Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Society Gone Astray

I have these spells (um, luckily they're more like fleeting moments) when I covet other people's [more expensive] weddings.

Take last night, for instance. Although I make a conscious effort to steer clear of bridal magazines and other sundry "wed"sites (both of which are really just glossy store fronts for the Wedding Industrial Complex), I stumbled upon Offbeat Bride, a website and blog devoted to, obviously, offbeat weddings.

Woo-wee! Such fun stuff. The blogger has a section for "Wedding Porn," which is just picture after picture of other people's weddings. I had pangs for offbeat centerpieces and [more expensive, again] offbeat dresses and locales.

But then a brisk slap in the face woke me from my stupor (no, it wasn't from Matt). It was from this tagline on the site: "The average American wedding costs over $25,000. I encourage brides to find innovative ways to spend their bridal budgets — if you’re going to spend money, do it on quality independent vendors and thoughtfully-made merch."

So, yes, the site is about offbeat weddings. But only on the surface. The dresses are different colors. The hairstyles are funky. The wording on the invitation is quirky. But at its core, the message is the same: You have to spend a lot of money to have a special day.

It reminds me a lot of the organic movement. At its onset, it seemed like our savior. Healthier, better for the environment--what more could you ask for? And then the local movement came along. We suddenly remembered, "Oh, it's not particularly healthy for the environment (and therefore us) to cart organic fruit all the way from New Zealand."

It's the same with an "offbeat" yet still expensive wedding. It looks different on the surface (and yes, admittedly, it's better than conventional), but it's still materialistic and consumeristic--two things we have to fight if we ever expect to have change in this society gone astray.

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Ariel said...

Oh noooo! I gotta re-write that line of text, because that's SOOOOO not what I meant by it. In fact, totally the opposite! I included the $25k as a way of saying "Isn't that gross? Thank GAWD none of us spend that much money ... but when you do spend money, spend it conscientiously."

I've profiled weddings with $600 budgets (http://offbeatbride.com/2007/12/rainas-library-wedding) and am a HUGE proponent of people budgeting carefully. I can see why you misread that copy (I wasn't being as clear as I should have been), and I'm going to change it right now!

Ariel said...

Oh and PS, here's my category of budget weddings: http://offbeatbride.com/tag/budget-wedding

Anonymous said...

While you envy my big budget wedding I envy your budget friendly wedding...

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