E.H.'s Reviews > All Dressed in White: The Irresistible Rise of the American Wedding

All Dressed in White by Carol McD. Wallace
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Jun 20, 09

bookshelves: nonfiction, theboxmarkeddone
Read in June, 2009

An intriguing look at the traditions behind the American wedding, for all brides who ever wondered why we're nearly required by society to wear a big white dress, spend $26,000 on one day, carry a vast array of flowers, serve a formal sit down dinner to everyone and his second cousin, and smile through the whole thing like we were auditioning for Miss America.

All in all, I appreciate having the ammunition so I have an easy answer if someone asks me why my fiance and I decided not to observe tradition x at our wedding. And from a historical perspective, a history of weddings is very much a history of women (since during much of history being a wife/mother was essentially a woman's career), so it was interesting to see how our forebears handled the situation, their expectations of it, etc. My main problem is that although the book goes all the way to the early 21st century, gay marriage isn't mentioned until about the last 50 pages, and then only once in passing, although the fight has been around since the 1970s in America, with a much longer history elsewhere. This complaint might be countered by the idea that the book is about weddings, whereas the fight for gay marriage is more about, well, marriage. But that seems like a cop out; surely there's something interesting to be said about gay weddings and the way the Wedding Industrial Complex looks at them.
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