Confessions of a Say Yes to the Dress Addict

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Okay, admit it ladies. You have probably pondered your wedding at least once in your lives. Some of you, me included, may even have a "secret folder" on our computer full of wedding dresses and rings etc. that we hope our significant other won't find. But if you haven't completely checked into that level of crazy yet, then you may perhaps have seen an episode of the popular TLC show Say Yes To The Dress. Set at one of the largest and most expensive bridal salon's in the world, Klienfeld's in New York City, Say Yes To The Dress epitomizes the conspicuous consumerism now married to american weddings which cost, on average, $28,000 per event.
Now, if unlike me you are a wedding sceptic, the question you may be asking is why?How did it possibly go this far and where did the lavish tradition come from? As discussed in the Washington Post Article "Wedded to Consumption" found here, it all comes down to the psychological triangular theory of love and the all important facet of commitment. None of this wedding spending craze is actually new, as early as the 1950's pop culture produced movies like the original Father of the Bride where a middle class father is at a loss to explain why his daughter needs such a lavish wedding. Traditionally, the wedding and the gifts exchanged at showers etc. were an important means of providing the new couple with all they would need for their new household. Brides spent years collecting their trousseaus and hope chests to take into their new role. These days, the article argues, because sex and cohabitation are usually no longer postponed in a relationship the wedding has been glorified to be a symbolic transformation of the couple to show their eternal commitment. A transformation of the inward self marked by the outward accumulation of stuff. This transformation is one of the defining marks of commitment in a consummate relationship and may, because of the extreme cost and publicity of the event, cause us to remain committed for some time to come.

Personally, while I understand that this has all gotten a little out of hand, with the industry spurning billions of dollars of profit each year and despite being a fairly rational being I have fallen to the allure. I want the white dress, the dream setting the whole American dream wedding that will start my life with my husband to be, despite the large price tag. Who knows, I may even be a "Klienfeld Bride".


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This was a really interesting take on poplar TV shows like "say yes to the dress."Prior to reading this article I hadn't thought of wedding spending as being a symbol of commitment and opportunity to show the commitment level of the couple!

While I plan to have a nice traditional wedding, which I can't begin to imagine how much it will cost in the coming years, I don't think at all that spending more money on a wedding symbolizes the commitment of the couple. Look at celebrities, who I'm sure spend hundreds of thousands to millions on their weddings. I'm sure we can all agree that many of them have very little commitment to their spouses. Also, spending more money for a young couple wanting to begin a family just puts their future well-being in jeopardy, and can lead to financial stress.

I think that while it is alright to spend a little money on a dress. I do not think that the purpose of a wedding is to spend this much money. What causes people to spend this much money on weddings?

This is an interesting take on weddings. We tend not to think about why we splurge so much of our savings on one day. Instead, we just get out our checkbooks and get everything our heart desires. Do you feel that love gets in the way of our spending habits, or that weddings are simply an exception to our traditional spending habits.

Good connections and great article. You did a nice job of describing the reasons for spending.

I also love Say Yes To The Dress. Your article was really interesting and I like how you connected the spending to be a symbol of commitment. It's kind of crazy how much money people spend on weddings, but I agree that an expensive wedding is ideal.

I would argue that it is very possible to have a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank. However, I feel like it's possible that many people ignore this option because nice weddings are media and commercially connected to money. For example, I love to watch Say Yes to the Dress and because that is where I got all my wedding information from, I thought that spending $5,000 on a wedding dress was the norm. I've since been enlightened that many people spend far less than that. But that doesn't mean everybody knows that. Brides-to-be may also me attempting to reach some standard that they believe can only be reached by spending a lot of money.

I think the reasons for spending money vary greatly. For example, I have watched the show and so many of the women are completely self absorbed and only imagining what they will look like on the wedding, whereas others are just trying to pick out a dress that will make their fiancee proud and think they look beautiful. The wedding industry is completely outrageous, but I admit to watching these shows every now and then. Clearly the thought processes of women on their would be weddings would be a very interesting topic to research!

I find it interesting that now a large amount of money has to be spent on the wedding so the two people stay in the relationship. What happened to commitment? It makes me want to look for research on the stress the new couple feels being burdened by the debt of the wedding. I have only seen this show once or twice, and what struck me is that no one really seemed happy. I think I would prefer a simple off the rack dress, a party & some laughs.

I still don't understand why people choose to spend an exorbitant amount of money on silly things like a dress. yes, you need a dress to get married but most expensive does not always mean the best. I'm not going to lie, I have probably seen every single episode of Say Yes to the Dress (with the exception of the ones filmed in GA)and some brides simply aggravate me. Why has marriage become as materialized and commercialized as Valentine's day and Christmas?

I was extremely intrigued by your article because I love the show "Say Yes to the Dress" and I also have a pintrest board dedicated to my dream wedding. However, I do not understand why some people spend as much as they do on their weddings because it is only one day and you will only be wearing that dress on that day.

Interesting posting. I do not understand why people spend so much money on their wedding. I think true love between man and woman is what really is important in the wedding.

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