So many things are booked in now, you’d be forgiven in thinking my appetite for wedding magazines has fizzled away into a well-satiated nibble.
No. It has not.
My newsagent down at North Perth Plaza smacks his lips with delight whenever I walk in. He knows Im not there for just ‘the paper’ and a $10 slikpik lotto ticket.
And I hate myself for it. I know I am not leaving that place without a brick of a wedding magazine (or two, ouch).
But really, what am I looking for?
Tons of white, strapless dresses that would never look good wrapped around my curves? Over the top reception ideas that strangely look like a similar article in the same magazine two issues prior? The same ‘problems’ in the ‘Ask what’s-her-face’ advice column?
Bridal magazines are like your fridge at home.
You open it, hmmm, nothing much in there.
An hour later, you open it again in the hope something delicious has made it’s way in there when you weren’t looking.
The thing is, I want to see something I connect with.
I want to see difference. I want to see quirk. I want to see actual, cool, amazing ideas. I want real advice, like how to handle the first meeting with a celebrant, or what questions do you ask a caterer or baker? How do you negotiate a price?
If I was the editor of a bridal mag, what would it have in it (besides a hunk of Christmas ham that never goes off….. ah, that’s the fridge dilemma, isn’t it?)
Less of the dress
My dressmaker Jules says that a very tiny proportion of the population look good (not great, just good) in a white strapless wedding gown. And yet, that’s the majority of what we see. Her words were ‘they’re dreadful’.
OK, I am Anglo with blue eyes. But I swear to baby cheeses that if a magazine has a ‘special’ on world weddings, I seem to consume that magazine like osmosis. I am addicted to Indian weddings at the moment, not just the colours etc, but the fact these weddings are EVENTS THAT GO FOR DAYS. It’s really interesting to read about. What happens in Russia? Iraq? Samoa? North Korea under the reign of Kim Jong-un?
BTW – I recommend Brides Noir, Munaluchi and African Brides.
I hate the phrase ‘plus size’, how about just ‘size’? Like I just said, hardly anyone looks good in a white, strapless number, so lets get smart and source some amazing dresses with long sleeves (hello Duchess Kate), capped sleeves, Chinese-style necks, sweet shawls and feathery jackets. I’ve seen some amazing styles that never seem to make the magazines.
The Cheap Challenge
My friend Kait modelled a ‘one-size fits all’ wedding dress for a newspaper spread fairly recently. While I can’t imagine something that cost $179 could be perfectly well made or flame retardant, it looked great in the photo and could be a real option for cash-strapped brides.
How about a section that looks at super-affordable options, like buying second-hand, renting a dress, redesigning something your mum or aunty had (like me!) , or even how a cool fashion designer would rework a wedding dress from few resources – such giving a dorky ‘60s neck-to-ankle passion-killer an up-to-date makeover?
It’s not always wonderful in places like Fiji or Greece. I would appreciate a section on the wedding or honeymoon destinations to avoid due to political or civil turmoil.
What’s the first thing you do if you need to postpone or cancel a wedding? I feel bad enough calling in sick at work, let alone making this phone call. How about the reality of the post-wedding blues? Wedding mags won’t tell you that either – but I think that’s got more to do with them peddling perfection and the myth of happy ever after.
Also, every month there would be a cut-out-and-keep section on great comebacks to rude questions you could keep in your bag.
There also has to be a decent section on budgeting. Such as, this is why it’s not a good idea to take a loan out from Cash Converters to pay for your wedding. I came across a sweet piece of advice on how to save money – when Lady Gaga had exploded on to the music scene, this couple decided to put aside $10 whenever they heard a song of hers on the radio. Then their friends got in on the act ‘hey I just heard Bad Romance on Nova – that’s another tenner’.
We had a similar saving plan awhile ago which we had to save every single $5 note we came across. We saved close to $400 in a few weeks.
Anyway, stuff like that makes saving fun and constructive.
If you haven’t read the MasterChef recaps on WAtoday.com.au (yes, I work for the website), they are hilarious. So I would do a similar recap of wedding shows like ‘Four Weddings’, ‘My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding’ or ‘Bridezillas’ and have my friends Julian or Ben write a review on a wedding movie of the month. I would torture them by having them start with ‘A Very Brady Wedding’.
Reduce, reuse, recycle
After the reception is over and the honeymoon has come and gone – now what? Bridal magazines are forgetting those ones that they’ve carried throughout their betrothal and have ceremoniously dumped them into ‘married life’. They’re much too focussed on the next bunch of newly-engaged flossies to be concerned about them. But I want to know.
How do they feel a month or two after the honeymoon? What did they do with their dress? Did they spend that $500 on drycleaning and acid-free packaging, or did they ‘Trash The Dress’? Perhaps they had their dress restyled so it could be more wearable? Maybe they sold or donated it… and how did it feel to have their once-loved white puffball in the arms of another?
I am actually sad for the day I pass these mags to someone else, I sound like I hate them, but I don’t. I want to hate them, but I just can’t leave them alone.
Next thing you know, another genre of magazine is readying themselves to suck me in while the bridal ones spit me out.
What will that be?
Better Homes and Gardens? Delicious (who am I kidding, I already buy this) Cosmo Pregnancy? Scrapbooking Journal? Or Bacon Busters (only for their famous Babes and Boar section, mind).
Whatever it is, I will be a committed, subscribed reader.
And the dance with my newsagency will continue.