My role as a wedding planner usually starts with a consultation. It is of course free, and its purpose is to understand how the couple envisions their dream wedding and how they want to accomplish this vision.
I remember well the weddings of 10 years ago. The most popular option then was a hotel or a traditional reception venue with a reception ballroom and some menu options. The hotel gave you a list of recommended musicians, florists, confectioners for a wedding cake, and photographers. The bride would draw ideas for dresses, bouquets, decorations, and other details from glossy wedding magazines. There were few stores and boutiques selling wedding dresses, and you could still rely on Filene’s Basement, where a wedding dress could be bought cheaply on the famous day of "Running of the Brides," when the Basement was buzzing like a beehive and hordes of girls with crazy eyes would try on dresses right in the middle of the floor.
Filene’s Basement as a physical store doesn’t exist anymore. Many of the typical wedding scenarios, as well as glossy magazines, are almost a thing of the past. The search for information, the choice and purchase of various wedding items, from invitations to dresses, is now done online.
And most importantly: a new generation has grown up - the so-called Millennials - and their priorities have shattered the established traditional wedding rules.
- What is the most important for your wedding? - I would ask.
- Well, the most important thing for us, of course, is that our wedding has to be unique, not like the others, - I would get as an answer.
Here are some elements important for a Millennial wedding:
Uniqueness, distinction, creativity, and modern technology are the main factors determining the attitude towards a wedding for Millennials. Creating a unique celebratory atmosphere for themselves and their guests is essential and often the main desire of a modern couple. That's why so much attention is paid to the creative approach and the search for fresh ideas. Depending on the budget, the goal is achieved by choosing a ceremony/reception venue, an innovative design (where some of the elements can be of DIY-style, and some are achieved with the help of designers, lighting specialists, florists, etc.). But let's start in order.
1. Creating a wedding website. Almost all of the information necessary for guests, as well as the information for personal use, is uploaded to the couples’ personal wedding website. Here it is always handy and accessible, which is convenient for the couple and their guests (but we must remind them that not all grandparents, uncles, and aunts are ready for this format). Constant updates on the website are also a part of the process, and are given great importance: this journey is a part of the wedding experience.
2. "Save the date" is usually sent via an online tool (PaperlessPost). Because why waste money and paper?
3. Venue Selection.
The choice of an unusual place for a banquet and sometimes for a wedding ceremony is extremely important. Yes, of course, some couples will choose a hotel or a traditional wedding venue. But museums, theaters, television studios, university halls, parks, zoos, etc., are becoming more in demand.
Destination Wedding: US or on the Beach. Almost a quarter of US weddings are taking place outside the couple’s hometown. Many couples choose Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Mexico. The truth is that as a rule you still wed at the hotel the standard way (or on its beach, with other beach-goers peaking). But the destination itself creates the feeling of uniqueness. The hotel industry in the Caribbean and Mexico organize a lot of inexpensive weddings nowadays. However, to create a sense of privacy in the absence of strangers, a serious search is required, which usually translates into serious costs.
Destination Wedding: Europe. Here, Italy leads. And I’ve already written in detail why, in my opinion, there is nothing more beautiful and unique than a wedding in Italy! Many Millennials consider it, especially if they already traveled around the world and ceased to perceive distance as an obstacle. In Italy the choice of a unique place and the organization of a distinctive wedding are both easily facilitated.
4. Use of Social Networks to the max
(which makes the availability of Wi-Fi and electronic devices’ chargers necessary elements of the wedding).
Hashtags. The famous Oxford Dictionary added this word to its collection in 2014. The bride and groom can spend a lot of time and energy on inventing their unique hashtag. This hashtag is then communicated to all guests present at the wedding to immediately post tag their photos on Instagram, Facebook, and any other social network. As a result, a huge collection of photos is immediately obtained, shared, and forever stored online.
Wedding Snapchat Geofilter. If you are not familiar with Snapchat, ask your children or grandchildren. They will explain and, most importantly, show it to you. The bride and groom will either come up with their own geofilters or purchase them on popular sites like Etsy.
Instagram. The wedding and all the activities related to it before and after (Engagement, Bridal Shower, Rehearsal etc.) should be worthy of placing on Instagram with the appropriate hashtag.
Facebook. While the Instagram leads in popularity, FB is still an important communication tool for Millennials, and the placement of engagement photos, and all other events related to the wedding, is widely shared on their FB pages.
Pinterest. Preparing for a wedding, searching for ideas and subsequently placing photos from your own wedding is an indispensable part of a modern bride’s routine.
5. Innovation and Technology at the Reception:
Lighting. In addition to traditional candles and fireworks, new lighting solutions are becoming increasingly popular, and their wide variety of options can cause dizziness.
Drones are a frequent element of photo and video to capture a different angle of a wedding.
Live broadcast for those who cannot attend the wedding is becoming used more often.
Photobooths of all kinds and capabilities, including an animated gif photobooth, are very popular.
Of course, food, drink, music, and other entertainment are all given important attention. But these elements of a wedding are not strikingly different from the traditional ones of generations past.