Friday, July 06, 2007


I'm off to a wedding this Saturday, so I went to the local Myer department store last night to see the bridal registry. There were only a half dozen things left on the list, and none of them seemed appropriate for me, so I'm going to have to go freelance and hope for the best.

Number 2,986 on the lengthy list of Things That Annoy Me is the fact that it's called a Bridal Registry rather than a Wedding Registry. It evokes a mental image of Bridezilla striding around the department store, delivering a running oration of "We will have the Royal Doulton Fleur de Lis china set and the Amberly crystal wine glasses and the Crowley Miller towels... no, the SCARLET ones, not the CRIMSON ones!... and the silver Finemore House napkin rings and..." while the groom scuffs along in her wake, making assenting noises as required. I'd hate to think that it's actually like that.

Still, it could be worse. It could be more like this:

Bride: Honey, what do you think of this china pattern?

Groom: It's nice.

Bride: What about this one?

Groom: It's nice too.

Bride: But which one do you prefer?

Groom: Hmmm... I think the first one.

Bride: The first one?

Groom: Yep.

Bride: You don't think the second one is more classic?

Groom: They're both fine. I'd be happy with either one.

Bride: Don't take that tone with me.

Groom: What tone? I said they're both fine. Get whichever one you like.

Bride: This is supposed to be our decision!

Groom: Look, I really don't care what sort of china we have.

Bride: I knew it! You don't really want to get married at all, do you!

Groom: What? Of course I do! I just don't see what china patterns have to do with...

Bride: I hate you! The wedding's off! (Exeunt, weeping)

Weddings do have a tendency to bring out the worst in people.

The last wedding I went to was horrible, largely because of the naked greed of the bridal registry. The happy couple were well-paid professionals in their thirties who had been living together for years, and since their parents were paying for the wedding their sole reason for doing it appeared to be the acquisition of a truckload of free luxury consumer goods. I wished the couple well, but not to the tune of a $300 bed sheet or a $120 pepper grinder.

This Saturday's couple, I'm happy to say, are the exact opposite: impoverished twentysomethings who've been living in (separate) sharehouses and who are paying for the bulk of their wedding themselves. They actually need and deserve the material spoils of the wedding day. In fact, they're rather humble; everything on the registry is very ordinary and workaday, from the Maxwell Williams china to the Panasonic telephone. I don't think they quite get it - once they're married they'll be able to buy their own Maxwell Williams crockery, but they're unlikely to be able to afford a Portmeirion salad bowl or a Bang & Olufsen alarm clock. A wedding is one of the very few times that people expect to give extravagant gifts like these. I think they could have gone a little further in that direction without becoming the acquisition-crazed monsters mentioned above.


Blogger an9ie said...

Methinks you will enjoy this site: Godawful Wedding Crap.

I like the Chinese/Greek way - just give money. However much or little you like. No one cares.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Blandwagon said...

Youthinks right, An9ie. I went, I saw, I experienced that little taste of bile in the back of the throat.

Now bookmarked... :)

4:27 PM  

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