Say yes to the man, not the dress…


Say Yes to The Man, Not The Dress

Last night, I’m slightly embarrassed to say, I got a strange urge to watch reality TV. I had never before experience this type of urge, but going with my gut I searched Netflix’s library until I found a reality show I deemed interesting. My pick:  “Say Yes to the Dress.”

Being the type of girly woman that I consider myself to be, I have a fixation with looking at wedding dresses. I just love looking at the different styles, different fabrics, even different colors of wedding dresses out there. I do not know why this is, but it makes me happy–as I am sure it makes most people happy– to look a beautiful things, even if I can’t have them.

If you have never watched “Say Yes to the Dress,” the show is centered around an elite, New York-based wedding dress shop which holds a huge collection of wedding dresses ranging from $1,000 to $30,000. During each twenty-minute episode the show follows different sales consultants who help future brides with trying on and picking their wedding dress.

As I was watching the first few episodes of the show I noticed a recurring theme in the interviews and voice overs of both brides and sales consultants. Most of the women in this show seemed to honestly believe that their wedding day was going to be the most important day of their lives and, of course, the wedding dress could either make or brake that day.

I know that this show is about wedding dresses, therefore the focus of the show is the wedding dress rather than the wedding. That’s fair.

The purpose of this article is not to bash “Say Yes to the Dress” but to make a distinction I believe anyone who watches this show should be aware of.

I understand, and completely agree, with the notion that a wedding day is a very important day. I also understand why most brides and grooms want this day to be as close to perfect as possible; it’s just too important and memorable a day to not plan it with care. But what I think is lost in some of the women in “Say Yes to the Dress” is that a wedding day is important because of the ritual of marriage itself, not because of the grand party, or the delicious cake, or even the bride’s outfit. A wedding is the celebration of two people coming together out of love and respect for each other, to willingly commit to spend the rest of their lives together. A wedding celebrates these two people and the commitment they make, and that is what is so important about this day.

 As I was watching the show a sales consultant was talking to the camera about how much she loved watching brides get excited about their dresses and how much she had loved the feeling herself when she had tried her own wedding dress for her first marriage. Then she said something along the lines of wanting to get married again and again and again in order to feel that excitement of choosing a wedding dress more than once in her life-time.

I worry about this kind of talk. I worry that girls and women out there watch this and agree with the sales consultant. I worry because this line of thinking makes marriage seem like nothing more than an excuse for a woman to pamper herself with a grand party and a gorgeous dress.

A couple’s wedding day should be more than that. A wedding should not be though of as the end towards which one has worked so hard for. A wedding should be though of as a beginning because it is; a wedding day is the beginning of a marriage and a marriage should be thought of as a life long commitment.

So while I completely understand a bride wanting to look her best and a couple wanting to have beautiful things surrounding them when they make this life-long commitment, all of those things are ultimately non-essential. A bride could be wearing jeans and a t-shirt, but that does not mean her commitment is less meaningful.

A wedding day is the means to a very important end: a happy, fulfilling life with one’s partner. Not the other way around.

The pictures in this article were provided by Free Digital Photos

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