My side of the pond, your side of the pond: How our wedding choices differ
On April 29, Prince William and Kate Middleton will tie the knot. Gossip rags are in a frenzy, England’s declared the day a bank holiday, and look, now we’re even talking about it on Hunch. We don’t have stats on how many Hunch users are going to be glued to the royal wedding YouTube live stream. But we do know that 45% of total users believe they are in a relationship with their soul mate.
Meanwhile, 17% of Hunch users don’t believe in soul mates, and 10% no longer speak to their soul mates. Which is worse? Talk amongst yourselves.
But back to the royal wedding. Kate and William have made a splash with their upcoming nuptials. For starters, the prince is settling down with a commoner. (Heavens!) The couple dated for nearly nine years and shacked up before getting married. At 29, Kate will be the oldest royal bride, as well as the first English princess with a university education.
They’ve also made some interesting wedding choices. Kate’s eschewed a royal carriage and has chosen to take a car to the wedding. William proposed with the late Princess Diana’s unusual sapphire and diamond engagement ring. Kate and William are aiming for a smaller wedding at a smaller church and a larger reception dinner. (This is compared to Prince Charles and Diana, not your average wedding — it’s all relative.)
We wondered what Hunch data would say about wedding choices. Do people in Europe and North America have different wedding-related preferences? What does age have to do with one’s approach to nuptials? We crossed Teach Hunch About You (THAY) questions with topic results to investigate. Mind you, these findings are based on small samples.
Let’s start by looking at two of the biggest wedding expenses/obsessions — the dress and the ring. If you’re not married or looking forward to putting a ring on it soon, you might not be familiar with the lexicon. So we’re including pictures straight from Hunch.
North American Hunch users are all about bling. (Incidentally, 39% of North American Hunch users don’t think rap lyrics send the wrong message to today’s youth.) The most popular engagement ring results for Hunch users in North America are in princess or pavé settings. Or both. Shiiiny.
Hunch users in Europe get more subtle results, including diamond solitaire and plain platinum bands. Pear-shaped diamonds and channel-set bands are popular, too.
It’s only fair to point out that while these diamonds are forever, the marriages they symbolize often aren’t. According to the United Nations Demographic Yearbook, the U.S. has the fifth-highest divorce rate in the world. England has the highest divorce rate in Europe, but divorce rates are lower in Europe overall than in North America.
On a lighter, slightly less expensive note, let’s talk about wedding dresses.
People in North America — we’d guess mostly women, but we’ll keep this general — are really into wedding dresses. What do you expect in a country with the reality shows Say Yes to the Dress and Bridezillas? The most popular wedding dress results for Hunch users in North America are floor-length satin numbers with lace, beads, and embroidered details.
Even if you’re not a princess — and your country doesn’t have one, either — you can still dress like one. For one day. For a lot of money.
Sweetheart necklines and strapless dresses appear to be universally popular. The most obvious difference in the top wedding dress results for Hunch users in Europe is that two dresses are a more casual cocktail length. They’re just as ornate as the dresses recommended to North American Hunchers, but they’re less voluminous.
Right now, the royal wedding cake — a multi-tiered fruit cake — is busy fermenting. I think I speak on behalf of most North American Hunch users when I say, “Eww.” The most popular wedding cake results for North Americans are marzipan, white cake with buttercream frosting, chocolate raspberry, and cake with red roses. Meanwhile, floral cake, lemon sponge cake, cheesecake, and pumpkin cake are most recommended to Europeans.
Other results for North American and European Hunch users suggest that the two groups approach weddings differently.
North America: museum, church, theme park, historic landmark
Europe: cruise ship, beach, hotel, private home
North America: fall, whimsical, color, cultural
Europe: floral, poolside, holiday, casual
North America: rises, lavender, poppies calla lilies
Europe: narcissus, carnation, sunflower, jasmine
Ways To Cut Costs
North America: nix the wedding planner, choose a photographer who offers flexible packages, make your own wedding invites, get married in the off-season
Europe: have a wedding brunch/lunch, get married at a relative’s house, elope, pick a day other than Saturday
North America: mimosa, mudslide, margarita, dirty blue martini
Europe: gin and tonic, bramble, caipirinha, cosmopolitan
Wedding Dance Songs
William and Kate aren’t the only people who waited a while before setting a date. Most people are getting married later in life. According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau, the median age of first marriage was 26.1 and 28.2 for women and men, respectively. These numbers are slightly higher in Canada, as well as in Europe. (Rates do vary by country, though. Countries with the youngest newlyweds also have the highest divorce rates.)
Everyone’s got their own tastes, but wedding preferences also correlate with age. More mature brides and grooms may have different wedding priorities and bigger budgets. Even William and Kate are trying to keep the costs of their wedding down to £12 million.
There’s also the chance that older Hunch users have previously been married and are giving marriage a second go-round. So we’d guess they’re not going to register for dish towels from Target.
Check out how wedding topic results vary by age:
18-34: zoo, cruise ship, historic landmark, beach
35-49: private home, ski resort/lodge, botanical gardens, gazebo
Wedding Entrance Song
18-34: Bloomingdales, Bed Bath and Beyond, Macy’s, Target
35-49: Neiman Marcus, Tiffany and Co., Honeyfund.com (a honeymoon registry), Williams-Sonoma
18-34: personalized Jones Soda, homemade mixed CDs, personalized Yankee Candles, caramel apples
35-49: seed packets, personalized mint tins, picture frame, donation to American Cancer Society
18-34: orchids, lilies, tulips, hydrangeas
35-49: gerbera daisies, lavender, irises, daffodils
Kate and William have been tight-lipped about their own wedding planning. The latest rumor is that Jay-Z and Beyoncé will perform at the reception. We’ve got a hunch that the young couple would definitely enjoy this and can also afford it. As for the dress, bouquet, and everything else, we’ll know soon enough whether Hunch data and the details of the royal wedding are a match made in heaven.