Although Brits are known for their conservative tastes, it seems like wedding traditions aren’t all that anymore. Does this mean goodbye to the traditional white wedding?
Leading UK wedding authority, Country House Wedding Venues conducted The Great British Wedding Survey – believed to be the biggest wedding survey ever carried out – asking 10,000 wedded and soon-to-be wedded couples to reveal all about their big day. And of those surveyed, 30% claimed to have had an ‘unusual’ theme incorporated into their wedding, with some couples bucking tradition entirely. Of those polled, one in 100 ditched the white wedding dress, and are wearing black instead!
Whether it is the melodies of Wham or the upbeat tempo of the Spice Girls, get the glow sticks at the ready because some weddings went back in time to capture the atmospheres of decades gone by! Much like Cher’s later 80’s hit, Turn Back Time, the decade in which it was released was a popular choice with 13% choosing the shoulder-pad, perm era as their wedding theme, closely followed by 12% opting for a 90s theme. Other couples went more specific by focusing their theme entirely on their favourite band – Take That and The Beatles being, perhaps unsurprisingly, among the most popular picks.
The festive season also struck a chord with some couples. December was the most popular month to get married, with some couples basing their whole wedding around the colder time of year, turning their day into a Winter Wonderland paradise! “The survey revealed that couples have firm views when planning their big day,” says Diana Hastie, owner and founder of Country House Wedding Venues. “It’s good to see so much creativity and individuality in wedding ceremonies and receptions, showing that every wedding is truly personal to each couple.”
However, some traditions have remained, with more than 85% of brides choosing to wear something old, new, borrowed and blue on the big day. As well as white still being the colour of choice for wedding dresses – less than 1% describing their dress as ‘modern‘! Last year, vintage was the most popular wedding theme, claiming 17% of the total wedding themes. The countryside theme of Downton Abbey also seemed to resonate with newlyweds with the countryside being a firm favourite when it comes to tying the knot.
“Our survey shows that couples are putting their own twist on their wedding day but some time-old traditions are just as relevant in today’s wedding’s as they ever have been,” Diana adds. As with many parts of our lives, one modern tradition on the rise is the involvement of social media in weddings. Becoming ‘Facebook official’ seems to be the standard measurement of real relationships in today’s world and after putting a ring on it, weddings are no different – as more than half of those polled admitted to updating their status a mere 24 hours after tying the knot, with 77% of couples doing so within the first week of marriage.
Other marriage traditions included taking notes from the likes of Strictly Come Dancing, with having a choreographed first dance and speeches are no longer solely the reserve of the groom and best man, with many brides now opting to have their own speech, too. “Although we have seen some new traditions coming to light, it is good to see that some are passed down through generations, and hopefully more generations to come,” says Diana.
Although wedding tastes will vary entirely, the one thing that couples seem to be in agreement on is what makes the perfect marriage, with love, communication, honesty, compromise and laughter accounting for 81% of those polled – pass the tissues!