If you’ve been to a wedding in the past year or two, you’ve probably noticed something a little different about each occasion – and for good reason. As Millennials grow up and start tying the knot, the things that we as a generation care about are showing up in our nuptial celebrations. Cookie cutter, pre-packaged weddings are quickly becoming a thing of the past; Millennials are instead creating something one-of-a-kind, something that’s totally sharable on social media (what’s your wedding Snapchat filter?) and something that actually stays pretty budget-friendly. And the wedding planning industry is paying attention.
Enter PopBliss!, a non-traditional wedding planning company dedicated to hosting — get this — a luxury pop-up wedding experience taking place in New York City March 30 and 31st. Sounds totally epic, right? That’s the point. With all of the details taken care of, from a bridal brunch to a live-streamed ceremony to customized leather jackets for the happy couple (so Kim and Kanye), the goal is way more #BreaktheInternet than happily ever after. We talked to Racquel Kristi, wedding expert and the founder of PopBliss!, about some of the ways that millennials are doing weddings differently and, needless to say, inspiration abounds. Here’s the exclusive scoop on why a unique experience is more important than ever and other trends for millennials looking to tie the knot in 2016.
1. They’re putting new spins on old traditions. Millennials are not afraid to take chances in their wedding celebrations. Everything from a colorful gown to a mountaintop wedding might be in the cards, but the biggest trend by far is infusing the couple’s personality into the wedding. “A couple that loves to read will have a wedding at a library,” Raquel says, “or certain quotes listed in the decor or even have people reading during the ceremony or reception.”
Those infusions of “personalized elements for their celebration” includes elopements and surprise weddings too. Adventurous couples may opt for a wedding in the middle of an ocean, or low-key couples may have an impromptu ceremony during a birthday party or housewarming. Finding unique and personal ways to celebrate your special day, without breaking the bank, is at the top of every Millennial’s mind.
2. Sharing on social media is huge. It’s almost impossible to attend a wedding these days without the requisite #hashtag to tag photos, but there’s no shame since “it’s all about sharing the experience” for Millennials. Couples are also using various apps to enhance the experience, like using Flipagram to turn guests’ personal photos on Instagram into one mega-video for the wedding.
Even bigger than a curated Insta feed is video streaming, specifically live streaming on apps like Periscope. “People are able to engage during the event even though they’re not there,” Racquel says. “It expands your guests list to have your family and friends that aren’t there to join you.” Whether you’re sending a spontaneous wedding sing-along video on Snapchat or showing overseas family photos via WedPics a few weeks after the big day, spreading the joy has never been so easy.
3. It’s about the experience instead of the event. Travel is a big part of many Millennials’ lives, and this is clearly reflected in the way that they do weddings. “They incorporate travel a lot into the planning of their lifestyle, on a daily basis and when it comes to their wedding, and they want their guests to experience it too,” Racquel says.
The ceremony and reception may be the big event, but for Millennials, the journey is what matters. “Weddings are no longer just one day, they’re two and three-day weekends,” Racquel explains. “It’s about the buildup of the moment and it not lasting just one day.”
4. Technology plays a big role. Being the most tech-savvy generation has its advantages. Charging stations at receptions — an easy way to keep the party going into the late hours — using apps to RSVP and leveraging digital maps to get your guests where they need to be all help ensure you can be connected all event long. But the most exciting way Millennials are using technology in their weddings is incorporating it into the decor.
“It can be lighting, it can be effects, it can be wording,” Racquel says of couples who opt to light up their monogram or a special word with marquee lighting to add a personal touch. Whether it’s using an app to create a fun wedding day contest or setting up a table of laptops where all of your non-attending guests can connect, tech is everywhere.
5. Designing a Pinterest and Instagram-worthy event is a must. The bottom line is that Millennial weddings need to look absolutely gorgeous. Using Pinterest boards and Instagram hashtags for inspiration, Millennials have access to almost unlimited resources when it comes to researching what they want their wedding to look like. “Couples have the advantage of being exposed to vendors outside and inside of the country,” explains Racquel. “It’s really broadening the opportunity to create something unique.”
In the end, Racquel says it all comes down to the details of the event itself. “The beautiful landscapes, amazing locations, incredible decor, having a blast with their friends jumping up and down, dancing, having a good time… It speaks to who they are, and speaks to their energy,” Racquel says. Couples want to share the experience, and it all begins and ends on Pinterest and Instagram.
Want more great wedding inspiration? Follow Brit + Co on Pinterest!
(Photo courtesy of Kate Monakhova/iStock)