5 Things I hate about the Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC)



Yay! I can't believe I am getting married in over 2 months. I am so very blessed to be spending my life with Cecilio. We met 10 years ago, and little did we know we would end up together. And to boot, we are going to have a gorgeous and fun wedding. As my friend Nalee said, it's going to be "lit".


Cecilio and I have been visualizing the day, discussing the details and logistics, and executing the visual aspects. We are having a traditional, yet modern and romantic wedding. It was important to us: him because he is the oldest and the only guy, and me because I am the last in my family to get married (my younger sister has autism, so she wouldn't be able to). And because I am a total girly-girl at heart and have been dreaming of it since I was 6.

However, it's not without its flaws. We did succumb a little bit to the Wedding Industrial Complex (WIC for short).

The WIC tells you that your wedding will be the best day of your life, and it is, no doubt. But the WIC also tells you that you have to have the most expensive decor, dress, etc., and that it has to look Pinterest-Perfect or as if it were straight out of BRIDES Magazine, or else it will look and be shitty.

So far, wedding planning for us has been fun though stressful at times. It's enjoyable for us to plan together. But there are somethings about the WIC I abhor, like:

1. Tell a cake baker/makeup artist/florist that you need a product or service for your wedding, they charge you 5x more than they would for any other regular event
That's why sometimes it's advised to lie about what you need said product or service for. I don't agree with this, since it is unethical and sometimes the vendors will find out. And I guess I understand why. For example, for business conferences, birthday parties, and even proms, there's a vision for the atmosphere. The florist will execute that vision, but there's a little bit of leeway. For weddings, that vision is so tightly-specified. I sometimes tell Cecilio that I want to be a wedding planner, and he said,"Don't. We are one of the easiest couples [that vendors dealt with]." The pressure is higher for brides and grooms...and it's worse when families are involved and have their own vision too. Don't just forget about centerpieces: there's also the bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, flower crowns, and now, the trendy flower wall. Those take time to create, and labor + time  = money.

2. Lack of diversity in wedding marketing materials
Pick up a bridal magazine or check out @theknot or @howheasked Instagram pages, and you will mostly see couples that fit the already-conventional standards of beauty: thin, heterosexual and white. Sure, they have been better about including LGBT couples, sprinkling couples of color, and plus-sized brides. But they are still few and far between. I could go on and on about this. I remember being frustrated as a newly-engaged woman because I hardly saw couples that looked like Cecilio or I, and therefore didn't represent us. My heart broke when I read this article from A Practical Wedding here: a black bride feeling underrepresented, and sensing that potential vendors were not comfortable with her skin color.  

"Here’s the thing: Black women fall in love. Just like every other race of people. Unfortunately, the bridal industry is extremely white, and I felt this especially strongly getting married in Portland, Oregon this past May. Wedding magazines, bridal conventions, local wedding vendors, and wedding blogs are all wrapped tightly in an organza veil of whiteness. Pick up any mainstream bridal magazine and I can guarantee there will be maybe one or two Black brides—if any at all—and one of them will be a model. Either of those brides will likely have pin-straight hair and be thin with a light complexion. Forget about seeing a buxom bride like myself with kinky hair and a fat ass. It is simply not going to happen."

Even in so-called progressive Portland, there is still subtle racism, and the WIC is no exception.

3. A pretty wedding > loved ones
God I love A Practical Wedding, because they do give solid advice while maintaining your vision. They remind you in their articles how people come first. The WIC tells you that if you want all of the peonies and those chiavari chairs, then you have to cut down your guest list. I admit that I struggled with this too: of course I wanted peonies! They are the "it" flowers for brides and fashion bloggers. Hell, I didn't even know that peonies were more popular (and expensive) than roses until I got engaged. I almost had them in my bouquet until I saw that it jacked up the price of them. And yes, I want those chiavari chairs and gold charger plates. But I know with a medium/large-sized guest list and an expensive venue, it was simply not going to happen. I would eyeroll when my mom wanted to add more people to the list (and whoever pays gets a say, but thankfully Cecilio and I have been contributing too). I'm not close to these people anymore, I thought. Why do they need to come?! They don't care about us, they just want to come for the free food and bar! Also, I've been feeling anxious about being the center of attention. However, last year, I started reconnecting with relatives and family friends even after not seeing them for years. I slowly started developing a change of heart. These people have impacted me, my mom, Cecilio and his parents in some way or another. And while I am still nervous about being in the spotlight as a bride, it's really sinking in my head right now what truly matters (even though I knew it, now I am comprehending it). This (and my funeral) will be the only time where Cecilio and I have EVERYONE we love in a room. And our kickass DJ will set the fun, energetic vibe. And no one will care that we have dahlias and ranunculus instead of peonies. And I feel like having our family and friends share our special day will make us closer.

