My mom and dad drove me and Lindsey out to the Quad Cities last weekend. We had lunch with Lindsey’s parents at one of the QC’s many fine microbreweries and then all visited the Figge. My parents hadn’t seen the space in person, and it was really nice to see it with them. For one, they loved it, which is reassuring. And it was nice to see it again with new eyes. They noticed a lot of the same things we did, including the awesome spaces and less than awesome acoustics.
We spent Sunday and Monday chatting with wedding people and got a lot done. There will be more blog posts soon about what all went down. On Tuesday, Lindsey’s friend John, who is also part of the wedding party, drove us back to Chicago. John has his wedding all planned out (except for the who is the husband part) already. He knows what he’s wearing, and what kind of cake and food will be served. He really likes weddings and all wedding crap, and has a very definite sense of style in the matter. He also threw in how nice it is that Wedding Everything, Inc. isn’t marketed towards men, so he can just ignore it at his leisure and pay attention to what he does like. None of it pressures him, because nothing is aimed at grooms. In weddings, it is all ladies ladies ladies. Lindsey and I have noticed that too, obvs, because all the heteronorm wedding writing out in the world presumes that A) if you’re reading about weddings, you’re the bride and B) your husband to-be has little interest/ability in planning anything.
Courtesy the Quad Cities, or more specifically, the “Quad Cities Brides” advertising pamphlet, I now have epic example of this. Lindsey picked up this handy brochure in Davenport awhile back and it’s a run-on article about how to plan a wedding-slash-buy-things interspersed with ads. Sample text:
The groom may feel like a prop compared to his lovely bride, but he and his groomsmen must still1 dress the part. And while brides have it easy because they know from the start that their wedding dress may cost a fortune and be difficult to find, it’s not easy for the groom to navigate cummerbunds, bowties, ascots, morning coats and all the other foreign words2 associated with wedding attire for men. What the groom and groomsmen wear to the wedding depends entirely on the occasion itself and what the bride wants3 the groom to wear. The good news is that the bride has been visualizing her wedding for a long time4…
If I were a man, I would cry if I read this. Now, for sure, this is an extreme bit of writing, but it’s really not an extreme sentiment. Most wedding books, websites, and magazines imply the same things: 1 Men don’t want to dress up, even for their own wedding. 2 And even if they do want to dress up, they don’t know how because men are dumb, and shouldn’t be expected to know any rules of fashion (girls only). 3 And even if he does care about the clothes, it shouldn’t matter. 4 Because the woman cares more.
Anyways, that made me sad on behalf of dudes who like looking good and couples who like respecting each other. In the future when we all get gay-married, I wonder how marketing will adjust to create consumer-anxiety in less gendered ways. Or possibly more gendered, I guess.