say NO to the dress: why paying the rent should be a bigger priority than feeling like a princess.

11 03 2011

behold, the classic slut bride!anybody who follows me on twitter knows that i’ve been watching A LOT Of say yes to the dress (there are 78 episodes on netflix instant!). the thing is, it’s a TERRIBLE show. like the worst possible people that you can imagine whining, and crying, and hissy fitting all over the store until some poor frazzled family member agrees to spend $11,000 on a skin tight cacophony of beads, lace, tulle, crystals and bad taste (don’t even get me started on the whore-bride trend…). this dress will invariably made by a woman named pnina tornai. this woman must be stopped. but again, that’s a conversation for another day…

i can’t seem to stop myself from watching the show, but with each subsequent viewing, i become more and more furious.

as you will learn shortly, there are actually only 2 kinds of brides that shop at kleinfeld. they are both equally revolting. 

enraging bride-to-be type #1: overprivileged brat with unlimited fundage. this bride repeatedly mentions that she flew in on a private jet, and demands to try on dress after dress after dress regardless of the fact that the store is closing, and her appointment was over 4 hours ago. she will then loudly declare the incompetence of the sales associate or the store, likely both. often after such a display, this kind of girl will leave the store without a dress or a thank you. she is also generally afflicted with a case of epic bitchface. this is the kind of girl that makes me hate rich people. seriously, i think it’s my only major prejudice.

but that’s not the really infuriating part. the really awful people are still to come.

enraging bride-to-be type #2: regular old middle (to lower middle) class girl who thinks that “feeling like a princess” is more important than ANYTHING ELSE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. now, maybe this only infuriates me because i can’t relate. i have never wanted to be a princess ever, and the wedding dress for my disastrous 1 year long marriage (don’t get me started…) cost $300 at david’s bridal (and it was totally awesome).

maybe it’s biological? i don’t know, but at least according to the parade of bitches on the show, feeling like a princess on your wedding day is possibly just as important as needing to eat, pay bills, or have a functional liver. and perpetuating this delusion is exactly how kleinfeld makes their money.

every episode, they trot in some regular girl with princess dreams and a practical budget, and stuff her into a variety of trashy gowns (see above). at some point during this stuffing process, the bride to be will become enamored with a gown that is out of her price range (although i still think that the low end of $1,500 is completely ludicrous for a dress!). this overage could be anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000.

also during this period, participants will often admit that they just lost their job, had a aggressive course of chemotherapy, are a full time student, or some other major indicator that their money is not best spent on a tulle and rhinestone monstrosity that is roughly the price of a good used car.

however, regardless of the odds (like budget, and common sense), someone (or everyone) in the bridal party will convince the person who is paying that the financial sacrifice is 100% worth the eventual struggle it will cause, as long as the bride feels like a princess on her wedding day. again, this is the most important thing.

then, everybody cries, hugs, throws down the credit card, and goes home to eat ramen and develop ulcers from the newfound financial stress.

WHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHY?!

i don’t see selling a multi-thousand dollar wedding dress to a person who can’t afford to pay for it without using a credit card or dipping into their 401K as any different than signing someone up for a subprime mortgage on a house that would otherwise be above their means.

america has this disgusting obsession with “the dream”, but the dream is a delusion. WE CAN’T AFFORD THE DREAM!!! sure it would be nice if we could all feel like princesses all the time…but at what cost? as much as i enjoy the wreckage that is say yes to the dress, i hate how much it encourages people to make frivolous and irresponsible decisions based on this fabricated cultural ideal of the bloated and glitter strewn “dream wedding”.

maybe i’m just being a wedding scrooge, but fuck the dress. fuck the hall. fuck the buffet, and the champagne, and the chocolate fountain and the letterpress invitiations. FUCK IT ALL! there is only one wedding detail that can absolutely not be compromised, and that’s the person you’re marrying (although you get the impression that half these girls are marrying the wedding, and not the groom).

future brides and grooms of america, it’s time to rearrange some priorities!  you know what’s way better than being a princess for a few hours? being married to someone you love so much that it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing. also good, being able to start your life together without debt, and with a house payment in the bank instead of a puffy garment bag taking up good closet space.

