What’s the Wedding Industrial Complex?

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Engagement Ring Luxury Tax Monopoly
Photo by: Philip Taylor

Have you heard of this term, the Wedding Industrial Complex? I certainly didn’t make it up, but I used it in my book… it’s a cheeky spin on the term Military–industrial complex, and basically summarizes up the feeling some brides have of facing down a huge industry that’s built to get you to spend more money in whatever way it can… often using methods that are exploitative and cynical.

(Some people shorten Wedding Industrial Complex to “WIC,” but I find acronyms alienating… so I don’t do that.)

An Offbeat Bride reader named theelusiven shared this imaginary conversation with “The WIC”:

Wedding Industrial Complex: Hi! Great to see you! You know, you’ve only been wearing that engagement ring for over a year now. You owe it to your friends to get married soon. They aren’t going to be around forever, you know. You don’t want to wait until you’re a fat old embittered hag of a career woman who can’t pop out the babies anymore, because he’ll leave you for the Emperor’s Club!

Me: ::sigh:: No, not right now. I’m just taking a look at some informal wedding dresses to take a break from deconstructing Article III. Don’t go getting your hopes up.

WIC: ::grumbles:: Okay! There’s this dress: see how pretty it is, with the flounces! And the train! You’re not a real woman if it’s not bright-white and floor length, and he’ll think you’re so beautiful with that extra few yards of cloth dragging the ground and slowly turning black!

The funniest thing about the Wedding Industrial Complex? Now that I’ve written a wedding book and run a wedding blog… I AM TOTALLY A PART OF IT! I always laugh a little now when people rail against the evil wedding industry on Offbeat Bride because, well… we may not be evil, but this website is absolutely part of the wedding industry! Trying to make it a little less complex, and a little less evil, every day…

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