Postponing the day of your dreams? Modern weddings and the impact of COVID-19

Pywell, Stephanie and Probert, Rebecca (2023). Postponing the day of your dreams? Modern weddings and the impact of COVID-19. Families, Relationships and Societies, 12(3) pp. 431–446.




COVID-related restrictions had an enormous impact on weddings in 2020. For three months, weddings were effectively prohibited, and requirements for social distancing, hand-sanitising and face coverings existed throughout England and Wales for the rest of the year. In August 2020, we conducted a survey of couples who were planning to marry between March and December 2020. This article focuses on how many respondents had postponed their wedding, and what they said about their reasons for doing so. We analyse their responses according to the significance attached to three alternative meanings of a wedding: an event for family and friends, a traditional ceremony that has to be conducted in a particular way, and the individualistic ‘perfect day’. We found that many couples attach considerable importance to who attends their weddings, and that some traditions are very important to them, but few responses supported the notion that weddings are principally extravagant displays.

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