Younger generations are continuing to shift away from traditional wedding ceremonies and toward personalized celebrations, a new survey finds. According to The Knot’s latest Real Weddings Study, up to 87% of Americans of Generation Z see themselves getting married in the future and planning the event on their own terms.
The survey included 14,000 couples that were married in 2018 and a sample size of 201 Americans between the ages of 14 and 23.
Currently, about 40% of brides and grooms say they are looking for unusual venues that reflect their personality. Approximately 53% of millennial respondents (born between 1980 and 1994) reported that they wanted their wedding to be a reflection of their relationship. But it’s the next generation that will take wedding personalization to the next level.
Up to 73% of Generation Z respondents (born between 1995 and 2010) said that engagement and wedding traditions matter to them. But only 18% said they planned to observe those traditions conventionally.
A total 80% of Gen Z participants said they’ll merge traditions or create their own customs and 44% said they would merge traditions from more than one culture. This is significant considering many traditions are already a merge of cultures; the first archaeological proof of dance was found on a 9,000-year-old cave in India.
But personalizations don’t end there. Social consciousness is also important to Generation Z. About 60% of respondents said they plan to include a charity in their wedding registry and use the event to make a social impact.
“This generation is focused on inclusivity and is socially conscious,” said Lauren Kay, deputy editor at the Knot, “and [they want] to identify with the brands they are supporting and [want] them to have like-minded values.”
Generation Z currently makes up 26% of the total media audience in the United States. This makes them the single largest audience segment.
Generation Z will also account for 40% of all consumers by 2020, making them capable of influencing up to $4 billion in discretionary spending. This is important for U.S. wedding businesses, in particular, because Gen Z intends to spend their own money on their wedding celebrations.
Approximately 92% of Gen Z survey respondents said that being financially stable prior to getting married is important to them and 33% said they predict they’ll pay for their wedding on their own with their partner. Only 5.5% of participants said they predict their parents will pay for the wedding.