Brides, Inc.: American Weddings and the Business of Tradition

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Named “Finest of the Finest from the College Presses” for 2007 by the American Library Affiliation

Weddings as we speak are a $70-billion enterprise, but nobody has defined how the trade has develop into such a major factor of the American economic system. In Brides, Inc., Vicki Howard goes behind the scenes of the numerous corporations concerned—from jewelers to caterers—to discover the origins of the lavish American marriage ceremony, demonstrating the vital position business pursuits have performed in shaping traditions most of us take as a right.

Howard reveals what number of of our customs and marriage ceremony rituals have been the product of subtle promoting campaigns, merchandising promotions, and entrepreneurial improvements. Tracing the rise of the marriage ceremony trade from the 1920s by way of the 1950s, the creator explains that retailers, bridal consultants, etiquette writers, caterers, and many others invented traditions—from the diamond engagement ring and double-ring ceremony to the reward registry to the package-deal catered affair. These companies and entrepreneurs, many of them girls, remodeled marriage ceremony tradition and set the stage for as we speak’s multibillion-dollar trade.

The marriage trade started to take form between the 1920s and the 1950s. Bridal journal editors and etiquette writers, jewelers, division retailer window show artists, bridal consultants, trend designers, and caterers invented new shopper rites and promoted larger requirements of marriage ceremony consumption. Claiming ties with “historical customs” and numerous historic durations, the marriage ceremony trade promoted new items and companies as timeless and unchanging. It launched new ring customs and marriage ceremony attire fashions, and “trendy” companies, comparable to reward registries that rationalized reward customs, bridal salons that saved time and made marriage ceremony planning extra environment friendly, and marriage ceremony packages that standardized ceremonies and reception celebrations.

Throughout World Struggle II, the conventional white marriage ceremony grew much more prevalent as jewelers and bridal robe producers efficiently sought exemptions from wartime restrictions, linking the diamond engagement ring, the double-ring ceremony, and the formal white marriage ceremony robe with democracy and American prosperity. By the 1950s, the marriage ceremony trade had made the formal white marriage ceremony custom a component of a brand new cult of marriage and the trendy American Dream.

Entertaining and informative, Brides, Inc. reveals the origins and improvement of this most exemplary American enterprise and brings the story as much as the current with a dialogue of such new phenomena as David’s Bridal and the homosexual marriage ceremony trade.

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