In this expose, Mead takes us through the various elements of an American wedding and examines how the concept of tradition has been corrupted, and transformed into a new form, often guided by the desires of the now common concept of a Bridezilla. This book is a look into the multi-million dollar wedding industry inspired by the growing Bridezilla culture and how the entire process of planning a wedding has altered over generations.
There isn’t much about Bridezilla in the book, just more about how one day in a couple’s life together is trivialized with overly ornate and irrelevant elements that are now deemed as part of a “traditional wedding”. The author’s disdain for marriage ceremonies with even a hint of grandiose was a turn-off for me (to be fair, her disdain is aimed at the vendors, not the consumers). Although I can understand why she wrote about the certain locations, people and types of ceremonies, I do think she veered as far into the culture of cheesy and fake as she could get to make her point. It wasn’t until the last chapter on destination weddings, and the epilogue about Mead’s own experiences planning her wedding where I really began to appreciate and like the book.
The book could have used some editing though. Some of the sentences and chapters dragged on, and I had to go back and re-read them just to remind myself of what she was talking about. It also would have been nice to have more variety in anecdotes to balance all the information. There is a lot of information in this book, so it requires a lot of close reading.
I think the most important message to come out of this book is that the actual meaning and importance of a marriage get lost in all the commotion of planning the ceremony. I think couples planning their wedding should read this book to look for ways to trim the fat and excess from their wedding and really focus on what the marriage means to them.
I don’t think I would have planned my wedding any differently had I read this book before I got married. My ceremony and reception where low-key affairs as was most of the planning. The book did cement a lot of my concerns of “just why do I need to do this for my wedding?” that I had in the planning stages, and I feel more justified for having cut certain elements out of the ceremony & reception.