am i being too harsh? what do you think it reasonable to spend on a wedding gown?

p.s. one positive thing to come out of this television nightmare: SAY YES TO THE DRESS DRINKING GAME. very simple, just take a drink…

every time someone says “wow factor”
every time someone demands “more bling”
every time somebody uses any form of the word “princess”, “cinderella”, or “fairy tale”.
every time someone buys a dress that they can’t afford.
any time someone says “is this your dress?” or “this is my dress!”.
any time randy picks the right dress.
any time randy gets the side eye from a consultant.
every time you wonder why audrey doesn’t get her teeth bleached.
any time a skinny bitch insists that a dress makes her look fat.

i’m sure there’s more (i didn’t even touch people crying). but don’t fret, the princess factor alone pretty much guarantees that we all get alcohol poisoning half way into the first episode. who wants to come over?

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30 responses

11 03 2011
Nancy

THANK YOU! I have watched couples go into debt to put on an elaborate wedding they couldn’t afford, only to be divorced within a few years.

You are absolutely right! The most important thing is marrying the right person. That’s what I’m planning to do (this time around) at a wedding event that will cost about $500, including the dress!

Excellent, and timely, post! Keep up the great work.

21 03 2011
bessmarvin

$500 for a whole wedding! now that is a good deal. luckily my parents paid for my wedding… but for one year, they definitely didn’t get their money’s worth! and honestly, i used the money people gave me as wedding gifts to get an apartment and a new bed when we finally split. NEVER AGAIN.

11 03 2011
Cindy

Here’s one that makes my blood boil – check out #5 – Bridezilla ruins her cake:
http://tlc.discovery.com/videos/cake-boss-disasters/

13 03 2011
bessmarvin

this filled me with such rage that i almost had a stroke. that woman definitely is definitely a category 1 bride. BRING ON THE BITCH FACE!

11 03 2011
Audrey

“every time you wonder why audrey doesn’t get her teeth bleached”

…heyyyy!!

Marriage is hilarious. Dresses are more hilariouser! I would never spend more than… $150 for any dress, ever. And more likely I’d pay more if it was an old, antique dress than a fluffy marshmallow from Sears. Must see this show.

13 03 2011
bessmarvin

yes. you must see this show indeed. perhaps someday you can come over to my house to visit and watch? maybe if i had unlimited income, i would get something big and fabulous… but since that’s never going to happen, i’m gonna stick with something that i can pay for in cash without having to sell any organs.

11 03 2011
The Dealer

EXACTLY the reasoning behind our decision to have a tiny lawn ceremony with family and Pub Crawl reception! I would not have changed a thing

13 03 2011
bessmarvin

the pub crawl reception is pretty much the most brilliant thing i’ve ever heard. 2nd time around for me, i think we’re gonna get married at city hall and then have a picnic.

11 03 2011
Erica @ Just Call Me Cheap

I think weddings are so stupid but yet I had one anyways due to the fact that I knew my mother in law would never let me live it down if my husband and I got married at city hall (I was 22 at the time and didn’t want to make anyone mad- how young and silly I was). We had a very low key outdoors wedding- my cake was very simple and much to the dismay of my mother in law I didn’t have a stupid cake topper. My dress was $99 because I could have cared less and I wore pretty lavender flip flops because that was a me thing to do.
Looking back I am glad we didn’t spend a lot because what really matters is that we married eachother and that we are happy. I think women who put so much into the event of their wedding day get sorely let down when the festivities are over because then it is back to mundane life.
And one more thing- it really makes me sick when I watch the show and see parents buying dresses for their daughters that they cannot afford. As a daughter I would never let my parents go into debt for me- especially not for something as trivial as a wedding dress that will be worn for six hours and will then be relegated to a box in the attic. Pure stupidity.

13 03 2011
bessmarvin

i love that your MIL was upset that you didn’t have a cake topper! what a ludicrous reason to get worked up! i don’t think that having a wedding celebration of some sort (big or small) is stupid, i just think that people need to make their dreams happen on a scale that they can afford. i also think that a lot of women fall in love with the idea of getting married and are paying less attention to the groom and more attention to the party!

