The bride glides down the aisle in a crisp, white mermaid-like gown. Swarovski crystals on the bodice glimmer beneath the cathedral’s chandeliers. Her train sweeps petals from the floor as Wagner’s bridal chorus hums throughout the room. Her husband-to-be lifts her veil and tells her how beautiful she is while a misty eyed crowd looks on in admiration.
If you bought into this scenario, you are one of the many Americans who are obsessed with weddings. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, I fall into this demographic as well. The matrimonial trend has inspired a slew of reality shows including “Say Yes to the Dress,” “Four Weddings” and, the most recent, “Kim Kardashian’s Fairytale Wedding,” which became a trending topic on Twitter Sunday night.
What is it with our generation that makes it okay to watch a show about trying on dozens of white dresses until the perfect one is found? Plain and simple, it’s the Cinderella complex. Women want the fairy tale wedding complete with a customized dress and over-the-top decorations. Think about it; how many girls do you know that have planned their dream wedding by age five? By then, most girls have mapped out every detail of their dream day; All that’s missing is the groom.
It’s great that we’re keeping the institution of marriage alive, but the focus of these shows clearly isn’t the marriage, itself. It’s all about the bride’s ceremony. While our grandparents’ generation was criticized for over-romanticized perceptions of love, our generation has killed the emphasis on relationships and adopted an overly glamourized view of weddings. Traditional questions like “How did you guys meet? Was it love at first sight?” have now been replaced with “What was the theme of your wedding?” and “What did your dress look like?”
I’m not one to knock extravagance or the idea of a dream wedding, but when these themes start to obscure the meaning of marriage, it’s time for a reality check. Cinderella is just a story, people, not real life. This means if you really want to want to live happily ever after, marry for love, not for marriage.