The wedding industry has come a long way and continues to change as the years go by. We have shifted away from the cookie-cutter wedding and many traditions of the past. Couples are choosing to design their weddings as unique and personalized tributes to their relationship.
Millennials have been a hot topic for conversation for several years, but it’s time we turn our focus towards the next generation Gen Z. We can expect their demands to be different as they grew up with more access to resources and are one of the most progressive generations.
With that in mind, let’s explore some of the ways the industry continues to transform and how we can adjust our wedding businesses to align with the times.
Arguably the most significant evolution has been the strides made by the industry to become more inclusive to all people, regardless of orientation, identity, race, culture, size, or ability. It’s certainly not perfect yet, but I foresee it continuing down this road until every person feels accepted and represented in wedding media and throughout the industry.
Couples no longer feel bound by heteronormative traditions, and the language surrounding weddings continues to change. It’s been a beautiful evolution to witness, and it’s not done yet!
The dawn of Pinterest was groundbreaking, as it gave soonlyweds a place to source inspiration beyond the traditional designs of the past. However, we’re starting to move past the Pinterest-perfect expectations as the upcoming generation demands greater customization.
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Creativity is at a premium, as couples increasingly seek never-before-seen designs and Insta-worthy ideas that will set their wedding apart from those of their friends. At the same time, they want to truly capture their love story, which sets creatives up to really push the envelope and think outside the box when it comes to wedding day details.
More than ever before, today’s engaged couples are putting their money where their mouth is. When planning their weddings, they are spending dollars with businesses that align with their values—in particular, those that are socially and environmentally conscious. Sustainability and eco-friendly practices are in demand, so consider that as you target the next generation.
The same goes for inclusivity. As mentioned before, the push for inclusive wedding professionals has grown exponentially, and it not just for LGBTQ+ couples. Inclusivity also matters for hetero allies who want to know that their wedding is a safe space for their same-sex, gender-fluid, and non-binary friends and family members.
Unlike millennials, the up-and-coming Gen Z has never known a world without the Internet. They’ve been using touchscreens and connecting with the world since childhood. On average, they’re using smartphones more than any other device. In fact, they spend up to 75% of their free time online. Thus, it’s crucial to meet them where they are. Make sure your website is quick and mobile-friendly, and make it simple for them to pay online.
They also expect to communicate through text, as emails are becoming dated and phone calls are only for scenarios in which it’s absolutely necessary. Seeing that this is a generation that is always “on” and has grown up with the expectation for immediate gratification, be prepared for instant communication—but also be sure you are establishing boundaries from the start. You may be comfortable texting your clients while on the go, but be clear that you will not be responding to midnight messages until the following morning.
All of these aspects continue to evolve with the times and, with them, our client experience and marketing strategies must follow suit. Respect and acceptance reign supreme as core values, so always be sure to keep an open mind. Times are changing and, as a business owner, it’s up to you to keep up.