What part, then, do bridal magazines play in encouraging the development of this Bridezilla culture, in which wedding obsessions is mandated in all of newly engaged women? The message that the bridal magazines convey to their readers is that a wedding is a consumer rite of passage, in which the taking up of a new role in life is given material substance through the acquisition of products and services for both the wedding itself and for the marriage that is to follow.
– Rebecca Mead, One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding
One of the more memorable sermons delivered in our college chapel while I was an undergrad suggested that men ought to get rid of their pornographic magazines and women should get rid of their bridal magazines. The speaker was a professor in the marriage & family therapy program at Bethel Seminary at the time, and she was not shy about equating many women’s use of bridal magazines with men’s use of pornographic material.
It was controversial, and is certainly not the argument that Mead makes here. But can a Christian come anywhere close to viewing a wedding as a “consumer rite of passage”? I suspect not.