Why Gen Z keeps their commitments secret – The Telegraph

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Why Gen Z keeps their commitments secret – The Telegraph

Zoe, 25, a Cambridge graduate, is a good example. She was offered to do so in 2023, but hasn’t shared the news of her engagement on social media because it “spoils the nice part you get from seeing people in person and telling them.” There’s also the fear of breaking the news on Instagram that “people who aren’t in my life, like the people I went to school with, were gossiping about me.” At work, too, she kept it a secret, waiting more than a year to tell colleagues about her engagement, and has only just started wearing her non-diamond ring in public.

Zoe is attentive to how her peers might react to the news that she has decided to settle down in her mid-twenties. “I don’t want to come across as boring,” she says. “I feel like the wedding vibe is not what I would want people I know to think about my life. I wouldn’t want to call myself someone’s wife because of how many negative things seem to follow when I hear that word everywhere.

With fashion demanding couples keep their engagements a secret, it’s no wonder small weddings are becoming the norm. Elley Roberts, events manager at Brickhouse Vineyard wedding venue near Exeter, says “micro-weddings” – with fewer than 40 guests – have never been more popular. Elopements are also trending and bookings for elopements are coming in all year round. “Some couples have been engaged for a very long time when they come to us and others do it on a whim,” says Roberts. Still others “plan a big wedding that doesn’t work out and think: let’s forget it, let’s make it just us.”

But just like Anya Taylor-Joy, many couples clearly see the appeal of the shock factor of a secret wedding, for which a hush-hush engagement is essential. Roberts has hosted post-elopement parties where newlyweds surprise their guests with images from their wedding, as does florist Nadia Nasser. In May 2022, Nasser made flowers for what guests were told was an engagement party, only for the couple to show film of them signing the register two weeks before. “The engagement party then became a wedding party,” recalls Nadia. “The couple wanted their wedding day to be just for them,” she says, but at the same time they wanted a celebration “to enjoy and digest the fact that they were finally married.”

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