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Latest wedding trends

Top wedding trends for consideration

Absolute personalisation

Weddings have been my working world for 14 years and every year they become ever more personal and unique. Couples are turning away from perceived ‘tradition’ or rather ‘the wedding formula’ in greater numbers in pursuit of something unique and fitting with their personalities.

This presents in different ways but some key trends to note are:

  1. Flexibility – Couples want to create their day in a format that just screams out their story. Whether that’s a clifftop exchange of vows and a laid-back tea party on the beach, or a more formal church wedding and grand stately shindig, couples are paying a lot of attention to building their wedding team (with the venue setting the scene) from the ground up and really researching every element of their wedding including; catering, florals, entertainment and paper goods in order to reflect their personal style. The style of weddings is now utterly diverse. There is an ‘anything goes’ mentality that is very much ingrained in modern weddings, and quite simply there are no rules.
  1. The conveyor belt – It’s vital in 2018 and beyond that each wedding and each couple is approached as an individual. Beware the venue which overly packages offers, presents fixed timetabling, is prescriptive and stamps down unnecessary rules as this does now not work for the modern couple. A new breed of couples aren’t even responding to the term wedding venue, increasingly looking for self-catering homes, farms, barns, and locations that serve another purpose entirely. They are often seeking the chance to create something unique to them, with an element of competition amongst couples to do something different (and better) than their friends. They are often seeking the hidden gem which can work well for those locations looking to dip toes into weddings but not make it a primary business activity.
  1. Fewer formalities – For example, this might present as outdoorsy, rustic, woodland-setting, water-side location. The popularity of tipi tent and stretch tents have gone through the roof, bringing the outdoors in. Food stations, festi-style weddings are currently all the rage for brides and grooms to be. Often seeking the ‘blank canvas’ to make their own mark, lots of couples like to get creative with their own décor, furnishings, florals and yes wedding stylists who bring the whole creative look together.
  1. Symbolic ceremonies – There is a growing trend for ceremonies to be conducted by independent celebrants held any time of day or night in meaningful settings. These have increased a great deal over the past couple of years and are a natural reflection of the ever-increasing personalisation of weddings. The legal, and rather fixed offering of the Registrar’s office, is no longer cutting the mustard and many couples are choosing to marry legally just the two of them in a simple Register office ceremony, then work with a celebrant to conduct a non-legal but highly personal ceremony wherever and whenever they like. This does mean that more and more couples are going for spaces and places that aren’t on the wedding map and don’t necessarily need to hold a wedding license.
  1. Popularity of the weekend wedding – Families are ever more spread all over the world. More and more couples are making the wedding day spread over two to three days, especially when leaving the big cities, to make more of an occasion of it with their nearest and dearest. This often tends to make things less formal, with more family fun, with everyone pitching in and contributing to the celebration. Accommodation is a key desirable. Bedrooms and family rooms and a mixture of accommodation that are able to accommodate 20 or so guests on site is a big plus. Facilities such as tennis, swimming pools, country pursuits, spa treatments, are all a real bonus for a new wedding location and tapping into this emerging weekend market.
  1. Going local - The wedding couple of today tends to have an ever-increasing interest and awareness in provenance and a desire for the very best of local when it comes to their menus, wines and drinks. If you’re thinking of the three-course chicken supreme wedding breakfast served in a hotel banqueting suite, then this is a million miles from the desires of your typical wedding couple these days, in all budget sectors. Simple, good quality is favoured and, above all, tailored to them.

Why are we seeing these emerging trends?

The reasons for this are many. Partly tied up with general cultural shifts, the main generation marrying now are millennials (born between 1979 and 2000) who are known for holding very different ideals to their Generation X forebears.

No longer in pursuit of climbing up the ladder for the sake of it, they are known for defining success differently, looking for the savvy, smart ticket rather than the luxury move.

The education system they have generally grown up in has encouraged and rewarded teamwork and collaboration above all which carries through to their approach and ideals in all areas of their life, none greater than in their wedding choices and decisions.

The financial crisis of a decade ago has also created a sizeable group who quite simply cannot afford the ‘big classic wedding’ with all trimmings, this is a generation who have had to make very harsh decisions as to whether to try to get on the property market, or plough funds into a perceived expensive wedding, remembering that more couples than ever are largely funding their own celebrations, without the help of parents.

That said lots of couples are still investing equal sums in creating their wedding in their own way as they have before. It’s purely a question of their own style being reflected which is far less formal than it used to be.

The tech revolution and the explosion of dedicated professional wedding blogs and social media has brought, supported and given exposure to a vast number of new, talented, creative yet small wedding businesses giving couples huge choice and inspiration and the tools to create something much more unique.

What will happen over the next couple of years with the wedding market?

Personally, I see these changes developing more, and I see in particular more unique locations and venues popping up to meet demand. Places which are not ‘wedding venues,’ but venues which can host wedding celebrations.

I see independent wedding celebrants becoming the ‘go to’ choice of couples seeking a unique celebration, and I’d like to see an increase in the range of clever, creative options available as temporary structures, marquees and tents to ‘bring the outdoors in’ and make use of more beautiful settings.

Farm diversification, diversification ideas, rural business, rural business ideas

Farm diversification, diversification ideas, rural business, rural business ideas

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