If you’re part of the 20- and 30-something millennial generation, you probably haven’t noticed a subtle but sizeable shift that’s occurred during a key life milestone: weddings. Once synonymous with tradition, the way modern nuptials are being planned, paid for, and celebrated on the day bear little resemblance to their predecessors. According to The New York Times, so-called “breakaway brides” are on the rise. They resist cookie-cutter trends and pride themselves on finding unique and ultimately more heartfelt, momentous ways to celebrate love.
One such way we’ve seen this trend translate to real weddings is via technology. Years ago, introducing an event hashtag seemed so progressive, but given the rapid pace of change in the tech world, it’s only natural that its influence on modern nuptials is constantly shifting, too. So which trends are dated and which are actually worth considering for your big day? We spoke to Lauryn Prattes of Lauryn Prattes Events, a Washington, D.C.–based bridal and event planning firm, to find out about which new wedding trends are here to stay.
Brides-to-be, take note: These tech touches will be at every modern wedding in 2017.
Before you pull a face at the thought of streaming a Facebook Live video of your big day, Prattes says this trend serves a practical purpose. “This is great for when Grandma or Grandpa can’t make the trip to the wedding, they can still be a part of the day in live time.” However, she admits that it has its challenges, “especially in remote venues.” Also remember that “if the video is for Grandma, make sure there is a caretaker there to assist with logging in to view the live stream” and take care of any technical issues.
According to Prattes, this is one of the top trends she’s noticed at receptions and after-parties across America. “At every wedding we do, we will have multiple guests come up and ask us for a phone charger, so giving guests a chance to recharge is thoughtful and fun,” she says. Just remember to account for different types of smartphones—you never know what your guests will have—and this way, they’ll be able to capture your wedding from different vantage points and share on social media.
“Like hashtags, geofilters create another way to brand your event, making it unique to you, with a custom design,” says Prattes. But she cautions that “inviting social media and cell phones into your event can create a frustrating circumstance for photographers when half the wedding has phones up in the air during the ceremony,” so she reminds guests to be respectful of the professionals who are trying to get the desired images for the bride and groom.
This technique—which uses a laser to precisely slice through paper, fabric, and other material—is being used in a vast array of ways, including “stir sticks, invitations, dresses, and décor for custom patterns, monograms, and designs.” Prattes notes that “this is a great way to bring a custom aspect to your event and repeat a pattern in multiple places throughout the event,” though she has one rule brides should follow: “We advise repeating the same design, pattern, or monogram in only three to four places.”
“Websites like Blueprint and Zola not only allow couples to register exclusively online (some couples don’t even go into a store to see items in person anymore), but also [aggregate gifts] from different stores while creating one seamless registry.” While super registries aren’t new, the number of offerings is fast growing and will mean couples will have better gifting choices in 2017 as large brands create wedding-specific hubs.
A recent addition to the scene is Amazon, who launched Amazon Weddings earlier this year, giving engaged couples the ability to curate wish lists with their expansive inventory. Yes, gone are the days when you were limited by only a few brands of flatware.
Shop the Registry Staples
Yes, this trend is here to stay. “It seems like every wedding has its own hashtag these days. But it’s a fun way to “brand your event” and also to easily search for friends’ photos from your wedding after the fact,” says Prattes. She does admit that “with so many couples creating hashtags, it can be a bit difficult to come up with one that hasn’t already been used” but that a quick check on social media can tell you what’s already out there.
A few practicalities: If you have common names, consider adding the year of your wedding to make it unique, think about whether it’s likely to cause spelling errors, and keep it concise—anything longer than 15 characters could cause mistakes or deter guests from tagging every post.