with pretty plants, oak pergola and fairy lights,” Emma says. “It’s so popular that we’ve even started offering couples the opportunity to enjoy their first dance here, under the stars.”

3/Outdoor weddings are more popular

Speaking of outdoor weddings, after a few years with only meetings outside allowed, more and more couples are looking for wedding venues with beautiful gardens for alfresco ceremonies – even if the British weather doesn’t always play ball.

Image credit: Dearest Love Photography

“Outdoor weddings are nothing new – we’ve been offering them for over twenty years now – but the events of the past few years have definitely made it a more popular option as social distancing is less of a consideration,” says Emma. “Our ceremony space works for all seasons, too: the pergola is adorned with lilac wisteria in the spring, dense, deep green foliage in the summer and pretty festoon bulbs to light up those autumnal and winter evenings.”

4/The weddings are longer

“There might be fewer guests at the weddings now, but couples now really want to put the focus on showing their appreciation to those guests who can make it, and spend quality time with them,” Emma says. “Whether this is family members, close friends or relatives travelling from overseas, couples are extending their wedding day to take advantage of this precious time together.”

How exactly does one go about extending their wedding day? “Americans have for a long time incorporated a rehearsal dinner the night before a wedding and at Tythe we are experiencing more and more requests for a scaled down version of this,” explains Emma. “Couples are looking to enjoy the company of their guests both before and after the wedding day.”

Image credit: Sam Bennett

“The demand for the extended wedding played a big role in our decision to renovate our family Farmhouse at Tythe into luxury accommodation. Couples and their guests now have access to The Farmhouse from 4pm the day before their wedding and can enjoy the gardens, the tennis court, an afternoon tea or a dip in the wood-fuelled hot tub. It’s also a fantastic space for the bride and bridesmaids to get ready, and there’s a room dedicated to the groom and his ushers.”

Image credit: New Forest Studio

“After the wedding, guests can then retire to the Farmhouse after the wedding for late night munchies, a night cap and a catch up on the day’s events. Then everyone can enjoy a leisurely (and hopefully not too hungover!) breakfast together the next day. It’s a great way to extend the day in a natural-feeling way, and ensure everyone gets quality time.”

5/The suppliers are more local

Image credit: Poppy Carter Portraits

It might not be a direct effect of the pandemic, but these days, green is the new white when it comes to weddings. “Millennial and Gen Z couples particularly are keen to make the extra effort needed to ensure their venue and their wedding day isn’t going to have a huge impact on the environment,” Emma agrees.

“We’re definitely seeing a trend for a greener wedding, with couples being more mindful about wedding wastefulness, helping to support the local economy by hiring local suppliers and being more open using seasonal flowers and locally-grown foods for their menu. Tythe is fully committed to establishing itself as a green, socially-aware and inclusive venue – it’s our ambition to be net zero in the future!”

Image credit: Jonny Gouldstone

Wedding bells ringing in your future? Visit The Tythe Barn website to take a peek around this gorgeous Bicester venue.

The Tythe Barn, Charbridge Ln, Launton, Bicester, OX26 4SR

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