Marriage - who’d do it eh? Despite the financial burden, the months of organisation and the growing number of divorces people are still all over it. Interesting then, some recent statistics from Laterooms.com showing how, although no less popular, how wedding values, themes and traditions are changing – it looks like modern brides and grooms are tearing up the wedding etiquette book and I for one think it’s great news!
THE TRADITIONAL British wedding is on the verge of extinction as brides and grooms opt instead for ultra-modern refinements to their big day in 2015, new national research has revealed.
The modern innovations start from the initial invitation as 22% are now issued via Facebook or other social network rather than the traditional card, sent through the post.
What’s more, one in every 20 wedding invites is dispatched by email, with a further 12% being sent by text message.
When it comes to the actual wedding ceremony, just 18% of British weddings will centre around a traditional church service this year, according to the study by leading hotel bookers LateRooms.com.
Indeed, of the polled 2,000 couples – who were either recently married or hoping to get married in the near future – 38.5% admit they held or are due to hold their entire wedding day in a hotel instead of choosing a church service and a reception at a different venue.
Once a mainstay of tradition, the white wedding dress is also being eschewed, with just a third of brides now getting married in one. Almost as many, 28%, now walk up the aisle in a red or black dress.
Less than three in 10 weddings (28%) are now conducted by a priest or a vicar.
The overwhelming choice of minister for the modern wedding is an appointed civic official from the register office (48%) though many couples are now officially married by a friend (one in 20), while one in 10 wedding ceremonies are conducted by a ship’s captain.
Even the traditional roast dinner has been usurped in favour of more modern culinary delights when the wedding breakfast is served.
More than one in five weddings has an Italian-themed dish at the centre of its wedding breakfast, according to the research. And almost one in four couples (24.4%) chooses curry for their wedding breakfast.
Furthermore, 10 per cent of those tying the knot choose fish ‘n chips or their favourite take-out as the main meal on their big day.
Almost three-quarters of weddings this year buck the traditional top table at their wedding reception – inviting friends and step-parents to take a seat at the top table. Indeed, one in five weddings this year won’t even have a top table at their wedding reception.
More than half of all weddings (56%) in Britain won’t have traditional confetti throwing at their service. Some say this is down to the venue banning confetti but, for almost one in four (23%), it is a choice not to have the tradition.
Almost half of all modern weddings (49.9%) don’t stick to traditional wedding etiquette of having one best man and a handful of bridesmaids. Instead they have two or three best men and some even choose to have a best woman or Male of Honour instead.
The LateRooms.com research reveals that 77% of couples now pay all or the majority of the cost of their big day themselves – no longer relying on the tradition of their bride’s parents footing the bill. Just 4% of weddings are paid for by the bride’s parents.
Only 25% of modern weddings stick to the tradition of having the wedding service in the bride’s home town or village, the poll indicates. Ten percent of British weddings now take place abroad and 63% of couples choose a wedding venue they love outside of the bride’s hometown because they don’t want to be restricted by tradition.
More than one in five couples (20.2%) make a choice not to have the bride’s father give her away at the altar. And 53% of brides and grooms will not make traditional wedding vows to each other on their big day – with 18% writing their own and 35% adapting traditional vows to suit their own unique situation.
Just 18% of couples opt for a traditional fruit wedding cake with 21.6% choosing a chocolate cake for their reception and a further 26% opting for a sponge cake. One in 20 couples now choose a cupcake tower for their wedding cake.
LateRooms.com spokeswoman Andrea Tarpey, said: “What we view as a traditional wedding seems increasingly to be becoming a thing of the past. There is clearly a trend towards holding the entire wedding service in a single venue, usually a hotel.
“Even the wedding gift list is now considered non traditional. Forty-eight percent of newlyweds asked for cash donations instead of wedding gifts in 2015 – so they can help pay off the cost of the wedding, the honeymoon or make a donation to charity. A further 10 percent of couples ask for money to do up their house.
“With the cost of the average wedding now exceeding £20,000, it’s key for couples to be able to personalise their day into exactly what they want, with who they want and where they want to make sure it’s truly the best day of their lives.”
So there you have it, weddings – still on the bucket lists of many but now with a added twist. My type of wedding? … Gretna Green, a pie and a pint? Now you’re talking.