Countless articles have been written about millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000). It seems they are a group who like to do things their own way, and getting married is certainly included. They are also a generation who heavily uses technology and do things the digital way. Whether you are a millennial, older, or younger, consider this your definitive guide to all things millennial weddings. Here at The River Reporter office, we have our very own millennial, Breann, who is now preparing for her fall wedding to fiancé Steve.
When it comes to marriage proposals, it seems that bigger is better in this day and age. By that I mean proposals are becoming extravagant: hot air balloon rides, musical numbers and flash mobs are the norm. Only in this digital age could a marriage proposal go viral (meaning someone filmed it, put it on YouTube, and it now has over millions of views). Flash mobs seem to be very popular, which is when a large group of people perform a dance to a song (“Marry Me” by Bruno Mars seems to be a popular choice) in a public space. If you want to see them for yourself, just look up on YouTube “marriage proposal.” There’s one called “Greatest Marriage Proposal EVER!!!” Warning: watching these videos may induce crying.
Steve’s proposal to Breann was quite the production. It was Easter Day, and when Breann woke up she was sent on an Easter egg hunt, opening plastic eggs to find clues inside them. There were 4,999 eggs, representing the number of days they had known each other (they met on a cruise in 1999). The last clue led to their remote control. She turned on the TV, and a video that Steve made played on the screen. It was a montage of photos of them together set to a few songs including “State Lines” by Matt Hires (the song has a special meaning to them because it’s about a couple “crossing state lines,” which they have done; Breann lived in California and he lived in New Jersey, as friends. Then when she moved to NYC, she’d commute to New Jersey on the weekends to see him, and “making up for lost times” speaks to them being friends from across the country for 10 years.) When the video was over he got down on one knee and proposed, and of course she said “yes.”
Once the proposal is over, many couples announce their engagement on Facebook. Breann said they did it only after they told close friends and family.
The other type of “proposal” is asking your friends to be your bridesmaids or groomsmen. Breann did this in a very creative and digital way, creating personal videos for each of her friends and uploading them to YouTube. She did this because all of her bridesmaids live in California, so she couldn’t ask them in person. She sent them a package with a mini bottle of Prosecco and instructions telling them to pour themselves a drink and click on the link. The video is a montage of Breann and her friends with cute captions set to the song “Raise your Glass” by Pink.
Most couples these days create a wedding website. These can include photos, the story of how the couple met, where to stay and what to do in the area of the wedding, information on how to get there and more. Breann and Steve made their own website using Wordpress. Even invitations are going digital, as many couples email their invites or ask people to RSVP online.
Many brides-to-be create inspiration boards on the website Pinterest. These visual digital boards can have pictures of wedding gowns, venues, food, decorations and more. Breann said she has created inspiration boards and has even created a group board with her bridesmaids to help decide on dresses.
Millennials are often known for their DIY instincts, making everything from homemade jam to their own clothes. At many millennial weddings, a touch of DIY can be spotted, from the food to the decorations, from table seating cards to wedding favors. There are other signs that you’re at a millennial wedding: the officiate is the couple’s friend who got ordained online, the food is locally sourced and organic, people are using smart phones to take photos and are uploading them instantly, and the band is the couple’s friend or they have a DJ. Much like wedding proposal videos going viral, many millennials are making extravagant entrances and walks down the aisle. One of the most famous ones is called “JK Wedding Entrance Dance” (www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-94JhLEiN0) and features the wedding party doing a choreographed dance down the aisle. It has over 83 million views.
After the Wedding
Once the wedding and celebration are over, it is time to share photos and stories from the day. Many newlyweds create Flickr accounts (or other similar websites) where guests can upload and share photos they took at the wedding. You’ll also see many photos on Facebook, Instagram, and maybe even a wedding hashtag on Twitter.
The biggest event after a wedding is the honeymoon. While there are no trends that stand out, many millennials are opting not to go on a honeymoon. Breann said after the wedding she and Steve will take some to relax at home and clean up the mess left from the wedding (which is being held in a rock quarry on their property). Other millennials who choose to go on a honeymoon will most likely research destinations online using websites like Kayak.com and Hotels.com.