Wedding Consumption and Expectations: A study into how these factors have changed from one generation to the next and the pressures of being a contemporary bride
(2014) Wedding Consumption and Expectations: A study into how these factors have changed from one generation to the next and the pressures of being a contemporary bride, no. 63.
ABSTRACT Weddings are a popular and traditional event; they hold a lot of symbolism and emotion for everyone involved (Flanagan 2001; Otnes et al 1997; Rojek 2013). Over the generations weddings have changed and developed in terms of traditions, the venue of the wedding and the levels of consumption around them (Blum 2005; Daniels et al 2012; Walliss 2002). This study explores the themes of consumption and expectations around weddings and looks into how they have changed from one generation to the next. Also developed in this study are the pressures of being a contemporary bride and if these pressures are greater now than in the previous generation. The aim of this study is to develop an understanding and discover if consumption and expectations related to weddings have changed between this generation and the previous one. If this change is clear, the main factors for this change will be identified. There is limited literature already written around this topic due to weddings not attracting much attention from academics. The theoretical framework from this study looked mainly at Boden (2001; 2002; 2003), Daniels (2007; 2012), Loveless (2007) and Otnes (1996; 1997; 2003) around the topic of weddings and consumption and Prichard and Tiggemann (2008; 2011) around the topic of appearance and body image. This study adopted a qualitative approach and a total of 10 semi-structured interviews were carried out. A qualitative approach was chosen due to it being word based and descriptive, which was in line with the study and the method chosen: interviews (Bryman and Bell 2011; Sekaran and Bougie 2009). The sample for this research study was married women, brides-to-be and wedding professionals working in the industry. Each interview on average lasted between 30-40 minutes and was carried out in the home or work place of the participant. The results demonstrated on the whole that expectations and consumption have grown and developed from one generation to the next. The industry professionals interviewed agreed that there are so many more suppliers and choices for couples planning their wedding; they also believed that expectations from couples are growing. From a professional point of view, a challenge to them is controlling these expectations. The married women and brides-to-be mostly agreed that they did feel there urge to consume during their wedding planning and felt influenced by the media. However, they did not want their high expectations to get in the way of enjoying their wedding day; therefore, if the day was enjoyed by all and all aspects of the day were present, they would be delighted.