April 25, 2011

Wedding Crazed!

Spring is in the air (finally!) and wedding season is upon us! Since we have discussed traditions in earlier posts, and with the royal wedding only days away, we thought it would be the perfect time to blog about every girl's dream day. 

photo via springwise.com

Today, as economic recovery provokes divorce rates and “the bigger, the better attitude” defies our current society, the pressure to have the “perfect” ceremony is increasingly overwhelming. Is it really about declaring our true love for another or simply an extravagant performance (with a questionable ending) for the world to see? Have we lost all meaningful tradition as couples engage in this sacred ritual at off-price retailers or even worse, fast food restaurants like McDonald's? Or, is this merely the onward direction forward for traditional occasions as everyday societal standards begin to disappear?

photo via style.com

The wedding craze is EVERYWHERE, from websites to blogs, wedding expos, reality shows, movies, and of course, fashion. No matter where we look we just can’t seem to get enough of this wedding fever. Bridal fashion week has gone international hitting such cities as New York, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Auckland, and even Jaipur, India, to name a few. We’ve seen it on the runway countless times, most recently with Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection of all-white delicates purely referencing contemporary bridal lingerie.

photo via LA Times

In addition to this, more and more brands are expanding into this growing sector of wedding trousseau expenditures. Anthropolgie’s BHLDN, Vera Wang for David’s Bridal, J. Crew’s Bridal Boutique, Ann Taylor, White House Black Market's Vow, and Matthew Williamson’s recently launched bridal line are all excellent examples of leaders taking advantage of this opportune market shift. Costco, an unlikely choice, also recently joined these bridal pioneers with its concept “from shopping isle to wedding isle.” Disney is capitalizing on the idea of having a fairy tale wedding by matching a gown and accessories to your favorite Disney princess. Do I sense a hint of brand loyalty? Yes, but these brands give hope that maybe our dream wedding can come true, and affordably.

According to a survey from David’s Bridal in 2009, 50% of brides prioritized to spend less than $800 on a dress and 54% said a designer dress was unimportant to them. If a bride can look stunning on her big day at a lower price why not? On this note, another huge trend hitting brides-to-be is the DIY ceremony. Whether it’s due to the idea of the cost-effective wedding or simply more access via the internet, brides can personalize everything from their centerpieces to invitations, food, even their dresses by reworking vintage gowns. Maybe we can have it all, tradition and at a decent price.

On another note, who isn’t following everything to do with the royal wedding? Kate Middleton’s fairy tale is about to come true with the big day booked for April 29th. What's the most important thing about any girl’s day? The dress of course! Minute by minute reports have kept us in suspense about who the mysterious designer is. Princess Diana’s, Queen Victoria’s, and Carolyn Kennedy’s dresses have all been marked in fashion history as will the soon to be royal bride's gown.

So what does all this mean? Are increased divorce rates leading us to have two or more of these “fairy tales?” Or, is there more pressure on having our dream wedding come true with more access to advice, resources, and DIY projects? Either way, this one moment in time brings lightness and balance to the chaos of our everyday lives. It is a time to declare our love and trust in another, by taking a step back from our hectic daily routines and enjoying the company of loved ones. Is all the wedding craze worth such a hefty, exhausting, price, both monetarily and physically, for such unforgettable memories? Two words, I DO. 

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