Counter-Hegemonic Narratives of White Weddings: Brides Responses to Wedding Disruptions During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Madison A. Pollino, Laura Stafford, Allison M. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dominant cultural discourses dictate what the ideal wedding should look like, and these discourses often center around the white wedding. White weddings typically include a bride in a white dress, a large reception, and a honeymoon. Given that western culture privileges the white wedding, weddings that deviate from this norm are sometimes delegitimatized. We used Relational Dialectics Theory 2.0 to examine dominant discourses of weddings during Covid-19. Covid-19 necessitated that many couples alter their wedding plans and prompted them to explicitly consider the taken-for-granted assumptions of the white wedding. We conducted a contrapuntal analysis of 87 recently married women’s open-ended survey responses about how Covid-19 changed their wedding plans and what the women liked and disliked about these changes. These disruptions in wedding plans afford the opportunity to explore dominant white wedding discourses among brides. The following discourses emerged from our analysis: the centripetal discourse of the white wedding, the centrifugal discourse of the focus on relationships, the centripetal discourses of the perfect day, and the centrifugal discourses of the perfect day.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2466-2487
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.


  • White wedding
  • contrapuntal analysis
  • covid-19
  • discourse
  • relational dialectics 2.0

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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