Last week, I made a promise that I intend to keep:
Well, dear reader, that day has arrived. I find it quite fitting that Adam Ruins Everything popped up in my Facebook newsfeed as I pondered the theme of this blog. Adam’s brand of info-tainment is a lot of fun to watch, often pushing a narrative which counters the “American” norm . The first time Adam showed up in my life, he explored the diamond ring industry, and the second time, he slammed the wedding industry. Ten points to the reader who notices a common theme (there are actually two, and both are essential aspects of today’s topic)!
Since we’re keeping within the theme of my blog, I think the first is pretty obvious – wedding. The second theme is industry. That leaves us with one more letter in WIC… So what does the “C” stand for? Unfortunately, not I nor my fiancé’s surnames, but good guess! It stands for complex.
WIC = Wedding Industrial Complex
A number of great wedding blogs have discussed this idea at length, such as A Practical Wedding, and Offbeat Bride (whose post is a bit more ironic). Interest in this term has also waned over time, peaking in March, 2005 (as based on Google Trends from 2004 to present). However, I think it encompasses the essence of what many brides and grooms experience on the wedding-planning journey.
Briefly, it describes the close relationship between weddings and the wedding industry and is adapted from military-industrial complex of Eisenhower fame.
What it means to me is that there is a complex relationship between what you want and what the industry tells you you want. At the end of the day, wedding industry experts are here to make a living, and running a profitable business is part and parcel to that. However, there are a lot of things expected at weddings that have been pushed forward as part of a larger, commercialized narrative. The Wedding is a commodity, and an extension of some excellent marketing campaigns affecting not only you, but your family and friends. After all, with the “once in a lifetime” motto, it should come as no surprise that we can fall into an extravagant black hole.
Do not get me wrong, I love to find myself some Pinspiration (and yes, I started pinning before I got engaged #noshame), but if you tally up how much all those divine ideas cost, you will probably give yourself a complex about how your wedding will never measure up.
Now, I am not sitting here telling you what your wedding should look like, but I also think that it is important to sit down and explore your vision. – do you really need to spend $3000 on hand-lettered (but exquisite) menu cards for 100 tables? I sure cannot. Beyond the fact that it would completely blow our budget, it is also something that is not very important to us as a couple. At the end of the day, what we choose to spend our money on is a reflection of our personalities, values, and identity as a couple (and those expensive menu cards just do not fit us).
What will your wedding say about you?