100 Years of Weddings: How the Wedding Industry Has Evolved - Deepstash
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The birth of the wedding industry

The birth of the wedding industry

The wedding industry as we know it essentially emerged in the 1920s.

One hundred years ago, people were recovering from the influenza pandemic, women first got to vote, and you could buy a new house for $6,000. The average cost of a wedding was $400 (about $5,000 today).


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The 1920s to 1940s

The 1920s to 1940s

  • 1920s. Society weddings, movies and radios gave rise to a celebrity culture where brides wanted to look like those in the movies. This caused department stores to invest in bridal and gift registry departments.
  • 1930s. The Great Depression cause silk and lace to be too expensive. This led to the invention of a more cost-effective rayon.
  • 1940s. With World War II, the number of weddings spiked as grooms were shipped overseas shortly after. The groom's wedding ring became a symbol to connect the couple while apart. De Beers' "A Diamond is Forever" campaign created a demand for diamond rings.


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1950s to 1970s

1950s to 1970s

  • 1950s. Portable cameras with flash revolutionised Post-WWII wedding photography. Now you could get action and detail shots. Cake toppers became popular.
  • 1960s. The 747 jumbo jets made it affordable for honeymooners to visit exotic destinations. Social revolutions ushered in mini-skirt wedding attire. Weddings were still held in churches, homes, or city halls, while receptions were held at home or hotel ballrooms.
  • 1970s. Couples opted for destination weddings or getting married outdoors. Brides started wearing headpieces, and grooms began wearing colour.


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  • 1980s. The wedding of Charles and Diana advanced the wedding industry quicker than any other era. Couples wanted to recreate it, with wedding planners, designers, florists, and more. The wedding cake doubled in size and became the centrepiece of the wedding day. Live bands and entertainment grew more mainstream at wedding receptions.
  • 1990s. The Father of the Bride launched a wedding craze. Wedding coordinators, planners and designers became mainstream. Elopements and intimate ceremonies grew in popularity.


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2000s to 2020s

2000s to 2020s

  • 2000s. Weddings moved from churches to country clubs, hotel ballrooms, and other non-religious venues. Writing your own vows became popular. The rise of social media brought about the wedding dance craze and other unique traditions.
  • 2010s. Wedding websites became the norm. Custom wedding venues became popular. Cinematic wedding videos became accessible to more people.
  • 2020s. COVID-19 brought a new wave of technological advancements and a return to simple home-style weddings.


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