Pre-proposal wedding planning

PRE-GROOM PLANNING: Many brides map out the details of their big day on apps before even meeting the man they may marry.
PRE-GROOM PLANNING: Many brides map out the details of their big day on apps before even meeting the man they may marry.

They've got the dress, the ring and the table decorations sorted - now all they need is a groom.

Women are flipping traditional wedding planning on its head by using apps to plan every detail of their big day, long before they get engaged.

Kat Dumont, a single 23-year-old woman, started planning her big day three years ago and uses the app Wedding Gawker to find inspiration.

"I know what ring I want I just need to find a guy to propose," she said.

"I've found hairstyles, rings, bridesmaids' dresses, decorations, invitations and the actual wedding dress."

The app is a wedding-only version of Pinterest - an online scrapbook - where brides-to-be can "Favourite" pictures they like and save them to a gallery.

The app can even be used to book venues, make-up artists and dress appointments.

Apps like Wedding Gawker have made it easier for brides-to-be to plan their big day.

"If you click on the photo, it will take you to the website, whether it's a hire website or a wedding blog," she said.

"But I just use it for inspiration, I'm very fussy so when I see something [I save it]."

"I didn't think I was going to be the kind of person who would ge wedding crazy, but I think [women love] the thrill of being able to plan something beautiful," wedding planner Emma Bergmeier (pictured) says. Photo: Alexandra Cohen, Styling:

Ms Dumont, a PR manager, says it's the organisation part of the event that appeals to her.

"Every little girl aspires to have an amazing wedding," she said.

"I love being in PR and love organising things.

"It's not something where I set it in stone but it's nice to know what I do and don't like."

Wedding planner Emma Bergmeier says she has "a lot" of single people ask her for ideas and has customers who haven't yet been proposed to.

"I am planning two weddings for people that aren't engaged," she said.

"They drop hints and hope their partners will pick up on it."

"It's quite common if someone is 25 or a bit older and has been in a long-term relationship."

Ms Bergmeier says the clients are busy women who want to get a head start on the planning.

"Brides worry, especially those working full time, so they want to get a start on it," she said.

"It's more those who are thinking outside the box and want a bohemian wedding."

Getting a head start on wedding planning is nothing new, cultural studies expert Jon Stratton says.

"In previous generations young women have had wedding chests in their bedrooms, to put in linen for their wedding night or a dress they had handed down from their mother," he said.

"From that point of view it's not a new development but there are things about it which are new and the internet has helped to become much more developed phenomenon."

The Curtin University lecturer says for many, the obsession with getting married is founded during childhood years.

"Some mothers hand it down but it's what you see on television," he said.

"In fairytales, the ending - the resolution, closure - is always with the marriage.

"Then think Jane Austen, the young woman waiting and wanting to meet the man who will transform her life.

"That entire romance novel industry is directed at women.

"Who watches rom-coms? Relatively few men."

Thoughts of romance and having children are primarily harboured by women and that fuels their plans for marriage, Professor Stratton says.

"Marriage I think in first instance is bound up with romance and romance is something that is much more a female preoccupation than a men's preoccupation," he says.

"In spite of feminism, in spite of women more and more women being in the workplace there is still a sense for a lot of women of the need to be married.

"They're not going to be fulfilled unless they are married, whereas for men it's not such an important element of their lives.

"Marriage is still so bound up with notions of domesticity and children and all those kinds of female fulfilment."

But Ms Dumont, who recently bought her first home, says planning her big day sans fiancé is a reflection of her independence.

"I suppose growing up, what women did was got married and had kids," she said.

"I thought I'd meet a man, get married, get a house, but I've kind of done it in reverse.

"I've gone and got a house and the next step is to get a man and husband.

"We're not waiting around for a man to do it, we're going to go out and do it ourselves."

- Sydney Morning Herald