Was it always like this?

Between my recent post on bridal party expenses, which you can read here,  and some conversations I’ve shared with others, I’ve been thinking a lot about the state of the wedding world these days (bear with me, this might get a little all over the place).  How did it get so trendy?!?! 

It’s common to hear brides say that “they have been planning their weddings since they were little girls.”  This may have consisted of ripping a few pictures from magazines or dreaming up a vision of the big white princess gown in their head, but I’d say, arguably, that for the most part little girls’ plans were mostly that, a vision. Typically, if you wanted to immerse yourself in wedding details you had to seek it out, buying magazines from the bookstore, visiting vendors, etc. The wedding industry was very much a tight niche that only the betrothed could access.

Fast forward to 2011 and the world of social media, and what do you have? In your face weddings.  Suddenly, we see weddings everywhere: on TV, in mainstream magazines, on every blog imaginable. We’re watching couples get a complete dream wedding makeover a week before they say I do, flipping channels to the screaming bridezilla having a meltdown like that’s standard and not even batting an eyelash while parents drop thousands of dollars in a swanky bridal salon for a dress their daughter will wear once. Some could even argue it’s become the trendy way to throw a party what with the Kardashian debacle, but that’s another story (check out this interesting graphic). My point is, it’s not just a life milestone anymore, its a social milestone and an outlet for entertainment from the media. Brides (and sometimes grooms) now have every detail of their wedding figured out before they even find their significant other. Thank you Pinterest.

More shockingly, I think this wedding boom is evident in the everyday bride planning her own personal wedding. Couples are willing to spend extravagant amounts on this single party because that’s how wedding’s work. I see clients all the time who have what we affectionately refer to as “champagne tastes on a beer budget.” They want it all, lighting, crystals, big floral arrangements, fancy lounge furniture, designer gowns, letterpress invites you name it. Often times they don’t even realize how much money these things actually cost.

It seems like with the wedding world in everybody’s face it’s not uncommon to see couples who are simply trying to “one-up” their friends and relatives all to prove that they can have the most over the top wedding of the year. It’s become a competition to see who can throw the best party of them all. Maybe this is the way it always has been, or maybe it’s just a testament to my upbringing, but I feel like weddings just used to be simpler. The wedding has always been referred to as the most important day of your life, so naturally brides wanted to make it special and go all out, but I think this remained on a very personal level between the bride, the groom, and the family. Maybe it was always over the top and I was just sheltered, or maybe it really has become trendy on a whole new level.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fabulous industry to be in. I love what I do. I love the clients I work with (even the crazies). I love doing whatever it takes to make that day as spectacular as it can be for my couples.  I too love staring at the pretty pictures of lace and tulle and flowers on my pin boards and gawking at the ridiculous shows. I might not have had visions when I was younger but I sure have inspiration tucked away now. At the end of the day though, I just have to chuckle. When did weddings become mainstream and how did that happen? Who decided that this would be the next industry boom? Man were they right!

And for their sake I hope they are making a lot of money!