11 03 2011
forefrontfash

my grandmother once said to me, “it’s not about the wedding, it’s about the marriage.” i ALWAYS keep that in mind.

though i once worked on a photo cover shoot for The Knot and i sorta understood how people can get out of control. an oscar de la renta gown up close really is a beautiful thing. god damn.

13 03 2011
bessmarvin

your grandma was a smart lady. it’s not that i don’t understand the allure of a fabulous couture wedding dress (do you follow @oscarprgirl on twitter?), but i would never put one on my credit card just because it made me feel like a princess. people need to learn to live within their means (and stop dressing like hooker brides)!

11 03 2011
Jessica

Why anyone would think that a see through corseted wedding gown is a good idea is beyond me…

13 03 2011
bessmarvin

apparently, most women want to look like whores. instead of aspiring to look like grace kelly or jackie o. on their wedding day, they want to look like the pussycat dolls. demure what?

12 03 2011
Cindy

We eloped. We we in the woods/by the ocean (love Maine, ocean and woods, two great tastes that taste great together). My under $300 is stained at the bottom from the forest floor—this adds to its beauty.

My point, cheap wedding and still it was the single most magical moment of my life. If someone told me I was floating during the ceremony, I would have believed it. It’s been over 11 years, what a bargain!

13 03 2011
bessmarvin

you have to show me your wedding pictures one of these days! you guys are pretty much the cutest ever. this next time around, i’m doing it cheap. getting sucked into the big wedding thing was one of many mistakes i made with my first marriage.

12 03 2011
blackgirlinmaine

Forefrontfashion is totally right. The wedding is but a day in what hopefully will be a lifetime. First time I got married it was a justice of the peace affair and considering that marriage was doomed from the start, I am happy no money was spent. Second time around, we had a wedding but the total affair including the ill fated honeymoon (luggage was lost thus throwing us way off budget since I had no clothes) was about $7500 and the marriage is 14 years old.

I got my wedding dress off the really cheap rack at David’s spent a whopping $99 plus a little extra for alterations. I almost got crazy with the cake, but my Mom bless her soul a woman who was married 31 years until death said heck no! I went from a $400 cake at a fancy bakery in Chicago to a $75 cake done by an Indian bakery.

I am not sure why women get so crazy over this stuff. I have a friend who is getting married a 2nd time after a 16 year marriage collapsed and she is going crazy with the planning. They have no money yet since her Mom offered to help she is caught up in that craziness. I don’t get it at all. Maybe I am defective but I didn’t feel like a princess on my wedding day, I thought it was like a bad costume party.

13 03 2011
bessmarvin

i’m kind of surprised that not a single pro-bridezilla person has stopped by to tell me what an ass i am. it’s actually quite refreshing to have so many anti-princess sentiments! we need to band together and start a movement. maybe your friend could use a good smack in the mouth? she’ll thank you later.

13 03 2011
chris

i’ve been married for 22 years. my wedding cost $50 (justice of peace fee, included use of his lovely gazebo) i wore my sisters prom dress = free. my parents had an awesome white trash keg party the following weekend so i could collect my cash/gifts from my relatives = free. they gave me the money a “real” wedding would have cost and i had my first house when i was 25, win!

21 03 2011
bessmarvin

wow, $50 and a keg party! you’re kind of my hero now. if you ever look online for “budget wedding” books, they’re all still like $2,000+. we need to write a book on awesome weddings for under $100. hello, KEG PARTY.

16 03 2011
Elsa

You know, when The Fella and I got married, I learned something eye-opening: no matter what you do or don’t do for your wedding, there’s a crowd of friends and family and complete strangers eager to tell you you’re wrong.

You registered for gifts? GREEDY! Didn’t register for gifts? How thoughtless not to give your guests some ideas! Served fancy plated meal? What a waste! Homemade buffet? Your guests deserve better! There is literally not a single choice that (some of) your loved ones won’t question.

Ever since, I’ve been keeping my own judgments about other couple’s wedding choices to my damn self; we each have our own choices to make, and since there’s no way to make everyone else happy, you might as well please yourself.

