Understanding the Millennial Client by JoAnn Gregoli
There is no denying the fact that the wedding industry in the current date is driven by the millennial population. We have ushered into an era where if a wedding planner wishes to be entrusted by a client (s)he has to demonstrate or justify expertise in every aspect of wedding planning, of which the client is aware of. Comparisons are bound to be drawn as customers explore in details about the concept, theme or décor they wish to avail before they come to a wedding planner. Having grown up with internet and Google at their disposal, the social media has further extended the millennials’ horizons.
The millennials are most educated and tech-savvy generation to date and they always validate the facts and reflect an intuitive rational approach in making their decisions. When it comes to weddings, there seems to be no short of whims; they are conveniently influenced by the ideas and accomplishments of friends, influencers, and current events. If we take a look at the bigger picture, a lot of this is owing to the lifestyle trends of the millennials. They are embracing the casual approach, prioritizing a healthy and sustainable lifestyle and striving to strike a right balance between the digital and real world.
Though we have experienced the presence of destination weddings for quite some time unlike the conventional choices of the past, the youth are choosing to create unique and memorable affair to seal their relationships and thereby seeking to explore the exotic locations across the globe, in its quest. Locations like Iceland, Africa, Thailand, Bali, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Mexico City, Panama and New Orleans have been trending in the destination wedding circuit off late. In the past the emphasis was on adhering to the native customs, rituals and culture. In a shift from the paradigm, millennials aren’t afraid of exploring new customs and experiences for a bespoke wedding experience. They also look forward to striking a right balance between uniqueness and popularity, get immersed in the culture of the wedding destination and more importantly, try to engage the guests in the various agenda of a wedding for an inclusive and immersive experience.
Creative ideas and engagement activities are curated to touch upon all the senses, i.e., sight, feel, smell, taste, and hearing. As we have ushered into a digital age, procuring vendors has become effortless and quick, eliminating any challenges of geographic confinement of resources. This mandates that a wedding planner is always on the lookout to establishing connections across geographies, that helps him/her to instill cross-cultural ideas and practices for weddings and to forge long-lasting relationships that encourage collaborations.
It is estimated that an individual from this industry spends an average of 5 hours a day on mobile devices, in this scenario, how well are you tapping into the available opportunities? At the present times where clients are seeking quality over quantity and they don’t mind splurging extravagantly on exclusivity and premium deliverables from the wedding planners. For instance, in the west, most luxury clients are spending over $250,000 on their weddings. So when it comes to client offerings, one should appeal to the value addition rather than the inventory, as that is something that can set one apart in this competitive market. It should be emphasized, how the wedding planner is bringing in an element of exclusivity to one of the most cherished days of the client. For any decision, a wedding planner should keep both the partners updated as any wedding decision is a joint decision. It is very important to understand the vision of the couple for smooth execution and it is equally important to re-examine the preferred vendor list of the couple, for facilitating collaborations. Pinterest and Instagram are great tools in the evaluation of the vendors’ work and even helps in drawing inspiration.
We live in an era where shopping has been simplified to mere swipe and click of fingers, but our prudence should precede any reckless shopping on digital platforms, online reviews are always helpful in offering better insights. Amazon is a great platform for convenience and with the upsurge in rental platforms like renting the runway, the shopping options have witnessed a manifold increase. There are certain philanthropic initiatives like ‘wish upon a wedding’, who are working towards a novel cause. So a wedding planner creating awareness of such platforms is required as it grants wedding “wishes” to couples in need.
The key takeaways to cater to the millennial client will be to seek out exclusivity instead of the reiterated and customary weddings of the past, devote time towards listening to your clients’ expectations and finally build upon knowledge of the industry and current trends.