All Marketers...

The Runaway Bride

[Actual overheard phone conversation, yesterday, in a company that books music for parties]

“So, you want to reduce the number of musicians from 9 to 6?”

“Do you mind if I ask a question… is it because of the cost?”

slight sneer “Hmmm, well I’m sure we’ll still be able to provide you with something special.”

“Now, for the reception… you’ll want classical musicians, of course.”

The American bride’s worldview is a twisted, scary place. It’s not only about creating a special day, a day just for you, a day that you’ll remember, a day that you’ve dreamed of forever, a day where you are the princess you’d always like to be, but it’s also filled with doubt and self-esteem issues.

Why do we “need” $9,000 worth or flowers or a dress that averages $799? (Aside: if the average price of a wedding dress is $800, that means that most brides are spending close to their entire annual discretionary income on an article of clothing that will be worn exactly once). The reason, of course, is that on this day, the way you feel is everything. Nobody NEEDS a wedding. And the way you feel is largely driven by your expectation of how others expect you to behave.

The entire wedding industry is built on a lie. The lie is a story that says, “if your wedding doesn’t include at least all of the standard items, you’re not special.”

You knew all this of course. I’m just reminding you because when you see something so perfectly executed, it’s worth noting.

As a marketer, I’d be more inclined to sell the over-the-top fantasy stuff like a wedding at Disney with Mickey as best man. What astonishes me is how high the bar for the ‘standard’ wedding has become.