If you get bogged down in the spinach of Reagan tributes, try a little buttercream with this NYT trend story on the latest obsession among the betrothed: The truly over-the-top wedding. Sample passage:
Although some degree of perfectionism is present in every blusher-length veil and ribbon garland – in every hand-lettered invitation, silver cake knife and, lately, every chocolate fountain that a bride feels she must have – this perfectionism, wedding professionals say, has ballooned into an obsession.
“We have people who have meltdowns over what hankie to buy,” said Barbara Barrett, the owner of the Bridal Mall in Niantic, Conn., who in part blames the media’s focus on lavish weddings and what she calls “the stupid romance” of reality television.
Mindy Weiss, a Beverly Hills party planner who helped the actress Kate Beckinsale with her May nuptials, and Jessica Simpson in 2002, said she gets e-mail messages every week from brides-to-be asking how they can have a wedding like Ms. Simpson’s on a budget of less than $20,000. Ms. Weiss advises them to scatter candles around the room. “I truly feel for them,” said Ms. Weiss, whose clients typically have budgets of more than $100,000.
One California bride, on a quest to be size 8 by her wedding day, had her jaws wired shut for two months. “She could only eat through a straw,” said Monique Lhuillier, a Los Angeles bridal designer who made the woman’s dress. And more of her customers, Ms. Lhuillier said, are buying two gowns – a traditional style to please their mothers for the ceremony and a second, trendier model to wear during the reception.
I was amazed at the nice throwdown Alan and I were able to put on for a budget of around $5,000. Granted, that was 11 years ago and the dress was polyester, but I discovered the two keys to a truly exceptional wedding, which I will share with you now, and save you $95,000 or so:
1) Open bar is worth whatever you pay, and;
2) The guest list is everything.
And that is all.
Colleen said on June 6, 2004 at 10:56 pm
Amen to your wedding tips. The bridal industrial complex has REAAALLLLY gotten out of hand. SO many “have tos” I didn’t bother with…hair trials, limos, professional makeup, save the date cards, photo shot lists, hour by hour schedules for the wedding day…..
And yet, we are still married.
(Close friends were under orders to smack me if they heard “but it’s MY DAAAAAAY” coming from my mouth….)
elaine said on June 6, 2004 at 11:33 pm
Dreading all of the froufrou and general horseshit that comes with big expensive weddings, my sweetie and I made off for a lovely B & B on the coast of Maine. As we stood in the garden room of the inn, we recited our vows to the local JP while her son preserved the moment on video for us. Later, we sent flowers to our folks to announce the event. Not everyone was thrilled with our plans, but we had a nice reception later on where we relaxed with our guests. To each her own, but this way was heaven for us.
Linda said on June 7, 2004 at 2:04 am
Same here, Elaine. I didn’t want a big wedding, we only had my immediate family (his were back in Canada), my two friends from work, and an old family friend. We married privately in the church sanctuary and I’ve never regretted it for a moment. Our second wedding in Canada (for immigration purposes) was attended only by my husband’s father and aunt and was held in the beautiful old condo the marriage practitioner lives in, and it was just as nice as my first ceremony.
I hate big weddings and I am convinced that 50% of the women who get married now days do so JUST for the wedding day. It’s probably why there are a lot of divorces, the bride wakes up the next day and realizes she is actually MARRIED.
And while we are on the subject of media: Something that grates on my nerves is the habit magazine reporters and entertainment show broadcasters have of describing celebrity weddings as “nuptials” or they “tied the knot”. Doesn’t anyone just get “married” anymore?
(Okay, I’m coming down off of my high-horse now)
Lex said on June 7, 2004 at 5:52 am
Besides open bar, if you’re going to spend money on anything, spend it on the photographer/photos. Whatever you get out of THAT deal will still be around to enjoy years later. The shooter we got was probably 50% more expensive than anyone else we looked at … and 14 years later, I think he was cheap at the price.
4dbirds said on June 7, 2004 at 6:46 am
We were married in my husband’s family home by a ‘for hire’ Justice of the Peace. The reception was cold cuts and punch. My dress was white sun dress that cost maybe 50 bucks. We’ve been married 25 years.
John Ritter said on June 7, 2004 at 8:01 am
We were married in my sister’s front room with just my family and hers. My father stood in as the best man and my soon-to-be sister-in-law was the maid of honor. Our reception was at my parents’ house, a sit down dinner. We must have had some good mojo because 24 years later, we are still getting it done.
By the way, woohoo on the local (for me) reference to Niantic!
Nance said on June 7, 2004 at 8:14 am
I’m sorry, but I’m still speechless at the idea of getting one’s jaws wired shut so as to become a size 8.
Bob said on June 7, 2004 at 10:49 am
In 1938 the couple who were to be my parents were married by a Methodist minister in Angola who was the father of one of Mom’s friends and classmates from nursing school. The only other people there were Dad’s cousin and his wife.
Mom’s parents and Dad’s widowed mother couldn’t make it because they already had other plans for that day.
I’d rather attend a funeral than a wedding. A funeral marks the end of one person’s troubles, whereas a wedding too often marks the beginning of at least two peoples’ misery. Besides, at a funeral I’m not expected to act like I’m enjoying myself.
alex said on June 7, 2004 at 12:06 pm
I think it’s quite fitting to remember that at one of the last big weddings I attended in the Fort you were there�and that relationship went down in a ball of flames less than a year later.
Even more noteworthy about it was the fact that it was one of the first officially sanctioned gay weddings at a mainline protestant church in town, so I felt badly that things didn’t end well.
My parents were married at IU Bloomington in street clothes with just a few friends present. This year will be their fiftieth anniversary. I think they did things the right way. And if the GOP ever backs the hell off and lets me get hitched legally, that’s just how I’d do it. Providing, of course, that I ever date someone again I could live with.