Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wedding Belles

Why does the bridal image still evoke such potent desires? The so-called “wedding-industrial complex” has been estimated at 80 billion dollars a year in the United States alone. And it’s no wonder—judging from the sheer number of bridal magazines and their advertising pages, the bride is the ultimate consumer.

Back in the 1940s and 1950s, when the ideal of marriage was promoted as never before, there were perhaps a half-dozen bridal magazines. Today, there are dozens—the national publications, as well as regional ones like Hawaiian Bride and Groom, not to mention entire publications devoted entirely to the cake!
In my local Border’s store, I’ve counted two dozen different wedding magazines. I wonder, are there really that many brides-to-be around here? Or does each bride-to-be buy every bridal magazine in the store?

It seems like a conspiracy, almost, to keep the engaged couple so busy planning for the wedding, which lasts for a few hours, that there’s no time left to think about the actual marriage, which is theoretically supposed to last a few decades.


Lori4squaremom said...

My husband and I will be celebrating our 19th anniversary in a couple of weeks, and even 19 years ago when we were planning our wedding, the pressures of "the perfect wedding" was more than I wanted. My husband and I just wanted to be married! We didn't care that the bridesmaids dresses were the perfect shade of mint green, or that the flowers were perfect or that the cake was mocha swirl instead of carrot.....we just wanted to start our lives as husband and wife. So we threw out all the bridal magazines (I think there were probably 6 or 8 at that time) and eloped! Not the favorite choice of our family, but it made us happy, and we have not once regretted our decision. We have a very happy and strong marriage, we never fight, and we are both more in love with one another today than we were yesterday let alone 19 years ago. Our marriage is based on our faith in God, our friendship with one another, and commitment!

Anonymous said...

I actually think it may be worse now! Because, in addition to the magazines, we are inundated with reality shows! You may enjoy this:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with you more but I do think we are a very small minority.
When I hear my "special day" I could gag. Fantasy and when reality sets in they divorce since what you are left with is just life, which is sometimes hard and unpleasant. Nothing can stand up to the silly expectations young girls have.
But the bottom line is all this hullabaloo over 1 day is a huge money maker for a great deal of people.

Baltimore Bertie said...

My daughter who is 9, gags and runs from the room if romance is even hinted at on a TV show, but I guess some day she will want to get married. I really hope that it will not turn into some over-the-top event. Is it really as bad as it seems on TV and in magazine articles, or are we just seeing the most extreme?

Nava Atlas said...

And apropos of this discussion, a critique (not really a review) of the concepts put forth in the new movie Bride Wars, 'Bride Wars': No marriage, no romance, just the wedding biz in the NY Examiner: