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

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Disturbing Wedding Advice #9

The Wedding Industrial Complex supplies a pretty long list of "essential" items to make your wedding a "Once in a Lifetime" event. Aside from the big ones--like the dress, flowers, invitations, reception--there are also all these little incidentals:

    • Wedding favors
    • Gift bags for the out-of-town guests
    • Facials for months leading up to the event
    • Tanning
    • Manicures and pedicures
    • Professional hair
    • Professional makeup
    • Wedding anklet
    • Guestbook
    • Photo booth, candy buffet bar, etc.
    • Aisle runners
    • Wedding garter
    • Veil
    • Unity candle
    • Dance lessons
    • Gifts for the attendants
    • Gifts for the parents
    • Menu cards
    • Bachelor/bachelorette parties
    • Rehearsal dinner
    • Post-wedding brunch
    • Toasting flutes
    • Monogrammed napkins
    • Chair covers

It's not that I'm against all of the items on the list. However, I am against anyone feeling obligated or pressured to include all of these things to brighten their Special Day.

And then there's the getaway car. Check out this propaganda from the Wedding Industrial Complex:

Exotic / Beach Theme: Breath-taking venues, warm hues, great weather, and flavorful food make exotic weddings a top choice for many summer weddings. Combining both exotic flowers and weaved palm leaves creates a very tropical contrast. The vibrant colors are accentuated by the green background. Adorn the back of your convertible with weaved palm leaves and beautiful flowers. Vehicle Pairing: BMW M6 convertible.

Traditional Theme: For many generations, stringed cans and the words “Just Married” were what you’d expect to see on a getaway car. Fast forward to today, give your car the old-fashion treatment with the modern twist. Custom make your appliqué in accordance to the same typography and colors that you used for your invitations. Apply the appliqué to the side or back-window of your car. Vehicle Pairing: Jaguar XKR.

Eco-Chic Theme: Mini Coopers are great cars for couples who are both concerned with being environmentally responsible (37 mpg) and making a chic impression on their wedding day. Dress up your Mini Cooper with mini bouquets and embellished ribbons on your special day. Opt for flowers that were grown by local farmers as well as organic cotton for the ribbons. Visit your local arts and crafts store and sew on small rocks to give a stunning contrast to the delicate fabric. Vehicle Pairing: Mini Cooper.

Hollywood / Modern Theme: Nothing says Hollywood louder than lights. When making your getaway, have runway lights shining on your car. A semi-transparent fog will allow your lights to create a streaming effect. Are crystals a main part of your wedding? Carefully apply crystals to the front grill of your car for a more fabulous effect. Vehicle Pairing: Bentley GTC.

Custom make applique using the typography and colors from your invitation and apply them to your Jaguar?


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tatgeer said...

We've put the best man in charge of decorating the car. I'm not sure what FH told him, but I'm seriously hoping for tin cans and shaving cream. :)

midwestelle said...

Okay, so a lot of these are far-fetched. But a wedding anklet? What the heck? And what makes an anklet particularly bridal?

Probably the cost.

I'm confused. ;)

MidwestElle @ www.illinoisbride.blogspot.com

megan said...

ahahaha. that list was friggin ridiculous. i laughed at over half of the stuff on there. i'm pale. my fiance loves me like i am, plus tanning causes skin cancer. wedding anklet? hmmmm. dance lessons and pro makeup? not necessary.

with any luck we'll borrow (from our friend, the owner) the local party bus from our favorite bar. it's flamingly bright and has nothing to do with weddings, except that it's so us no one will argue the point. and since our potential ceremony venue has no discreet ruote for the "first sight moment" we're thinking of asking his bro-in-law to bring down his vintage prosche. he's the only one we know with a car like that, and he'd be more than happy to show off his baby. my point is, you can have nice cars or interesting get away vehicles, but pull resources and let the groomsman have full reign. that's the fun of it!!!

sara-grey said...

wow, the W.I.C is actually insane. Our 'getaway' vehicle is going to include us walking with all of our guest across the street from the ceremony to the reception at my parents place. I'm not sure how I will get a monogram big enough to cover all of our guests??

