Cinderella Dreams: The Allure of the Lavish Wedding

Front Cover
University of California Press, 2003 - Social Science - 384 pages
3 Reviews
The fabulous gown, the multitiered cake, abundant flowers, attendants and guests in their finery. The white wedding does more than mark a life passage. It marries two of the most sacred tenets of American culture--romantic love and excessive consumption. For anyone who has ever wondered about the meanings behind a white dress, a diamond ring, rice, and traditions such as cake cutting, bouquet tossing, and honeymooning, this book offers an entertaining and enlightening look at the historical, social, and psychological strains that come together to make the lavish wedding the most important cultural ritual in contemporary consumer culture.
With an emphasis on North American society, Cele C. Otnes and Elizabeth H. Pleck show how the elaborate wedding means far more than a mere triumph for the bridal industry. Through interviews, media accounts, and wide-ranging research and analysis, they expose the wedding's reflection--or reproduction--of fundamental aspects of popular consumer culture: its link with romantic love, its promise of magical transformation, its engendering of memories, and its legitimization of consumption as an expression of perfection. As meaningful as any prospective bride might wish, the lavish wedding emerges here as a lens that at once reveals, magnifies, and reveres some of the dearest wishes and darkest impulses at the heart of our culture. The fabulous gown, the multitiered cake, abundant flowers, attendants and guests in their finery. The white wedding does more than mark a life passage. It marries two of the most sacred tenets of American culture--romantic love and excessive consumption. For anyone who has ever wondered about the meanings behind a white dress, a diamond ring, rice, and traditions such as cake cutting, bouquet tossing, and honeymooning, this book offers an entertaining and enlightening look at the historical, social, and psychological strains that come together to make the lavish wedding the most important cultural ritual in contemporary consumer culture.
With an emphasis on North American society, Cele C. Otnes and Elizabeth H. Pleck show how the elaborate wedding means far more than a mere triumph for the bridal industry. Through interviews, media accounts, and wide-ranging research and analysis, they expose the wedding's reflection--or reproduction--of fundamental aspects of popular consumer culture: its link with romantic love, its promise of magical transformation, its engendering of memories, and its legitimization of consumption as an expression of perfection. As meaningful as any prospective bride might wish, the lavish wedding emerges here as a lens that at once reveals, magnifies, and reveres some of the dearest wishes and darkest impulses at the heart of our culture.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

Big, expensive weddings allow people, especially women, to feel like they’ve been touched by magic—to be special and unique and experience a magical moment marking a major life transition. They ... Read full review

Review: Cinderella Dreams: The Allure of the Lavish Wedding

User Review  - Kristie - Goodreads

I read it for a class and I surprisingly liked it. Read full review

Related books

Contents

1 Romance Magic Memory and Perfection
1
2 The Rise of the Lavish Wedding
25
3 The Engagement Complex
55
4 The Rituals of Wedding Shopping
81
5 The Wedding Weekend
105
6 From the Cabin to Cancún
134
7 Hollywood Hosts a Wedding
164
8 The Lavish Wedding Goes Global
197
9 Variations on a Theme
228
10 Luxury Lavishness and Love
264
Notes
281
Bibliography
333
Index
365
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

Cele C. Otnes is Associate Professor of Business Administration at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is the coeditor, with Richard F. Beltramini, of "Gift-Giving: An Interdisciplinary Anthology "(1996), and is also coeditor, with Tina M. Lowrey, of the forthcoming book "Contemporary Consumption Rituals: A Research Anthology" (2003). Elizabeth H. Pleck is Professor of History and of Human and Community Development at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is the author of "Celebrating the Family: Ritual, Consumer Culture and Ethnicity "(2000) and "Domestic Tyranny: The Making of Social Policy against Family Violence from Colonial Times to the Present "(1987).

Bibliographic information