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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review--One Perfect Day

This isn't a new book, but it's an interesting read for anyone who has a wedding-related business.

One Perfect Day: The Selling Of The American Wedding by Rebecca Mead is a look at how the American way of getting married has been commercialized and transformed into a huge industry, partly as a response to the changing role of marriage in American society. It was published in 2007, and I read it then.

I remember that when I first read it I was offended at parts of it, since I didn't see a lot of the blatant commercialization that she was describing in my area. However, four years later I'm seeing it, and it can get pretty disgusting.

As someone whose business deals with weddings, I've noticed a huge shift in the "wedding industry" landscape in the past couple of years. There's much more selling to businesses in the form of seminars, magazines telling you how to market to brides, consultants willing to maximize your website traffic, etc.

One person speculated that this is because a lot of people lost their jobs during the recession and created their own businesses instead, so there's more business-to-business selling. Someone else theorizes that it's because of the explosion of wedding-related tv shows. From cakes to planning to brides behaving badly, weddings are all over the popular culture scene.

In addition, there's a much larger emphasis in recent years on the "styling" of weddings and people telling brides what they HAVE to have to achieve that "one perfect day." The faked-wedding photo shoots that show up all over the internet are a prime example of this. Brides are told that they have to achieve a level of detail that requires an army of coordinators and stylists (which I find strange to begin with) in order to impress their guests.

Regardless of the reason for the change, I think that this book is an interesting read, especially for brides. It's important to remind yourself during the Getting-Sucked-Into-The-Wedding-Machine process what you think the wedding is actually FOR.

When Ms. Mead asked a group of brides what the wedding was for, they had a hard time answering. That's pretty pathetic, but it shows that there's a lot of pressure put on brides to achieve an image that's been put out there solely to sell them something. Instead of focusing on the wedding they're focusing on the package that's being presented to them as what they "should" do.

This book is available on Amazon...If you want to give it a shot keep an open mind! I thought that a lot of her perspective was biased toward having a courthouse wedding and keeping it totally simple, which obviously isn't for everyone. A lot of the things that she looks at do make a lot of sense, though, so it was an interesting book to read.

Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, custom wedding cakes in Richmond VA

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