Wedding Culture

Kaleah Walterman

David Osborn

Popular Culture

6 February 2017

How Wedding Culture Plays an Important Role in Pop Culture

Our wedding culture plays a big role in sculpting popular culture. Over the past century the average age a typical American is first married at has been increasing. According to the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the median age for a woman to get married between 1890 and 1970 fluctuated between 20-22 years old. But starting in the 1980’s, the median age began to increase. The median age for woman to get married now is twenty-six years old, four to six years older than fifty years ago! For men, the median age to get married between 1890 and 1970 was 22-26, but now the median age is 28. In our wedding culture, people are not as adamant to get married young due to a few factors. The first factor is that women are starting to join the workforce more than ever before; more are going to college and more are focusing on their careers. Pop culture today encourages women to be independent, therefore in the wedding culture women are waiting longer to get married.  Men previously have always been dominant in the workforce over the past century, but pop culture has changed that. Culture back then was more traditional, people were married much younger and it was a woman’s role to look after the house and take care of the children while the men worked, but the roles are starting to change. Also, pop culture has passed down its ideologies on the public about how it’s okay to live together with someone before they are married, while back then, people had to marry someone in order to live together due to culture or religious beliefs. So, this causes people to be in relationships longer, and postpone marriage until they are older.

Wedding culture has become more glamorized. According to an article called Average Wedding Cost, people nowadays spend an average of $26,645 on their weddings. On television, there are numerous wedding shows that range from Say Yes to the Dress to Four Weddings. These shows gives the viewers ideas about how weddings ought to be, and what wedding dresses women need to purchase for their weddings. On Say Yes to the Dress, clients from all over the world flock into a wedding boutique called Kleinfield. This place has thousands upon thousands of top-of-the-line dresses that range from $2,000-$30,000. These dresses are usually very glamorous with jewels and beading all over them, and some are very sexy exposing a lot of skin. Wedding culture has taken on a whole new meaning about how women should be able to wear whatever they want on their wedding, which then plays a big role in popular culture. For instance, if a woman feels beautiful in an expensive sexy gown for her wedding, she then has every right to wear whatever she desires in public because it’s her body, and she can dress it in whatever she pleases to make her feel beautiful. Fifty years ago, women and men always wore conservative clothing that covered them, but in pop culture, people are wearing clothes that makes people more exposed. Wedding dresses used to be very conservative, but now dresses have transformed into sexy and glamorous dresses.

It seems like in today’s wedding culture, people are more focused on having a great wedding than focusing on the marriage. And there are less and less marriages that are happening today. In an article called, Historical Divorce Rate Statistics  Audrey M. Jones, a freelance writer and editor, explains that at the beginning of the 20th century, divorce rates were 8%, but in the 80’s the divorce rates hit up to 50%, and it’s been getting higher(Historical Divorce Rate Statistics).  Could this reflect people of today’s culture afraid of commitments, or maintaining relationships. Does this show that people are not willing to put others in front of themselves? Wedding culture plays a big role in popular culture, because by examining wedding culture, people are getting married later, spending a lot of money on weddings, and how there are higher divorce rates, it tells us that people in pop culture are more independent and are not valuing commitments or relationships.

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