According to the Wikipedia article on the “Wedding Industry” — think about that term for a moment — in 2011 the average cost of the 2.5 million wedding in the US was $25,630! Due to the recession that was actually down from an average of $28,730 in 2007. The Wedding Report web site offers many more interesting facts and figures about the state of American weddings. Stuff like the average wedding has 138 guests at a cost of $186 per person.
Watching other people’s wedding trials and tribulations has become a significant part of many people’s entertainment. Wikipedia list 26 shows on the “Wedding Television” page including hits like: Bridezillas and My Big Redneck Wedding.
A new romantic comedy about weddings starring Robert Di Niro and Diane Keaton will hit the silver screens this fall: The Big Wedding.
Like accidents, big weddings are funny until they happen to you!
Well, I was glad to find that there is a small counter trend developing among brides and grooms against the big, fat weddings glamorized on TV where consumption seems to trump romance. I was very surprised that I found an article on this trend in a very unlikely source: The Sunday Styles section of the New York Times. These pages are not exactly a showcase for counterculture simplicity. Yet, there it was on the front page: “The Smaller, Cheaper Just-for-Us Wedding.”
“More than a decade after the term “bridezilla” entered the lexicon, two years after the wedding of Chelsea Clinton set her parents back by an estimated $2 million to $5 million, almost a year after Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries spent a rumored $10 million to celebrate what turned out to be a mere 10 weeks of marriage, and even as shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” remain popular, a small but growing number of brides and grooms are opting to downsize.”
Yes, the “fun, romantic, simple, casual and unique wedding.” is making a comeback. Not a moment too soon to suit me. As a Marin County, California, caterer is quoted as saying in the article: “I think people are waking up to the insanity that is the wedding market.” Amen!
Here is one of my favorite simply beautiful wedding songs, Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes”: