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Tracey Taylor

Pointedly put.


The only thing I can say is thank god for second weddings, where most of this foolishness is left behind. :-)


However, Mead's secondary point -- that women may be striving to give their wedding a deeper cultural meaning and the only tools they have at their disposal are their consumer choices -- is the one worth pondering.

Similarly positioned is Cinderella Dreams: the Allure of the Lavish Wedding, which I highly recommend.* Otnes and Pleck make the case that, as Western society has increasingly left behind other familial and religious ceremonies, Americans especially are looking for any opportunity to manufacture their own milestone events, and because of the faux-symbolism and sentimentality attached, no expense will be spared. They take an in-depth look on the wedding advertising machine over the last century too. I found it fascinating.

*I do not recommend reading it while planning one's own wedding, though. It could cause... oh, I don't know... a total personal paradigm shift that will basically bring one's wedding planning to a screeching halt. Possibly.


And let's not forget that the most successful marketer OF ALL TIME is De Beers, aka The Company That Created the Idea That an Engagement Ring Must Include a Diamond. It's amazing how many capitalism-averse people I speak to who have NO idea that that tradition didn't just evolve naturally.


I also think that people tend not to recognize that The Perfect Wedding is a fantasy--the wedding will be a meaningful ceremony (or not) regardless of what your colors are or where you hold the ceremony. It does kind of feeds into the whole celebrity/princess nexis--the fantasy that being waited on hand and foot will make you happy or is in any way healthy and normal.

But it's all just fantasy. The very first wedding I attended was an extremely lavish affair put on by friends of my parents (I was in high school). It was basically the world's most expensive shotgun wedding: The bride was five months pregnant, laughed uncontrollably through the ceremony, and got hammered at the reception. A year later they were divorced, and the groom was in jail. The whole thing was a real eye-opener for me regarding the futility of trying to use money to paper over a fundamentally ugly situation.


I am pretty sure there would be nothing more fun than watching shitty Christmas movies with you two.

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