I’m almost 30, so I’m basically a wedding attendee expert at this point. With attending so many weddings (seriously, why is my life becoming more and more like Noah’s Ark with everyone pairing up?!), and being part of the bridal party in a few of them, I’ve often looked to The Knot for guidance. They know everything about weddings and wedding etiquette. It’s nice to have some reference for what is considered an acceptable wedding gift when you already had to buy a $300 tulle dress you’ll never wear again. Being the expert on weddings, The Knot has their 2019 Real Weddings Study ready to tell us how generations are changing their wedding habits, and it actually seems to be more for good than evil. According to The Knot, couples care more about “inclusivity, sustainability, community and purpose-driven details” than ever before. Here are just a few things changing in our generation’s wedding planning:
Weddings are now “fusing a variety of cultural and religious backgrounds”, because 51% of couples are marrying someone of a different background, according to The Knot. This means couples are doing much more diverse ceremonies that aren’t necessarily religious, or combining two religious ceremonies to reflect both partners’ beliefs. I think this is really cool that couples are taking charge of what’s important to them. I’ve even been to a wedding where they did a medieval sword ceremony instead of a religious one, and it was awesome. The bottom line is, you shouldn’t feel like you have to stick to tradition if it doesn’t fit in with your values (or you like, just don’t want to).
As a society, most of us care about the environment and are trying to go green everywhere we can. From sustainable fashion to travel to those damn paper straws, millennials and Gen-Z are big on not f*cking up the planet, and The Knot says, “weddings are no exception”. According to their 2019 Real Wedding Study, one-quarter of couples now source locally and repurpose wedding details instead of just throwing their decor out after one use. 14% even do eco-friendly alternatives, like chalkboard seating charts, bamboo place settings, and digital RSVPs. Couples are also spending less on their weddings and considering budget to be important. On average, couples are now covering half of their wedding costs, so they are more aware of budget now that we don’t just charge everything to Bank Of Daddy.
Standing Up For Themselves
Couples are finally ignoring what their families want and are doing what they actually want to do for their weddings. I’m sure it helps that they’re footing their own bills now, which means they can’t be bullied into inviting their dad’s fourth cousins they’ve never even met. The Knot says this includes, “making intentional vendor choices, like choosing a venue with meaning (think, an art gallery that supports female artists or town hall that has made strides for the LGBTQ+ community) or making a statement about gender equality by walking down the aisle together.” Couples now even donate decor or have a charity donation as their registry! You love to see it.
Couples now are saying f*ck gender roles and are having their bridal parties include all their best friends—regardless of gender. I have seen this in so many weddings recently, and I LOVE IT. Why do we segregate our friends based on their genitals anyway? The Knot says, “nearly 4 in 10 couples (37%) embrace coed wedding parties”, with groomswomen and bridesmen! I mean really, why was gender ever a consideration for who gets to stand up there with you on your wedding day? It should just be about standing up at the altar with the people you care about.
Wedding traditions may be changing, but it’s definitely for the better. These stats from The Knot just show that you can do whatever the f*ck you want on your big day and everyone else can shove it. See more findings from the Real Weddings Study at The Knot.
The sun is shining. The flowers are blooming. The weather is still unpredictable but just stable enough to convince people to host outdoor events without any kind of backup plan. It can all only mean one thing: wedding season is upon us.
In news that should surprise no one but will probably anger baby boomers somewhere, millennials are changing up the way we approach weddings. Crazy, right? That an entirely new generation, more diverse than any to come before it and with different entirely socioeconomic backgrounds, might have a few differing opinions from people who got married 50 years ago? Progress is scary.
To prepare for the seemingly endless parade of undying love we’re all about to embark on, we spoke to Alyssa Longobucco, Senior Style & Planning Editor at The Knot, to get the inside scoop on what we can expect from the coming season. 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’re hitting the wedding circuit this summer, you’re bound to notice a few similarities between each event. I’m not saying you should be turning the most important days of your friends’ lives into drinking games, but if you were to take a shot for every hand-painted sign or photo booth you encounter, you’d be guaranteed to have a good night.
But most interestingly, what you might begin to notice is the lack of similarity altogether. According to Alyssa, this can be attributed to the one macro-trend ruling the millennial weddings scene: personalization.
“The biggest trend we’re seeing across the board with millennial couples when it comes to planning their weddings is personalization. Today’s couples are all about bringing to life their wedding vision in a way that feels right for them.” For some couples, that means forgoing the stodgier traditions favored by their parents, like cake cutting and bouquet tosses. Some of these things may still be incorporated, but what The Knot has begun to notice is that weddings today are a much less regimented affair.
“There used to be a more prescriptive way to go about weddings—they all had more similar looks and feels to them, and as a guest (or couple) you could pretty much guess what was coming up for the evening,” recounts Longobucco. Sounds boring as hell, right? I gladly welcome this new world order where each wedding is a unique experience crafted by the couple.
One example of the ways that millennials are putting their spin on tradition: the unity ceremony. According to Alyssa, “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’ve see couples solidify their union in a myriad of personalized and fun ways, like taking dual tequila shots or making a batch of guacamole together.” I’d love to meet the bride bold enough to not only make guacamole in a wedding dress, but to make 100 of her closest friends and family members sit and watch while she does it. A power move if I’ve ever seen one. These examples are obviously a little on the eccentric side, but that’s kind of the point. As aptly put by Alyssa, “there are no rules, as long as it feels right to the couple.”
Another trend you can expect to see this summer? Interactive weddings. This should be no surprise, given the ubiquity of the photo booth, which even ten years ago would have been considered a novelty. “From cartoon artists and live poets to an after party silent disco, couples are really prioritizing showing their guests a memorable (and photo-worthy!) time.”
While I’d rather die than experience live poetry at a wedding, I think it’s reflective of an entire generation that the number one focus of what is supposed to be one of the biggest days of our lives has shifted to the guests rather than the couple in question. 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 sweet, even if they make you wear pastel taffeta while they do it.
The number one thing to keep in mind as you prep for a summer full of weddings: it’s not about you. Cringey or cliche or outright ridiculous, two people that you (hopefully) care about have put in an inordinate amount of time and energy (and, again, money) into a day that they want you to enjoy. If you have to sit and watch a slam poet make guacamole in front of a unity candle while an acoustic cover of Ed Sheeran plays in the background to make that happen, so be it.
Images: Giphy (2); Benjaminrobyn Jespersen / Unsplash