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

Friday, December 5, 2008

Disturbing Wedding Advice #6


I'm intentionally not including a link to this piece of disturbing advice because it appeared on a blog produced by people I have enjoyed working with in the past. My intention is not to be mean.

However, when something crazy is written by the Wedding Industrial Complex, I think it's important to stop and say, "That's crazy!" Otherwise, the rhetoric becomes normalized and incorporated into our collective, cultural understanding about what a wedding is.

Here's the advice from an invitation-making company:

"After all, when all is said and done, the only things you will have left from your day are the pictures, the video, your dress and the invitation. Make sure it's something meaningful and special."

Really? The only thing we will have left from our weddings are the pictures, video, dress, and invitation? What about the intangible memories? What about the strengthened connections with friends and family? What about a formalized commitment to our LIFETIME PARTNER!

I understand that the Wedding Industrial Complex is really just a group of people trying to make a living for themselves. I respect and understand that. But I don't think it's right to create manipulative advertising that feeds wedding hysteria and encourages people to obsess about the stuff of weddings.

It's fine to put time/thought/money into the photos/video/dress/invitation but not because we're afraid our weddings will be lost or forgotten if we don't. A meaningful and memorable wedding is bigger than all of those things.

Okay, thank you for tolerating my rant (if you're still reading). I should go do some Ashtanga yoga poses.

See other Disturbing Wedding Advice here




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8 comments:

AmyJean said...

That is an odd thing to say, granted i hear people say - pictures/video are important ... but more b/c so much goes on that you miss since your so busy and the day flies by, but truly, i agree with you... I think when my wedding is over and all is said and done, i will look next to me and find that the best thing I have leftover from my wedding will be my husband!

Katie said...

yeah really! there better be more than that. like love and commitment? and the rings that symbolize that love and commitment? and the memories? and if it need be material things that are mentioned: the guestbook, where my sweet loved ones will send their messages of love.

the rest are just details.

Sara said...

I agree! I'd rather have my partner than a picture of him any day of the week. :)

The craziest thing to me about the Wedding Industrial Complex is how pervasive and effective the whole thing can really be. Like, I feel like I totally know better than to fall for the "You need THIS!" push, but sometimes it can be a deceptively easy trap to stumble into. It really does generate a sense of hysteria or anxiety about the material stuff we "must" have as part of our weddings, and in a lot of way forms a composite of our most dangerous cultural beliefs. I have come to appreciate our wedding because it is an opportunity for us to evaluate and consciously manifest our values, but still -- sometimes those suckers are really good at their jobs. :)

That's why I'm thankful for great wedding blogs! What a great way to help us remind ourselves what's really important.

Jen and Eric said...

Personally, I think this disturbing wedding advice is a little... lame. Photos & videos I can kind-of understand (although please let family take them -- they're the only ones who bother to capture the really important stuff: babies' faces creamed with crumbs and elderly loved ones we may not see again for many years)...

But the invitations?? Unless they are handwritten, personally styled for the recipient, and an obvious expression of myself and my spouse-to-be... I rather feel I'd just be advertizing for some random printing company by saving them! If my wedding invitations are such a touching memorial of the wedding... it will be because I they communicate my love, not because a big cooperation manufactured some one-size-fits-all product with my name stamped on!

Jen and Eric said...

(side note - due to unavoidable circumstances outside my control, I was not able to hand make my invitations in a way I would have liked, to express my personal affection for each of the guests I invited. But I sincerely hope no one *saves* the impersonal things! LOL!)

Vilija said...

My biggest problem with the WIC is that this message is so pervasive that vendors feel entitled to charge exorbitant prices because of the notion that "this is all you will have left from your wedding."

This ideal makes having a reasonable budget (by my own personal standards) frustrating. I've personally come across photography websites who chastise readers for looking at the prices first. The idea is that because pictures are the "only lasting memories" of your wedding day you should be willing to pay substantial amounts of money for them.

Of course, vendors need to make a living. It is just unfortunate that because some brides and grooms are willing to pay thousands of dollars for their weddings the prices for many services are driven higher.

I know that this is a standard that will sadly remain, but it does feel good to rant a little.

rachel w said...

Good thoughts...but, to slightly play devil's advocate...in an charming old frame in my grandparents room is their wedding invitation from over forty years ago...nothing fancy or elaborate, but it is still a sweet reminder of the love that they still radiate for each other :) my grandparents were high school sweethearts that were married a few years after thier graduation, and have always been each other's best friend. Granted, weddings were truly much simpler back then, and their wedding would probably be snubbed by WIC standards. their wedding wasn't terribly fancy, and the pictures they do have were taken by friends and family. It was only a few years ago that my aunt collected up as many pictures of their wedding she could find and made it into an album for them. the first true and shining testament of their marriage is my grandparents genuinely loving and sassy relationship of the years they have spent together :) they are such a great role model of marriage for me :) However, sometimes for nostalgia sake, everyone in the family kind of wishes we had a few more things from their actual wedding...nothing fancy, bu perhaps just a few more momentos :)

Blind, Irish Pirate said...

I think that is some of the worst advice ever. I wake up and thank god for my husband every day -- that is something to treasure, not a piece of paper.

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