Mrs. Andi said...

That list is a bit extensive, but there are many, many brides who want to include some or most of those items. I think it's fine, as long as the bride doesn't feel "obligated" simply because they're a bride. I'm doing gift bags, but I'm making about 90% of the items, including individual soaps with our monogram stamp & several local items for the non-natives.

accordionsandlace said...

I think the constant invention of new "elements" of a wedding to obsess over (like bathroom baskets--when did those become a thing?) makes me feel crazy. All of it makes me feel crazy. We're going to walk home from our geedee venue.

un-bride said...

Ew, ew, ew, ew. Oh, and ew.

Our "getaway vehicle" will be Mr. UB's "everyday vehicle." It's lovely, looks cool in pics, and oh , it's also (wait for it) ... free.

I wonder about the quality of the relationships of people who obsess over details like these. Which is probably wrong of me, but there you are.

tatgeer said...

I know your wedding is not a contest (thanks, offbeat bride!) but I suddenly feel the need to clarify - our "getaway vehicle" is going to be my civic.

bamagirl3525 said...

Oh wow, y'all... The important thing to remember is that wedding magazines, just like fashion and "lifestyle" magazines, are just giant catalogs. Companies pay a LOT of money to have content written about their products so that you will think it's an honest editorial item and buy their crap. Ever seen the movie, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"? That whole diamonds-article in Composure (the magazine Andie works for) thing is exactly how 95% of content for magazines geared toward women is generated. Somebody got the bright idea a long, long time ago that it was a brilliant way to sell stuff to women. And you know what? It works! Just look at De Beers and their "A Diamond is Forever" almost 100-year-old advertising campaign. Nobody proposed with diamonds till the De Beers family decided that they wanted to make diamonds a commodity.

So, bravo to every woman who can see through their deception! If your Crap-Dar doesn't go off when you read an article that suggest a make and model for a car to leave the ceremony in (or some other such BS), you are asking to be "took." I am so very thankful that I have stumbled on this awesome community of grounded women/brides who understand that there is more to a marriage than a wedding! I only wish more people realized it.

Thanks again for being awesome!

Danielle Green said...

I am new to your blog, and enjoy it. I am also a Wedding Planner. This list, to me, was funny and also sad. But, then again, I am probably the only Wedding Planner to tell clients that they don't "need" a Wedding Planner. I guess I am just weird that way.

mimi said...

gag. everyone has the right to obsess over the details that are important to them. (i know i overdid it on the paper part) but the advice on what getaway car to obsess over is so creeeepy.

MsTeacherLady said...

This makes me laugh. Hard. Thanks so much!

Sisca said...

I'm a low budget bride, but my fiance and I are splurging on the dancing. We started with a very affordable "intro to ballroom dancing" group class and fell in love with it. Now we go out dancing once a week in addition to group lessons. It's so much fun - social, romantic, and a great workout too. I found out my guy knows how to swing his hips! We're planning to continue for the rest of our lives. I recommend it to everyone! That's one thing I can thank the WIC for.

Emmalinda said...

i believe the phrase "more fabulous effect" is my new favorite. honestly, i can't say that i've given one thought to what sort of car we will drive away in--granted, the wedding's 4 months away...but I'm pretty sure we'll decide the day before that we should just pack our stuff into our dependable nissan sentra and drive off into the sunset. :)

A.Mountain.Bride said...

seriously sara, where do you find this stuff?

i steer clear of the corporate websites now-a-days. they don't bug me, because i don't give them the time of day. (umm..perhaps that's a lie as i did have a mini stress attack this week regarding my "dress" - so doy to me.)

MorganRae said...

