Around this time of year, it’s easy to get caught up in the “pretty” trends.
You know the ones: color palettes that revolve around the Pantone Color of the Year, wedding themes that have evolved from years past, lighting trends that bring magic to a venue.
All of these trends are very useful in the realm of planning and design of the weddings in store for the next year, but it’s also important to take stock of the industry at this time of year.
After all, aesthetic trends come and go with each wave of newly engaged couples. But, our wedding businesses? Those are here to stay and endure the ever-changing industry. And, of course, the only way to endure is to be prepared for what’s coming your way.
As we gather up the hottest colors and culinary styles for our annual Trend Report, we also make a point to survey the industry for the changes that affect wedding businesses on a fundamental level. Consumer behavior, marketing strategies, and other global shifts (hello, climate change) are important to understand in the context of how we reach and serve our future clients.
Here’s a look at what industry experts foresee for the business of weddings in 2020:
1. It's a new chapter for social media
“With the upcoming changes on the hiding-likes on Instagram and Facebook, people will start looking for other ways to validate their decision-making,” predicts Alejandra Baca of Belle The Magazine. “Therefore, press features--in print and online--will become more important for wedding vendors as a way to replace the validation social media likes used to deliver. The hiding-likes change will also force wedding vendors to develop a more holistic social media strategy based on more than vanity metrics and pretty photos. This has always been the best way to use social but, for a long time, people were able to skate by on pretty photos and built up a following without diving deeper.”
2. Video continues to reign
“For the last several years, we’ve seen Gen Y shift our marketing towards the use of more video,” shares Michelle Loretta of Sage Wedding Pros. “This explains the rise in social media that embraces this tool—e.g., Instagram Stories. As Gen Z joins the ranks for marrying age, video is going to become even more important. Remember: This generation has been raised on YouTube. They’ll be accessing video more and more for information and education. Wedding professionals need to incorporate this into their marketing strategy now to prepare for the next decade of consumers.”
3. Referral business is strong
“Consumers [couples] are busier than ever,” says Brit Bertino of Brit Bertino, Event Excellence. “They are leaning on referrals from friends and family, and they really are seeking assistance from wedding planners to help them plan their special day.”
4. Sustainability is here to stay
“The conversations continue with regard to sustainability and the impact a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative wedding can make on the world,” explains Pamella Dunn of Pamella Dunn Events. “Millennials continue to challenge the notion of the ‘have it all regardless of impact’ mentality. Plastic-free floristry, paperless invites, and using local vendors all contribute to reducing the carbon footprint of a wedding and encourage subtle but important changes in the way we operate.”
5. Privacy is popular
“People want control back of their privacy--when and how they feature on social media--and I think this will lead to an increase in people looking to remove content from Google and other social media platforms as they clean and start to control their digital fingerprint,” says Laura Payne-Stanley of French Wedding Style. “A form of this has been seen with 'Finstagram' accounts [fake Instagram accounts meant for a smaller audience] and is relevant to wedding guests.”
6. Full-scale tech support is vital
“As in years past, we continue to see a strong trend towards technology adoption in the wedding industry, and we only see the trend getting stronger as our world in general becomes a more tech-savvy environment,” says Christina Farrow of Aisle Planner. “Where wedding professionals were once only using technology for only certain aspects of their business, they are now leaning in towards adopting technology for every aspect of their business. Wedding pros are using tech to not only manage their business, lead management and booking process, they’re also using tech to improve the entire planning process from start to finish.”
“More importantly, the improved client experience enabled by technology is what clients have come to expect,” Farrow adds. “Wedding pros who have invested in technology for their business have already seen positive effects. It’s hard to imagine any true ‘professional’ not engaging tech to manage their back office and client relations.”
That’s not all we have in store in this year’s issue of the International Wedding Trend Report. Take a peek for more insight into the business of weddings, as well as all of the exciting wedding trends on the horizon for 2020.
Kylie Carlson is the owner of The Wedding Academy. With seven locations globally, the academy boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, designers and stylists.