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Wedding Traditions - A Study

Posted on: 21/08/2018

These days, casual flings can soon enough lead to wedding rings! Everything seems to happen just that much faster. Our attitudes have changed too. Does that mean that all of our wedding traditions are being thrown out like yesterday's confetti? At F.Hinds we decided to find out, by conducting research into the evolving attitudes of the British public towards weddings.

Out with the Old Traditions

Nice day for an old-fashioned white wedding? Not according to most Brits. In fact, familiar matrimonial traditions are becoming a thing of the past. When asked about 18 common traditions, an average of just 31% of people said that they were still important.

According to our survey, the most important tradition is considered to be the father walking the bride down the aisle. Other important traditions include having the bride take the groom's surname and the bride and groom both wearing wedding rings. This can be contrasted with having wedding favours, which was found in our survey to be Britain's least important tradition.

There Goes the Bride

Gone are the days when speeches were the preserve of one gender. In fact, 15% of brides have given a speech at their wedding. The tradition of having a best man and blushing bridesmaids has changed too, with 10% of people having had a best woman or more than one best man.

'Holy matrimony' has also taken on a new definition and of the 60% of people who got married in a church, more than half do not consider themselves to be religious.

And what happened to that age-old tradition of asking a prospective bride's father for permission? Well, 4% of those surveyed claimed that the potential bride's father said no when they asked - that same number told us that they got married anyway! So, love these days has no bounds - and no need to ask for permission.

Responses by Group

When it comes to gender, 42% of men consider it important to ask the prospective bride's father for permission, compared to just 32% of women. However, more women (46%) than men (37%) consider it important for both bride and groom to wear rings. Men and women consider it equally important for the bride to take the groom's surname - although this number is only 36%.

Moving on to age groups, over 20% of brides between 18 and 44 have given a speech, compared to less than 10% for those over 45. One in four in the 25-34 age group had more than one best man, contrasted with just 5% of the 45+ group. Only 30% of the 25-34 bracket consider it important to have a best man or bridesmaids, compared to 65% of those over 65.

The tradition of having the bride's father walking her down the aisle seems to be disappearing for younger generations, with only 50% of those aged 25-34 deeming it important, compared to over 75% of the 65+ group.

Results by City

Interestingly, 90% of those in Belfast got married in a church but only 55% consider themselves to be religious. When it comes to a father walking the bride down the aisle, 80% of people in Glasgow consider this to be important compared to just 44% in Sheffield.

Personal Traditions

Many of our respondents even included remarks about their own weddings, showing us just how much traditions have changed:

"I decorated our cake with chocolate frogs", wrote one respondent, and "my mum nearly freaked! We also had a tractor and trailer instead of a car." Another wrote, "My mother walked up the aisle with the bride."

"We had speeches throughout the day," writes another, "rather than in one boring block."

One respondent even wrote, "We had a dog as a best man." Perhaps that's taking things a bit far!

If the Father Says No

Many people have stopped asking for the father's permission, not just because it's seen as old-fashioned, but because of the risk involved. What if he says no? In our study we found an example of this.

The prospective husband and wife had been living together for almost a year before the question was popped to the father of the bride-to-be. His response was simply to laugh and claim that the pair were too young. At that stage they were aged 24 and 23 - not exactly lovestruck teenagers.

This left the husband-to-be feeling somewhat conflicted. Should he go ahead with his proposal anyway? Or should he listen to his potential father-in-law and wait for a better time? It's an interesting dilemma and indicative of the changing world of wedding traditions.

Weddings Today

The great thing about this day and age is that there is more freedom than ever before. So, you really can do what you want when it comes to your own wedding. You can be traditional, modern or traditional with a modern twist - it really is up to you.

We hope you found this interesting! If you'd like to know more about topics like this, then keep an eye on our blog.
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