The 20 Biggest Millennial Wedding Trends (According to Millennials)

It’s free content week, and we're counting down our five most popular articles of 2017 so far—giving all our readers access to one each day. Here is the 5th most clicked, originally published April 10th, 2017. Enjoy! 

(Want to see the 4th most clicked? It's right here!

We asked 800 18-34-year-olds to tell us the new weddings traditions and trends they’ve seen…

Millennials do want to get married, just in their own way. According to our recent survey on weddings, 18-34-year-olds are prioritizing “comfort, personalization, and innovation” on the big day. Millennials are ushering in the age of “bridechilla,” and Pinterest reports that “[t]he new direction of nuptials in 2017 is all about personalization and having fun,” with brunch weddings, personalized drinks stations, brides with natural hair, and off-the-shoulder wedding dresses as some of the biggest rising trends. We weren’t surprised by those findings, as our 2016 survey on wedding trends saw “experience over tradition” as one of the biggest themes. We told you then:  

“Not too surprisingly, throwing tradition to the wind was a major theme that Millennial wedding goers say they’re seeing at nuptials today. One 32-year-old female says that brides and grooms are, “Making it more about the experience and less about tradition.” “Non-traditional” came up again and again, when talking about cakes, dresses, ceremonies, engagement rings and more.”

To kick off wedding season this year, and continue to keep you ahead of the wedding trend curve, we once again asked Millennials to tell us the new traditions they’re noticing. Here are the top 20 they mentioned in our recent wedding survey:

*These were open-end response questions to allow us to capture the full range of trends that 18-34-year-olds are seeing. As with any qualitative question, the responses include those that are top of mind and those that are seen most. The list is ordered according to number of responses received, and alphabetically when ties occurred. 

What New Wedding Traditions Have They Noticed?

18-34-year-olds

  1. Hashtags / Social Media
  2. Barn / Country / Rustic Weddings
  3. Photobooth
  4. Mix and Match Bridesmaids' Dresses
  5. DIY / Pinterest
  6. Colored Wedding Dress
  7. Cake Alternative / Cupcakes
  8. Choreographed Dances
  9. Honeymoon registry / Money / Donations Instead of Gifts
  10. Themed Weddings
  11. Mason Jars
  12. Unity Knot / Candle / Sand
  13. Small Weddings
  14. Non-Religious Ceremonies / Friends as Officiants
  15. Non-Dress Wedding Dress
  16. Casual Atmosphere
  17. Digital Invitations
  18. Sneakers for the wedding party / bride
  19. Snapchat Filters
  20. Bridesmen And Groomsladies 

The wedding hashtag isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and it’s at the top spot of our Millennial wedding trend ranking. A new study from The Knot found 65% of 18-24-year-old and 71% of 25-29-year-old brides in the U.S. have created custom hashtags for their weddings, using them mostly as a practical “tool for helping organize and finding things.” Snapchat wedding filters, which are accessible within 20,000 sq. feet of a wedding venue and run around $5, have also been growing in popularity with young couples—and we saw Snapchat filters on our list at #19.

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingThe barn / country / rustic motif (#2) is still going strong with Millennials, who are using DIY and Pinterest (#5) to help them achieve their rustic looks. (Though we will say this trend has been dominating for so long that we wouldn’t be surprised if some more elegant counter-trends started to gain traction.) Part of the appeal of the country-fied style is likely its casual, laid back nature, which at #16 is clearly a big desire. Other trends indicating their desire for casual atmosphere include mason jars (#11), and sneakers for the wedding party / bride (#18). In fact, The New York Times reports a new generation of brides is happy to wear colorful and decorated sneakers with their wedding dresses to enhance comfort on their special (sometimes very long) day. The fashion industry has taken notice, and brands like Keds, Converse, and Tory Burch have added “comfortable yet stylish” sneakers to their collections. According to our survey, 78% of 18-34-year-old females agree that "Being comfortable on your wedding day is more important than looking glamorous." 

Millennial research, Millennial insight, Millennial marketing, Gen Z research, Gen Z marketing, Gen Z insight, youth research, youth marketingOf course, trends like bridal sneakers aren’t just about comfort, they’re also about making the bride feel unique—after all, wearing heels on your wedding day is expected but sneakers are far rarer. Unique attire appears several times on this trend list, from mix-matched bridesmaids' dresses (#4), to colored wedding dresses (#6), and non-dress wedding dresses (#15). For the latter, we received mentions of jumpsuits, short dresses, and bridal tuxes. In their new report, Etsy also lists colored dresses for brides as one of the top wedding trends they're seeing, and we named "Saying Yes to the Non-White Dress" as one of the big trends we saw last year as well. It’s no surprise that 73% of 18-34-year-old females told us they want their wedding dress to be unique and different. Colored wedding cakes (#6) and themed weddings (#10) are other indications that the desire to be unique is strong and driving many of their wedding choices, and personal, fun, and unique were the top three qualities that Millennials told us they want their weddings to be. 

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The Newsfeed

“It[‘s] only about the music for me, nothing else dictates what I listen to, I either like it or I don't.”—Male, 28, WA

A new app is getting teens’ attention as it rises through the ranks of the new social apps to know, even surpassing Houseparty’s popularity—but the catch is it’s “piggyback[ing]” on Snapchat. Polly allows users to create anonymous surveys that they can send on Snapchat (there's that anonymity allure again), meaning many users may not have actually downloaded the Polly app, so they “could slip away if friends stop posting questions.” For now though, the app amassed 20 million users and 100 million answers last month, proving it’s one to keep an eye on. (TechCrunch)

Designers are taking to social media to “shame” the retailers ripping off their work. When Zoila Darton spotted a Forever 21 shirt eerily similar to the one she helped create to benefit Planned Parenthood, she posted a tweet to let the brand know their copycat didn’t go unnoticed—and quickly gained attention from fashion editors and others. This isn’t the first time pieces have been copied by Forever 21, but designers have a hard time taking legal recourse against the powerful company. Instead, social media posts are often their best bet. (NYTimes)

BeautyCon is continuing to take “Sephora and Coachella and smash it into one thing” to appeal to young consumers. At the latest L.A. event, 20,000 beauty fans came to meet their influencer idols and try out the latest makeup trends, surrounded by empowering slogans and messages—true to the brand’s idea that “beauty can be something beyond a concealer culture.” Of course, brands were there “to win over the new generation”—ChapStick Duo offered cotton candy while Rimmel London’s “slayground” gave attendees a chance to set down their makeup and enjoy a jungle gym and swing set.
(The New Yorker)

It turns out saving money might not be cord cutters’ top reason for switching to streaming. Instead, a recent Magid Associates survey found that “the attractions” of SVOD programming (aka their content) is their top reason for making the move, followed by the overall decline of TV-viewing among 18-24-year-olds. Cable companies are trying to reel The Post-TV Gen back in by offering lower-cost cable bundles (so-called “skinny bundles”), but stepping up their shows might be a better first step to reversing the “accelerating” trend of cutting the cord. (TheStreet)

Pokémon is reaching out to a new generation of trainers with its first app for preschool-aged kids. Pokémon Playhouse follows in the wake of the massively successful augmented reality app, Pokémon Go (which was so popular that we put together an entire infographic on it) but won’t be AR-based. Instead, Playhouse will tap into the collectibles trend by featuring favorite characters like Pikachu for kids to collect by completing activities. There will also be puzzles and more in the app’s “interactive park.” (Kidscreen)

“I'm literally listening to music any time it is socially acceptable.”—Female, 28, MN

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