Cookie-Cutter Weddings Are Out in Britain, Study Shows

The United Kingdom isn’t generally known for out-of-the-box weddings, but a new study shows that British couples are becoming less and less traditional about their nuptials.

Hitched.co.uk conducted the study by interviewing 1,893 newlyweds and comparing their answers to ones collected over the past five years, the Daily Mail reported April 19.

Among the study’s most notable findings is that fewer couples are opting for religious ceremonies; the number has fallen five percentage points in five years, from 40% to 35%. Around 50% of couples choose a civil ceremony, and registry offices now account for 9% of marriages, up from 3% five years ago.

Expectations regarding the party or parties paying for weddings also appear to be shifting. In 2014, only 7% of couples had a wedding paid for completely by the bride’s parents (that figure was 9% in 2010), and over 31% of couples footed the entire bill themselves. Wedding budgeting may be balanced out by the fact that more couples are choosing to honeymoon close to home, however.

Other changes are focused more on the look and feel of weddings. Peach has been replaced as the favorite color for bridesmaids dresses by purple, the latter being selected by 19% of brides. Blue is a close second at 18%.

Colors aren’t the only trends that are changing. Cupcakes are starting to lose their appeal as well, it appears. In 2011, about 15% of couples used cupcakes as a replacement for traditional wedding cakes; now, that number is around 10%.

That doesn’t mean creative alternatives are out the window, however. While by no means the norm at only 5%, stacked cheese wheels that imitate layered cakes are becoming more popular, up from only 2% in 2010. One thing that remains constant is of course the wedding photographer, because who wouldn’t want to cherish these precious memories forever?

According to official statistics released last year, marriage in Britain is stronger than it is has been in years, with falling divorce rates for new marriages.

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