The Wedding Industry is a Scam- If You Let it Be

The Wedding Industry is a Scam- If You Let it Be

Weddings were also a social engagement to show off wealth and celebrated the passing of the woman from being her father's property to the property of her new husband. Still to this day, a lot of people do try to make this one of their life perfect. Social media has likely perpetuated that and builds higher expectations in peoples minds. Weddings were always about showing off wealth. It wasn't until the 1930's that the wedding industry really blew up thanks to carefully planned ad campaigns that are still successful today.

Engagement Rings

The Wedding Industry is a Scam- If You Let it Be

^this is a real ad from De Beers Diamond company.

In 1938 the De Beers Diamond Company crafted the world's most effective marketing campaign. They grew their company from essentially nothing into one of the most profitable businesses by making people believe to their made-up "A Diamond is forever" campaign. To this day, ring shaming still happens. No, a diamond really isn't "forever." Just like a car, it loses value by 50% the second you walk out the door. Of course, it can be a family heirloom and have sentimental value if you take care of it.

Or just like in the advertisement, it should cost two months of the mans salary. The size of the diamond does not measure the love or respect your significant other has for you.

White Wedding Dresses

Up until the mid -19th century, brides did not traditionally wear white. Not only was a white dress seen as impractical, it was not financially wise for brides to purchase a dress to wear only once. Therefore, most brides simply wore their fanciest dress on their wedding day. For brides in the lower classes, that often meant wearing a black dress. Brides with more means wore showier gowns in lush fabrics, featuring gold and silver embroidery, as well as fur. But these dresses could and would be worn again. In 1840, Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in one of the first heavily-photographed royal weddings of the time. She chose to wear a white dress.

The Wedding Industry is a Scam- If You Let it Be

After Queen Victoria’s wedding, wealthy brides started wearing grand white gowns, because they could afford to have the white attire professionally cleaned. Still, during this time white was seen as a color for the rich, more about showing off one’s wealth than one’s virginity.

White wedding dresses didn’t hit mass popularity until after World War II. During the Great Depression and World War II, fancy fabrics were still hard to come by, so luxe white wedding dresses were replaced with simple suits in non-white hues. Some wedding dresses at the time were even made from repurposed silk parachutes. After the war, white wedding dresses became more available, with tea-length looks inspired by Audrey Hepburn considered fashionable. Long gowns were soon in style, and once Princess Diana walked down the aisle in her grand ivory silk taffeta and lace gown in 1981, the white wedding dress’ place in history was solidified.

"But it's bride and grooms special day, they deserve the finest" - said by someone I'm sure

Except newlyweds really are being scammed. Studies show venues charge four times as much for a wedding versus a family reunion of the same size This is called the wedding tax or wedding markup. The idea that weddings cost an absurd amount of money is a pretty accepted and well known concept in our society, so people expect that they will be paying an arm and a leg before they even begin booking services. People are so willing to scam people that are just wanting to celebrate their love and it really is just awful.

Although to be fair many flower shops, photographers, and caterers say they charge more because the expectations are higher and they have to deal with bridezillas or other overbearing family members of the couple. This appears to be a chicken or the egg problem.

Still, there's an overwhelming amount of pressure for the wedding to be perfect. Social media has likely perpetuated that. No, there's no reason for you to invite your mom's boss just she wants her boss to be there. For example, my cousin and his long time girlfriend are getting married in June. They have requested no kids at the wedding because they can't afford to pay for a full meal for every child. Especially when that child probably won't eat all their food. My parents were pissed at idea that they don't want kids there. Not only that but my cousin and his girlfriend also said that they don't want gifts because they've lived together for so long. My parents were also pissed at this. That leads to my next point.

Wedding gifts really weren’t a thing until the early 20th century when bridal magazines came into Vogue and appliance companies jumped on the “spend an insane amount of money on your wedding to impress your friends and family” bandwagon. Wedding registries were actually useful when couples would marry at a pretty young age while they were still living at home with their parents because these gifts would provide them with the things they needed to start and begin their new lives together. Nowadays, people are getting married later in life and they usually live together for an extended period of time before the wedding. So they really don’t need 5 blenders. If you aren’t interested in making a registry for gifts you don’t really want, you can ask your friends and family to abstain from gifts and consider donating that money to charities instead. Or just send them some money because going to a wedding isn't as expensive as throwing one.

