3. The Wedding Industry
Key Author: Ingraham (2008)
The third part of my literature review explains the growth of the UK wedding industry. Chris Ingraham (2008) succeeds in explaining the changes and details that have occurred in the 20th Century throughout all areas of the wedding industry. Ingraham (2008) explains:
- after the 1990 bridal gown recession occurred, the prices for objects that are consumed for the wedding day doubled in price due to the increase of production costs. This led to consumers spending more on their wedding day, suggesting that the industry has expanded as a result of couples spending more money on individual aspects of the wedding day.
- the wedding industry targets upper-class individuals to consume its goods as the wedding has become an expensive and compulsory ritual in western societies.
Other key points include:
- The UK wedding industry’s trends are following those that are currently found in America (Daniels and Loveless, 2014).
- Children in western societies are socialised to believe that a white wedding is inevitable in later life, and that marriage is a required ritual that is experienced by everyone. Manufactured toys such as “bride Barbie”, imaginative games involving weddings, and story books with the “fairy tale happy ending” all encourage children to believe in marriage whilst building an association between marriage and the white wedding (Otnes and Pleck, 2003).
- The rise of the wedding industry has been a result of a rising number in wedding fairs and shows across the country. Whereas each county used to host a small number of wedding fairs, these figures have multiplied significantly alongside a growing number of wedding shows (UKAWP, 2011).
- Despite changing statistical patterns of the preferred wedding ceremony, traditions are still highly valued by the engaged couple, regardless of whether a religious ceremony is carried out or not (Boden, 2003).
- However, although couples remain traditional in some elements of the wedding planning process, there is a divide between which areas remain traditional and which do not. This varies for each couple as it is down to their discretion. As couple’s strive to showcase their personalities, various aspects of the wedding become unique (Daniels et al, 2012).
- One in five weddings now take place abroad, illustrating a change in traditional trends (Mintel, 2011).
- The rise of social media has provided engaged couples with more variety and guidance when planning a wedding. Websites such as Pinterest and wedding blogs are available to help those struggling to pinpoint the fine details of planning a wedding. It is debatable as to whether an increased amount of choice is beneficial to the couple or not (Boden, 2003).
Boden, S. (2003) Consumerism, Romance and the Wedding Experience. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Daniels, M., Lee, S. and Cohen, T. (2012) The Attributes Influencing Wedding Reception Venue Selection. Event Management, 16 (3) 245-258
Daniels, M. and Loveless, C. (2014) Wedding Planning and Management: Consultancy for Diverse Clients. 2nd edition. Oxon: Routledge.
Ingraham, C. (2008) White Weddings: Romancing Heterosexuality in Popular Culture. 2nd edition. New York: Routledge.
Mintel (2011) Mintel: The Great Escape – One in Five Weddings Now Take Place Abroad. [online]. Available from http://www.mintel.com/press-centre/travel/the-great-escape-one-in-five-weddings-now-take-place-abroad [Accessed 13 November 2014].
Otnes, C. and Pleck, E. (2003) Cinderella Dreams: The Allure of the Lavish Wedding. Berkeley: University of California Press.
UKAWP (2011) UK Alliance of Wedding Planners: The Ever Changing Wedding Industry. [online]. Available from http://www.ukawp.com/blog/for-wedding-planners/life-as-a-planner/the-ever-changing-wedding-industry/ [Accessed 13 November 2014].