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Consumption as common sense: Heteronormative hegemony and white wedding desire

Journal of Consumer Culture

Published online on


The white wedding remains the most popular marriage ritual in the United States despite significant social change since its inception. Current research on this phenomenon focuses primarily on the influence of mass media, including advertising that socializes women and girls. I argue that while important, mass media alone cannot explain why many women want to have a white wedding. Drawing from data gathered primarily with survey research and free association narrative interviews, this article examines the white wedding desires of women who experience them as common sense. I use Ludwig’s concept of heteronormative hegemony to provide a more thorough account of both gendered subject formation and white wedding desire. In this analysis, women’s social consumption of mass media, embodiment of gendered habitus as taste and ritualized conversations with other women are particularly salient.