MALE WEDDING COORDINATORS ARE AT TOP OF INDUSTRY
Male coordinators are rare in the wedding industry, comprising only two percent of the Association of Wedding Professionals. Although women dominate in terms of sheer numbers of wedding coordinators, the men who enter the field are the ones at the top of the hierarchy.
So says Dr. Angela L. Thompson, instructor of sociology at Texas Christian University and author of the study, "The Phenomenon of the Male Wedding Coordinator."
"Males in wedding coordinating tend to make more money than females," says Thompson.
The study was presented at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association on August 23, 1998, and is an excerpt of her dissertation entitled, "Unveiled: The Emotion Work of Wedding Coordinators in the American Wedding Industry." Thompson's study investigates gender and work issues of male wedding coordinators and is based on field work, in- depth interviews and an analysis of wedding popular culture.
"The men who become wedding coordinators make more money than the women because of how they act as wedding professionals," says Thompson. "Men in the industry treat it as a business. Women tend to treat it as a hobby."
Coming from a business background also gives men a head start towards success, says Thompson.
"A man who decides to make a career leap into wedding coordination after 20 years experience in advertising has a huge professional head start when compared to a woman who was a homemaker for 20 years."
In addition, although women outnumber men in the field, the nation's three bridal associations with divisions devoted to wedding coordinators are all run by men.
"The fact that this highly sex-segregated field would have professional associations run by the least represented of the two sexes speaks to the greater success of male wedding coordinators and reconfirms the common pattern of gender inequality prevalent in society," says Thompson.
From a business standpoint, Thompson says, the traits of a successful coordinator are much the same for both men and men. But there is a difference in how they approach the planning of the client's wedding. Men tend to focus on the tasks of wedding planning from a technical point of view, and women sometimes tend to focus on the overall presentation of the wedding.
Given the levels of success displayed by men who decide to become wedding professionals, why aren't there more male wedding coordinators? Men work in all other facets of the wedding industry--caterers, florists, photographers--in fairly large numbers.
Thompson notes that there are three possible explanations for the small number of male wedding coordinators.
"It could be because the other wedding professions are more traditionally masculine and the greatest assumption about male wedding coordinators is that they are feminine. It could be that females feel more comfortable working with females in wedding planning. It's also highly probable that there aren't many male wedding coordinators because men do not want to be wedding coordinators," says Thompson.
Editors: You can contact Thompson at 817-257-6140 (office). Please contact Steve Infanti of Dick Jones Communications at 814-867-1963 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of her paper. DJC helps Texas Christian University in Fort Worth with its public affairs work.