Millennials and the Bridal Gender GapMonday, May 28, 2012
Millennials, the generation born between 1979-2000 and the current majority wedding consumer, grew up in a post-feminist era. Gen Y girls grew up in classrooms where the emphasis was on teamwork rather than individual study and had to work alongside the boys, with their opinions carrying equal weight. For most millennials, there has always been a woman on the Supreme Court, women burning their bras was something they read about in their history books, and glass ceilings were being shattered before they were born. While there is still a lot of work to be done with regards to equal pay, etc, most millennial women have never considered themselves to be at war with men.
As such, when it comes to their attitudes towards marriage, millennials have a different take on gender roles. 70% of millennials believe that the primary function of marriage is about mutual happiness and fulfillment rather than child-raising, a vast difference in perspective than the generations before them. They also believe that both men and women are responsible for cooking, cleaning, and other domestic chores and that both can be bread-winners. It's no longer "the bride's home," it's "our home," and millennials genuinely feel that they are in it together as a team.
This translates to their views on weddings as well. Men are more active -- 65% of today's grooms are actively involved in the wedding planning process, and 95% are involved in the gift registry process -- and both brides and grooms expect their opinions to not only be heard, but counted. The stereotypical "groom as loveable idiot" wedding marketing doesn't fly with this group because they see it as an insult to their intelligence and to their taste. It can also be a costly mistake, because according to our wedding research with Splendid Insights, while both brides and grooms believe staying on budget is important, grooms are more willing to splurge on wedding purchases than brides are.
In short, millennial brides do not believe the wedding is all about them, and neither do their partners. The messaging of "the bride's opinion is the one that matters" needs to change if companies today want to remain relevant to this generation of engaged couples.
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