An investigation of the impact of consumerism on UK weddings from 1957 to the present day
This dissertation aims to investigate how the traditional wedding has evolved into the modern day wedding through the impact of consumerism from 1957 to the present day. It is believed by the researcher that the wedding industry has grown rapidly over the past sixty years into a profit-based industry, adding to more goods and services needed to fulfil the couple’s happy day. Through time weddings have evolved from one generation to the next, bringing new traditions and different celebrations in order to commit their lives to one another. Consumerism is a widely researched area in academic literature except for the themes of weddings and events. Schumann (2012) illustrates the concept of the growth within the industry has developed through time as it has progressed significantly therefore, becoming an expensive spectacle in order to show the commitment to their family and friends (Peng et al 2017). The aim of the research is to explore the impact of consumerism on UK weddings from 1957 to the present day, indicating how the ‘traditional’ wedding has evolved into the 21st century ordeal. There is a limited amount of academic literature around the topic of weddings therefore the project is essential to contribute to the research already published. Through this dissertation primary qualitative research was used, more specifically semi-structured interviews of twelve participants. The method was chosen as it is best fit for the study and allows rich and detailed data to be gathered (Bryman and Bell 2015). The sample within the project was majority of woman with one male participant. The criteria for the study was people who had been married, currently married or is engaged to be married. Each interview lasted no more than 25 minutes and was undertaken within a neutral environment. Results of the project indicated that further research needs to be carried out as certain aspects of the data needs more exploration in order to gain a further understanding of the influences in each segment. The ‘traditional’ participants agreed that today’s weddings are excessive and unnecessary in order to commit to one another, and the influences from other sources such as the internet as well as the laissez faire attitude towards marrying in the 21st century. This aids and destroys the industry as more individuals are getting married and divorced, creating more of a customer base and the ‘returning’ customer for the events industry. Ultimately reinforcing the impact of consumerism on UK weddings.