Keep in mind, the wedding industry will only scam you if you let them. It is totally possible to have a wonderful wedding for much cheaper than the average price. (According to TheKnot.com it's $33,931) It starts by lowering your expectations and telling any overbearing family members that if they try to control your wedding they're off the guest list. There's definitely additional expenses you can cut. Why would you hire a dj to blast a music when you can blast music on your ipod? Other ways to help cut the cost include: getting married in the off season, if you plan on serving alcohol find a place that lets people bring their own alcohol, consider a non-traditional venue like an art gallery or bed & breakfast for the reception, shorten your guest list, or consider making the reception potluck style.

The Wedding Industry is a Scam- If You Let it Be
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Most Helpful Guys

  • MrOracle

    I'm a mobile DJ, and I started in 1986, before many of you were born. I've DJed over 350 weddings over the years, and I can tell you that there has been a huge change in what people (mostly brides) demand from vendors, which reflects those higher prices.

    In the 80s, a wedding gig was like any other gig: we had nothing to do with the ceremony and merely showed up to the reception hall, set up our music gear, and played music. The only difference was providing a single wired microphone for toasts.

    Today, in California, most receptions are outdoors, and often so is the ceremony. The DJ is usually asked to provide a full second sound system for the ceremony, with multiple wireless mics and a music playlist (which means that you need and have to pay a second person to keep an eye on your other equipment), and on several occasions I have been asked for a THIRD system to provide music in a third area while guests have drinks between the ceremony and the move to the reception area (when the wedding party is having pictures taken).

    Then at the ceremony, the DJ not only also provides dance floor lighting, but usually also up-lighting (lights around the perimeter of the room to wash it in color). The DJ is also usually in charge of the schedule and the many announcements and introductions (of people he has never seen before), which also involves multiple wireless microphones.

    The amount of gear, the setup and break down time, the preparation time, and the responsibilities have grown massively over the years, and should there be a mistake, brides have been known to refuse payment or even sue.

    Other vendors will have a similar story. From table shapes and seat covers, to 5-star meals and boutique desserts to bars that are expected to be able to serve 100 different cocktails, expectations have grown enormously, and vendors have stepped up to meet that demand, but, yes, prices have gone up accordingly.

    For me, a wedding is now an 18 hour day in order to provide a 30 minute ceremony and a 6 hour reception - and that doesn't count the 30 hours of meetings, phone calls, emails, and music/schedule prep for times (remember that most brides have never done any of this before and I have to explain a lot of things to them and get lots of answers in order to do my job).

  • OlderAndWiser

    I got married in 2011 (unfortunately, she decided she no longer wanted to be married in 2014, and the divorce was final in 2015.) My bride and I planned the wedding ourselves, no wedding planner, etc. She received a 1 1/2 carat good - not best - quality diamond engagement ring.

    We had a church wedding, and she was dressed in a very nice gown that she bought on sale at a wedding boutique for $350. The men in the wedding were dressed in morning coats. It was a traditional wedding. My church choir sang at the wedding and I sang a song that I composed for her for this occasion.

    We got married in February, when demand for venues is low, and we got a great reception location for a reasonable price. The one thing we wanted was a great live band and we got that for $2,200. We had 120 invited guests for the wedding and a buffet dinner reception and dance. My best friend is a caterer and the food for the event was his wedding gift to me. We rented everything that we needed and set up and decorated the venue ourselves. We hired someone to serve as the bartender and bought the beer, wine, and liquor ourselves far in advance, taking advantage of sales as they occurred.

    Our honeymoon was in northern Virginia; we visited DC and several surrounding historical sites and were gone for 6 days.

    The wedding was what we wanted. No one consulted bridal magazines or solicited ideas from FB. It was a very nice affair and some said it was the nicest wedding they had ever attended but it was not over the top.

    We did not succumb to pressure, we did most of the work ourselves or with the assistance of friends, and it was a wonderful event. The total cost - including engagement ring, dress and shoes, decorations, food, bar, venue, honeymoon. . . everything - was about $20,000.

    • Oram52

      "everything - was about $20,000."
      - That is still a lot. Especially as you mentioned unfortunately it only lasted 3 years. Even if you split that's still 10,000 each.

    • Show All
    • Oram52

      @OlderAndWiser
      What do you think we should pay attention to when we're dating to make sure that she would make her relationship/marriage a priority.

