Less couples adhering to wedding traditions

19 Jan 2016

Thinking of ditching the cake cutting photos and skipping the bouquet toss? New research reveals you’re not alone, with just 37% per cent of today’s couples adhering to wedding traditions

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Think about a traditional wedding and you might imagine a proposal being made on one knee, the newlyweds cutting the cake and the bride being carried over the threshold to her new home. But these customs could soon become a thing of the past, according to new research.

A survey1 of people who are or have been married, carried out by London property and lettings agent Chestertons, shows that wedding traditions are dying out since their peak in the 1960s.

Of those who have married since 2010, just 30 per cent of brides wore something old, new, borrowed and blue, 36 per cent cut the cake, 33 per cent threw the bouquet and 31 per cent wore a white dress.

Just 15 per cent of grooms carried their bride over the threshold, and 7 per cent moved in together only after the wedding.

In comparison, 70 per cent of couples who tied the knot between 1960 and 1964 cut the cake, 65 per cent of brides wore something old, new, borrowed and blue and 57% wore a white dress.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the tradition of the bride’s parents paying for all elements of the wedding has died out for all but 6 per cent of couples, compared to a peak of 40 per cent in the 1950s.

The most popular wedding traditions for those who have married since 2010:
1)      Asking the father-of-the-bride for permission (37 per cent)
2)      Proposing on one knee (36 per cent)
3)      Cutting the cake together (36 per cent)
4)      Throwing the bouquet (33 per cent)
5)      Wearing a white wedding dress (31 per cent)

When it comes to the most consistently popular wedding tradition over the years, cake cutting reigned supreme between 1960 and 2009. Over this time, as many as three in four (74 per cent) newlyweds cut the cake together.

The cities whose inhabitants uphold none of the traditional wedding customs:

1)      Bristol (15 per cent)
2)      Newcastle (12 per cent)
3)      Southampton (12 per cent)
4)      Glasgow (11 per cent)
5)      Sheffield (10 per cent)
6)      Belfast (9 per cent)
7)      Manchester (9per cent)
8)      Cardiff (7 per cent)
9)      London (7per cent)
10)   Nottingham (7per cent)

Nick Barnes, Head of Research at Chestertons, commented: It’s a shame that the things we typically associate with weddings are starting to die out as other options, such as overseas ceremonies or more modern venues, grow in popularity.

“However, certain traditions such as not living together until getting married, or allowing the father of the bride to foot the bill, are no longer practical and demonstrate the way our lifestyles and financial capabilities have changed since the 1950s.”

Victoria Tidmarsh, 26, from York, married her husband Ryan in a traditional church ceremony in May 2014. She says: We did everything traditionally on the day in terms of carrying over the threshold, cutting the cake and throwing the bouquet, though I’d say we are among the minority of our friends who are engaged or married.

“The only thing that was slightly away from tradition was that we didn’t have a receiving line. We felt this element was a little too dated, and as we had a lot of guests it seemed a waste of everybody’s time. We made sure we made time to greet and thank everyone throughout the afternoon and evening instead.”

Nationwide survey of 1000 respondents who are or have been married, carried out November 2015



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