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Meghan Ely Photo by Aaron Watson Photography

Wild about Harry: How the Royal Wedding Will Disrupt the Industry in 2018

Smart wedding pros will prepare now for 'Harry-Meghan' mania

It’s time to dust off the Union Jack memorabilia from 2011--another royal wedding is upon us. And while your first inclination is to sigh at the thought of a heavily saturated 24-hour news cycle, the fact is that this unprecedented event will impact the industry in 2018 and beyond.

So, what should you be prepared for?

2018 Trends Will Pivot Mid-Year
‘Tis the season for 2018 wedding trend predictions--what people will wear, florals, destination locations, and everything in between. That being said, expect some trends to shift depending on the selections of Prince Harry and Meghan. After the wedding of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, we saw couples toss the Mason jars aside for a more luxe approach. We’ll see a similar scenario this go around with anything wedding-related that Meghan touches selling out in minutes.

Second Weddings Will Come out of Hiding
It’s no secret that this is not Meghan’s first walk down the aisle, so expect a larger conversation about how the perception of “encore celebrations” have evolved with the modern times. Should brides still shun white? How big a celebration should you have? Does it (better yet--should it) still matter? Prince Harry and Meghan’s Big Day will officially force a conversation that should be had.

The Wedding Date Will Make Waves
Once the actual royal wedding date is set, you may find couples incorporating the viewing into their own weekend celebration. Instead of viewing lounges created for sporting events, you’ll find areas dedicated to watching the prince and his bride, depending on time zones.

And what if you have a couple marrying the same weekend as the royal wedding and would like to avoid this hurdle all together? Simply remind your client that an estimated 2 billion watched the royal wedding in 2011, so it might be an uphill battle expecting guests to skip the pomp and circumstance.

With honeymoon travel, you’ll see couples either flocking to the U.K. or avoiding it altogether during the fervor--there will be no in between.

Wedding Media will be ‘Royal Wedding Leaning’
It will come as no surprise that writers everywhere are covering the engagement and subsequent celebration with vigor.

Expect this to continue through May, along with a bevy of feature articles with themes that play into Harry and Meghan’s specific circumstances. There will be talk of family traditions, protocol and how U.K. weddings vary from other regions.

This content will slow down as we make our way to May, when the media will once again ramp up direct coverage of the wedding, as we all breathlessly wait for the carriage to inevitably make its way to Windsor Castle.

If one thing is for sure--all eyes will be on England in the coming year.

Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast. 


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