It’s the Best Day of Your Life: Dominant Discourses in Brides’ Wedding Planning

Laura Stafford, Sandra L. Faulkner, Allison M. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Cultural discourses surrounding weddings and wedding planning are commonly focused on the bride. Relational Dialectics Theory 2.0 is used to conduct a critical analysis of wedding planning discourses through a Critical Interpersonal and Family Communication (CIFC) lens. Contrapuntal analysis is used to analyze interview transcripts of women talking about planning their weddings. Dominant discourses include the idea of the wedding as the perfect day, a day all about the bride. Competing, marginalized discourses wherein resistance to the central discourse is manifested include the idea that the marital relationship, not the wedding day, is the important focal point. The cultural ideology of the wedding day belonging to and being about the bride is central and powerful. Considering this discourse from a CIFC perspective, the status quo (i.e., weddings are all about the bride) is largely reinforced. This dominant discourse of wedding planning is one of individualism with the bride’s pursuit of perfection prioritized over relational discourses. Resistance to the dominant ideology is noted, but there is little critique or transformation. Although the brides appear to operate from a position of power and self-interest, the question must be asked, who does the discourse of the status quo serve?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-243
Number of pages18
JournalCommunication Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 14 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, © 2020 Central States Communication Association.


  • Critical family communication
  • contrapuntal analysis
  • discourse analysis
  • relational dialectics
  • wedding planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


Dive into the research topics of 'It’s the Best Day of Your Life: Dominant Discourses in Brides’ Wedding Planning'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this