Marvelous Girl Has Moved!

Survey results define the new American wedding

Posted on: December 9, 2009

A study by BRIDES Magazine reveals how and why couples are recasting the traditional wedding and what defines THE NEW AMERICAN WEDDING as we enter 2010.

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.

The word “party” has literally replaced “reception” in wedding lingo. Right now, it’s all about combining personal touches and ethic flares. Grooms are taking part and couples, together, are determined to “throw the best party ever” that feels uniquely their own:

Fewer than half of weddings take place in a house of worship. One third of couples marry outdoors. 20% of couples have a friend or relative deputized to perform the ceremony. 13% of receptions feature music via i-Pod. Over 1/4 of couples plan their weddings around a theme (romance in Paris, Stars and Moons). 85% of couples are personalizing at least some aspect of the reception. 97% of grooms get involved with the planning. For those going with live bands, they’re thinking specialty bands i.e. salsa, R&B, Polka and brides are entering less to “Here comes the bride…” than to Coltrane, Coldplay and the Beatles. Soul-food and Mexican are the new go-to wedding cuisine.

At the same time, many couples are holding on to certain wedding traditions that have been in place for generations:

A full 76% will have a large wedding with all the traditions, half because “it’s a beautiful ritual they’ve always looked forward to.” 87% of women will wear a long white dress. 85% of couples will enter their reception (or party) to “For the first time, Mr. and Mrs….” 93% will indulge in a cake-cutting ceremony. 75% of brides will toss the bouquet and just under that amount will share a father/daughter dance.

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