May 30, 2013

The Wedding Industrial Complex

In response to Debra K. Fileta's recent article, "Wedding Planning: How Much is Too Much," which is very well put, I think that the gargantuan nature of wedding planning and presentation compared to the trivialization of the marriage relationship is quite ironic.

This irony suggests a question. Well, maybe two questions . . .

Has the rise of wedding commercialism diminished an understanding of covenantal marriage? Or, rather, has confusion about marriage allowed, if not indirectly encouraged, the “wedding industrial complex” to usurp the truth?

And what is this wedding industrial complex anyway?

Apparently this phrase has been used before, though I formulated it today without such influence as my own blatant reference to what President Dwight D. Eisenhower in his farewell address called "The Military Industrial Complex." (On that note, the somewhat liberal documentary, Why We Fight, is a great source of thought on the subject of the business of war.)

Back to the dance floor of weddings and marriage . . . Honestly, there are books written that far surpass anything that I can contribute at this point. For example, Mike Mason's The Mystery of Marriage profoundly examines God's sacrificial love as the ultimate source of understanding and meaning in relationship. Furthermore, Tim & Kathy Keller's The Meaning of Marriage really expounds on the subject with challenging practical terms. Even Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage adds some honest questions and legitimate outsider's perspective to the discussion. In the briefest of terms, then, based on my perception of American culture's "Enlightened" thinking, I perceive the wedding industrial complex to possibly be one of the fullest manifestations of self-actualization-oriented consumer individualism around. (As if that is not a mouthful in itself . . .)

What do you think?

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