Country Life has its knickers in a knot over weddings. Not all weddings – just the big glitzy, three day affairs with the doves and the pugs.
It is demanding moderation, nay restraint, warning couples that weddings have turned into “the nuptial equivalent of an arms race”. You betcha.
This is indeed true, and I probably agree with most of what they say, as the ladies here at The Conservative Woman are absolute paragons of virtue and self-restraint, are we not?
The magazine recalls wistfully, how things were in the days of yore – our parents’ time – when nay there were no ring-bearing pugs nor doves but instead, “the happy couple will have married at a time when a stag night comprised a couple of pints in the pub, the most extravagant item on the wedding list was a canteen of cutlery, and the guests were home by teatime. An evening party was the exception, not the rule.”
True, true, and what could be the difference between the days of yore that we mourn and today? Why – back then, in the golden days, pretty much everyone got married, in their twenties. Today, by contrast, the numbers continue to decline and it is almost impossible to be middle class and married in your twenties.
But I’ll let you in to a secret as to the cause of such huge weddings.
Yes, much of it is just plain showing off, especially by the celebs. And who are we to judge them – if they want to blow a million quid on a wedding (or a lot more) bring it on. Here’s to trickledown economics.
The second cause is the decline of religion. As so few people these days are truly religious all the glitz is there to fill the gaping whole inside. Mind you, that is not to say people who are very religious will not have a big ‘traditional’ wedding. They will because matrimony is a very big deal, a sacrament no less, and thus needs to be marked appropriately.
The third cause is relief. These days, brides are so damned relived to be finally getting married this relief transforms them into bridezillas demanding a massive wedding.
In truth, the modern bride may have spent her twenties something like this. For much of this crucial decade (when they are at their hottest) they called themselves feminists and ranted on about the patriarchy, repelling every decent guy around. Or they hooked up only with the bad guys, ignoring all the kind ones on their way.
Suddenly they are staring down the barrel of thirty and realise their feminism is a turn off, manage to channel their inner, kinder self, find one of the half decent guys left and wrap up the whole deal somewhere between 30 – 35. These ladies are the lucky ones, but none the less, the wedding must be one of total all out celebration marking the achievement of dodging the feminist propaganda and bagging their man.
Then there is the woman who, for one reason or another, let herself be strung along by the man who just would not commit. Marriage was not for him or it was ‘just a piece of paper.’ Eventually, said woman wises up and dumps him, promising only to date serious contenders. Finally, after taking wise counsel from her married (conservative) friends she does also date and marry the man of her dreams.
Again, the relief is palpable; again the pugs and doves must be purchased along with the 6ft ice sculpture. This day – or three days – are hers. She has waited long enough for it and she is damn well going to enjoy it. As her single friends look on enviously, they vow, one day it will be them and this only feeds the cycle.
So good luck to Country Life and their quest for moderation. I doubt it will succeed in the current climate. But it is worth a try.