When my mom sat down and turned on the TV and Randy Fenoli came on the screen with his Southern accent, I knew it was going to be a long night of binge-watching TLC’s Say Yes To The Dress while picking in my head which wedding dress I would want to wear for my future wedding one day (preferably an all-lace mermaid gown with buttons down the back). The new season of Say Yes To The Dress coming out on July 9 is sure to continue the fun of Gen Z wedding planning and fantasizing.
From the dresses on Say Yes To The Dress to TikToks about aesthetic wedding color palettes, it seems like many members of Gen Z have their whole wedding planned out. Like Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl, they have Pinterest boards and scrapbooks filled with clippings of Pnina Tornai’s dresses, flower arrangements, bridesmaid dresses, and so on. This might be surprising, however, given Gen Z’s general aversion to conventional marriage.
According to a study done by the dating group Ashley Madison, Gen Z isn’t focused on marriage, but 59% of their users do want some form of exclusivity with their partner — they are redefining monogamy. Gen Z is a generation of unconventionality and is changing traditional trends, especially in the dating world. Within the sea of dating apps that have become the norm in the past decade, Gen Z has openly accepted hookup culture. This coincides with Gen Z being named the loneliness generation during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to a lack of feeling connected to others. These shifts in approach to relationships gave way to fewer long-term relationships among Gen Z and a decrease in the desire for marriage. However, other factors may also contribute to this anti-marriage mindset, such as Gen Z watching their grandparents divorce.
Though Gen Z is anti-marriage and the commitment that comes with it, they aren’t against expressing your love for one another and daydreaming about a day that is full of nothing but love. So, why is daydreaming about your wedding so fun for Gen Z, even though many of us are against saying “I do?”
Gen Z views a wedding as more than just a commitment.
If you need convincing that Gen Z are tuning into wedding content, look no further: Rachel Silver, founder and CEO of wedding planning platform Love Stories TV, tells Her Campus, “At Love Stories TV, we have the wedding industry’s largest YouTube and TikTok channels with nearly one million subs across the two platforms. We showcase wedding videos exclusively on those channels and see that our subs are 33% Gen Z on YouTube even though the average age of a person getting married in the US is 27-29.”
Marriage is a commitment, but a wedding itself is a singular event and a symbol of love, so some members of Gen Z might find happiness in watching and dreaming about an event filled with joy and love. Silver agrees, “Weddings are people at their best: supporting one another and spending their valuable time, energy, and money to show up for the important people in your life. It’s also a moment in time when loved ones verbalize how they feel about one another through vows, speeches, toasts, etc.”
Even if a sizable chunk of Gen Z is anti-marriage, daydreaming about a fictitious wedding is similar to dreaming about a day where all worries seem to go away — it’s simply a day filled with your favorite people, your dream dress, your favorite food, the people you love, and more. The “marriage” aspect becomes the least important factor in a hypothetical wedding to no one, so most aversion to marriage doesn’t take away from the other fun parts of dreaming about a party with all your friends and family.
Gen Z values autonomy and personalization, which dreaming about your wedding encapsulates.
Gen Z is often regarded as the “autonomous generation,” whether that be financial autonomy through investing their money young or making their own life choices about college or potential career paths. Similarly, your wedding day might be fun to dream about because it’s an event where you are in full control (at least hypothetically).
You can choose everything down to the finest of details, such as what ribbon ties around the centerpieces. You are basically planning a party with no outside input or worries, such as who your future spouse is going to be or other members of the wedding party getting involved — the stressful parts of a wedding aren’t present. So, Gen Z’s want for autonomy perfectly aligns with the personalization that a wedding entails.
When it comes to actually planning a wedding, Gen Z wants things on their terms. In a 2018 study done by Gen Z marketing group Juv Consulting, out of 201 respondents aged 14 to 23, 80% said they would merge traditions or create their own customs for their wedding. That’s the beauty in planning out your wedding whether it’s real or not — you can make it entirely your own.
Simply put, dreaming about your wedding is fun because you have endless creative freedom.
Though Gen Z might dream about their wedding as a celebration of love or autonomy, there’s no denying the appeal that you can also be as extravagant as you want at your hypothetical wedding. Whether you have a Pinterest board or a scrapbook from when you were little, planning out a fictional wedding allows you to get in touch with your creative side and visualize everything you ever wanted.
According to Wedding Wire, mapping out your wedding is fun because there is so much to enjoy during it, such as picking out outfits you would never get to wear on a normal day, or finding unique ways to incorporate things that are important to you in your wedding decor. Even if you might never have a wedding, it’s fun to dream about what your perfect day would look like.
Gen Z might be less interested in marriage than older generations, but that won’t stop them from curating a dream board of carefully picked flower arrangements or beautifully beaded gowns or breathtaking wedding venues. A wedding is a symbol of love and happiness, so why not daydream about an event that brings people together while simultaneously being a day that is all about you?