Thursday, February 28, 2008

The 1980s Bride

My Bridal Book
Yesterday I shared the Bridal book my mother-in-law passed to me that she had used to plan her own wedding. My Bridal book was given to me by Jo, a friend of my mother's. My book had vivid color pictures and is more a celebration of Brides and the history of weddings. The opening page shows a glowing Princess of Wales with Prince Charles on their wedding day—a sad reminder that often more thought and work is invested in the wedding than in the marriage itself. Of course, at the time my book was given to me no one would have imagined that marriage would end in divorce.

Many interesting (and funny) tidbits are included in the book such as, "In colonial America, two people who shared food in the kitchen were thought to be engaged" and "In colonial America, a girl was allowed to marry at the age of twelve without parental permission." Can you imagine your twelve-year-old announcing "Mother, I'm getting married"? As the mother of a twelve year old, that scares the heebie jeebie's out of me.

My book lists the average wedding cost at $6,009.00 (you will notice that unlike yesterday's list this does not include the bride's or househould's trousseau, but it does include photography.)
  • Bride's gown - $426

  • Bride's veil - $104

  • Invitations, announcements and thank-yous - $200

  • Bouquets and other flowers - $324

  • Photography - $470

  • Music - $369

  • Clergy and Church - $83

  • Limousine - $58

  • Attendant Gifts - $149

  • Wedding Rings - $808

  • Mother of the Bride Apparel - $121

  • Bridal attendants' apparel - $319

  • Men's Formalwear - $230

  • Groom's Attire - $55

  • Rehearsal dinner - $293

  • Reception - $2,000

The estimate for the reception was based on a guest list of 200, or an average of $10.00 per guest.

In the 80s, middle-class Japanese families spent an average of $26,000 for a wedding. The bride and groom might descend from the ceiling amid dry ice clouds, the bride changing as many as four times. Most of the gifts of money went to the parents to defray the cost.

My friend Stacy who asked that I make sure to photograph the wedding cake at the wedding we are going to this weekend. Stacy runs her own business making beautiful cakes, so that is of great interest to her. I find myself enjoying the cakes myself. The tradition of the wedding cake goes back to ancient Rome where, rather than the elaborate confections we enjoy today, they broke a biscuit or wheat cake and fed the first morsel to their new spouse. The traditional bridal cake as we know it first appeared around the time of the War between the States here in America. I love the drama that Rita Hayworth brought to her wedding—instead of a tradional knife she cut her wedding cake with a glass sword!

Yes, I love weddings, but some brides do take it over the top. Such as the bride who had dreamed of her wedding cake all her life—a full size likeness of herself. You can see the pictures on my husbands blog. I have to ask where is her new husband in all this fantasy? We are brought up that it is our day, but that should include our grooms.

1 comment:

DebMc said...

I was a professional wedding photographer during the 80s. What fun memories you stirred up. Yep, I did plenty of $500 dollar photo packages. Within ten years, that price had skyrocketed.

I used to tell my bridal clients that it was not the wedding day, but happily ever after that mattered.