    • @Oram52 How quick is she to cancel plans or try to rearrange plans with you so that she can do something with friends or family? How often does she refer to possible family disapproval when you are discussing an issue? How dependent is she on family approval?

Most Helpful Girls

  • Anonymous

    Ughhh! If you can basically find a venue and a photographer on your own (because you wouldn't really be able to disguise the fact that it's a wedding) there is nothing else that you rent or buy for a wedding that you can't get for cheap if you don't mention the words party or wedding. Someone said on a bridal show once that it's unfair to those in the industry, to not indicate what you're buying is for a wedding but so is buying say a set of flowers one week for a dinner and then seeing them charge you 5x the cost a week later because you said "wedding." Are they not the same exact flowers? What exactly changed?

    It is ridiculous what the industry charges....because they can and because of the influence of bridal tv shows and social media. People believe, literally believe, that they need and have to spend 50k on a 6 hour event. I'm a DIY queen and at this point could practically be a wedding planner with the amount I have DIY'd for family and friends weddings. I use all the tricks in the book from Trader Joes Flowers, to Thrift store plates/glasses, to YouTube tutorials for special pieces, to Rent the Runway for dresses, bulk ordering online for paper goods, to apps that allow guests to direct upload photos to you. I refuse to let people go broke over this one day of their lives. It can be special on a budget that doesn't look cheap.

    • I fully agree. Personally I always thought a simple courthouse wedding was so romantic.

    • The only thing I would splurge on is a photographer because you will have those pictures forever. I have plenty of acquaintces who became photographers, so that shouldn’t be a problem.

  • BlackRoseFairy

    Very good take! Wedding indeed involves a lot of scamming. As I said before, send a female to a jewelry store and ask to see rings and have her say she is buying something for herself. Mark the ring, make sure it can be told apart. Then send a guy to ask for the same ring as an engagement ring. The price will go up simply because they can.
    Same with flowers, hair, make up. Just go to the florist and ask for a bouquet. Don't mention the word "wedding" and you'll safe up a lot of money.
    Go do your hair at another city. You'll pay much less then if you go to your local hairdresser who knows you're getting married.
    I understand the excitement of the day, but if you keep your mouth closed, you'll keep your wallet full.

    • I've noticed that. Newlyweds always excitedly tell others they're getting married without realizing that this hikes up prices for caterers, photographers, and florists.

    • Show All
    • @Unit1 you're welcome! 🙂

    • Thanks for MHO!

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What Girls & Guys Said

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  • DebraHeart

    I couldn't imagine spending thousands, a ton on my wedding. I'd like it simple as possible. I feel weddings are so overdone, so boring. It's always the same stuff really, and the same white dress. I feel, how nicer it would be, if a woman chooses her dress, just like she did for her prom. No one knows when she walks in, what color she has chosen, what it will be. How nicer, more exciting, and special that would be I feel. Instead, its always white white white. Another thing I can't stand, is when someone has this family ring, that's been passed down 5000 years, and it's usually ugly as hell, and the family pressures the woman to use that ring. When she wants to have a new, beautiful ring, that she likes. There is just so much to a wedding that bothers me. Basically, make it simple, unique, and do what you want I feel. Also, that show bridezilla, I can't imagine acting that way... you should relax, enjoy the process... and not be a jerk to people around you... I'd be so embarrassed to be so rude to people, who will attend, then stand up there in front of them all... they'd surely resent me, not see me in a good light... people just need to be relaxed and enjoy it all.

  • Unit1

    A woman with some common sense and knows about the marketing scams? Tell me I'm not dreaming!

    https://youtu.be/qNQ2kV1OTPU

    • Oh god I watched this video. Gave me a good laugh

    • Unit1

      I just woke up. I confirmed that I'm not dreaming.
      I like this guy a lot with his honest ads 🙂
      He absolutely got it with the wedding and marriage topic here.

  • HungLikeAHorsefly

    I fully agree. Although I did get my wife an engagement ring, it was pretty modest ($800) and then we eloped. Our mothers were pissed but our dads...

    The Wedding Industry is a Scam- If You Let it Be

    And we never regretted not having a wedding. Still had a honeymoon, tho :)

  • TsundereMatrix

    It’s true. On that show Extreme Cheapskates, a women spent less than $100 on her entire wedding. People thought it was weird but she saved money!

