To our third annual International Wedding Trends Reports, the millennials are in the driver’s seat when it comes to determining what will be popular in weddings in 2017. This generation of "critical consumers with a conscience" is exercising its influence over the wedding world, and savvy wedding business owners have much to gain if they can tap in to what makes this generation tick.
Who Are the Millennials?
Born in the 80s and 90s, millennials are the incredibly tech-oriented children of the last of the Baby Boomers and early Gen X. Masters of self-expression (think selfies and Instagram), they are statistically the most educated generation yet. They live primarily in urban areas, prefer to walk over drive, watch less television than their parents, but are passionate about their celebrities. Recession shaped their early adulthood, so they seek value while recognizing and demanding quality.
Technology Meets Design
Millennials shop online, and Christine Ligthart of Australia’s “I Do Crew” acknowledges that search engine optimization, social media engagement, and creative app development are all necessary tools in a millennial marketing plan. “Today’s consumer can send off a lot of inquiries in a very short space of time,” says Ligthart, so the quality and speed of response are key.
However, millennials expect much more from technology. David Merrell of AOO Events has identified just some of the ways it can be incorporated into actual wedding design in 2017, saying, “High-tech options--from digital mapping to drone photography to special effects such as fog machines and lasers--are becoming more and more prevalent in wedding event design,” as well as more affordable, thus accessible.
He adds that mobile apps and supportive technology in the form of charging stations are newly relevant topics of mainstream wedding planning conversations for 2017.
Millennials, Culture and Tradition
Millennials, according to Forbes, have experienced growth primarily due to immigration, and consequently have strong ties to their family roots. Bridal Bar’s Harmony Walton predicts: “Infusing your location, your culture, your family and honoring that heritage will continue to rise in 2017, especially with the recent U.S. elections, which have sparked an even deeper root in family.”
Atmosphere over Sheer
Elizabeth Marsh says that millennials will influence 2017 floral trends, including “more informal designs” and a focus on “creating an amazing atmosphere rather than simply impressing guests with pure volume of flowers.” She also attributes the rising popularity of recycling after an event to “savvy millennials who have grown up with the concept of provenance and sustainability.”
Other millennial-driven trends include the very popular “industrial” approach to design and venue selection, a focus on creating a guest experience for all five senses, and an appreciation for authentic fine art details as well as opulence
So much to learn! Start now and study up on millennial hopes and habits to improve your business’ relevance and success in 2017.
Kylie Carlson is the owner of the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.