Monday, June 19, 2006

The "perfect" crime...

If one more person tells me how fortunate I am to be working with couples as their weddings draw near, I swear I will barf. Most people equate the engagement period with over-flowing feelings of love, excitement and joy. What outsiders don't seem to understand is that overshadowing these glorious emotions is a grey cloud of hysteria, anxiety and a media-imposed pressure to have the perfect, most unforgettable and original wedding ever planned.

It is a crime to pair the words "perfect" and "wedding" in the same sentence. Something's bound to go wrong when you bring together a dozen vendors, the unpredictability of Mother Nature, two pushy mothers, a penny-pinching father, a fed-up groom and a neurotic bride hell-bent on one-upping her best friend's wedding. I can think of a slew of words that would describe this most uncomfortable of scenarios, but "perfect" is certainly not among them.

Don't get me wrong. I love to plan events and I get a thrill each time I coordinate a wedding. What needs to change, for the sake of everyone involved in the wedding-planning process, are the unachievable expectations heaved upon the bride the moment she and her fiance announce their engagement.

Who is responsible for setting these ridiculous standards of success? I blame the media for starting the wedding paranoia avalanche. Open any thick, glossy, ad-packed wedding magazine and you will be bombarded with words like "perfect", "unforgettable", and "original" constantly repeated throughout the 300+ pages of the publication.

Phrases like "the most important day of your life", "the event your guests will be talking about for years to come" and "the big day" are purposely weaved into every article to create glaring feelings of imperfection and need that can only be temporarily subdued by purchasing the items prominently displayed in the magazine. Acquiring the latest trend in over-priced wedding gowns, purchasing the most novel wedding favors and choosing the "perfect" wedding bands are all activities that give the bride a false sense of accomplishment...And keep the bridal magazine industry's pockets lined with cash.

When the effect of finding the "perfect" dress and the "most original" favors wears off, the bride turns her unbridled neurosis to the ceremony and reception. In the next few posts, I will share a few unforgetable stories of brides going off the deep end in their insatiable quest to have the "perfect" wedding.