Over the last 50 years the number of women 15 to 24 who are not married has increased,proving that women are waiting longer to tie the knot,according to the U.S. Census.
But waiting longer to meet Mr. Right doesn't mean some women haven't planned the big day.
“I have had my wedding dress picked out for three or four years,” said Cassiana de Geofroy,22. “I know what my bridesmaids will be wearing,what kind of flowers they'll be holding,the church I want to be married in,the reception … the honeymoon.”
De Geofroy,a University of Massachusetts Amherst student who doesn’t even have a boyfriend,said the movie “The Wedding Planner” sparked her interest.
And,like a wedding planner,de Geofroy has a scrapbook in which she places ideas from wedding magazines or from her account at theknot.com,a wedding-planning Web site.
“It's not very big,but it has pictures and examples of things I want at my wedding,” she said. “There's a few different bridesmaid dress designs and cutouts from wedding magazines.”
De Geofroy said she views her wedding as a way to express her personality but knows the planning could go too far. “I think it's easy to fall into the trap of making it into a very material thing,” she said,“and lose sight of the fact that it's the celebration of two lives joining.”
Amy Reed,a fourth grade teacher in Walla Walla,Wash.,said she wasn't as prepared as de Geofroy appears to be before her engagement and found the planning overwhelming.
“I had no clue,I didn't go look at rings,and I didn't go look at dresses,” said Reed,25.
Reed,who has been married for five months to Andrew Reed,28,said it might have been easier if she had been like de Geofroy. Instead,her mother did much of the planning.
But she added her lack of knowledge was also a blessing.
“I think ignorance is bliss in this case,” said Reed. “If someone didn't have exactly what I wanted,then I didn't freak out.”
She joked that,although Andrew,who owns a bar,at first said he wanted to be involved in the preparations,she was “not sure we ever met all the way in the middle.”
Andrew Reed concurred: “I was asked to be involved,but sometimes I declined. I felt that my interaction wasn't going to be used. Their plans were the plans that were going to happen.”
He said he's heard from other married men that “that's pretty standard.”
Emily Rudd,sales associate for the Washington office of the Los Angeles convention and visitors bureau,agreed that men should have input,but said women traditionally fantasize more about the big day.
“It comes naturally being a girl. … Girls just tend to do that,” said Rudd,adding that if she met a man who planned like women she'd be worried.
Rudd,who has been dating her boyfriend for a year and a half,said she has thought about her wedding day,but not like de Geofroy.
“I always change my plans on what I am going to do because I definitely don't have anything set in mind,” she said.
In her defense,de Geofroy said her friends are worse than she is,but she joked she has missed class to watch TLC's “A Wedding Story.”
“I know of girls who actually make it a ritual to get the Sunday New York Times just to read the wedding section,” she said.
Ashley Brown,senior sales manager for Northwest Events and Parties,a Seattle-based event planning company,said most women who employ the company’s bridal consultants are like de Geofroy and know what they want. Typically,such brides are older.
“When a bride pursues a bridal consultant … they are way more focused in having the vision in their mind pulled through,” Brown said.
Brown said usually it is the bride's fantasy,not the groom's.
De Geofroy said her male friends laugh at her extensive planning.
“That's not to say that guys don't think about marriage,” said de Geofroy. “They just don't think about the wedding planning — they think more about married life.”
Said Andrew Reed,“I think it's a little weird to have it planned before meeting the man you're going to marry. As soon as … I knew we were going to get married,I thought of who my groomsmen were going to be.”