    • I think as an absolute maximum, I would like to spend no more than $1,200. I would like to get a good photographer and that's probably the only thing I will splurge on.

    • Show All
    • Maybe it was $200. I can’t remember how much the lady spent but it was super affordable.

    • I like the idea of having a simple wedding wearing a really nice dress. Maybe one I already have or buy a simple dress that I can wear again. Then really splurging on the honeymoon. I would much rather have a once in a lifetime trip with my significant other than a super expensive wedding.

  • Drumlin2001

    A little. But then people do it all willingly. £20k for one day? Ridiculous in my eyes. Better things to spend it on (house, family etc) The industry is doing what capitalism teaches, making maximum profit for minimum outlay, its the customer that drives it.

  • Alice2398

    I work in the wedding industry and i approve of what was said.

    I see a lot of young couples wanting to have the prefect insta wedding and not really caring to much about who their marrying. It sometimes seems very unnecessary and tacky when they spend lots of money. If two people love each other that shouldn't have to cost a thing to let others known about it, they should be able to see that themselves

  • Lily247

    The US was built by who? People who once felt superior over others and WANTED superiority. A big foundation is business here and that applies to medical stuff too. So not only is wedding a business but so is your health for medicine etc

  • sageevalentine

    I have to mention, on the diamond ring, I'm friends with a family that has strong affiliation to DeBeers and hold shares. Diamonds never go down in value, if you buy the top cut and clarity you can get your hands on. There's only a finite supply of highest quality diamonds out there, and they're impossible to damage.

    • MrOracle

      Absolutely everything in this post is wrong - but it's exactly what DeBeers wants you to believe.

      Diamonds have far, FAR less value than their retail value - so much so that few places will actually buy them because they can buy them wholesale for less - and DeBeers keeps having to buy diamond mines as more get discovered around the world so they can greatly limit output and maintain the illusion that diamonds are rare - they aren't rare except for the fact that DeBeers artificially limits the supply.

      The whole diamond market is a scam at every level, but their marketing department is brilliant and almost completely reasonable for the success of a common mineral being seen as valuable.

  • zagor

    My old boss spent about $100K on his daughter's wedding.

    Although, knowing her, it was probably worth it to get rid of her.

  • MlleCake

    My first wedding was very modest, but we did all the basic stuff. My second wedding was at the courthouse, friends met us for dinner. I enjoyed the second one much more. I baked my own cake.

  • Kitty46

    Is marriage a scam because of the money spent? If I get married, I want to elope. I’m not interested in a big wedding, I’m not interested in a big diamond ring. You marrying the guy you love & want children with.

  • tenukitanuki

    God himself better come down and touch my heart if he wants a fucking wedding in my entire life. Nope.

  • brittslitt

    The wedding industry isn't scamming anyone. no ones putting a gun to anyone's head asking them to do anything

    • Read the post again. Obviously advertisers aren’t doing that. They’re just manipulating people. The point of the post is to do what YOU want to do, to stay within YOUR budget, and to do as much as you can yourselves to minimize the cost.

    • brittslitt

      They're not manipulating anyone. you have a choice and free will

  • Guanfei

    Everything considered as "inevitable" are a scam these days. Weddings, funerals, driving licences...
    If you have to go through it, they'll charge you tons of money for it, because you won't have a choice but to pay.

  • JoseJr

    Theses a lot of opinions over this. I'd personally agree that people are having wildly expensive wedding, which they will end up paying like a mortgage and sadly sometimes that debt lasts longer than the relationship did. there's someone down below or up above who says that she won't get married without a ring. I honestly do understand it. The time and money spent on that rings shows, to me at least, that Im willing to invest. Dont be follow that ridiculous ass "two months salary" rule. Spend what you can. It its a couple hundred bucks, or a couple thousand. Dont go into debt to show your love. Be smart about it. What makes this whole situation even worse is when they bride and or groom dont have the money and expect their invitees to pay some kind of fee or "gift" some money. Sorry sarah doesn't matter that I've know you a couple years, I'm not paying $500 to go to your wedding...

  • luvstoned4him

    I understand what you are saying but you dont have to be caught up with the glam of it all. Plus you can have a small wedding, just family and friends. I think it becomes too much when you spend these unreasonably amounts of money on a one day event.

  • zozo7880

    Its a way for a business to make money just like all the other things we celebrate. Like black Friday , gray Thursday, cyber Monday haha...

