An exploratory study of wedding events as spectacle in the United Kingdom.
(2016) An exploratory study of wedding events as spectacle in the United Kingdom., no. 99.
"In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation." - Guy Debord (1967) Weddings have become increasingly important milestones within most individual lifetimes. Wedding ceremonies are a symbolic means of projecting ideals of commitment, love and partnership (Waite and Gallagher 2000). Consumerism is a topic, which has been widely researched by many academics, however this research is mainly applied to the tourism industry. The consumer motivations identified are analysed in conjunction with Debord's Society of the Spectacle Theory (1967). Debords Society of the Spectacle is a philosophy and Marxist critical theory, which critiques contemporary culture and commodity fetishism. Consumer motivations that influence the wedding planning process have very rarely been researched. This dissertation will address the identified gap within the literature through the use of the qualitative research method; semi-structured interviews. Newlywed brides and wedding planners were interviewed in order to gain an in-depth incite into the consumer motivations involved within spectacle wedding design, gaining an incite from both a consumer and industrial perspective in order to build on already existing consumerism literature. The findings from these interviews were analysed and corresponding themes were identified which correlate with the research projects aim; to identify and investigate the key consumer motivations that lead individuals to endorse in lavish and extravagant spectacle weddings. Conclusions of this research project were drawn after an analysis of data in correlation with the information identified throughout the literature review. Results indicated an influential relationship between budget, social class and the production of spectacle wedding design. However, this study was also particularly concerned with whether celebrity coverage affected consumer motivations and resulted in the endorsement of luxurious wedding design. Within this category, findings seemed highly varied and it was solely dependent on individual personality. (Key Words: Weddings, Events, Event Design, Spectacle Theory, Consumerism and Commodity Fetishism)