It was so simple—you fell in love, forged an indelible bond, and, at the right moment, you became engaged to be married. You and your fiancé(e) felt carefree, happy, and at ease knowing that the two of you would be side-by-side for life. And you wanted everyone you knew to share in this happiness, so you did what all modern engaged couples do—you changed your Facebook relationship statuses to “Engaged.”
After over 200 of your Facebook buddies wished you a hearty congratulations, the advertisements started cluttering up your newsfeed and they have not stopped.
Say, “Hello!” to the 40 billion dollar a year American wedding industry. It has now inserted itself into your lives with non-stop deals and offers and you feel compelled to click on every single one.
You’re engaged! Now you need a dress! Click here to visit our wedding dress company’s website where you can browse through 100,000 dresses and become completely overwhelmed!
Looking for a wedding photographer? Check out this new smart phone app that lets your wedding guests take the pictures themselves and then posts them directly to all social media channels! Your pictures will be fun and unique (especially after two hours of open bar)!
After the wedding it’s the honeymoon! Choose our cookie cutter all-inclusive beach resort where you and many other newlyweds will have the exact same post-wedding experience!
With every advertisement you become less happy, less at-ease, more anxious, more stressed-out, and less excited.
It shouldn’t be like this.
Your wedding is your special day; a moment to celebrate the unique love that you and your partner have found. It isn’t supposed to be a one-size-fits-all Xerox copied occasion. So, how did the American wedding industry become such a behemoth? Where have the unique touches gone, those accents that portray the character of each betrothed couple? And how can you take charge of planning your one-of-a-kind wedding?
The modern notion of what weddings should be is a fairly recent, corporate manufactured concept. In her book Brides, Inc. Vicki Howard discusses how, between the 1920’s and the 1950’s, the wedding industry was born and then grew exponentially. Many of our now-commonplace wedding traditions were actually the work of savvy magazine editors, advertisers, marketers, and entrepreneurs. Things like the all-inclusive, easily replicated wedding package are one of these innovations. Jewelers were also shrewd marketers, fabricating “ancient customs” and timeless traditions to convince brides (and grooms) to-be that they were required to purchase new ring designs. And the prevalence of white wedding gowns is actually a post-World War II conception meant to symbolize democracy and peace.
The mothers and fathers of the modern wedding industry have succeeded in hyping-up marriage celebrations to a frenzied point at which now the bride and groom feel anxious about adhering to all of the “traditions” while also outdoing the weddings of all of their friends. These days, couples spend, on average, around $20,000 on a wedding celebration. What does this $20,000 go toward? All of those nuptial elements that the soon-to-be-married couple has been convinced are must-haves, of course. Ultimately, the wedding industry has created a wedding “To-Do List” that feels mandatory and is anxiety-producing.
How can you take back your wedding planning and make your celebration unique to you and your fiancé(e)?
You will be bombarded with ideas and advice from all fronts, whether it’s social media or spam emails or well-meaning friends and relatives. But you and your fiancé have already said, “yes” to one another, so you don’t need to feel obliged to say yes to every wedding related sales offer. This wedding and marriage is about the two of you and, really, no one else. Stay in control by abiding by that idea.
Make your wedding planning fun. Sit down together, maybe over a nice dinner or a glass of wine, and discuss what makes you unique as a couple. Use this as a basis for your wedding planning brainstorming and establish your rules so that the American wedding machine doesn’t turn you into a bride or groom-zilla. There’s no reason to feel overwhelmed if you aren’t afraid to put your foot down and steer your own wedding planning ship.
Have eight groomsmen or one best man. Wear a white dress or choose a color that means something to you and your husband-to-be. Choose that wedding-guest-as-photographer smart phone app if you want to! Just remember that the wedding planning process should be fun and that it can be if the two of you stay in control. And the only traditions that really matter are the ones that you will create together as a married couple.
We’re very familiar with making a wedding a special and unique occasion, and more importantly, a stress-free one! If you’re planning a wedding in Northwest Arkansas, Southeast Kansas, or Southwest Missouri, we’re definitely worth a look!