Wedding Trend Influencers – Generation X to Millennial
September 4, 2019
by Jade Colton, Wedding planner at Shropshire Events.
It’s human nature to want to share moments that are special with the people who are special to us. Be it a birthday, relationship milestone or work achievement, these occasions are special because they are not the everyday; they give us a time to look forward to and come together to celebrate… well… life and what it’s all about; the journey.
Weddings have always been one of the most pivotal occasions to celebrate. They are in essence (and certainly historically) the joining of two families and the blessing of two people’s love for one another. For this reason, traditions and symbols have always been an important part of the big day. Religious elements such as the veil and those considered lucky such as a sixpence in the bride’s shoe or Henna (Moroccan ceremonies) will remain as generations pass, but other trends by their very nature will always come and go.
TRENDS THE PAST 60 YEARS
Looking back we had the importance of the daisy and A-line dresses in the 60s, the ‘anything goes’ from naturists to the seriously conservatives in the 70s, the royal influence of the 80s, the minimalist 90s and on to the millennial couples who have without doubt brought the wedding industry the greatest changes in trend over such a short space of time.
THE POWER OF CHOICE
The shift to independence, individuality and power of choice has meant that the details of a couple’s momentous day are all about what is important to them; their personal and joint beliefs. The occasion is just as much an opportunity to show their guests how they intend to live their lives together; a reflection of them as a couple, as it is a celebration of their love.
FISH & CHIPS – THE MILLENNIAL SHIFT
One of the most monumental examples of this millennial shift was the then controversial introduction of fish and chips in place of the traditional wedding breakfast. In 2007 footballer Steven Gerrard and his new wife Alex Curran served their guests a feast consisting of fish and chips with curry sauce and trifle for dessert, claiming that this was “their favourite food and what they knew their guests would enjoy the most”.
BLUSH PINK & CHAMPAGNE DRESSES
In the early 2000s wedding gown brands such as Hollywood Dreams found that blush pink and champagne tones were being ordered more frequently than white and ivory. Towered cheesecakes became popular, and no wedding was considered complete without some version of a photo booth.
Unless they are Fortnum and Mason, sugared almonds have become a favour of the past, with everything from personalised confectionery and homemade preserves to miniature spirits and packets of garden seeds taking their place.
AMERICAN STYLE AND INFLUENCE
Most recently our UK brides and grooms have been leaning towards a far more American style wedding, dropping much of the old-fashioned tradition and opting for a more celebratory affair but with lashings of detail and finishing touches. Bespoke laser-cut stationery and welcome signage are almost an expectation these days… we’ve moved up an entire level to hyper-personal weddings… initialled cocktail napkins, embossed ribbon and bridal party coat hangers are just a few of the additional details being opted for to create the supposedly perfect wedding.
Laser-cut wedding invite from Not On The Highstreet
Strict table plans where everyone has a designated seat are being ditched for escort cards and a simple table allocation. The “sit where you like on Table X” approach means that guests can be seated where and next to whom they want. It also gives more scope for decorative or novel welcome areas. Take the Prosecco wall for example; a genius invention which allows the guest to help themselves to a pre-poured glass of fizz attached to which is their table number and a tiny “thanks for coming” gesture card.
Hire a Prosecco Wall from £80 per day through Shropshire Events
INFO IN ABUNDANCE
Much of this change in trend is due to the availability of information, resource and idea exchange, which of course is possible because of social media and websites like My Wedding Notebook. 400 million people incorporate Pinterest into their wedding planning each year and there are currently over 147 million posts using the tag #wedding.
Wedding supplier posts and listings, as well as photographs of real-life weddings provide inspiration, contacts and interaction between couples and suppliers, as well as a collaboration between industry specialists… and the average wedding cost hit an all-time high in 2018, reaching just over £30,000. Also, in 2017 31% of engaged couples sought the help of a planner to assist with their big day, compared to less than 10% a decade ago.
So, with all this change in recent years what can we predict for weddings of 2020 and beyond? Judging from pre-released media and pre-booked wedding fayre agendas the key movements will be based around the schedule of the day, and colour meets texture.
More and more couples are booking their ceremony after 3pm and forgoing the 2 hours worth of waiting around before the wedding breakfast. An intimate pre-wedding dinner or post-wedding barbecue is becoming increasingly popular as couples want to extend the celebration and delay their honeymoon a few days.
After a few years of Royal wedding influences some brides are opting for all out Princess with full scale sparkle, and some have finally moved away from the Princess Kate and Meghan movement, choosing to adopt a more organic feel, new colour combinations (earthier tones) and metallic influences.
Whatever logistical details and finishing touches the bride and groom choose (as well as others involved in the decision-making), before jumping online and on social media have an idea about what you BOTH like, what the non-negotiables are, what will make YOUR day the most enjoyable.. not the most impressive to your guests. Remember this is all part of your journey and its entire purpose is to celebrate YOU.
A special thanks to Jade Colton, Wedding planner at Shropshire Events for sharing her knowledge and trend overview with us!