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The Meghan Effect

How Meghan Markle is already transforming the wedding industry...

The “Meghan Effect” has already begun making it’s mark on the UK wedding industry. Harry and Meghan’s wedding is the most viewed wedding in history, and the trends it has created have already taken hold.

The royal wedding gave the world a great distraction from global politics with Harry and Meghan receiving more global Google traffic than Donald Trump over the weekend, and 6 times more traffic than Brexit in the UK.

The highest levels of global internet interest came from the UK, with New Zealand a close second. Commonwealth countries filled up most of the top spots followed by the USA. North Korea showed was 41st most interested country in the world in the Royal wedding, even ahead of Britain’s neighbour, France at 46th!

There’s no doubt that it is wedding trends and the wedding industry as a whole that Harry and Meghan’s historic wedding will truly make a lasting impact. Below are just the initial trends Bridebook.co.uk, the UK’s leading wedding planning app, have identified, from cake flavours to national attitudes towards multiculturalism and second marriages. 

 

Castle Wedding Venues:

  • Bridebook.co.uk, the UK’s leading wedding planning app, has seen an impressive 32% increase in searches for castle wedding venues between Friday the 18th and Monday the 21st.

 

Stella McCartney & Environmentally Friendly Wedding Dresses:

  • Stella McCartney is renowned in the fashion world for focusing heavily on sustainable, environmentally friendly, and animal free fashion. This was certainly not lost on Meghan who’s decision to have Stella design her second dress was a pointed one. It should come as no surprise, then that we have seen a 160% increase in searches for “Stella McCartney wedding dresses” and a 12% increase in “sustainable wedding dresses” since the royal wedding.
  • Perhaps more telling is not so much the interest in the designer, as the interest in the striking halter neck design. While searches for Stella McCartney are already starting to reach its original levels, interest in this unique wedding dress style has stayed piqued. The search term “halter neck wedding dresses” saw a 235% increase in searches on Saturday evening and Sunday, a trend that Bridebook.co.uk expects to be a lasting one for at least a few years to come.

 

Givenchy, Clare Waight Keller & Boat Neck Wedding Dresses:

  • Givenchy wedding dresses did not see quite the same boost in interest as did Stella McCartney, however there has been a striking burst in interest in boat neck and silk wedding dresses, a direct effect of Meghan’s big moment when first revealing her wedding dress on Saturday morning.
  • This is of particular interest to the wedding industry as wedding dress trends have been overwhelmingly dominated by lace and long sleeves for the past 7 years since Kate Middleton’s wedding dress. Bridebook.co.uk experts confidently predict that these trends will finally give way to the this new way of slick, unadorned modernity in wedding dress styles, as indicated by the 87% increase in interest in boat neck wedding dresses, and the 110% increased interest in silk and satin wedding dresses.

 

Unadorned vs Dramatic Wedding Dresses:

  • Bridebook.co.uk’s experts, from the UK’s leading wedding planning app where 100,000 weddings are planned a year, predict that Meghan Markle’s choice of first wedding dress will have much greater an impact on wedding styles than simply one’s choice of dress material. For the past two decades, wedding dresses have acted as a “showstopper” in themselves, intricately adorned with beading and lace, motifs and elaborations. Meghan’s wedding dress, and the way it complimented and highlighted Meghan’s natural beauty, is sure to usher in a new era of attitudes towards wedding dresses where the dress’s purpose is to draw attention to the bride’s beauty, as opposed to drawing all the attention to itself.

 

Getting Married in May:

  • In 2017, May was only the 5th most popular wedding month in the UK with only 9% of wedding being held in the month. Bridebook.co.uk has already seen a 16% increase in wedding dates being scheduled for the month of May since Saturday. Bridebook.co.uk predicts that this is both due to the beautiful weather the UK has been experiencing, and experienced on the day of the royal wedding, as well as a boosted interest in seasonal and local flowers with May being the peak time for blooms. Interest in seasonal local flowers has been steadily increasing since 2010, from 28% to 64% of couples saying they chose seasonal, native flowers for their wedding.

 

Philippa Craddock Flowers:

  • Royal wedding florist Philipp Cradock must have impressed the engaged population of the UK on Saturday with her gorgeous choice of green and white flowers and foliage, structured into striking arches and abundant decoration. Bridebook.co.uk, the UK’s leading wedding planning app, has already seen a 210% increase in profile views on the wedding supplier booking platform.

