Wedding traditions can feel like they are set in stone, but they can come and go like trends – they just tend to last longer. At one point a white bridal gown was just a new trend started by Queen Victoria, and then it became the standard choice for brides everywhere. As blush, lavender, beige, and other hues for wedding dresses become their own trend, who knows how long this tradition will last? Given that this generation currently spans the average marriageable ages, it’s not surprising that the industry is looking to millennials to learn what traditions are holding strong, and which are falling by the wayside.
The team behind jeweler Jean Dousset conducted a survey of 1,850 newlyweds to see what traditions they took part in, and what new trends they embraced.
As this graph shows, the wedding cake and white dress are still pretty popular, though not overwhelmingly so. Having a “first look” as opposed to waiting to see each other until the ceremony is just about equal, while matching bridesmaid dresses is becoming the minority of weddings. Classic traditions such as a receiving line, divided ceremony seating, and a shower of rice are the least powerful.
Millennials tend to be less religious than previous generations, so it is not surprising that the survey reports that less than half have religious ceremonies, and three out of four prefer nonreligious venues.
Patriarchal traditions are starting to see resistance, though still occur for the majority. Two out of five millennial couples do not ask for a parent’s blessing before getting engaged, but 71% of brides still changed their last name after marriage.
As for wedding trends that are gaining steam with millennials, 38% of survey participants included an after-party, while 33% wrote their own vows. The most important thing, however, is that 93% of respondents said the big day lived up to their expectations.