My own “wedding dress” was a simple skirt and top (forty-five bucks, shipping included!) which I adore and which I’ve worn a half-dozen times since, but if you think no one chided me about that choice, you’re crazy.

It’s worth reminding people that they have choices, that buying the $XXXX dress isn’t mandatory… but if they’re making that choice consciously, I am not the person who gets to tell them what choices are important to them. (As I recently promised an engaged friend, “You can talk about your wedding plans and I won’t give you any advice. We’ll just drink prosecco and say ‘[redacted*]’.”)

*Yeah, that was a word I’m not prepared to put in print.

21 03 2011
bessmarvin

you know, i really do agree with you. people gave me so much unsolicited advice (and criticism!), it left me in tears more often than i care to admit. my complaint isn’t really so much about people having big expensive weddings (people should have the weddings that they want absolutely), but having big expensive weddings that they can’t afford. i just hate to see people putting themselves (and their family members) so deeply in debt at the very moment that they’re starting their life together. you’re a very good friend. and now, i want prosecco 🙂

20 03 2011
Miss Catherine

I have an UNNATURAL obsession with this show. It’s like a lot of reality shows; I watch it because it reminds me of how sane I am. I love how the comments reflect that…look at all of you fabulous, well-adjusted, awesome people! These all sound like the best weddings EVER!!! I myself wouldn’t dream of paying more than, I dunno, $500? for a wedding dress, and if I could find something for less I sure as hell would. I feel like the luckiest girl on the planet that my family would not give a crap about cake toppers and what not. Then again, they’d probably all have fainted from shock that the effen old maid finally took the plunge…who needs a cake topper for THAT kind of show. I’m 30-fricken-9 and I have never done the deed.
Anyway, THANK YOU for writing this, it rocked my unwed socks off!!!!

21 03 2011
bessmarvin

it’s like a car wreck full of princess obsessed bitches. I LOVE IT. the people are terrible, but i love it. i even recently caught myself day dreaming about being a kleinfeld bridal consultant. how sick is that? maybe if i was a millionaire, i would buy a fancy dress… but regular people with regular debt and regular income should in no way even for a moment consider anything over $1,000. even if someone else will pay for it, they should take that money and put it into a savings account! the fact that so many people get so wrapped up in things like dresses and cake toppers is a testament to the gross difference between how much people care about the wedding vs. how much they care about the marriage. be proud that you’ve never indulged in the temptations of the wedding. at 33 and already divorced, i know i’m jealous!

24 03 2011
Miss Catherine

At 39 and an old maid…well, ya know, I guess even given that I’m kind of glad I never took the plunge. Never married, never divorced! And you are NOT the only one to imagine being a Klienfeld consultant. I have no idea where that comes from, but I choose to just be amused by that impulse.

I’m so glad you write this blog. 🙂

26 03 2011
bessmarvin

seriously, you’re lucky. divorce was one of the suckiest things i’ve ever gone through. if i were single right now, i would suggest that w run away to NY to live in a tiny apartment and try to break into the cutthroat world of bridal consulting. if nothing else, we should write a screenplay about that.

29 08 2011
Julie Garrison

so glad I found this blo because I just watched an episode with some “entitled” creature who although her mother said the limit for the dress was $3500 (absolutely insane IMO – I bought mine off the rack for $150), she INSISTED that her mother buy her one that was $7000 . . . and the mother did it. Probably because she wanted the daughter to stop bitching on camera! I don’t know whether to laugh or puke.

9 09 2011
bessmarvin

probably puke. all over that $7,000 dress. i just wonder how these people come up with the money. hooking? making meth? most of these families don’t look like they have an extra $7,000 just lying around the house. note to self, do not raise bitchy entitled daughter who thinks that a princess dream wedding is the highlight of existence.

30 08 2011
lalala

Iam so happy that I found your blo. Youve opened my eyes. I was really dreaming of te Pnina dresses and now I dont. And now all my bitchines is gone for ever. I hope on my wedding I will simple dress not over 200 bucks.

9 09 2011
bessmarvin

can’t tell if trolling or genuinely enjoyed my post…

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