The Rise of the Lavish Wedding

Cele C. Otnes

in Cinderella Dreams

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780520236615
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937505 | DOI:
The Rise of the Lavish Wedding

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This chapter examines the trend in weddings in the past century, which reveal that this event has become much larger and grander and takes longer to plan, and attempts to explain exactly why this kind of culture could flourish. It first shows how fairy tales, specifically Cinderella, and its theme of romantic love, became one of the main reasons behind the consumer revolution near the end of the eighteenth century. From there, the chapter looks at the development of department stores, which emphasized the roles of women as consumers and the men as providers. Advertising also helped the bridal industry create and communicate the idea of a perfect wedding and to represent this event as an expression of the ideal of perfect love. The chapter finally enumerates the visual additions to the bridal fantasy, shows how royal weddings revived the Cinderella fantasy, and determines the effects of changing demographic patterns on weddings.

Keywords: fairy tales; Cinderella; romantic love; consumer revolution; department stores; advertising; bridal industry; bridal fantasy; royal weddings

Chapter.  11829 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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