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F is for Fluff by Becca
I should add that I don’t actually think that this applies to the women that read AOW. I think its just something I would like to get off my chest before I explode so here goes…..
When we started wedding planning I cut pictures out of magazines and saved photos from online (am I the only one that doesn’t get pinterest when you could right click and save?). I started with the odd dress and some nice classic stationary. Nothing wrong with that! Then flick over the page and we’re talking different ways to fold napkins and different lighting all necessary to give our day the big WOW factor. I ended up with pages and pages and pages of crap. Literally….unnecessary crap.
I understand that some brides want to make their day personal. Hell, a wedding is about as personal as it gets. But what I don’t understand is how personal translates to décor and personalised “sweetie bars” and not vows. A quick flick through UK magazines and blogs tells you everything you need to know. There is no “this is the song we chose in the ceremony” or “this is the reading we had” or “I felt like I was in a bubble”. What you actually get is “I chose this jewellery” and “I picked this dress because” or “I got my bridesmaid dresses from X,Y,Z”. Isn’t that all just….mindless fluff?
I read a Guardian Article (I know…must have been having a liberal day) and it was discussing the “Princess for a Day” phenomenon. The article (from 2010 but its still amazing and had me nodding along at my desk) followed the comments made by Rev Dr Giles Fraser, the canon chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral, on Radio 4′s thought for the day. Rev Dr Fraser said that modern weddings and their trappings were “becoming a threat to marriage itself”. Wow…that’s a bit strong when I’m pretty sure that if I wanted to get married in St Paul’s Cathedral it would take more than “I sometimes eat my lunch on your steps”. But I think maybe he has a point?
Rev Dr Fraser continued that modern weddings were “specifically designed to be all about ‘me’”. You all already know my feelings on the complete and utter selfishness of the whole “Your Day Your Way” pish that the wedding industry pedals so I won’t start on it here. Needless to say it’s not “your day, your way” if you are made to feel like your wedding will be worthless if it’s not blogged, featured or otherwise and obviously it can’t be blogged or featured on such car crash TV unless its “different” and features a variation of the following: sweetie bars, arrows with signs, photo booths, bunting, sloe gin (made by the fairies that live in your garden obviously), hay bales (even at a City wedding) or 8 bridesmaids all wearing different vintage dresses owned by their relevant grandmothers which have been single handedly repaired/darned/altered by the bride whilst riding a tandem bicycle . Repeat: Your wedding does not need to be “alternative” or blogged or in a magazine to be amazingly personal and the best day of your life.
I could go on to talk about how commercialization and trends aren’t new. Many traditions we deem essential, like wedding rings, are made up by the wedding industry as late as the 20th century. Turns out some guy in America wanted to cash in and turned an ancient Roman tradition of women wearing rings into the argument that men should wear them too. For the record TBTMMO’s not having one and no I don’t think or am worried (1) about it’s because he wants to cheat on me (still can’t believe someone actually said this to me) or (2) about what a bad feminist I am for not demanding that he wear one (are you kidding?!).
But what makes me cringe is that we all do it. I’m worse than anyone. I go to wedding fairs even though I hate them. And I read magazines and blogs as soon as they hit the shelves. The fact is that I don’t know anyone that doesn’t buy into the world of weddings because I don’t know anyone that got married in their lunchtime in their jeans at the registry office. Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with wanting a nice dress and buying dinner for 150 people that have supported you for your whole life. You do it once. I shall enjoy every second of it. What is there is something massively wrong with is thinking that it’s OK to ignore the fact that it’s all got a bit ridiculous. Have the balls to at least own that.
You must read this by Rebecca Mead. She’s a billion times more articulate than I am: