Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Vazquez, Laura

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communication


Communication; Sexual minorities--Study and teaching; Women's studies


This research looks at the messages of heteronormativity and consumption in wedding media. After World War II, renewed economic prosperity meant more Americans could invest in consumer goods and housing. At the same time, women were forced out of the jobs they had occupied during the war. Using heteronormative messaging, advertisers sold American families not only consumer goods but also the "traditional" family structure in which women were happy as housewives and mothers while their husbands worked. Heterosexual marriage became the entrance to this "traditional" domestic life and thus the American Dream. Following a historical review of advertising and wedding traditions, a content analysis of Brides magazine, Catalyst magazine, and a selection of 40 wedding pins from Pinterest was conducted. Through my analysis, I argue that new, socially progressive wedding media (Catalyst and to some extent Pinterest) have expanded the wedding narrative to include a more diverse array of couples but have not meaningfully challenged the consumptive prescriptions of American wedding culture.


Advisors: Laura Vazquez.||Committee members: Randy Caspersen; Kristen Myers.||Includes illustrations.||Includes bibliographical references.


66 pages




Northern Illinois University

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