  • Melshmallow046

    Diamonds are such a scam, I want glass or cubic zirconia.

  • luna9047

    I won't marry a man who doesn't buy me a diamond ring. Don't care what anyone says.

    • Well if that's what you want. In other news, have you seen the movie Blood Diamond?

    • Show All
    • luna9047

      @sasukeuchiha7 I disagree. You have your opinion and I have my opinion. I'm not going to change my mind.

    • Ok, don't. I'm not the one who's gonna come across as shallow.

  • hugzy

    let's face it... if you have any money , you better use them to invest either in a place to live , or yah kids education...

  • BrittBratt2416

    I personally think weddings don't have to be crazy expensive like we see these celebrities doing. It doesn't have to be all extra just something very simple and cute, the wedding industry does kind scam you but for the most part it's just people wanting big, extravagant weddings when it doesn't have to be. The people who are getting married are the one's who decide how they want their wedding to be and how much they want to spend on it. I think these are nice weddings. For me, I'm not really into the whole wedding thing, I personally just want to go to the court house and get married that way but we'll see it. I might do something like that below.

    The Wedding Industry is a Scam- If You Let it BeThe Wedding Industry is a Scam- If You Let it Be

  • bhavy24

    Nice take, it has become scam because many people want big fat weddings

  • Massageman

    My daughters both came in about 25-33% the cost of the "typical" wedding in our area. One is in graphics so did all her own invites, etc. Both bartered with some service providers esp. photographers. Family helped with planning and set-up for both. Both got basic dresses (and we hand-applied crystals in one case). Family-style dinners but still served at the table. Both did a LOT of shopping for venues, etc. In one case the DJ disappeared and had to use a fill-in, but everything still worked, and everyone was happy! It CAN be done if you are willing to put in a bit of effort.

    Remember the cardinal rule: If it SOUNDS too good to be true, it IS too good to be true!!!

  • Waffles731

    I personally like the idea of eloping then having a bitching honeymoon

  • themomo84

    Good post! I don't believe in marriage but I appreciate the information.:)

  • codycccccccccc

    What did you expect it's based on religious the biggest scam of all

  • Edanurus

    Id bd happy with a trip to the registration office then to the pub in all honesty.

  • esotericstory

    Thanks for this mytake. I want to have a common sense wedding.

  • AwesomeLadaaay

    Interesting

    • smahala1991 wants to comment on thus question

    • Show All
    • Okay sorry I freaked out on you. It just disgusts me that he’s still trying to contact me.

    • Oh no you're fine, yeah some people go on and on lol

  • Wowgirl30q

    Great take Miss

  • Secretgardenblood

    Good take

  • Thetruth111

    There is no love

  • MikeTheGreek79

    Agreed though for men it’s a scam.

  • Anonymous

    Want to know something cute?

    "... some species of birds hold attraction for shiny objects, such as jewelry. Birds may desire these objects to attract mates, or to decorate their nests to help visiting females feel more comfortable."

    So, lets not blame people too much, some of it might be biological. They can't help it.
    Also, gentlemen who are complaining, keep in mind that giving your desired mate shiny jewelry could trigger some really natural desires of theirs in YOUR favor and give your relationship a nudge in the right direction 😁

  • Anonymous

    Having been married over 40 years, I cringe these days at the money-making exploitation of young people, not just marriage but the hen / stag do’s, receptions, honeymoon, baby showers, pregnancy / foetus imaging etc etc. In fact everywhere you turn someone is happy to take money from you, it’s no wonder a lot of marriages suffer in the early days as nothing can live up to the hype. We had a church wedding, a luncheon and a three day honeymoon. My husbands stag do was at the local pub and mine was a meal at a local restaurant with my two bridesmaids not a three day binge in Amsterdam or Bratislava!!

  • Anonymous

    I believe in traditional marriage, so if her dad's not paying me a dowry and paying for the wedding, I'm not doing it.

    It's completely disrespectful how society has commercialized marriage and shamed men into paying for a bride. I have to pay for her hand in marriage, only to support her for the rest of her life? And for what?

    • Unit1

      For Pussy?

    • Show All
    • Anonymous

      I can get that without being married.

    • Unit1

      Great.
      Wish I could get that without marriage too. I am pretty much anti marriage myself.

  • Anonymous

    Marriage is a scam for most men.

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