Be glad that you’re getting married here at home on the sunny shores of South Africa. For whilst most of us unwittingly aspire to all things American – glamour, glitz and branding being the principle tools of manipulation – we are not without some discernment. Or I’d like to think so.
Because we’re talking about a nation for whom the great American wedding equates to the great American dream they have become such ‘big business’. Are we going to adopt this trend without question?
Rebecca Mead wrote a book as early as 2008 about the phenomenon, entitled: One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding.
She quotes a megalithic sum of money that was the annual turnover of the wedding industry. It’s enough to make you gasp. And it’s proportedly not too much affected by the recession – a princely sum of around $50 billion a year.
The high level of television coverage for food and gardening shows that I experienced when I lived in London a few years ago is totally eclipsed, I hear, by the number of wedding shows on American television.
They not only include shows but series as well, with names like: Say Yes to the Dress, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, Four Weddings, My Big Redneck Wedding, and even the awful Bridalplasty (which featured brides competing for a dream wedding and plastic surgery at the same time!).
Have you noticed in this ‘business’ there is little emphasis on two people meeting and making a life-long commitment?
Instead it’s about things – dresses, favours, flowers, centrepieces, table decorations, food, drink, cake layers, bridesmaids and all the rest that comes with it. Does this sound like your wedding?
When did we allow our commitment ceremonies to turn into an industry?
Just remember, for a moment, that your wedding is about you. That you keep things realistic (because TV wedding shows are anything but), and not compete with those around you.
Instead, make this a day about how best to celebrate your love, with those you love best.
Happy Wedding Planning!