Picture a British wedding and some familiar images come to mind – a white dress, vows we all know by heart, a toast to the bride and groom, and confetti in the air as the happy couple drive away in a ‘just married’ car... the great wedding traditions.
That kind of vignette has been the closing shot to many a film and has been ingrained in British culture for more than a century.
But all those wedding traditions are under threat according to a survey by group travel experts Red7.
The survey, which polled 2,002 respondents in the UK, showed that attitudes to weddings are seriously changing.
The findings on wedding traditions included:
• Almost a third of Brits wouldn’t insist on any wedding wedding traditions at all on their big day.
• Almost three quarters of brides don’t insist on a white dress.
• Only a third need traditional vows on their wedding day.
• Just one in four would insist on confetti.
• Only a fifth want a toast to the bride and groom.
• Less than one in five insist on being driven away in a decorated car.
“The way couples think about their big day and what they want is changing,” said Ian Lucas, Founder of Red7.
“Some of the wedding traditions we take for granted are being challenged and it’s not just the big day itself that is looking different, either.
“Traditions around the build-up to a wedding – especially the hen and stag experience - and what happens after are also being given a different flavour.”
The survey also showed that:
• Only 2 in 5 brides keep their dress a secret until the big day.
• As many as 8 per cent of brides want the groom to take their name, not the other way around.
• Two in five want to combine their stag and hen night (rising to half amongst 16-34 year-olds).
Even the traditional present list is being challenged. Top gift for most couples was not a coffee maker or crockery but money towards the honeymoon. In fact, 9 out of 10 people married within the last year gave that answer.
“The responses were insightful,” added Ian. “The survey showed that women are more traditional than men – this was reflected in almost every category – but it also reflected a greater willingness in society to do things differently.
“In the same way that stag and hen parties are changing – with foreign trips to exciting destinations being favoured instead of the local pub – the wedding day itself seems to be evolving. More than half of respondents said they would welcome ‘new’ wedding traditions and younger people backed ideas like hand written vows or the bride making a speech. We have seen all manner of changes in the 20 years that we have been in business, it will be interesting to see what new trends emerge over the next 20.”
For more information, please visit www.redsevenleisure.co.uk.