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The 3 dark wedding industry secrets I unearthed at a mainstream bridal show

Shortly after my engagement, a friend who was also planning a wedding gently dragged me to a big bridal show in Atlanta. I knew it wouldn't be the most exciting experience for me. Still, I figured what's the harm? Maybe I'll find a booth that inspires me. Maybe it'll be a little fun, expand my horizons. Maybe there'd even be free champagne? There was no free champagne. And it wasn't fun. Instead, there were three big secrets I unearthed about the wedding industry from the one and only big bridal show I attended…

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Do you hide your wedding media before you're actually engaged?

I was wondering if anyone has tackled the question of having wedding paraphernalia (e.g. magazines, etc.) in the home of a pre-engaged couple, if said couple has talked about marriage. Just curious if there are thoughts on etiquette. I have two camps of friends Those that think I shouldn't hide anything and if I feel the need to, there's something wrong. And those that say "Don't show him! You'll scare him!" I'm curious to know everyone's thoughts on this topic.

51

Why the Wedding Industrial Complex's "helpful" lists burn my biscuits

Oh, hi there, Wedding Industry. So we meet again. Mind if we sit down? I'd like to have a little chat with you. I don't like this trend of "funny" and "helpful" wedding planning "articles." Those sarcastic, mean-spirited articles that are meant to be "helpful tips" to new brides talking about how much wedding planning sucks and if you don't feel bad about yourself and your life while you're planning your wedding, you should hate yourself. Oh, Wedding Industry, I know you think they're funny. But they're not. They're passive aggressive and mean-spirited and downright hurtful.

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There is no THE DRESS: getting over the fantasy, and accepting the awesome reality

After five days passed and I still hadn't tried on the dress, it became evident that I was afraid to try on the dress again. I was afraid that I would put on the dress and would see it in the harsh light of reality, proving that I had made a massive mistake. It wasn't so much the fact that the dress cost nearly quadruple the price of the other dresses I'd looked at that made the possibility of the mistake so scary. It was the idea that I had let myself be manipulated into making that mistake by the Wedding Industrial Complex.

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An ode to the cookie cutter: why a "wedding factory" works for me

I can't lie; part of me has struggled with the fact that I am not completely being a build-it-yourself "budget bride" like I had anticipated I would be. I'm letting myself splurge on a little luxury — the luxury of not having to fret about every little detail and allowing people who know what they're doing take the reins. Even though there will be plenty of opportunities for personal creativity in the ceremony, garb, décor, and atmosphere… I still feel a little bit like a sell-out.

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Losing my mother and honoring her memory through my own offbeat wedding

I have taken so much joy (if that's even the right word) in seeing how other Offbeat Brides have made touching, bittersweet acknowledgements of those who can only be there with them in spirit. It seems that those rituals are surprisingly absent from "traditional" wedding magazines and blogs. My mom passed away almost two years ago, but my parents didn't get married until four days before she died. And I know that being a part of that wedding has empowered me to craft an offbeat wedding that I can proudly take ownership of.

19

What bridal magazines can do to ANYONE

How does this video only have 75 views? We don't normally share sketch videos, but this one is about about how, sometimes, guys can get way more sentimental about wedding planning than girls. Give the video two minutes, and behold the full-frontal mind-fuck that bridal magazines can pull on ANYONE. "Ooh, this one looks like a grotto! Like a magical fairy mermaid grotto…"

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Reconciling marriage as a feminist: Does everything about the wedding have to be a feminist battle?

I feel that each of the choices we make for our wedding need to be conscious choices. We need to weigh the comfort of tradition against the statement (overt or otherwise) that it may make. Not every feminist wedding is going to look the same — and certainly one can be a feminist and have a more "traditional" wedding. I don't decide who is a feminist and who is not — I only get to determine how my feminism manifests itself.

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Wedding junk mail: When life gives you garbage, make confetti!

With my marketing and public relations background, I really should have known that once I started calling vendors, my name would wind up on someone's mailing list. For the last several weeks, I have been receiving regular junk mail from my area's WIC staple vendors. So I've come up with several solutions of what to do with all that gross junk mail…