December 18, 2008

Bride Wars: movie promises to disappoint, just like real weddings

Maybe that's harsh. I don't think so. Weddings are like athletes; no matter how roided-up they are, they'll never achieve perfection - and perfection is what we're going for, so disappointment is inevitable. Not true across the board. Lots of people have weddings that are reasonably priced and actually reflect their own values and personalities.

The fact is, we are supposed to grow up moving through heterosexual relationships until we decide to marry; then we are supposed to spend thousands of dollars on one day and a million details as [probably] young people who really can't afford to do so - even with the help of family. The wedding party is supposed to spend hundreds (which they may or may not have) on formal wear, showers, gifts, etc. Spending money we don't need to or don't have...sound at all like the mortgage crisis? What is it about our culture that drives us to spend at the very top - or beyond - our limits?

I have to disclose that I had a pretty big wedding with all the bells and whistles (except for the garter; there was no garter or creepy peep show). My husband and I were in a unique situation financially and were also lucky to not have any overbearing parties trying to weigh in all the time. Like I said, some people want a big wedding and they can do it the way they want without taking it too seriously. That's why I loved my wedding - I think we had the right mindset about it. I didn't care that Joe's hem fell or that a groomsman lost a button. I never wanted to yell at anyone or correct the way they were doing something. Joe was involved in everything, so I felt like we were a team - not like I was taking on the world by myself, and that everyone would be judging me based on the results. Now I think I could have been more subversive, yes. I could have had my bridesmaids wear black so they wouldn't have buy anything special that they'd never wear again. I think that's the one thing I would change.

So, ok, to the point. I'm not talking about condemning people for following tradition. I'm talking about a system of religion and media that forces women to believe in the myth of . The day they're given away to another man whose name they'll take (again, not condemning - I took my husband's name and am just as susceptible to cultural norms as anyone). The day that other women gab about and judge because it was or will be their turn oneday. This new movie coming out, Bride Wars, is one of a million cases that show weddings as women's work. Throwing a party and being a bitch about it. Like so many things, it pits women against women - only in this case that's not a theory or a possible byproduct, it's literal. Maybe this movie is going to be a great piece of camp that pokes fun at the ridiculousness of - not the traditions themselves, necessarily - but our attitudes about the wedding day. The trailers don't make it appear so. They make it look like another flick about white women's perfect white weddings and we'll probably laugh at it but never relate it to our own lives in a meaningful way.

Whew. I've been feeling a rant coming on that had nothing to do with crafts.

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