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Study Finds the Age at Which Girls Start Thinking about Their Wedding

When I was in seventh grade, I thought two of my classmates were engaging in a totally bizarre conversation. They were planning their weddings! With great excitement, they shared their ideas about their wedding gowns, their bridesmaids, their bridesmaids’ dresses, and all the rest.

I was around 12 years old. It would be decades before I would realize that I would be a lifelong single person because single life was the life I loved, and even longer before I would put the study of single life at the center of my professional career. And yet, at that age when I was not quite a teenager, I already thought there was something strange about planning your wedding in seventh grade.

I just found out that I was the one who was weird. Okay, I didn’t just learn that, but I just learned something specific about that. In a survey, 600 single women were asked when they started planning their wedding day. On the average, the answer was 13! Even more startling, one out of ever four of the women said they had already started thinking about it when they were as young as 6-years-old.

Considering the popularity of Disney movies and fairy tales about princesses, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. Still, it is one thing to be enthralled by a movie or even play princess dress-up, but shouldn’t it be another thing entirely to start planning your wedding when you are six?

The survey was conducted by a flower delivery network, Interflora, and I have not been able to find any of the details about the methodology. So keep that in mind when considering the findings.

With, apparently, no groom (or bride) anywhere in sight, two-thirds of the 600 single women were already planning their weddings. Nearly half knew who they wanted as their bridesmaids. Twenty-two percent of them were keeping a scrapbook or folder of ideas about their wedding. Asked whether they would tell a new boyfriend their thoughts about their wedding, 58% said no way.

Here’s a summary of some of the other decisions the single women said they had already made “before even meeting the groom:”

49% selected the type of wedding dress they would wear

32% thought about their honeymoon destination

23% had chosen their flowers

20% had decided on their hairstyle

20% had chosen the wedding venue

And so on, down to the 6% who had decided on an exact date! For a wedding to a person they had not yet even met.

I’m 65, and I have never spent a moment of my life planning any aspect of a fantasized wedding. I’m always thinking about possible signs that a person may be single-at-heart – that is, they embrace single life as their first choice, their way of living their best life, and not as some sort of default. Maybe one sign is that you don’t make plans for your wedding. You are resistant to most of the matrimania all around you, because that script just doesn’t appeal to you.

Photo by Yuchao.L

Study Finds the Age at Which Girls Start Thinking about Their Wedding

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D

Bella DePaulo (Ph.D., Harvard; Academic Affiliate, Psychological and Brain Sciences, UC Santa Barbara), an expert on single life, is the author of several books, including "Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After" and "How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century." Her TEDx talk is "What no one ever told you about people who are single," Dr. DePaulo has discussed singles and single life on radio and television, including NPR and CNN, and her work has been described in newspapers such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, and magazines such as Time, Atlantic, the Week, More, the Nation, Business Week, AARP Magazine, and Newsweek. Dr. DePaulo is in her sixties. She has always been single and always will be. She is "single at heart" -- single is how she lives her best and most meaningful life. Visit her website at

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APA Reference
DePaulo, B. (2019). Study Finds the Age at Which Girls Start Thinking about Their Wedding. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 14, 2019, from


Last updated: 5 Jan 2019
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