The Gen Z Playbook: What They Love and What They Don’t About Weddings Today

Yes, we are officially at a time when the generation that’s mostly getting married are from Gen Z, or those born from the years 1997 to 2012. Just a quick disclaimer, we’re not here to generalize. But if there’s one thing we’ve come to observe, know, and love about this generation, it’s that they’re bold individuals who favor authenticity over tradition and personal expression over conformity. This especially holds true for celebrating major life milestones, or in this case, weddings.

We’ve spoken with four Gen Zs and asked them what their expectations are for their special day. And the consensus is clear: out with the cookie-cutter ceremonies and in with personalized celebrations that highlight the couple’s personal journey and tastes. From intimate gatherings that focus on meaningful connections to incorporating eclectic elements, their goal is to create a day that feels undeniably theirs.

The Gen Z Playbook: What They Love and What They Don't About Weddings Today

Intimacy and Character

Intimacy and a personal touch are key trends in Gen Z weddings today, as Jana, 24, highlights, “I believe the greatest trend we set is taking intimacy and character to the next level. May it be from building your guest list to people who had a significant influence on the couple or the details that show a visual representation of the couple’s personality”.

I really prefer a wedding with a modern twist, it just adds a little more character to the celebration. Plus when looking back at photos or videos it would kind of give a timestamp hinting to the year’s humor or ‘character’,” she adds.

Sophia and Andre, who both got married at 23, share this sentiment when they opted for a smaller wedding to keep it meaningful: “Growing up, we always dreamt of having a large wedding,” they share. “But in this generation, we needed to be more practical so we chose a more intimate wedding. It’s a different feeling seeing lifelong friends and family all in one room.

Sophia and Andre on their wedding day. Photo by Arvin Simbulan

As for the theme, they’re opting for modern with nods to tradition, “There are no strict rules about one’s wedding, but we prefer a wedding with modern twists. Our church wedding was a bit traditional to honor our religion, but we changed a few things like having flower men instead of flower girls.

Similarly, Yani, 26, speaks to the financial aspect of weddings, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing spending: “I know that weddings nowadays require more preparation, especially financially…Personally, I’ll splurge on the coordinator, food, and photography. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want to spend a huge chunk of our budget on my wedding gown. I just want something simple that screams ‘me’.

And like the others, she’d also include a mix of contemporary and traditional elements to her special day, “I want a timeless wedding,” she shares. “I believe our wedding’s an avenue for creativity filled with our favorite things and memories that we’re privileged enough to share with our loved ones. There will definitely be “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” but at a destination close to our heart that’s different from traditional venues.

Creative and Meaningful Elements

Sophia and Andre are all about adding creative and personal touches to their wedding to make it stand out. They talk about how something as simple as a veil can be transformed into a unique piece that tells a story. “Statement veils, as in adding in lace or pearls can elevate your whole bridal look, but adding embroidered names, your wedding date, or even a bible verse kicks it up a notch, and gives more meaning to your veil,” they explain.

They also decided to bring color and culture into their celebration in a big way. They chose a vibrant mix of colors for their wedding, stepping away from traditional single-color themes to “definitely give life to the wedding.” But it’s their nod to tradition with a twist that truly captures their spirit in a way that feels both respectful and fresh: “This is a classic. We really wanted to embrace our culture and modernize the traditional barong and baro’t saya.

Photo by: Arvin Simbulan

Yani, on the other hand, dreams of intimate moments and tangible memories. She yearns for the privacy and personal connection of exchanging vows in a setting that’s just between her and her future husband: “The private exchange of vows before the start of the ceremony is something I want to incorporate in my own wedding. It’s really intimate and touching to share our promises to each other with no one but us.

But it’s not just about the moments that pass too quickly, because she also thinks about how to capture the memories of the day in a way that’s both fun and lasting. “Second, the film cameras on every table are great for keeping memories. Live painters during the reception are very unique, too, and they make cute keepsakes for guests to take home.”

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In these ways, personal touches become more than just decorative elements. They’re expressions of the couple’s personality, culture, and love story that creates an experience that’s as unique and memorable as their bond.

What Makes Weddings Enjoyable for Guests

When it comes to making a wedding memorable for everyone involved, practicality and enjoyment go hand-in-hand. Jana brings up a fresh take on wedding favors, moving away from traditional “wedding merch” to something far more useful and appreciated by guests. “I like how brides are now more practical when planning out their ‘giveaways’ and they’re now shifting from ‘wedding merch’ aka items with groom and bride details like names and dates and such to something the guests could use even after the wedding,” she explains. The example she shares highlights this perfectly: “I saw this one wedding where one of the couple’s ‘giveaways’ were basically photo portraits of the guests (printed or digital) that they can basically use as a profile picture or photos for other things.” This not only offers guests a keepsake but one that’s both personal and practical, acknowledging the effort guests make to look their best.

Photo by: Arvin Simbulan

Sophia and Andre, on the other hand, emphasize the importance of creating an engaging and enjoyable environment through memorable elements like photo booths, themed food stations, and quality drinks. They explain their love for these features, saying, “We love our memorabilia, so the photo booth is the first place to go during a wedding.” They also touch on the nostalgic aspect of having a Filipino-themed snack station, “Having a Filipino pica pica station is also very nostalgic and it makes it feel like you’re in a kiddie party getting snacks despite it being an adult gathering.” Finally, they mention the significance of good drinks, “Lastly, good alcohol and an amazing mobile bar are the cherry on top, it allows people to drink their hearts out and enjoy the rest of the night.

Photo by: Arvin Simbulan

Practical favors, fun photo booths, reminiscent food stations, and premium drinks do more than just liven up the party. They significantly enhance the whole wedding experience, not just for the guests, but for the couple who will remember a fun celebration for everyone fondly.

The Verdict

This generation is moving away from the traditional “bigger is better” mindset and towards a more meaningful, personalized celebration. They’re all about adding personal touches that mean something special and being smart about how they spend their wedding budget. The way we see it, this approach isn’t just about being different for the sake of it. Rather, it’s about creating a day that truly reflects who they are. By focusing on experiences and memories rather than a big, fancy event, they’re making weddings more about the celebration of love and less about impressing others.

Frankly, we find this attitude refreshing and shows that at the heart of it, weddings are really about celebrating love, connections, and the start of a new chapter together. And we’re here for it!

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