I was just asked this question again.  But before I answered, I felt we should clarify the difference. With a new “crop” of brides every 12-18 months, many of the changes in the industry are only “new” for a year, but often less than 5 years, for maybe an average of 2-3 years, which is then only about 3 to 4 wedding “cycles.”  

From Trend vs. fad is a marketing question | Business First, the distinction is actually quite simple. Fads are short-lived. Think Tickle Me Elmo, foam parties and South Park. Fads follow a classic cycle: insider discovery, followed by media ballyhoo, followed by mainstream embrace.

Trends, on the other hand, have staying power. Think the revival of interest in religion and the use of lifestyle drugs. Trends take longer to build and their effects may be felt for years, even decades.
Trends have deeper cultural roots than fads.
Read more: Trend vs. fad is a marketing question | Business First

I read this blog:  http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/trends-vs-fads/.  To summarize:

For most people, the terms “trend” and “fad” are used interchangeably. When the media tell us “what’s hot” they label them as trends. Someone who wears the latest fashions or has obscure new music on their iPod is called “trendy.” But maybe they should be “faddy.” This could be just a discussion of semantics, but perhaps there is a difference.

Dr. Dre on “Encore,” the title song from Eminem’s latest album:
I’m a trend, I set one every time I’m in/ I go out and just come back full circle again/You a fad that means you something that we already had/ But once you’re gone you don’t come back/ Too bad, you’re off the map now radar can’t even find you.

In other words, fads are short-term fanaticisms; a blip in culture time whereby it seems the whole world is joined in the same craze. Exciting and electric as they are, they burn out fast. Dre points out that fads are generally not missed once they are gone. We want fad amnesia, to forget them and bury them away. At least until the next generation revives them as retro goofs. That’s because they stand for a certain point in time that we have moved past.

Trends, though, may represent long-term changes or movements that are substantial to society. They become part of our DNA, even though they may begin with just a few people, the trendsetters.

I think of wedding “trends” of the past few years – chocolate fountains, eiffel tower vases, various color combinations that were “in” and are now “out.”   We’re talking wedding “fads” here, not trends.  Wedding trends are “traditional” and “lasting,” like color font thermographed invitations and embellishments. 

Read more: http://blogcritics.org/culture/article/trends-vs-fads/#ixzz1FNDGnwfL or http://www.bizjournals.com/buffalo/stories/1999/12/20/smallb2.html

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