From Bridal Fashion Week in New York City to October 19, the most popular date for weddings this year, October was a busy time for newlyweds. The wedding business continues to respond to the evolving culture, values, and expectations of couples. Wedding loans are on the rise and retailers are adapting to reach out to a base that is increasingly digital. Meanwhile, couples are going out of their way to make their weddings and honeymoons particularly worthy of social media. This week, we explore the tangled web of media and messaging that informs the modern wedding and honeymoon experience.
By Scott Talan and Eunju Namkung
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
BBC News: The rise of India’s viral wedding photoshoots
TedEd: The history of marriage – Alex Gendler
Vox: Why are weddings so damn expensive?
- Honeymoon Hashtag Hell
- Married to debt: Couples are taking out loans to pay for their weddings
- Wedding dress chain David’s Bridal wants to remake itself after bankruptcy with ‘real brides,’ easier returns
- The Most Popular Wedding Date of 2019 Is…
- The Wedding-Industry Bonanza, on Full Display
- Writing: From what sources do you perceive the strongest messaging about the culture, values and/or expectations around weddings and honeymoons? Please elaborate on how you relate to them. Do you accept, reject, or remain indifferent to these culture and value propositions?
- Debate: Imagine you are planning a vacation with a friend. After seeing someone else’s Instagram feed, your friend suggests you change the travel plans to an alternative itinerary that is out of the budget that was initially set. If you change your plans to the new idea, you are guaranteed to have more engagement on your social media platforms. Do you decide to stick with the original itinerary or the new one?
- Poll: When you plan a special event, such as a wedding, birthday party, or graduation celebration, how important is it for you to have shareable photographs of the event?
- It’s a must!
- Important, but I won’t bend over backwards.
- I want others to do it.
- Eh, I’m indifferent.
- I institute a strong social media black-out.
- Short Answer: Do you ever feel pressured by social media? Briefly explain.
Current Events Quiz
- October 19th was the most popular date for weddings this year. Guests spent about ___ for gifts for this year’s October 19th weddings.
a. $8 million
b. $110 million
c. $508 million
d. $5 billion
- The New York Times article, “Honeymoon Hashtag Hell,” explores newlyweds’ social media usage on a honeymoon may make the honeymoon ___.
a. less romantic and more stressful
b. more affordable and more exciting
c. more romantic and more connected
d. more stressful, but more affordable
- What are some symptoms of social media dependence referred to in the “Honeymoon Hashtag Hell”?
a. greater awareness of options, access to wedding vendors
b. unrealistic expectations, feelings of inadequacy or competitiveness from comparing to others
c. gratitude to supportive communities, feeling superior to others
d. insomnia from blue light exposure, empowerment from controlling communication channels
- Young Americans are carrying significant amounts of student debt. What is the current state of debt and weddings?
a. Americans strictly do not take out loans to host weddings.
b. Loans offered for weddings have astronomically high interest rates, greater than credit card interest rates.
c. Americans are willing to take on debt for weddings and there are more lenders who offer wedding loans than before.
d. Student loan providers are developing innovative forgiveness programs that assist individuals who are needing to borrow money for weddings.
- For NYC Bridal Fashion Week, David’s Bridal did not use traditional models for its events and promotional materials. Instead, it:
a. showcased the new line via holograms
b. featured grooms dressed in bridal outfits
c. featured real brides who double as online influencers
d. cross-promoted with a variety of clothing retailers, including athletic-wear, intimate-wear, and shoe designers