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Shelling Out For Weddings Dates Back to Depression

Shelling Out For Wedding Dresses Dates Back to Depression

Our eyes grow wider as the average price of a wedding keeps rising, and the nearly $30,000 price tag makes some brides stop and wonder how it's possible that everything wedding-related seems so inflated. The New York Times reported something very interesting this weekend that points out how long the tradition of marriage has been paired with the tradition of spending lots of money.

According to the article, called "Party Peer Pressure, and Why You Shouldn’t Succumb to It," wedding sections were introduced to department stores in the 1930s. Marketers adopted a "love knows no Depression" slogan in spreading the trend, and assumed that even when times were tough, brides would still find the money for a wedding dress. Wedding sections are staples in many department stores nowadays — looks like those 1930s marketers knew their stuff.


Join The Conversation
alysedai alysedai 8 years
I spent $180 for my wedding dress on I am so glad that I didn't spend a fortune for it. I think my dress was unique and beautiful without costing a fortune. Feel free to look at my wedding pictures and see what I mean. Plus, we went to was the best decision I've made!
thelorax thelorax 8 years
Very interesting. I see this sense of entitlement, not just in women but in men too - that they DESERVE to have such and such, so they go out and buy it on credit, whether they can actually afford it or not. It's really sad to me. I spent about $215 or something on my dress - more than I'd intended to spend, and it was about 10% of the entire cost of the wedding - while some of my friends have spent $2500 or more on their dress. I just don't get it, you'll only wear this once, for a few hours! I understand wanting to look beautiful, what bride doesn't? But you can look just as stunning for a FRACTION of the price.
sassy_chick sassy_chick 8 years
And to the person who is "so not into" wedding planning--why are you reading this part of the site?
sassy_chick sassy_chick 8 years
The 30k was for the entire wedding, not the dress. And I don't have any problem shelling out money for my dress. In fact, we're doing it in the next few weeks. Worth it.
baybug baybug 8 years
I spent a little more than I expected on my wedding dress, but it was worth every penny.
cubadog cubadog 8 years
I think $850 for a wedding dress is a deal considering a lot of the cost well over $1500.
sonya-ina sonya-ina 8 years
sonya-ina sonya-ina 8 years
My parents paid about $850 for my gown too, which I actually consider to be rather inexpensive considering the 30K price this article mentions -- My parents didn't even spend that much on our entire wedding! I could fathom spending any more than 1K on a dress, and even that's pushing it for me.
SugarKat SugarKat 8 years
I got a pricey wedding gown, but I just didn't care. My parents paid for most of my wedding so I got a dress that my mom liked and suited me. It did end up only costing around $850 though so still not the $30,000 that they're talking about in this article.
Marni7 Marni7 8 years
I know what depression the article is referring to, my response was in reference to another poster. thanks.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
I spent only 3 grand and that included my dress, food, church, organist, invitations, tux rental etc.....I called in alot of favors!
estella241 estella241 8 years
CaterpillarGirl, how sad for your sister in law. I'm so glad that I didn't spend a fortune on my wedding. Not having the budget for unnecessary frills allowed us to relax during the planning period and even on the big day.
bellaressa bellaressa 8 years
Interesting history. As long as you can afford it, I say go for it. I just think there is better ways to spend money and/or save.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
lol Caterpiller
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
depression in this post, means the ....depression of the 1930's, the great one.
Marni7 Marni7 8 years
I am going to a wedding in Oct where my boy is the best man and the price tag is seriously reaching the $100,000's completely insane and pointless in my opinion. I think its purely because she likes to show off what she has, not necessary bcus of depression.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
My sister in law got married in june, they both paid for the whole thing themselves, she wanted a simple no frills wedding, and took her mom and his mom with her to pick out wedding dresses, she ended up getting a dress way out of her budget because she felt pressured by "its your big day" and how the frillier one looked "better" on her than the simple one. (which it didnt, because i had seen her in the simplier one earlier in the year) After the honeymoon, she told me that she had a lump in her throat the whole wedding because she knew she had done the wrong thing "I couldnt stop thinking about how much money i spent to wear something for an hour and a half!"
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 8 years
Wow ... I am so not into wedding planning and I'm fascinated by those who are and who shell out ridiculous amounts of money for their "big day."
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i think that part of the reason that people shell out so much money for a wedding is that it's one of the few happy things going on in life that we can control. for myself - i'm in the midst of wedding planning and i'm ok with spending a bit more since i'm 'actually depressed' about a lot of other things in my life - rather than knowing it ties back to the depression. it feels like it's the one day that you can control being happy and having everyone celebrate with and for you.
HeidiMD HeidiMD 8 years
And just how many of these marriages will end up in divorce thanks to financial difficulty?
chocolatine chocolatine 8 years
"loves knows no Depression" - and the best way to start your life together is by plunging yourself into five-figure debt.
Advah Advah 8 years
Wow - super interesting, and slightly disgusting to see the marketing strategy to get people to spend money they don't have!
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