FYI: The Wedding Industry Is Out Of Control

This is what has accumulated on my nightstand over the past week:

P6280222One of my sweet, older co-workers has been fueling my new wedding hobby with magazines, books, and guides.  Bless her heart.

As I flip through the pages of Brides and Real Simple Weddings, I am thankful that I’m a bit more money-wise than most young brides (not to toot my own horn or anything…but it’s true.  Some girls I know would drop hundreds of bones on toilet paper embossed with their future last name if given the chance.).

It’s pretty obvious that the wedding industry has turned into this untamed beast that prays on weak brides who are just happy-go-lucky in love.  Sure, us brides want a perfect, special, memorable wedding day, but I think things have gotten a little out of hand.

In the magazines, there is page after page of advertisements for personalized guest books, engraved cake stands, invitations accented with shades of watermelon pink and seawater green (or any shade your heart could ever desire), silk ring bearer pillows, customized wedding garters, and adorable party favors.

I actually asked someone the other day if I could just avoid the ring bearer pillow all together and just have my ring bearer walk the aisle empty-handed.  They looked at me in complete shock and said “but where would the rings go?”  I mean…do ring bearers actually carry the rings?  I really had no idea.  I guess I just like watching the confused kids walk sheepishly down the aisle.  That’s where the real fun is, right?

Don’t forget about the suit and armor us brides have to purchase:

  • gown
  • white shoes
  • garter
  • fancy under armor
  • tiara and/or other hair decor
  • veil
  • jewelry
  • something blue
  • make-up/hair

Yes, okay —  I want to be a bride for a day and wear the fabulous costume.  But after really listing out all the things I need to buy to pull off the part, it’s pretty overwhelming.

When did the wedding industry get so out of control?

The industry has become quite good at sucking you in and sweet-talking you into that $250 white gold cake cutter engraved with the date of your wedding day.

I think I’ll just use the cake cutter out of my mom’s kitchen drawer that we used for our birthday cakes as kids, thankyouverymuch. Looking at a cake cutter 20 years from now will not make me appreciate my wedding.  It will most likely just piss me off that I wasted that $250 because we’ll probably be trying to pay for little Lloyd’s college at that point.

In my parents’ wedding photos, things are completely different.  My mom wore a baby blue dress that looks nothing like a bridal gown for her wedding.  And she seems SO happy in the pictures.  I’m guessing she was probably so happy because she was marrying an awesome dude like my dad,  not because she was about to eat a heaping slice of sugar out of her $750 cake.

I’ve had to remind myself almost daily that all this wedding nonsense is just a bunch of BS.  I’m super excited for the big day, but I don’t want to forget the reason I’m here in the first place.  It’s so easy to forget that you’re vowing to love one person wholly and completely for the rest of your life instead of just planning some ridiculously expensive party.

I’m just trying to keep a healthy balance in the midst of this wedding madness.  I know I’ll be much happier in the end if I take a step back from all the tempting extras and just focus on marrying that super hot stud that proposed to me just over 4 weeks ago.


  • How can they even sell $250 cake cutters. Yikes!

    It’s funny what people will get upset over, though. My mom was appalled that I didn’t want to wear a veil. (I said, “I’d prefer to enter my marriage with my vision unobstructed.” She didn’t get it.) Everyone was mad when we sneaked out to see each other before the ceremony.

    And the best man just kept our wedding rings in his pocket. Is that wrong?

  • Most ring bearers don’t hold the real rings, the best man does and the ring bearer has a pillow with fake rings! I thought that was silly so my 3.5 year old nephew was trusted with the rings. For like 20 yards as he walked down the aisle.

    It is out of control! Stay sane and have as much fun as possible! (i must admit I hated almost the entire process!)

  • As the MOH I held the groom’s wedding ring, and let me tell you….it was terrifying. I was freaking out that I’d lose it. In other words, the 3 year old ring bearer should NOT be holding the rings, lol. Trust the adults to do that. (Although I’m still questioning how trust-worthy I really was to get that job done.)

    I agree, the industry is completely out of control….but, what can you do? (Other than just do what YOU want to do, not what some random bridal magazine is saying you MUST do….)

  • HEAR, HEAR! I totally agree. It is way out of control and I am glad that I am sensible enough to drown it out. I haven’t looked at a single bridal mag and don’t plan to.

  • AMEN! After watching (and helping) friends plan their weddings, I’ve resolved that half the stuff (read as: costs) involved in a “traditional” wedding are BS! Who cares if I have fancy seat covers on the chairs at the reception?! There are SO many more worthwhile things the money can be spent on, many of which contribute to a more comfortable marriage (paying off student loans, down payment towards a house, etc).