4. Your dress is from David's Bridal?! Eww, that is like the Walmart of wedding dresses!
I said Yes to the Dress in David's Bridal. Even though my dress is gorgeous and princess-like, I can't help but feel insecure sometimes because I didn't go to a boutique and get Maggie Sottero, Allure Bridals, or Pnina Tornai. I've heard others trash-talk David's, comparing it to Walmart just because it's not covered with Swarovski crystals or Italian hand-crafted lace, and because there is no champagne popping experience (though my mom would've loved that). I guess the Walmart comparison stems from the fact that there are more affordable dresses, and that a lot of brides have had terrible experience with David's. I have had nothing but exceptional service from David's in Sacramento, and they have an average of 4.1 stars on Yelp. I just don't like how other brides turn their noses up at David's, saying it's tacky, etc. I am far from tacky. There was even a wedding blogger who dissed David's, saying that real fashionistas would go for a real Zac Posen or Vera Wang number, not the David's Zac Posen or Vera Wang collections. I love the wide variety of styles and price ranges there. I've heard stories about plus-sized brides getting mistreated at the boutiques. There are very rare exceptions though, like Sparkle Bridal Couture in Sacramento, which only sells plus-sized wedding dresses. And I did try out a few dresses at a boutique, and NONE of them looked good on me at all. And this was a boutique that primarily got 5-star ratings.

5. It's all about the bride!
Um, the whole point of a wedding is that it's about joining 2 people. Where is the groom in this picture? Sure, I know that a lot of grooms' ideas of fun doesn't revolve around planning a fairytale event. But there are a few that want to voice their opinions, and even help the bride. Sometimes, *gasp*, it's the groom who wants the big, traditional hullabaloo when the bride prefers a simple affair. Cecilio and I went together to meet with our ceremony and venue coordinators, photographer, videographer, DJ and cake baker. The only part he wasn't involved in was the florist and obviously seeing my dress. He's even spray painted the frames for our centerpieces! It has been truly a blessing to have him just as involved. But we are a team, and the WIC tends to forget that there's another party. And don't forget, it's not just about the both of them: The ceremony is for the couple, and the reception is a "thank you for coming" gift to the guests.



11 comments :

  1. I completely agree with number 1, I'm finding that so much at the moment! So exciting that you've only got two months to go! x
    A Blushing Beauty Blog

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  2. I totally agree with these, i tried on a prom dress in black 'for size' they said it came in ivory for literally double the price! X

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    1. oh gosh, really? Because a lot of brides get white prom or bridesmaid dresses to save money, but I guess dress designers are catching on to that!

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  3. Wedding is one of the biggest cut throat business out there, it's a money machine. The crazy prices and ridiculous family demands to the point it became all about showing off to others are the reasons why my husband and I decided to put our foot down and made it an extremely small and intimate celebration. It's the second marriage for the both of us so we want it to become a celebration of us instead of the whole shebang.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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    1. I would've loved to have my guest list in the double digit numbers, but with a big family on my side, and tons of family friends, it was not going to happen. Plus, my mom is paying for a good chunk so she gets a good say on who is invited. Lets hope that this is all worth the stress!

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  4. I can't believe your wedding is only two months away. I remember I started reading your blog when it was still over one and a half years off and it felt so distant, and now here you are so close! I wish you and Cecilio all the best! :)
    http://carolinapage.eu

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    1. Aww thanks for sticking it out, reading my blog! Time truly has gone by!

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  5. Wow it is so exciting that you are only two months away from your wedding day. You should not feel bad about your selection of your wedding dress, in my opinion, this day should be a celebration of love and two people joining their lives together and dreaming about their future. I would love to buy a romantic simple dress and I usually browse Asos or brands that are not experts in wedding dresses but I don't care, if I find something I like, I will definitely buy it. It doesn't have to be a Vera Wang or a Pnina Tornai and cost thousands. I hope your wedding day is your best day!

    Yiota
    PinkDaisyLoves

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    1. Thank you so much! Well, David's Bridal gets a bad reputation no matter what, even ASOS, J Crew and Nordstrom gets more respect! It's really sad. But I love my dress and it was the only one that made me feel like a princess-y bride and I know my fiancé will bowl over!

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  6. Love hearing your post/ rant about the wedding industrial complex! I share your same sentiment that most bridal magazines, books feature the same tall, thin, caucasian women instead of embracing diversity in race and sexual orientation.
    XO, Yasmin
    http://bit.ly/IAMYASMIN

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  7. Wow congratulations on your upcoming wedding! What an exciting time for you! =)


    - Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

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