September 18th, 2008 • 12:09
The other day I learned that last year alone thirty billion dollars was spent on wedding dresses in the United States.
“How much?” I said, after hearing the staggering sum.
Hearing that figure recommitted me to this movement and to the idea of creating a group of committed individuals who are systematically chipping away at the US wedding industry by non involvement in the marriage economy.
How about we shoot to lower that number to below 20 billion next year?
Some really amazing straight women have joined The Marrying Kind facebook group. I’m somewhat surprised by the number. But I guess I shouldn’t be. I think, in particular, women understand the importance of a wedding. The importance of what being able to say, “we are married,” means in this society. And they understand that anything less than being married– being in a civil union, or domestic partnership– is not equality. It’s another way of saying you are less.
As I wrote about in a prior blog, I heard from one woman who, along with her boyfriend, have decided not to marry until gays and lesbians can marry. (note: when I say marry, I mean Federal marriage). I think it’s amazing that they’re doing that. But I also know that’s more than most straight couples will be willing to do. Because, as gay couples are already painfully aware, all those federal rights are really hard to live without.
But I do believe there are a lot of straight couples, who might be willing to get married without the party, without the dress, the band, the favors. Maybe, in the end, it will be a lot of straight women of conviction, who by slashing the budgets for their weddings, make the difference in gays and lesbians having equality.
Maybe these straight women will create a new kind of ceremony for themselves: Just her and her beloved, maybe a few family members and friends (who haven’t bought any presents) a justice of the peace. Maybe they’re standing on the beach, he’s in a pair of old faded jeans; she wears an ancient sundress. They’re sharing the vows they wrote themselves.
When they’ve finished–when they’re married–She thanks their friends for coming. But there is no dinner. Instead, they promise their friends that there will be a party someday. They just don’t know when. It might take awhile.
And then… who knows? Maybe Vera Wang, shocked by her plummeting dress sales, makes a phone call. She must know important political people. Don’t you think? She’s Vera Wang!
This is how change happens. (Okay maybe not the Vera Wang part) But, maybe.
It’s just about thinking in a different way. And always believing that one person can make a difference.
And remember, nobody looks that great in that super expensive, giant white dress.
Wouldn’t you be more comfortable in something you already have in your closet?