In this week’s Hitched column for The Frisky, I wonder whether wedding registries are even needed any more. I also get really fucking excited about the trampoline our wedding party bought us.
But I don’t think we can ignore the phenomenon of wedding presents in the era of the Wedding Industrial Complex. Very often, weddings are elaborate testaments to the extremes of consumer culture. They are the ultimate hand-fasting between materialism and deep cultural emotion. Buying stuff is a seminal part of the whole arrangement.
And it’s because today’s newlyweds often live together before marriage and no longer genuinely need a set of Teflon cookware, a microwave or sheets that I think the WIC has transformed the idea of wedding gift-giving. It used to be a helpful leg-up for a bride and groom building a new household; now it’s a kind of straight-up goods-and-services exchange. You give us a double boiler and we’ll buy your food and drink for one night.
Read the rest here.