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SO! One of the things I love about running Nu Bride is having a strong knowledge of what my readers want.
During 2o17, I collected quite a lot of data from Nu Bride readers who were engaged at the time or recently married and it was a fascinating read to capture real stats to help me influence more change in the wedding industry.
Approx 300 of you took part in a survey to explore your wedding planning experience and for the first time measure if you feel adequately served by the UK Wedding industry. (which by the way – it’s a 50/50 split! so we have more work to do to better include, speak to and serve Nu Bride couples in mainstream wedding spaces)
So without further ado – I have commented on some of the areas flagged in survey that I thought would be most useful to you!
Areas of Concern
Some of the main areas of concern are lack of representation in the industry overall, choice and pressure (wedding spend and pressure to conform to an overall wedding aesthetic).
It will be no surprise to some of you that make up was a huge concern for BAME readers, with many of you having real difficulty accessing make up artists in your local area that can (and demonstrate that they can) cater to ALL skin tones.
Over half of you stated that you find the wedding planning process stressful. The main contributors are juggle planning alongside work and life, family pressure, conflict, fear and wedding overwhelm. So I’ll be revisiting and addressing more of these topics in-depth on the blog to help this year for you.
Some of the main areas that were flagged were a disparity in the choice that some of you are given / are aware of during your planning.
One of the main areas was wedding ceremonies; many of you felt pressured (mostly from family) to have a religious ceremony and would have liked to have learned that you could have an alternative ceremony that felt more bespoke and true to you and your story or to have known you can in some circumstances combine both a religious and bespoke ceremony. (YES you can explore incorporating both).
Some of you felt frustrated about the lack of wedding inspiration for modern and contemporary couples.
Equally food was a frustrating barrier for those of you in mixed relationships or where your food is staple to your culture. You felt many caterers and venues are still not open to catering to different cultural diets. Sp let me address this for you – PLUS If any of you have had positive experiences with caterers being flexible with menu’s and cultural diets – please let me know about them even I only know a handful!
What you love
You gorgeous people love a honeymoon! With over half of you opting for a luxury beach holiday!! You’re very fond of humanist / personal wedding ceremonies too.
I asked you what you most enjoyed about wedding planning and some of you just wanted to get down on the dance-floor and have great celebration with the people in your life who matter. The majority of you reported that the most enjoyable part of planning your wedding, is getting to plan for your marriage and future together. (You romantic souls you).
The main piece I took from analysing the survey was how our weddings are so intersectional, they are not one thing, they are interconnected.
I love being able to share weddings of a variety of cultural backgrounds, faiths and ethnicity’s and life experiences. Getting married is about union. Not just the obvious union of two families coming together – but the union of our life stories, our life paths coming together. Where we were born, where we grew up, where we work, where we travel, where and how we worship, our spirituality, our abilities, our health, our values and beliefs which increasingly intersect with sociopolitical beliefs too. These ALL influence our wedding day choices and our marriage.
Our lives are RICH with diversity and our weddings reflect and more importantly, are inspired by this. But what this survey has reinforced is that seeking inspiration and resources in the wedding industry does not reflect the same diversity for you.
The industry often assumes that everyone who is getting married looks a certain way, has a certain budget, is a certain age, race, gender, sexual orientation and ability and has similar life experience and taste, with parents still in your lives and supportive of your union. As you know this is not a true reflection of modern society and definitely not of your marriages.
Showcasing and celebrating diverse forms of love that can inspire ALL of us no matter our background, is something I am proud of and will continue to do and improve on Nu Bride. With more and more couples having multi-cultural weddings, inclusive representation was something that is EXTREMELY important to you.
80% of you who are in multi-cultural relationships reported that you do not feel represented by the mainstream wedding industry. Some of you felt this was because the UK wedding industry feels segregated. ‘There are lots of segregated resources for Asian couples, or Nigerian couples or quintessentially British couples for example, but if you have mixed heritage or are marrying into mixed cultures, there isn’t much representation that visually showcase this’ You would love to see more inclusion, across the board.
I’ve shared the results of the survey with equality-minded wedding industry professionals and Nu Bride supporters who want to play their part in better including, representing and serving all types of couples and I am inspired by their desire to better serve couples like you. So your feedback is vital changing the landscape, adding more diversity to the face of the wedding industry and improving the service you experience.
Thanks to all of you who completed the survey!