Weddings Through The Decades

Weddings Through The Decades took six brides, each from a different decade and quizzed them about all aspects of their wedding day, from the cost of the dress to what car they chose for their big day and it’s fair to say that times have certainly changed!

Jean Mercer was one of the 1950’s brides and only had two weeks to plan her wedding. Luckily, her whole family pitched in to help her set up her big day.

This is a stark comparison to Holly Dunham, who was a 2000’s bride and received no help throughout the four years it took her to plan her big day.

Geeta Randev, Chief Wedding Consultant at says, "The notion around marriage has significantly changed in the last 60 years. In the 1950’s, weddings were formal affairs held in local town halls, with close family and friends and a buffet dinner.

“Marriage signified an approval to cohabit with your partner and start a family. The time between the initial engaged and the ceremony was short and so members of the family all chipped to help with various elements of the day, making the day a lot cheaper. What's more it was common for the bride to wear a passed down dress or veil from previous generations”

Weddings can cost anywhere in the tens of thousands of pounds so it’s interesting to see that back in the 1950’s the average weekly wage for each household was a tiny £9.55 so it’s not difficult to image how much this impacted on the wedding itself.

The average cost of a wedding in the 1950’s was just £50, compared to a wedding nowadays which would cost the average bride £47,000, that’s nearly 1000x more!

The dress is possibly one of the most important parts of the wedding for a bride and in 1950 it would cost around £8. It rocked in the 1980’s to £120 to hire a dress and then shot up to £690 in the 90’s. Today you’re looking to play around the £1000 mark for a dress.

The location of a wedding has transformed over the years, starting in local pubs and clubs and moving through to hotels and now in a family home.

The planning of the wedding has changed greatly too. Not only are you less likely to receive help now, but it takes a lot longer to plan from two weeks in the 50’s to four years in 00’s.

Geeta said, “The average planning stage of engagements can last anywhere between 6 months to 4 years, all driven by getting ‘that’ venue or saving up until people can afford their perfect wedding. At, we recognise how planning a wedding has changed over the decades.

“And with more people turning to the internet for inspiration we built a suite of easy-to-use, online planning tools, that are completely free and help time poor couples manage all aspects of Wedding Day; leaving them in control and stress free. Weddings have simply evolved and therefore it’s no surprise that how they are planned has too."

You’re also likely to wait longer to marry these days. In the 1950’s you were likely to be married within six months of meeting, whereas now you’d be looking at waiting 11 years after meeting to tie the knot!

But what about after the wedding? There was no such thing as lavish in the 1950’s, found that two day stay in a B&B was the perfect honeymoon.

The 1970’s saw a bit more expense being paid as it was a £300 holiday in the USA, and in 2000 it rocked to a £1,800 honeymoon to Egypt! Unfortunately it seems the credit crunch and need to work more hours has meant that getting married in 2012 leaves you without a honeymoon!

When did you get married and what was your wedding like? Let us know by commenting below or tweet us @FemaleFirst_UK


Cara Mason