WEDDAY – Wedding weekday

Eifelers have been marrying on different days during the week, and there are some historical and spatial patterns to this behaviour. We consider that weeks start on day 1, Monday and end on day 7, Sunday1 .

WEDDAY-1 Preferred wedding day changes over time

Figure WEDDAY-F01 below shows that few people married on Sunday, and throughout the time period considered, the percentage remained low and stable at about 6%. Similar to Sunday, there was little change over time of the number of weddings taking place on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with percentages close to 17%, 15% and 15%, respectively.

WEDDAY-F01 Relative share of week days as wedding days as a function of time. The graph includes data from wedding registry offices with incomplete incomplete data (those highlighted in blue in table EXTENT-T01).

The largest changes have been affecting Monday and Tuesday at the expense of Thursday. The popularity of Monday increased from 13% to 17% between the beginning of the 19th century and the early 20th century, with an even larger increase for Tuesday (below 12 to above 18%). During the same period, Thursday dropped from about 21% to about 11%.

An impressionistic interpretation suggest that a wedding on Thursday disrupts the working week in a rapidly industrialising society. Weddings on Monday and Tuesday make for along week-end with Sunday and allow guests to travel to join the wedding. Of course (see chapters on the relative and absolute origin of spouses, ABSOR and RELOR) most guest did not originate from very far away, but still: Monday and Tuesday ensured a more relaxed approched to the big wedding come-together. It i s also stressed that Saturday remained a working day well into the 20th century2.

WEDDAY-2 Are there Geographic differences in wedding days?

There are very few differences in the wedding day patterns observed above when having a closer look at the clusters of Standesamtbezirke.

WEDDAY-F02 to F05: Time trend of average annual wedding day for Standesamtbezirke for which a complete time series is available. Individual values (dots) corresponding to individual years and a variable number of weddings. The colored line is a 7-year moving average. The solid black line is the time trend. Figures are shown for clusters 1 and 2 (top line), 3 and 4 (middle line) and 5 (bottom line). The colours are those used in Chapter TYPOLOG.

All curves start from a value close to 4 (Thursday) and continuously decrease until 1935 with an average close to 3.5, confirming the shift towards earlier weekdays. There is an apparent difference in variability around the moving average and the trend. According to the departures from the trend, the variability of weeding days is largest in cluster 2 (Standard deviation of departures SDD is 0.53 day) and smallest in cluster 1 (SDD=0.19). Remaining clusters (3, 4 and 5) show similar SDD values between 0.27 and 0.31. Cluster 2 corresponds to the two wedding registry offices of Heidweiler and Landscheid, and 1 is the eastern part of the district (Landkreis) Vulkaneifel.

  1. This is not a universal convention; many people consider that weeks start on Sunday[]
  2. In Germany, according to Wikipedia, up to 1950. Saturday also remained a school day up to the 1970s[]
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