American wedding folklore (W18)


  • When thinking about a topic for our folklore project, wedding folklore immediately came to mind. We found interest in the wedding because most people in their lifetimes have either participated in or attended a wedding, but thinking about the differences between weddings and the reasons for those differences is often overlooked. We both have enjoyed weddings we have attended, and we have family and friends who continue to talk about their weddings years and decades afterward. Our goals in this endeavor were to obtain multiple sources from various geographic regions, religions, and nationalities to consider how weddings differ across these categories and cross-sections. We hoped to gain knowledge of why certain aspects of weddings are carried out in the fashion they are, and why people believe the superstitions they do.
  • While interviewing our informants, we noticed their excitement levels peak beyond their normal state. People love talking about their weddings, and our subjects all put in a great deal of effort into planning their perfect day. None of our informants are divorced, as we felt it may be difficult and disrespectful to inquire about a wedding that did not transpire in a positive union.
  • Even though we only had two members of our group and therefore were not able to collect an enormous amount of data, we were happy with the careful detail our informants gave us and the guiding questions we asked. We feel that we gained great knowledge of the wedding and the ways different cultures and religions impact what is a very special day.




  • Bethany Burns ’20
  • Claire Burner ’20


  • Celebrations, wedding traditions, religious traditions, cultural traditions


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