An analysis of consumer behaviour and purchase motivators in the consumption of weddings among Edinburgh residents.
(2016) An analysis of consumer behaviour and purchase motivators in the consumption of weddings among Edinburgh residents., no. 130.
Weddings are an event used to mark a milestone between two individuals' when entering a sacred union (Bernstein 2006). However, this symbolic practice has become overshadowed due to the extravagant consumption of 'invented traditions' (Howard 2003). The increase in consumptive practices by the modern day couple can be moderately explained through the rise in mass media (Boden 2003). With modern society spending countless hours following the lives of celebrities through traditional and social media, it is questioned if these celebrity weddings have an effect on consumptive patterns (Boden 2003; Callinan 2007; Daniels and Loveless 2014). This study explored the importance of varied commodities to individuals' when making purchases for their wedding day. Additionally, the study conducts an analysis on the purchase motivations of individuals,' whilst investigating how celebrity weddings in traditional media and social media influence wedding consumption behaviours. The theoretical framework of this study focused largely on Boden (2001; 2003), Otnes and Pleck (2003), Winch and Webster (2012) and Daniels and Loveless (2014) with regards to wedding consumption and Ingraham (2008) in relation to the influence of celebrity weddings in traditional media and social media. This study employed a mixed method approach, achieving 79 completed questionnaires and 8 interviews. This approach was chosen to allow for in-depth descriptive data, whilst also reaching larger populations quantitatively (Bryman and Bell 2011; Creswell 2013). This study sampled men and women currently planning their wedding day, as residents of Edinburgh. Each semi-structured interview lasted around 15-30 minutes. Questionnaires were distributed in two ways. Face-to-face whilst attending The Edinburgh Wedding Exhibition held at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh on the 30th January 2016, before then distributing these through online social media platforms on bridal discussion forums. The results demonstrated that whilst purchases of individuals' were partially motivated by celebrity groups in the mass media, financial stability and starting a family was of higher importance. Based on the average British wedding costing £24,000 (Andrew 2015), the researcher was surprised to find substantially lower budgets amongst participants of the study. However, the results revealed a level of materialism amongst responses regarding commodities such as the wedding gown. The Majority of participants explained this commodity as the most important dress of a women's life. The results presented here will facilitate improvements in the ways in which the findings of the study are applicable, and the methodologies employed. Key Words: Wedding, Consumption, Motivation, Celebrity Weddings, Materialism, Traditional Media, Social Media, Mass Media, Budget.