Today’s guest contribution comes from Kylie Carlson of International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning. With six online campuses globally, the International Academy of Wedding and Event Planning boasts an internationally recognized accreditation program that brings professional training to wedding planners, event planners, event designers and wedding stylists.

Kylie shares trends for 2017. Make sure you’re moving your business in this direction.

Popular culture and the unique perspective of the Millennials are among the strongest influences on wedding trends for 2017, according to the third annual International Wedding Trends Reports. The events industry has much to anticipate – and to prepare for – as we begin creating the experiences that will rock the New Year.

Technology Meets Wedding Design

Born in the 80s and 90s, Millennials are the incredibly tech-oriented, urban dwelling, value-conscious children of the last of the Baby Boomers and early Gen X. This generation of “instant gratification,” according to LadyMarry’s Joanne Jiang, “wants their wedding planning right at their fingertips at any given moment.”

Their familiarity with technology not only impacts the way they plan, but what they expect of their wedding day. “High tech options from digital mapping, to drone photography, to special effects such as fog machine and lasers are becoming more and more prevalent in wedding event design,” notes David Merrell of AOO Events.

Tradition and Pop Culture

As an interesting contrast to the demand for future-style tech, this year’s couples are also keen to focus on connection to the past. Bridal Bar’s Harmony Walton predicts that, “Infusing your location, your culture, your family and honoring that heritage will continue to rise in 2017, especially with the recent US elections which have sparked an even deeper root in family.” Celebrity wedding planner Brit Bertino agrees that more menus will feature “heritage dishes from (a couple’s) ethnic background.”

Yet, the election isn’t the only quirky influence on events. “Movies with incredible cinematic presence seem to influence wedding palettes even if the subject of the movies have nothing to do with the wedding genre,” says Jes Gordon of jesGORDON / properFUN! She expects that couples will want to capture the ambience of movies like The Danish Girl and recreate the fine art feel in their designs. Other contributors also cite Beauty and the Beast and Star Wars Episode VIII as influential on wedding design in 2017.

Industrial Chic, Personalization and Fine Art

The “Industrial” approach to design and venue selection is a 2017 super-trend. Urban warehouses act as blank slates allowing couples to personalize their venues. Hanging décor, gobs of candlelight and abundant greens, and will help address a Millennial attraction to “Opulent Simplicity.”

Further, personalization means a focus on creating unique guest experiences. Bertino, for example, anticipates that a new passion for fine art will spark a “rise in live painting requests” wherein an artist creates a one of a kind representation of the wedding day.

2017 – Beyond the Palette

If we, as event professionals, are to succeed in 2017, it won’t be enough for us to recognize that rose gold is the popular metallic accent, or that greenery will swap places with blooms in floral design. It will take a fair amount of attention to the psychological impact of world events and an intimate understanding of an entire generation to create and maintain a trajectory towards success in 2017.