Life, universe and everything

Wedding porn

Phil left a comment on my Friday post, to which I’ve been meaning to reply, but then thought it would probably be too long, and decided to make a post out of it.

So… Phil doesn’t like wedding magazines. It came as no surprise to me whatsoever to hear him qualify these publications as “gunk” and “drivel” mainly because he’s a guy and also because he’s 90% right.

 

The other 10% aka the Phil-is-wrong part is about the fact that weddings need to be organized. Heck, any gathering where both sets of parents are present requires organization. It’s one of the most important days of your life, and you just can’t leave things happening bad comedy style, especially when there’s alcohol around.

 

Women want their wedding to be picture-perfect and most of them spend tens of thousands of dollars on the dress, shoes and tiaras, heaps of petals strewn on the aisle, sparkling wedding rings and fancy-schmancy restaurant menus. The wedding business is a lucrative one, a little monster that preys on women’s love for color coordination, sparkly stuff and designer labels. But let me say this: is it really that wrong? Try to set aside the reason why women love lavish & sparkly stuff, if that’s what makes them happy, why not grant them the pleasure of having a lavish & sparkly dream day? As a woman the last thing you want to associate your wedding with is the thought that the restaurant sucked, that the dress was not the one you really wanted but at least you saved $1000 , or that you’ll be embarrassed to show the pictures to your relatives because the photographer had no idea what he was doing.

 

Yes, every woman wants a picture-perfect wedding. That’s a fact. Now, that picture-perfect wedding can cost $5000 or it can cost $50,000, and here is where the bride-to-be can choose between being brain-washed by the glossy-paged wedding porn or putting together something fun, exciting, dreamy and probably 10x less expensive. The useful 10% of wedding magazines is the part that gives future bridezillas ideas about organizing on a budget, original centerpieces and invitations, yummy buffets instead of the traditional menus, bouquets of wild flowers and vintage dresses.

 

Unfortunately that 10% is shrinking to maybe less than 1% of the hundred-page thick magazines lining the shelves at newsstands. They abound in ads for anything, from dresses to mostly ugly shoes, to wedding rings, and diets for losing 10 pounds in the month before the wedding.

Honestly I don’t know who reads the traditional paper magazines, I bought two before my wedding, hoping to find some bridesmaids’ dresses boutiques. Sadly none were to my taste but fortunately J Crew saved the day and my ass.

 

Online magazines and wedding blogs are a completely different thing. I love scrolling and virtually flipping through their pages. And I love the pictures taken by talented photographers, a daily inspiration and food for thought, the stories couples share about how they handled things, their creative tips and genuine honest advice. That’s why there are still dozens of such blogs in my Feed Reader and although I’m done with wedding organization I just can’t push the delete button.

 

This would have made a long reply indeed.

Comments (5)

  • Hi Alex. Great post!

    First of all, I realize that this is not something that’s going to stop or something we have much say over. One can complain all about how shows like Sex in the City and Gossip Girl are promoting a frivolous, extravagant lifestyle, and it’s not really going to budge the issue.

    Second of all, as a photographer, I also realize how important some elements of a wedding are. Subtle things like choosing the right places with the right light can have an enormous influence on how the pictures (and perhaps the wedding as a whole) turn out.

    > why not grant them the pleasure of having a lavish & sparkly dream day?

    As you say, there’s nothing wrong with wanting a special day to celebrate the (legal?) communion of two people. Unfortunately, most girls don’t have your sensitive head on top of their shoulders. They think that they’re entitled to a lavish and sparkly dream day and so—damn the finances—they’ll get their special dream day, even if it means frivolously spending their children’s tuition funds!

    You can also make a comparison with the infamous MTV show My Super Sweet 16, which follows spoiled teenagers as they plan and celebrate their 16th birthday party. As the British writer Charlie Brooker says, it’s a “stonehearted exposé of everything that’s wrong with our faltering, so-called civilisation”. Is it wrong to celebrate your 16th birthday party? Of course not. Unfortunately, these kinds of shows are perpetuating the idea that children should expect these kinds of extravagant parties as something that’s normal.

    I may have an interesting story to share on a related issue in my blog.

    Reply
    • Hear, hear!
      That Sweet 16 show is making me furious whenever I see it. I guess the producers aren`t exactly thinking of the repercussions the show has on the hoards of teenagers watching…

      Reply
  • Offtopic:

    I cannot stop myself to say this: do you realize how many people who search for porn will land here? :)) Just follow the google searches which bring people here, I think you will be amused.

    Reply
  • Oh puleeze. Graethel, do you know how much porn is out there? Alex’s post won’t even make a dent.

    Now on the other hand, if any potential brides are literally searching for “wedding porn”, that’s a whole ‘nother issue altogether!

    Reply
  • For once I gladly take the materialist side. Spending on marriage is simply justified by the fact that it is a shared experience, the only things that has been consistently proven to make us happy. Seriously, google it. Objects (as opposed to experiences) do not, neither do experiences or possessions that are kept private. Think about it. Do you love the camera, or taking pictures ? The nice hotel, or the fact that you’re there with your lover ? Yeah.

    So knock yourselves out, it’s one of the rare occasions you are right to lavish yourselves and everyone else.

    Reply

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