Disney gives a whole new meaning to customer engagement surveys.

I was reading a fascinating article today. It was all about Disney Weddings and the online subculture that’s grown around them. Now, these weren’t no Disney themed weddings with Beauty and the Beast figurines atop a three layer cake, these were bonafide weddings at Disney World itself. Endlessly customisable with a sharply scaling price tag, options started at $25,000 and often ended going for around $75,000. Holy schist that’s a heavy chunk of change for photos and memories. You know what though? I’m not here to police what people want to do with their money. That ain’t any of my business. Plus the article does a much better job of spelling it out. I’m more interested in the phenomena surrounding the idea of a fantasy wedding.

I’ll lay it out. I’ve always seen myself getting married. It’s not a political issue for me and I don’t begrudge anyone for whom it is. I like weddings as an extension of my love of celebrations. I don’t need much to get behind frivolity for any cause. Hell, today is Pop Goes The Weasel Day and you know I’m gonna go home and harass the cat with nursery rhymes. I don’t think it’s an essential or urgent thing by any means. I’ve got friends who’ve been together for years without tying the knot. They know they love each other, they know they intend to stay together, but having a symbolic day to remember doesn’t rank high up on their priorities. They’ll get to it at some point, but being married won’t alter their love or devotion for one another. It’s just a nice idea for the future. I’m 100% behind that plan. I hope to be there when they take the plunge, but there’s no rush. Something to look forward to at some point, right?

When this Disney Wedding thing wandered across my path, there was an instant sense of recognition. No, I’m not looking for a Disney wedding. I doubt there are any specific fandoms big enough to hitch my wagon to, but the idea of a massive theme party with all my friends and loved ones? Theme parties are my favourite, how could a themed wedding not hit all the right notes with me? I get it. I understand how someone could fall for the notion of the perfect fairy tale wedding. Imagine having dreamt of something for so much of your life, then having the capacity to transport those dreams into reality. If you had that choice, would money really be an object? If you had the chance to manifest those desires in your sights, how would you be expected to “be realistic” or “practical”. Dreams is dreams, yo.

No, I’ve never thought about what table settings or invitations I’d want. I haven’t spared a second to consider what I’d wear. I don’t have tracks in my head for walking down the aisle or the first dance. I have no colour charts swimming through my brain. I don’t even know where I’d get married. I think destination weddings are grossly unfair to financially challenged attendees, but let’s be real. It’s not like I’m planning on moving back to New Zealand any time soon. What are the chances I’d be able to cater to the family and friends of both my partner and I? How would we make everyone happy?

The truth at the end of the day is that weddings are for the couple getting married. It’s not about making everyone else happy, but inviting loved ones to share in your happiness. For some people, that just happens to mean getting up at 3am and prepping for a wedding location that serves Mickey Mouse waffles. Cynicism aside, if you could sculpt your day into exactly what you wanted, would you really care whose pockets you were lining?

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