I must admit that I’m a bit puzzled that wedding trends and fads changing so quickly, as laid out, for example, in this Vogue article about 2017 wedding food trends.
This is what I mean: Fashion trends come and go quickly too. But you wear clothes every day, and it’s understandable that you’d get tired of this or that style after a time.
But you only get married rarely, one hopes. You aren’t having a 2016 wedding and then a 2017 wedding, one hopes.
So it would seem like wedding trends would therefore be a lot more slow-moving and dictated by the ways the groom and (especially) bride have always imagined their wedding to be, often for years beforehand.
I guess I underestimated peer pressure, though, and how many weddings young trendsetters, thoughtfluencers, and buzzwordians attend each year to establish a moving baseline. Social media is powerful.
Per the Vogue article, things are going in a more classical direction this year, with more formality and tradition and less quirk.
Tower cakes are back. Family-style dinners, all the rage in 2016, are so gross now, ew.
Whatever your feelings are about trends and fads in general – I think it’s rather clear that they bring out a skeptical side of me – there can be no denying that they matter very much to a lot of brides and bridegrooms, and so, like it or not, they need to matter a lot to you as a wedding pro.
So you need to stay on top of this stuff. But how?
1. Research Smartly
You probably don’t need me to tell you that a good place to start would be by googling “Wedding Trends 2017” and reading the relevant pieces that come up.
But do you use Google Search tools? It’s right there on the page after you get your results: Tools.
Click on that, and you can crucially search by recency, or a range of dates.
So just get the results from the last day, week, month, whatever, thereby assisting you in your quest to get on and stay on the real cutting edge.
Example: I just chose to only get results from the last month, and it gave me an article on *2018* wedding trends.
Weddings are apparently like cars, then. We don’t have to be in the calendar year yet for the models to come out.
2. Focus On Vocabulary
The Vogue article makes mention of “roaming buffets,” a current trend. The author helpfully explains what that is, but your customers won’t.
If you’re a wedding caterer, and a prospective customer asks you if you do roaming buffets and you don’t know what that is (unlikely, but still) what are you going to do?
You’ll either have to navigate the minefield of pretending you know and winging it, or admit you don’t and look uninformed while potentially losing a customer.
Obviously, those are both horrible choices and you want to avoid being put in that position as much as you can.
So whenever you come across a trendy term you’re unfamiliar with, slam on the brakes and look it up.
3. Worry Not About Contradiction
Your customers will probably come at you with ideas, wants and desires that fly in the face of their other ideas, wants, and desires.
That’s okay. It’s human nature. As long as its logistically possible, without undue hardship, to (for example) play nothing but gospel songs and Insane Clown Posse tracks at the reception, you should do it, and do it with a smile.
I bring up this point because the first listicle item in the Vogue piece is “Keep It Small” and the last one is “Big Is Back.”
Does this make me want to throw my laptop out the window and run to a small off-the-grid commune in the Alaska where I will live out my life making ink out of seal blubber?
But will I? No. I am a consummate wedding professional.
What are your best tips for staying on trend?