Bridal Magazines

When I was in high school, we had this thing we did called the Buckle Game, named after a store in the mall. The goal of the game was to be able to walk from the entrance of the store, touch the back wall and walk back out again without being asked if you needed help by at least two clerks. It was an extremely difficult game because, from what I can remember, they worked almost entirely on commission and any potential sale was of the most dire importance. I can only remember one instance where somebody actually won. You could sometimes see a couple of clerks starting to circle before anyone got to the wall. It could be almost tragic in a ‘we’re-teens-in-a-mall-playing-a-mall-game’ kind of way.

Since we’ve been engaged, almost every time Sylvia goes to her mom’s house, she brings home at least two to three bridal magazines. It eventually became our own little Buckle game where I’d guess how many she’d come home with and it was always at least a couple. I might be showing just how out of touch with reality I am, but I don’t understand how so much content is created and printed so frequently. I do understand that people are getting married all the time, but I’m more and more convinced that there are more wedding magazines than fashion magazines which doesn’t add up because not that many people are getting married all the time, right? Fashion magazines seem more every day to me, but your wedding is something you plan over several months working toward a single day. Anyway, that said, Diane did pick a few of them up in other countries when she was traveling, but I still have a hard time parsing the concept that there are enough weddings out that it needs that much coverage and attention.

As they’ve become more of a consistent part of our household, I’ve learned a couple of things about wedding magazines. First is that they’re stupidly large! Seriously! They’re hundreds of pages each! It’s like somebody with a fetish for phone books hooked up with someone who likes pretty pictures and had babies. Lots and lots of babies. That’s actually the second thing going back to my previous paragraph; there are so many of the damn things! We’ve probably had at least 15-30 of them come through the apartment in total. So far.

Thirdly, easily more than 75% of most wedding magazines (including ads) are all about dresses. I understand that you want a great dress and there’s so much time spent fantasizing about what you’ll look like, but this is just something that I don’t experience. The closest I can come to that is occasionally there’s a t-shirt online that I’m sad that I can’t ever purchase, even though it’s probably a really good thing (side note, this is the one exception. I would totally purchase this if I could). The side effect of so many dresses is that Sylvia has a problem with having too many options that she likes. Sure, a large amount of content is great for generating ideas or possibly serving as a springboard to something else great, but a lot of it seems like white noise, at least from my perspective. It’s entirely possible that my perspective just isn’t up to the task of understanding the wonder of poring over hundreds and hundreds of photos looking for that one perfect idea.

Fourthly, I actually get kind of jealous that there are just so many things in these magazines geared towards brides. Sometimes I’d like to be able to pick up a gender swapped concept that’s all about whatever it is that a groom might actually want to look at. You know, to give us some ideas on the whole mystery of weddings or what we can do to look our best or maybe advice on how to handle particularly tricky family/guest situations. I’m sure that a lot of that is already in bridal magazines, but I have a hard time picking one up with the thought in mind that there’s anything geared toward me in there. It’d be a great idea that I’m not convinced would actually sell, which is probably why it doesn’t exist, but still. Sure, there are ultra-pale/thin models showing off a couple of suit ideas in the magazines that Sylvia picks up, but there isn’t much of an emphasis on variation or creativity. Maybe we do get a bit of a tradeoff in the fact that we’ll be able to wear whatever on the big day and then be able to wear it again whenever as opposed to something maybe a bit more fashion that’ll never be seen outside of a garment bag again, but still.

As a guy, there is a bit of comfort in the fact that we’re not getting bombarded by questions or ideas or any number of everything else, but it’s kind of unfair that we don’t even really have the option to be overwhelmed in the same way that our brides are. Maybe I’m just a bit confused/mislead by popular culture, but I still think it’d be great for a guy to one day pick up a groom magazine off the shelf and exclaim, “what do you mean I have so many suit/tie/suspender options?”


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