Cost of getting hitched

Say Yes To The Dress

The latest among the Weird Things That Kiri Watches™ is 'Say Yes To The Dress' which I've been watching on Youtube lately just for background noise and general entertainment. The show is basically where brides-to-be shop for their perfect wedding dresses for that special day, in a very small nutshell. Plus drama and whatnot. It's all very glamourous and wonderful, but what sometimes isn't is the price tag.

At first the whole show seems in many ways shallow, but I do have to admire the artful way in which the staff at the store are able to gauge exactly what their customers are looking for with (often) conflicting information and their patience in catering towards their customers needs as well as how they deal with problem customers - usually some of the guests which the bride-to-be has brought along. They negotiate and try to compromise and have great respect for the bride's wishes. Their customer service is indeed quite admirable and a lot can be learned from them. But I digress.

Ignoring the issue of 'is marriage that important in the first place?' (something for another discussion), let's go in and look at the price of a wedding. It's interesting that amongst the cost of hosting the wedding itself which can be tens of thousands of dollars in catering, venue hire and decorations, and who knows what else besides; these brides are spending even more money on their 'perfect' dress for the occasion.

Pnina dresses

The dresses on this show don't come cheaply - the lowest price bracket would probably be around one thousand dollars without discount where there isn't a lot of option as to the style you want the dress unless you start getting into the five to ten thousand range and above. Clearly we are dealing in designer fashion here, highly customised dresses that are touted as unique and one of a kind - though not so much so if they come in different sizes (this is usually the case for sample dresses). I hadn't heard of Pnina Tornai until today, but now I have. As for alterations to the gown... that's another whole other cup of tea! Or brick of gold, as it were.

In any case, they say that since it's a special day that only happens once in their lives, the cost is justified. They want to look perfect and feel beautiful and sexy on their wedding day. To choose their dress, they need to love it - to fall in love with it as much as they love their fiancee. To know that this is the ONE. While I understand their sentiment, I don't necessarily share it. What makes the occasion special is not the garment you wear but who you share it with - but each to their own, of course.

If nothing else, this show has reminded me how I wouldn't particularly want to go through the great fuss a wedding can be. I have to admit though, since I've been in high school, I've been harbouring dreams of a traditional Chinese wedding. While I wouldn't necessarily kill to wear the traditional gown and headdress, I do admire the tradition behind it even for someone who isn't by any means traditional. The thought of carrying on those traditions is somehow attractive, yet such pomp and attention-seeking activity is something I would rather shy away from.

Hatsune Miku Ichigo Shiromuku

If you asked me to picture a wedding dress these days, my image of it now would be greatly Japanese influenced. Although more and more people all over the world are increasingly Westernised in their wedding ceremonies - the bride wears a white dress and the groom wears a tuxedo - I like to hail back to more traditional roots. The outfit the Hatsune Miku Ichigo Shiromuku Nendroid wears is the outfit that comes to my mind when I think bridal - it's a close match to the female traditional Japanese wedding outfit and even has the added element of red not present in that video.

I have to admit I don't know much about traditional Japanese wedding ceremonies themselves though, but the simplicity of the Japanese outfit, the similarities of the Japanese outfit with the Chinese outfit (depends which time period!) plus a general liking of Japanese fashion seems to steer me in this direction regardless. I guess that's no real guarantee of this option being cheap either though. Unless you are going to get married at a registry, you are going to encounter a pretty hefty cost one way or another, I suppose.

Still... $11,000 for a dress is still somewhat ridiculous especially when you don't even want to spend $15 on jeans.