People have been tying the proverbial knot for literally thousands of years! In fact, marriage has been found to exist in ALL human cultures. Pretty cool, right? Well over the last twenty years, popular culture has become a major influence in how people visualize their weddings.
Perhaps no theme has stood the test of time better than the “Roaring Twenties”. Contemporary wedding clients are enamored by the fashion, the music, and the overall style associated with the 1920s in America. It was an exciting, prosperous and romantic time; a time framed by the glitz and glam of The Great Gatsby. In 2013, Leonardo DiCaprio put a desirable face to Gatsby, while the movie incorporated modern music, again creating a package much more accessible to young couples. As the Roaring Twenties reached their centennial in 2020, the fasciation with their electric atmosphere is still at an all-time high.
Similar to the Gatsby movie, current Netflix hit Bridgerton also closes the generational gap musically by incorporating string arrangements of current songs. Popular string ensemble Vitamin String Quartet is well known for their classic takes on modern chart-toppers. Bridgerton will put your ears on notice with instrumental versions of songs from Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Ariana Grande, among others. Murray Hill Talent’s Infinity Strings follows this model and offers wedding clients the chance to hear their favorite Top 40 played on strings.
In the year 2000, the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? brought an unlikely genre into the wedding scene, as Bluegrass music gained traction with the popularity of the movie’s soundtrack. That album went 8x Platinum in the United States and many of the songs began popping up at cocktail hours across the Northeast; an area with little exposure to Kentucky’s native sound.
All You Need Is Love
A couple years later, in 2003, Love Actually set the bar for memorable wedding ceremonies. Suddenly brides and grooms envisioned professional musicians popping up from their congregation to play “All You Need is Love”, before unveiling a gospel choir to complete the dreamy, well rehearsed sequence. That same year, the term “flash mob” became a household phrase. The exciting piece of performance art worked its way into weddings, as large bridal parties and DJs conspired to set off a sudden, choreographed dance routine to surprise guests.
Don’t Stop Believin’
If you watched The Sopranos, there is no forgetting the final scene for plenty of reasons, not the least of which was Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” playing throughout. Before that scene, the song had taken a downturn over the years, being thrown into a pile of overplayed songs people were tired of hearing. The Soprano’s rejuvenated the song and brought it to a younger generation who until then preferred their Rock n’ Roll in the form of The Killers and Blink-182. “Don’t Stop Believin’” still remains one of the most requested songs at weddings. A similar phenomenon took place with the movie Wedding Crashers as millennials watched epic, raucous dance floors exploding to “Shout” played by bands and DJs; another long-in-the-tooth classic brought back from the dead for a new generation.
As pop culture continues to shape the way we see things, wedding plans will evolve. It is, in this writer’s opinion, a part of the industry that deserves attention. Staying in tune with current trends helps us relate to our clients and makes us better-equipped to serve them, no matter what their vision may be!