Thursday, April 5, 2012
You’re Not Just Paying for the Dress
Anyone who has taken Econ 101 knows that there is no such thing as a free lunch.When you buy something in a retail establishment, you aren’t just paying for the raw materials. For example, in this amusing video on Slate, a bride asks why her wedding dress was so expensive, when the fabric and labor cost so little.
Dear Brides-to-be: you aren’t just paying for the dress. When you buy any dress any where, say for example, Nordstrom, built into that dress price is profit for the store, which will pay for that nice store, the real estate, the parking lot, the clerk, the electricity, the hangers,… you get the idea. You are also paying for the shipping, the handling, the boat trip and air trip from China/Malaysia/India/Mexico, as well as the designer, the patternmaker, the marketing and the wages of the multiple workers who assembled the dress. But why, you ask, is the dress so very much more expensive than a maxi dress?
One, there is more to a wedding dress than your average maxi or evening dress. Two, people don’t buy very many wedding dresses. You buy many dresses over the course of a year, but most people, (the non-Kardashian part of the population) only buy one wedding dress per lifetime. The manufacturers know this. That’s why they sell wedding dresses with so much fantasy attached. It’s your Special Day! You’ll have these memories for a lifetime! The Wedding Industrial Complex has spent a lot of time learning just what buttons to push in our psyches to get us to pay exorbitant sums for what should just be a short service with a nice party with guests and cake and dance music.
They know that no woman in her right mind would pay thousands of dollars for a Cinderella costume that she will only wear a few hours. So they make sure that you aren’t in your right mind. Go to any Bridal Salon. It’s fancy – it has couches.
You have to make an appointment. So far, all of the messages you are getting indicate that this is no ordinary dress. This is a Magic Dress that will transform you into a Princess. You want to be a Princess, right? I did the whole princess for a day thing, but back when I married; it wasn’t such a huge deal. The dress wasn’t that expensive. Nowadays though, they can be thousands of dollars. If you’re comfortable spending thousands, fine. But after seeing many of my daughters’ friends get married, I’ve decided this whole wedding racket is Bogus. A Conspiracy to get perfect sane young people and their parents to part with their hard earned money for a fantasy. Tell the truth, now. Don’t you think that modern weddings are BORING?
They are all the same. All the brides wear that same strapless dress. They all have the same script…yawn. Such a lot of dullness for so very much money.
My kids and I have discussed this, and we agree that we’re going to do things differently.
If they ever get married, they aren’t doing the same old same old.
We break those wedding rules – you don’t have to wear the official Wedding Dress. It can be any nice dress, it doesn’t even have to be white – but it can be. Make your own, or have a dressmaker make you a pretty dress. Be different. You don’t have to have cake.
Remember that this whole wedding Fantasy Script was brought to you by the same Mad Men who convinced women that a Diamond was Forever, when they are nothing but clear rocks. And we all know that they have our best interests at heart.
I spent $400 in 1980 for my wedding dress. I made my own veil (it came out great for less than 25 dollars!). How much did you spend on your wedding dress?