From avocado wedding cakes to interactive ceremonies, millennials have well and truly revolutionized the wedding industry...
Weddings are, in the eyes of many, bastions of tradition.
And for lots of people (usually baby boomers), there are certain rules that must be followed: the ceremony must take place inside a church, the bride must wear a white dress, the couple must cut a fruitcake.
But, in news that should surprise no one but will probably anger baby boomers somewhere, millennials are changing up the way approach weddings. Madness, right? That an entirely new generation, more diverse than any to come before it and with an entirely different socioeconomic background, might just have a few differing opinions from those who got married 50 years ago. Wild, I know.
For some, this means having a 'cake' made out of avocados and saying their 'I Dos' on top of a mountain, and for others, it's ditching the white dress and ceremony altogether.
But that's not all, below are all the ways millennials are revolutionalising the wedding industry. Spoiler alert: garter tosses are on their way out. I, for one, will sleep easier at night knowing that the likelihood that I have to watch any of my friends’ husbands stick their faces up their newly minted wives’ skirts in front of a sea of family members is diminishing by the second. Who says 2019 is entirely terrible?
If you've been to your fair share of weddings, you're bound to notice a few similarities between each event. I'm not suggesting you should turn the most important day of your friends' lives into a drinking game, but if you were to take a shot for every photo booth and 'LOVE' sign, I can guarantee you'll have a good time. But as millennials would have it, similarity is dying out. This can be attributed to the one macro-trend ruling the millennial weddings scene: personalization.
For some millennial couples, that means having their dog as the ringbearer and for others, it's about having their names carved into every piece of wood they could find. Because of this, weddings have become much more design-led - from large scale installations to little details like signature cocktails.
Making Marriage A Pit Stop, Not A Destination
Millennials are not only changing how we marry, but they're also changing the social implications of romance by challenging traditional gender roles. For women, marriage has historically been the destination. For men, marriage has always been a pit stop along their way in life. Now, for the first time, marriage is just another step in a relationship.
Consequently, weddings and wedding planning are becoming more accurate reflections of marriage itself: a partnership. No longer left for the bride to plan every fine detail, everything is now done together - from engagement to honeymoon - as an example of how everything will continue long after.
It has become increasingly common for couples to steer clear of traditional church weddings in favour of low-key formalities at a registry office, often followed by a more elaborate ceremony in a unique location. Several years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see couples perform a ritual like lighting a candle or pouring sand into a vase to represent their new union. These days, however, that common tradition is getting a new twist and we're noticing couples are solidifying their union in a myriad of personalized and fun ways, like taking dual tequila shots or jumping out of a plane.
These examples are obviously a little on the eccentric side, but that’s kind of the point. There are no rules, as long as it feels right to the couple.
Millennials are still getting married. It's just happening later than expected, which makes it seem like the marriage rate is on the decline. Many people and brands seem to be resistant to the shift we're seeing because they're assuming millennials do not value marriage as much as previous generations have.
Fortunately, this is simply untrue. Millennials are actually approaching not only wedding-planning but marriage itself with a great deal of consideration. Women are more career-driven than ever before. With both men and women equally valuing their goals as individuals, marriage doesn't fit into a couple's life as early as it once did.
Millennials are also incorporating a much more DIY approach.
Why the eagle-eye focus on "custom-made"? Because millennials are wildly creative. They're creators in every sense of the word. For the longest time, human beings have simply grown into their identities as a result of many factors: job, family, culture. Today millennials actively create themselves. Their weddings are part of their identities and the desire to take ownership of creating those pieces of themselves is absolute.
If you attend any wedding this year, prepare for it to be interactive. Now, we're not saying (at least we're hoping it's not) the ceremony will enforce audience participation but you can expect live poets, cartoon artists, silent disco receptions. This should be no surprise, given the ubiquity of the photo booth, which even ten years ago would have been considered a novelty
Couples are prioritizing showing their guests a memorable time. Millennial brides and grooms understand that their friends have sacrificed time and money (and probably sanity) to be present during their big day, and they want to make sure that the payoff is worth the investment. That’s nice, even if they make you wear oversized glasses while they do it.
The Colour White
Walking down the aisle, the bride is the centre of attention, with all eyes taking in her sartorial elegance - some brides will have spent months, maybe even years, choosing the perfect white gown for her special day. So in a time-honoured tradition, other female guests have always steered away from wearing white or anything that may resemble what the most important person of the day has chosen to wear.
However, with more and more millennial brides opting out of the white dress brigade, millennial wedding guests are reclaiming the colour white.
Think about it, it is next to impossible to upstage any bride on her wedding day, regardless of the colour that you wear as a guest.
...That said, maybe just don't do an Aunt Sarah and arrive to the ceremony in an actual wedding dress.
Main image by @rocknrollbride on Instagram