Named Weddings today are a $70-billion business, yet no one has explained how the industry has become such a significant component of the American economy. In Howard reveals how many of our customs and wedding rituals were the product of sophisticated advertising campaigns, merchandising promotions, and entrepreneurial innovations. Tracing the rise of the wedding industry from the 1920s through the 1950s, the author explains that retailers, bridal consultants, etiquette writers, caterers, and many others invented traditions from the diamond engagement ring and double-ring ceremony to the gift registry to the package-deal catered affair. These businesses and entrepreneurs, many of them women, transformed wedding culture and set the stage for today's multibillion-dollar industry.
The wedding industry began to take shape between the 1920s and the 1950s. Bridal magazine editors and etiquette writers, jewelers, department store window display artists, bridal consultants, fashion designers, and caterers invented new consumer rites and promoted higher standards of wedding consumption. Claiming ties with During World War II, the traditional white wedding grew even more prevalent as jewelers and bridal gown manufacturers successfully sought exemptions from wartime restrictions, linking the diamond engagement ring, the double-ring ceremony, and the formal white wedding gown with democracy and American prosperity. By the 1950s, the wedding industry had made the formal white wedding tradition a part of a new cult of marriage and the modern American Dream.
Entertaining and informative,
University of Pennsylvania Press
American Weddings and the Business of Tradition
Education & Reference /