Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pressure to be unique + Expectation of customized service + Once in a lifetime = Crazy-Ass Wedding

The following did not make it into our book but we felt like with all the hub bub surrounding the recent Rebecca Mead book, One Perfect Day, we would put in our two cents on the current state of the Wedding Industrial Complex. For the next few weeks we'll be posting these "edited out, but not forgotten" pieces. Let us know what you think!

Pressure to be unique + Expectation of customized service + Once in a lifetime = Crazy-Ass Wedding

If you were born after 1977 you have been labeled a “Millennial,” aka, “Echo Boomer” or “Gen Y.” You are the children of baby boomer parents and you outnumber the generation before you, which means that you are responsible for the projected 22% that the bridal market is expected to grow from 2002 to 2017. We've perused the book, Millennial Rising, by Neil Howe & William Strauss, pulled some Millennial characteristics, and then translated those traits into what the bridal biz hears.

As a millennial, you:
• Grew up showered in love, so you’re confident.
o Bridal Biz translation: “Of course our marriage will last forever, let’s go with the top shelf liquors!”

• Know only good economies, so you’re upbeat.
o Bridal biz translation: “My friends will love to travel to Iceland to attend my wedding! It will be a great getaway for them.”

• Have great relationships with your parents, so you respect authority and are civic-minded.
o Bridal biz translation: “Mom, if you want me to wear full length white gloves I will, but they are going to have be Vera Wang.”

• Have money, because chances are both of your parents worked.
o Bridal biz translation: “And what better way to spend their money than on the most important day of my life!”

• Are technologically savvy because you've grown up in the computer age.
o Bridal biz translation: “I can register online at multiple places and then even if my guests don’t have a Williams Sonoma near them, they can just order online!”

• Are ethnically diverse. One in five of you have at least one immigrant parent and one in 10 has one non-citizen parent.
o Bridal biz translation: “So in addition to our western ceremony we can fly to Korea and have a more traditional ceremony there!”

• Pledge your loyalties. Designers and names represent quality, fashion, and comfort, plus, says Wedding Bells publisher Tracy Day, "they have a value attached to them."
o Bridal biz translation: “My dress has to be Monique Lhuillier I don’t care how much it costs.”

Why do you care and why are we writing about this? Because you are a whole different breed of bride, or at least you are being marketed to as if you are. Raised with keyless entry, digital music, cell phones, e-mail and the Internet at your fingertips, you want things how you want it, when you want it and because you want it. We are used to things that we pay for being customized for us. Just stand in a Starbucks line for 5 minutes and that becomes glaringly evident. Skinny half caf extra wet is light years away from the .40 drip coffee that our parents had. Or think of how you order in a restaurant: dressing on the side; goat instead of blue, and would you mind putting half in a “to-go” container for me so I don’t eat the whole thing? Everyone involved in the wedding biz is more than happy to make your day come together exactly as you want it, for a price of course.

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