Why have a wedding? A summary of our project findings.

Emily Garbutt and Julia Carter


Our research project aimed to ask: can weddings help us understand the nature of agency in people’s lives? With a sizeable minority now choosing to “live apart together” or cohabit, marriage is no longer a legal or social necessity, yet many people still choose to marry and have a wedding; the questions remain why marriage is still so popular and why weddings have taken on the cultural significance they have. This research was specifically concerned with the form and process of the wedding and understanding better how these are imagined and lived by individuals. By asking why people choose to have weddings and how they experience these, we uncovered some of the central elements involved, including the roles of agency, tradition and imagination. Continue reading

Feminist Wedding: an oxymoron?

Julia Carter

In last weekend’s Guardian magazine, Laura Bates – a well-known feminist campaigner – attempts to defend her decision to get married and have a wedding to celebrate this marriage. Laura Bates started the Everyday Sexism project which aims to call out sexism and misogynistic encounters in everyday life.  Apparently this doesn’t extend to the institution of marriage and the wedding industry, both of which can be damaging in very real ways in women’s everyday lives – across the globe. Continue reading