Service of Bridal Trends

December 12th, 2013

Categories: Comparative Shopping, Wedding

Bridal gown 2

Last Sunday’s New York Times had two articles about brides and it’s not near June!

According to Abby Ellin who wrote “Does This Dress Make Me Look Incredible?” there’s a trend for brides to bring their future husbands into the wedding gown-buying decision.

wedding gown 3That a woman can’t select her own dress for any occasion or reason seems nuts. The groom will see the gown for maybe six hours in a lifetime together and probably won’t look again at the bridal photos after the first year if that long. If a woman has selected a man who would throw a fit because he didn’t like her wedding dress, I suggest she look elsewhere for a mate.

In the paper’s Sunday Magazine Catherine Rampell wrote “Disrupting the Ceremony: Can the Internet fix the price-gouging problem in the wedding industry?” Any attempt to fix price-gouging in any industry is a good one. Rampell, a recent bride, wrote about a $50 billion industry reminiscent of the funeral and health care industries. They all pick on people at an emotional time many of whom are first-time buyers unfamiliar with prices.

wedding cakeSome bridal shops wouldn’t show her a dress until she shared private information including overall wedding and dress budgets and where the reception would be. She related an instance where a caterer’s price jumped $30 a head when he heard that the event was a wedding. I was discussing this topic at a party this week and one of the people in the conversation noted that his cousin makes wedding cakes that cost $5,000.

Perhaps it’s time to lower decibels on weddings just as Pope Francis has done on the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Papacy. Decisions about dresses as well as prices might then calm down substantially. Your thoughts?

 Wedding simple decoration

 

 

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8 Responses to “Service of Bridal Trends”

  1. ASK Said:

    Find it extraordinary that people are willing to spend so recklessly on weddings when — what’s the latest statistic? — there’s a 50% chance of divorce. I’d take the money and put a down payment on a house, or buy a car, or take a first-class trip to Antarctica or Peru. But what do I know? I was married in a suit. OK, so it was a Bill Blass suit, but I wore it till the fabric started looking funny. I still have it! BUT, it no longer fits…(sigh)

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    ASK,

    What a great point–you are right! For so much money you could take a memorable trip or buy a condo, house or apt or pay a college loan! God forbid yours is part of that 50 percent that folds, at least you are ahead of the game. I am certain that people go into huge debt which is sad for a few hours celebration.

    Bet that suit was a stunner–for some reason I envision Audrey Hepburn in such a suit. I looked at wedding suits on line just now and most were pants suits.

  3. Lucrezia Said:

    Those who are able to think for themselves pay no attention to trends, bridal or otherwise. Those who can’t, get fleeced. No sympathy here!

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    I would add those who insist on traditional trimmings get fleeced. Those who don’t have a mission of knocking the socks off friends and relatives will do far better in the long run and may enjoy their wedding day more than those faced with stacks of bills.

  5. Horace Peabody Said:

    I realize that I am out-of-date with the times, but why on earth would any sane man expose himself to answering any question about any woman’s clothing, and especially his bride’s? The best one can safely do is say, “Its lovely,” and even that can get you into trouble.

    I haven’t been to a wedding I enjoyed in years. The whole exercise now seems drenched in hollow clichés, and even the religious aspects often don’t ring true, given popular culture’s abandonment of most old ways with time worn values. I say save everybody hassle and money and anguish, and do away with marriage.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Horace,

    I trust you aren’t married. Your wife wouldn’t be thrilled with your answer. I would also wager that you have never been to a wedding you enjoyed or you might have described it. Hiding behind the good old days didn’t mesh with your suggestion that we do away with marriage.

    I have been to weddings that I’ve enjoyed, the most recent one being this summer. It was charming, low key and it struck all the right notes.

  7. Carol Said:

    I agree with Horace’s observation that contemporary weddings seem drenched in hollow cliches. The media perpetuates the notion that, when it comes to weddings, brides have to “make it their own” by personalizing every detail to reflect their interests. Ridiculous themes such as Mardi Gras are the result. Then there are the brides who wear one gown for the ceremony and another for the reception. And what about destination weddings? It’s all completely out of control. Have you seen the TV show “Say Yes to the Dress”? Brides from all over the world go to Kleinfeld’s, a bridal emporium on West 20th Street in NYC, to try on dress after dress, admire themselves in over-sized mirrors, and be cooed at by sales associates as well as teary-eyed family members–sometimes as many as ten, all lined up on plush chairs–in an enormous, glittering showroom. The entire set-up panders to the Gen Y (or Millennial or whatever they’re called these days) desire to be a celeb. Lights…camera…you’re a star! Wow, life doesn’t get any better than that, does it?

    Dresses at Kleinfeld start at $2,000 and prices go up into the stratosphere. One can’t help but wonder how many of those I-want-it-at-any-cost brides are going to put themselves (or their overindulgent parents) deeply in debt for a celebration that will last five or six hours at most. Their behavior is stupid. There. I said it.

    The wedding-industrial complex (so identified in one of the NY Times articles) is the worst when it comes to preying on emotions. As long as the young generation continues to feel as entitled as they do now, the bridal industry will continue to grow and flourish.

  8. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Carol,

    I agree with all that you wrote. The bridal industry is frighteningly similar to the funeral industry. A suggestion to a family who must deal with a funeral director: Make sure the person making the arrangements had a great relationship with the deceased. The guilty one who wasn’t there or was on bad terms with the deceased could easily be driven by guilt to fall for all sorts of unnecessary expenses and the rolled eyes of the director when asked for less expensive options. [A $12,000 casket? Not over my dead body!]

    On a miniscule scale 1,000 years ago we were caught in the clutches of the wedding dept of a department store still very much in business and a fashion leader. My parents were charged as much as the gown for “Miss Claire” to attach to a tiny bit of silk the floor length lace that went from my head into a train that was borrowed from an old family friend. Staff treated rudely and curtly the photographer we brought in [at a fraction of what their vendor charged] to shoot me in the dress at the final fitting. I remember it well and still don’t like it.

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