Over the past year and a half, wedding celebrations have arguably broken more radically from tradition than at any other moment in time, with live-streamed weddings rising by 150% in 2020 alone. The use of technology to boost accessibility for family members and loved ones from across the globe was far from a solitary event. Technology has been shaking up the sector in many additional ways and it is just one of many new developments that are changing the way we view, organize, and enjoy weddings. Read on to discover how in the new millennium, it’s all about personalization and making tradition work for couples rather than vice-versa.
Meaning-Making through Sustainability
Instead of feeling pressured by what a wedding should look like, couples are turning inward to hold a celebration that is purposeful and meaning-driven. Sustainability is a key way to add purpose to such a personal event and this value is a huge driver of current-day celebrations. Eco-friendly couples are embracing everything from pre-worn wedding attire right through to upcycled wedding favors, organic slow food, and potted flowers (instead of cut ones). The bridal bouquet, once a key element of any wedding look, is being replaced by intricately folded paper, sewn, or sculpted bouquets made from upcycled and recycled materials. Couples are also conducting serious research into the different suppliers that make up a wedding—including clothing designers, décor providers, and venues. Aspects such as water and energy savings policies are key for eco-friendly couples when choosing caterers and reception venues, for instance.
Embracing Diversity and Inclusivity
Vendors are uplifting the voice of diverse groups and couples in turn are requesting to work with diverse service and product providers in order to bring more voices and points of view to their big event. Weddings specialists WeddingWire, for instance, use badges and filters (including filters that specify if a company is Asian-, Native American-, Black-, Hispanic-, Latinx-,Veteran-, and/or Woman-owned so that couples can easily find the professionals they are looking for. Couples are also looking to host accessible weddings in which guests feel comfortable and included. Social media is being used to ascertain guests’ needs. Once these are determined, couples are choosing accessible, flexible wedding venues that are wheelchair friendly and that have accessible restrooms. Menus, too, are being catered to guests who may have special dietary needs.
Couples are turning to technology as a means to foster connection between guests and to enable loved ones to access images and videos of their special day. Many are setting up dedicated websites for their wedding, providing password-only access to their photo and video albums to friends and family. Those who are willing to spend a larger budget on tech are looking into items such as wearables, fitted with radiofrequency chips. The latter enable people who meet at the wedding to press a heart symbol—which immediately sends each wearer an email so they can stay in touch after the event. Couples are also investing in robotic servers, one of which serves drinks to guests at tables while also taking photos that guests can send themselves or share via social media.
Lighting is a magnificent way to decorate a church, garden, home, wedding venue, or indeed any setting used for either a ceremony or a reception. Dedicated lighting artists are creating beautiful pictorial backgrounds using light and digital imagery. Thus, a simple white wall can be transformed into a stunning forest, underwater environment, or a colorful work of abstract art. Lighting is a magnificent way for couples to make more room in their reception halls for tables, while still enjoying luxurious-looking décor in their interiors or in outdoor spaces.
Virtual Reality for Guests Abroad
Live-streamed Zoom weddings are so 2020. Today, guests abroad can enjoy a wedding almost as if they were really there, thanks to the use of Virtual Reality headsets. Attendees can not only explore the wedding ballroom and talk to others at tables but also have their avatars dance to their favorite songs. A similar concept is that of VR videos, which enables couples to replay their wedding day so they can catch all the moments they missed—their best friends crying with emotion as they declared their love for each other, an uncle’s funny dance, or a grandparent choosing a donut from their donut wall. Also called a 360º video, this amazing development allows users to see every single thing that was happening in their reception venue. It is made possible with the use of various cameras whose footage is subsequently synchronized to enable users to actually relive being within a specific place at a specific time.
The wedding industry has made a major shift from tradition to meaning. Many couples are choosing to express their values on their big day by prioritizing aspects such as diversity and inclusivity. Tech is also changing modern-day weddings, with VR headsets enabling both couples and guests to enjoy a memorable experience that stands out from the expected.