Groom Duties

“The New American Wedding”: Fact or Fiction?

Thank God! It’s finally here! The three most anticipated events of December are the arrival of Santa, the annual late-season fizzle from Brett Favre, and the release of new survey results from Brides magazine. Bring it!

Before we get to the hard numbers, let’s get some perspective, and let’s look at Brides‘ overall observation about the state of weddings. From their press release:

“The stuffy by-the-rule-book wedding of years past has completely vanished. There is a woman in white, music, food, cake and vows – but every other aspect of the American wedding has been reconsidered. The New American Wedding presents itself as an unlikely, but decade defining, combination of the fundamentally traditional with the wildly original.”

If you know what that means, please email me at [email protected].

Onto the results!

Let’s play a little game. For several different survey findings, we’re going to give you two possible answers. One is actually from the Brides survey, one is made up. Can you tell them apart?

Result 1:

A) Less than 46% of couples will have a “large wedding with all the traditions.”

B) 76% will have a “large wedding with all the traditions.”

Easy. No-brainer. “It’s The New American Wedding,” right? So the correct answer must be A. No! The overwhelming majority of couples, 76%, will still have a “large wedding with all the traditions.” So… where does the whole “unlikely, decade defining” stuff come in exactly?  Let’s see some more…

Result 2:

A) Over 15% of women will break from the “old rules” and wear a shorter, or non-traditional dress.

B) 87% of women will wear a long white dress.

Surely the New American Wedding will see variety in dresses, right, so… A?  No! For The New American Wedding, 87% of women will wear a long white dress.

Result 3:

A)   The majority of brides have replaced the stuffy, by-the-rule-book bouquet toss with something more personal, more independent-minded, more progressive.

B)   75% of brides will toss the bouquet.

Um… A? Hasn’t the “stuffy by-the-rule-book wedding of years past” “completely vanished?” No! The savvy reader has noticed a trend. Yep, the answer is B. In The New American Wedding, 75% of brides will toss the bouquet.

Result 4:

A)   37% of couples spice things up with a different dessert than the cliché cake-cutting ceremony.

B)   93% will indulge in a cake-cutting ceremony.

Yep, you guessed it, in 93% of couples have a cake-cutting ceremony in The New American Wedding.

And on and on and on…

True, in fairness, there are some smatterings of increased personalization–more salsa bands, more ethnic trends, and “85% of couples are personalizing at least some aspect of the reception.” Okay. But is that really The New American Wedding… or is that data mining?

The point to all this?

There’s rarely any news in the wedding industry. Brides wear white. They eat cake. They dance. Every year this doesn’t change that much. So the industry creates news–golden fables of The New American Wedding…when, in fact, it looks an awful lot like The Old American Wedding.

See the Brides magazine press release here.

For more on this dynamic, don’t miss: How Wedding-Porn is Brainwashing Your Fiancée.

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