  • I really like REal Simple magazine but their idea of budget and my idea of budgets are two different things!!! I can only imagine what the wedding edition has in it since the regular mag has “affordable” work clothes usually starting around $150 or so. LOL

  • Here, here! We didn’t have a ring bearer, but no way would I give our rings to a little kid! We had our maid of honor/best man hold the rings, and I’d imagine you can do the same but still have the ring bearer there to be cute. 🙂

    Just remember this is about you and Lloyd and not about what the world has to say about your wedding. My coworker advised me to watch “Say Yes to the Dress” before my wedding, and I’m glad I didn’t, as none of those dresses were under $1,000 AND most of the brides end up going over budget because it’s their “dream” dress.

    People have just created these totally unrealistic expectations for your wedding day fulfilling you, making your life complete and being this PERFECT party. We ate off paper plates, had mason jar centerpieces with daisies we ordered from Sam’s Club online and an iPod in place of a band. It was still the perfect wedding, not because of the money we spent but because we were vowing to spend our lives together in front of the people we loved. 🙂 Keep repeating it to yourself so you don’t get swept away.

  • God bless my wife. We got our wedding cake at Publix for half that.

    We had a wonderful wedding. We still get compliments, and my wife was bargain hunting the whole time. It was a ton of work, and she got no help from her maid of honor (ummm… or me), but we had a beautiful weddig with all the frills. OK… the DJ and Photographer were both fails, but those were referrals from family.

    I do offer some free advice.

    To heck with their feelings. Don’t hire your in-law’s friends.

    The MAID of honor should be a MAID. Unmarried. If you let your married sister in law do it all you’re going to get when you need help is a list of reasons why “she can’t do it right now”.

  • you dont even have to have a ring boy. one of my cousins weddings had 3 flower girls. LOL
    And im not sure if this is so common anymore but apparently a lot of people don’t actually eat the cake?!
    Apparently you just cut it for show and then people take home a piece with them. Uh, no thanks. When I get married we are having a cake and we are eating it for dessert. If people dont want to take home leftovers then I will take it home myself and eat cake for days. lol.

  • Ughh looks like so much to think about.. makes you want to run away and elope! (Well for me anyways!)

    They even have those Wedding conventions here in Vancouver…do they have them where you’re at?

    At least you’re not the type to buy the wedding magazines when you’re not in a relationship yet lol (uh oh sorry if I offended anyone!)

  • Good luck surviving the planning! The wedding industry is out of control and it’s so good at sucking in even the money savvy people. It’s not surprising, but kinda sad how the wedding costs keep rising year after year. It makes me scared to get married one day.

  • I’m not even engaged, but lately I’ve been loving the site – it’s a little extreme in the opposite direction sometimes, but mostly its just a really lovely blog about weddings that keeps its priorities straight. I know when the time comes I’ll go back and forth a million times about how important tradition and convention and beautiful things are to me, but I hope that some of the insights from that blog will stick and I’ll be better able to focus on the good stuff.

    Congratulations, btw – I’m so excited to see everything unfold! I’m sure it’ll be gorgeous and you’ll handle everything like a champ. And congrats, too, on the CPA! Best year ever, right? 🙂

  • Here here! Finally, a sane bride! Having watched friends get married (and been involved in two of those weddings) it amazes me what brides have been brainwashed into believing that they ‘have to have’ on their wedding day (and how much they hate them when it comes to the Big Day), and it’s hilarious to watch people’s reactions when I tell them (IF it ever happens) that 90% of the so-called ‘traditions’ won’t be present at my wedding (Gravity. Jaws. You get the picture).

    Just keep in mind that the wedding is just a glorified party, and it’s the marriage that’s the important part, and everything will be wonderful.

  • I’m glad you have your head on straight girl. No matter what happens, make sure to have fun on your wedding day. Sweating so much stuff before the big day only means that you’ll be forcing a smile on YOUR day. I love these posts, btw, so you should keep it coming!

  • Way to not get sucked in! It’s refreshing to know there are a few people out there who are getting married to “get married” and not have “the wedding”. Good luck, it’s a process and it’s expensive, but it will be worth it!

  • Totally agree. I always watch those crazy wedding shows on TLC, and every single bride is just out of control with all the little things they think they NEED because everyone tells them that they do. I can’t wait to start planning my own wedding (fingers crossed – SIGH! haha) so that I can do something simple and beautiful, without any of the crap the wedding industry says that I need to have.

  • Hi I just wanted to leave a comment to say that I enjoy your blog. Congratulations on a very popular site.


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