As the millennial generation comes of age, more and more couples in this demographic are getting married. For industry professionals, this means a whole new group of brides and grooms with a fresh perspective and a fun attitude. This generation also presents a challenge for wedding gurus: keeping up with the trends! With a smartphone in practically every pocket and instant access to everything, trends are moving at a rapid pace — in-and-out faster than ever before. What’s in today is lame tomorrow and what’s hot in Nashville may be too off the charts or old news in Louisville. At Chef’s Market, we have specific questions we ask our couples and developed methods used to pinpoint these trends. While it seems so simple, listening to millenniums is the biggest key to staying on top of what’s hot and what’s not. With this in mind, my team has identified five trends to look for in 2015
- Culinary Prowess. Millenniums are a generation of self-proclaimed foodies. (No wonder they’re my favorite.) They have grown up in a world of the Food Network, posting their own latest culinary triumphs on Instagram, finding recipes on Pinterest, and seeing the hottest restaurants on Urbanspoon. With their knowledge of food, they help drive what’s on the next hip restaurant menu.
From Kim chee to Bahn Mi, not only can they tell you what it is, they can tell you where to get the best. The results are wedding reception menus that reflect bold favors, new exciting ingredients and global diversity.
2. Millenniums Don’t Want Options. Gone are the days of pre-packaged menus and three-option choices. Millennials don’t want pre-selected “options,” they want a unique and tailored menu that speaks to their personality and taste. You don’t have to purchase an album just to get your new favorite song, so why should you have to get the cupcake tower that’s pre-packaged with your favorite slider station? Yeah, it doesn’t make sense to us either. Millennials want what they when they want it, and I say more power to them! That’s why getting to know the bride and groom, asking the right questions, and customizing the perfect menu that fits their venue, budget and culinary expectations is the ticket to a happy Millennial couple
3. Free. Free. Free. Millennials love free — and we don’t just mean their parents picking up the tab for Sunday brunch. Not only do Millenniums have more culinary expertise than prior generations, they are nutritional gurus as well. Be it gluten, fat, carb, sugar, lactose, hormones or tree nuts, we see more and more couples who want a menu that adheres to their own dietary restrictions. Caterers must take these special request seriously, preparing wedding fare to exact specifications, prepping staff to list and communicate all ingredients of every item on a menu.
4.Straight from the Source. Millenniums have grown up with so much information at their fingertips that knowing what farm the goat cheese on their salad comes from seems second nature. At dinner, they can even look up the farm on Google Maps and zoom in on the herd of goats from which the cheese is made if they want. For previous generations, this may seem a little “big brother,” but for millennials this is standard procedure, and for good reason too. One thing they have grown up knowing is that locally grown food is not only better for them, but for the planet as well. For this reason, locally grown, churned, plucked, or harvested ingredients are a huge trend for millennial weddings.
5. Millennials wanna have fun. One of the most important things to this generation of couples is that their guests have fun. Gone are the days of strict tradition and formality. Instead, our brides want a reception that is laid back and caters to the entertainment of their guests. Whether it’s an awesome live band or a life-sized game of Jenga, the reception is the place to incorporate these fun elements that speak to the personality of the wedding couple and invite the guests to be involved. Great food is crucial to making the reception an unforgettable experience for the guests. For example, an interactive food station like a Presseco Bar where guests customize their drink by selecting from various fresh fruits and herb-infused syrups to concoct their own champagne cocktail. Or a gourmet Mac n’ Cheese station where various toppings allow the guest to create a one of a kind dish. Late night snacks are another popular option that millenials love. We often create street food inspired items like tacos, burgers, french fries and donuts. Then we re-engineer them into smaller bite-size portions and present them creatively to fit the ambiance of the event.
From these trends, we know that for Millenniums, knowledge is power, self-expression is key, and food-consciousness is central to having a wedding that will be remembered for generations to come.