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Millennials are Challenging the Wedding Industry (Here's How and Why We Love it)

There’s almost nothing more traditional than a wedding. Even unconventional couples opt for veils, cake, and succulent-studded wedding bouquets. But the new trend in weddings? Personalized, non-traditional ways to celebrate. In fact, in a survey released last year, only 9% of millennials said they wanted their wedding to be “traditional,” with traits like “fun” and “personal” ranked much higher.

So, how are people saying “I do” now?

Sizing Down

Many couples are downsizing their weddings, and we’re not just talking about inviting 100 people instead of 250.

Though large receptions are still popular, there’s been a rise in extremely small, intimate weddings that involve just family members or a handful of close friends. Some couples, wary of shouldering the significant finances of a wedding or wanting to avoid the maddening stress of wedding planning, opt for an elopement that can be celebrated and shared with well wishers via social media.

Saving for Something Better

Financing a wedding is no small feat. The average cost of a wedding in the United States is approximately $29,858. In states such as New York, costs rise to around $42,000. Millennials, the demographic most actively involved in the wedding industry right now, are saddled with student debt and many are working to stabilize their finances after graduating in a recession. It’s unsurprising, then, that there’s a counter-movement against the traditionally lavish wedding, with 76% of millennials saying they would rather save money for the future than spend it on a formal wedding.

Part of this movement also comes from the reality that more millennials are significantly contributing to the cost of their own wedding or footing their wedding bill entirely. With the average marrying age rising to 26 for women and 28 for men, many couples are better prepared to handle the expenses themselves instead of offloading them onto their parents. (On average in 2015, the bride and groom paid for 43% of the wedding, and 12% of couples paid for the wedding entirely on their own). The bride and groom’s financial involvement also gives them greater control of wedding planning.

Making it their Own

Couples now are all about personalizing their entire wedding experience to fit their own interests, and are more likely to spend more money on details that most effectively demonstrate who they are.. Perhaps also because weddings are largely not occurring in churches anymore (with only 25% of 2016’s couples marrying in a house of worship), couples are getting a bit wilder with their wedding themes. We’ve seen everything from the familiar rustic barnyard wedding to Alice in Wonderland-themed celebrations and Rock’N’Roll nuptials. The sky’s the limit with ideas.

Changing the Game

30 years ago, most weddings had a bouquet toss, the cutting of a large white wedding cake, a couple’s first dance, and rice throwing to herald the bride and groom into their honeymoon. Now, couples are taking a closer look at these traditions and deciding what to keep and what to scrap.

Traditions like the couple’s first dance, are getting tweaked to be more personalized: for instance, the highly choreographed dance routines that pop up if you search “wedding first dance” on Youtube. Some couples will opt for donuts or an ice cream bar instead of a wedding cake. Not to mention the rise in food truck appearances at weddings or the ever classic “midnight snacks” because is there anything better than pancakes after a night of dancing?

Custom Dresses, Custom Rings

While many brides favor the classic white wedding dress, others are tending towards variation– you can find everything from ivory to blush, gold, or red. The same goes with bridesmaids; not all weddings showcase a line of women stuffed into exact copies of the same dress; instead, it’s common for brides to ask their leading ladies (or dudes!) to don a similar color palate or cut of dress, allowing each member of the wedding party to show a bit of personalization.

The trend of personalization also extends to engagement rings. Though millennials are still buying diamonds, there are trends towards colorful gems, vintage rings, and unique wedding bands that don’t match. Many couples opt to save money on the ring and put the funds towards a honeymoon or first home. And saving on the ring isn’t a bad idea, especially after a 2014 study of over 3,000 couples by two economics professors at Emory found that partners who spend less on their engagement rings have a lower rate of divorce and a less-stressful attitude towards weddings.

And that’s where we come in.

Enso is excited to see new trends that better allow couples to express themselves on their special day and all throughout their marriage, after all it is your day. We’re challenging the ordinary marriage traditions and changing the game, one Enso ring at a time. Our best-selling Elements Collection is a perfect example. This patent-pending metal infused design is breathable, elegant and AFFORDABLE. So here’s to the millennials switching up the game, challenging traditions, and pushing boundaries. We’re honored to be part of what makes you, you.