My wedding is in June and let me tell you , I have chosen some of these things, just to make this day even more special. I felt that if I guess I felt that if I made this day extra special and got myself excited about it then it would help make things fun and memorable. However, I have done all the planning from our wedding on myself. My FH doesn't seem to care. I'm somewhat disappointed and kind of down on myself, because no one in my family or his seems to be excited or care. Any suggestions on how to get people pumped and happy for us? Let me put it this way, my dad is paying for it. He wrote me a check and said I guess let me know if I am invited or your eloping. Every time I try to bring things up to get help with suggestions on how to do things and get them talking about it, they just say hmm.. don't know.. and change the subject. I guess I am just stuck feeling like Bridzilla when I don't want to be. I just want a simple cheap wedding. I am to the point of just signing the papers and not caring anymore. Help!?

Andrea said...

Great article. Nwever heard of a wedding anklet before...Brides, see www.creative-theme-wedding-ideas.com
for other theme wedding ideas

lovelymorning said...


what is a wedding anklet? And why would renting a 6 series convertible make your day special? this list is generally confusing.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that pairing a car with an Eco-Chic Theme seems pretty darn contradictory. Howabout: Bicycle or two tiny feet?

Kiana said...

Wedding ANKLET?? Seriously? I've never seen that one before. Doesn't cease to amaze me, though. Sheesh.

the Lady said...

A Wedding Anklet? Are you kidding me? WTF is that supposed to do for ya?! Ick. I could stand some dancing lessons, it could be fun and useful for the future, but as to the rest - ha! Gosh, the WIC really does want to suck all the poor brides as dry as it can. And a getaway car - how funny. I never considered the need of one!

A sad list, considering how much of it my boyfriend's sister probably checked off, and is now getting a divorce, not yet 3 years later. These things don't make a relationship or wedding any better. Real (relationship) work on the part of both partners is what makes a wedding and marriage memorable.

Avril said...

Yay for the getaway Civic! We saved much time and stress by having our rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception at the same location---it definitely made things easier for all the out of town guests who didn't know their way around town. Driving away from the craziness in my husband's beloved Civic SI, where we'd spent so much quality time throughout our courtship and engagement, was one of the happiest moments of the day. It felt like coming home. But to each her own! We could have foregone a day of our honeymoon and spent the bucks renting a fancy car instead...it's all about priorities, I suppose.

Teresa said...

i just threw up a little in my mouth...

Wedding coupon hunter said...

so who gets to wear the wedding anklet? bride or groom or both?lol
anyway, im looking for good wedding coupons?can some one point the way..

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I do agree with you in so many ways. For me getting married isn't going to be about the stuff. Good amount of the things that I plan on using for my wedding will be "free". Like my guest book which is a beautiful scrapbook that my sister gave me one year for Christmas. The veil that I will wear is from my moms wedding. Again... it's "free". I will make my own garter. My aunt gave me a beautiful ring that I'm going to take to a jeweler and have them customize it to fit my finger. It will go great with my engagement ring. She also gave me a beautiful necklace that she found at a garage sale. It's perfect for my wedding day.

A lot of things that I will use for my wedding are things that I either already own or were given to me as a gift. I'm saving a tone of money for my wedding because I won't be needing to buy all kinds of things.

Half of the stuff on that list, I never even heard of. What is a wedding anklet? Anklets are no longer in fashion. So why would I wear one?

No way, will I be purchasing gifts for my out of town guest. Isn't a wedding favor enough? I'm getting married in a church. There is no need for an aisle runner either.

I can't believe the list. It's so sad to say that weddings have become too overrated. Love is more important that having a party. Yes, you want to celebrate your special day. Why does it have to be so glamorous? I can't wait to get married but at the same time, I also can't wait to spend the rest of my life with my fiance. I want to celebrate my special day. I may not wear the most expensive dress or have my venue at the most expensive place. In the end, my love for my fiance is more important.

-Jodi :)

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