 

Second Wedding Dresses:

  • Though the trend of brides having second wedding dresses has been on a slow but steady rise since 2010 (from 4% of UK brides in 2010 to 8% in 2017), Bridebook.co.uk predicts to see this increase exponentially, riding on the success of Meghan’s second wedding dress. The overwhelming success of high street wedding dresses in just the past couple of years is sure to play a large part in this, making multiple dresses just as affordable an option for all no matter your budget. Watch this space! The second wedding dress is on the rise.

 

Bride Speeches:

  • Meghan was not the only brides giving a speech on her wedding day! Bridebook.co.uk, the wedding planning app on which 100,000 UK weddings a year are planned, has revealed that of the roughly 5,900 other weddings that happened on May 19th, 27% of them had brides giving their own speech.
  • Bridebook.co.uk expects to see the number of brides giving speeches at their wedding continue to increase. The UK has already seen a 50% increase since 2010, however the high profile nature of Meghan’s decision to give her own speech is sure to see this figure grow at an ever increasing pace, in line with the trend of weddings veering more and more away from traditional, outdated and sexist practices.

 

Attitudes on Second Marriages:

  • One of the most exciting prospects of the “Meghan effect” is much larger than the fabric she chose or the shoes she wore. This wedding and the massive celebrations that surrounded it are the ultimate example of how second weddings can be just as much of a celebration as the first. All too often, second weddings aren’t treated with the same fervour by both the participants and outsiders. However, Bridebook.co.uk are thrilled to see Harry and Meghan’s wedding as once and for all laying to rest the myth that second weddings shouldn’t be just as much of a celebration as first.
  • Any stigma attached to second marriages is gone. If Meghan can get remarried by the Archbishop of Canterbury in a royal chapel in the presence of the Queen under the eyes of the world, anyone can. Everyone should rightly feel fully empowered to celebrate their marriage to the maximum, even if it is not their first marriage.
  • The rise of the “even-bigger” second-marriage. No longer will second marriages be frowned upon or hidden, it is time for them to be celebrated!

 

Solo Aisle Walk:

  • Though Meghan did have Prince Charles walk her down the aisle, there was a definitive first half of the walk that Meghan owned on her own. Walking yourself down the aisle shouldn’t simply be a last resort for those who are unfortunate enough not to have a father to walk them. In fact, it should be quite the opposite! It’s a mark of female empowerment and independence, eschewing the outdated traditions surrounding the “giving away” of the bride.
  • 13% of brides walk down the aisle with someone other than their father, including brides who choose to walk alone. Bridebook.co.uk expects this figure to only continue gaining momentum as some of the oldest wedding traditions are altered or pushed aside to make way for modern, feminist couples. And if Meghan can do it with billions of watchers including The Queen, so can you!

 

The Revival of Church Weddings:

  • Not everything is about breaking tradition! In fact, the UK wedding industry is currently seeing a revival of church weddings and ceremonies, a trend that has been steadily in decline since 2005 as couples opted for non-traditional and marriage licensed venues.
  • This renewed interest in church weddings, with Bridebook.co.uk seeing a 22% increase in searches for church venues in the last 3 years alone, is significantly influenced by the increased flexibility with the church service. Just as Meghan made her very royal church service her own (the Bishop! the gospel choir!), so can British couples in most churches. Gone are the days of weddings being restricted by strict tradition and protocol, and hello to soul sing along services!

 

The End of the Traditional Wedding Cake:

  • RIP so-so marzipan and stodgy fruit cake – expect the world of wedding cake flavours to explode! Bridebook.co.uk has already seen a 34% rise in searches for non-traditional and, even more on trend, seasonal wedding cakes. Longevity is no longer the priority for cakes, it’s all about the flavour!

 

Less Bridesmaids, More Friends:

  • Is it the end of the bridesmaid, and the rise of the supportive bride tribe? Meghan’s decision to forgo having any adult bridesmaids is not an unusual one. It’s clear she has no lack of friends she could have included, but likely decided to avoid the social intricacies of inviting only a limited number of friends to be a part of the bridal party by having none at all. Over 18% of UK brides stated that they did not have any adult bridesmaids for the same reason in 2017.
  • Also consider the fact that the average age for getting married is older than ever before, meaning that friends and family may have children or other duties that make them not as available to be at your beck and call. By forgoing adult bridesmaids, a trend Bridebook.co.uk predicts will sweep the UK in the coming years, you aren’t limiting yourself to your girlfriends (since when does your squad need to be all girls?) and forcing them to wear matching outfits, but can still benefit from having your supportive squad through the day regardless.

 

 

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