So the royal wedding has come and gone and I saw enough to give me fodder for a few musings. Yes, I am a sucker for the spectacle and back story, but even I was surfeited. At some point, as Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters blathered on with help from Tina Brown (who was taking a break from saving Newsweek), I became a bit weary of it all — though, no doubt, I will return soon enough to drink from what promises to be a very deep well.

What struck me in watching this event was less the event than its coverage — a swaddling of commentary so dense as to practically smother the spectacle we all tuned in to see.  This was owing in large part to the plethora of close-ups. I do not recall as many close-ups of dresses, hats, and, most importantly, faces in any previous royal… More…

I’ve never found a reason to cry at a wedding, which gives me an advantage when I’m wearing mascara for the occasion. As a wedding guest or as a member of the wedding party, I want to look my best — if not a natural beauty, then “beautified,” an “ill phrase” — even though nobody looks at any woman other than the bride. Nonetheless, the last time I was invited to a wedding, the couple recited their vows as I watched barefaced and barefoot.

 

I’d been prepped by tuning in to a multitude of wedding programs on TV, on which brides choose gowns and submit to the alternating blandishments and bullying of wedding planners in all aspects of the wedding (except the choice of mate). I’ve delighted in the construction of fondant-covered multi-tiered extravaganzas of cakes adorned with… More…

 

The meringue of a woman, floating down an aisle lined with flowers in her signature colors. The groom in his tuxedo, waiting for her with tears in his eyes. The photographer, capturing those special moments to be treasured forever. From the engagement ring to the honeymoon, every nut and bolt used to construct that magical day comes with a hefty price tag. The American bride is being swindled, all in the name of “tradition.” But most of what we consider tradition is actually just marketing or a misunderstanding. Two recent books try to break through the fog that surrounds these rites and bring a dose of reality to the whole idea of living happily ever after.

According to reality television programming, it’s the bride that has gotten out of control. Watch the Bridezilla as she spends the equivalent… More…