One Perfect Day by Rebecca Mead: A Review

One perfect day

Before you drop $25,000, or even $5,000 for your Perfect Day, Read Rebecca Mead’s expose of the American wedding industry, One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding.

One Perfect Day is an excellent read for couples who have recently become engaged. In fact, all ‘thinking’ brides should read this book as a primer to wedding planning – well before the venue is booked, and the dress is found.

One Perfect Daydigs deep into the core of the wedding industry. It gives a behind the scenes look inside an industry that is as sophisticated in manufacturing and marketing fairytales as Walt Disney. (Not surprising Disney is one of the big players in the industry.)

In her quest to understand the American Wedding, Mead travels across the country, attending insider events and meeting with wedding professionals from all facets of the industry – from wedding planners, to officiants, to videographers. The revealing conversations she has with many wedding professionals gives the reader an understanding of just how ‘valuable’ the bride has become in recent years. As one wedding professional put it, she is “a marketer’s dream.”

Mead also travels to a factory in China, where bridal gowns are manufactured for market in the U.S. Her sobering account of the factory conditions and the daily drudgery of the mostly female laborers (they make on average $150 per month working 6-7 days a week) give insight not only into the wedding gown industry – but ‘Made in China’ as a whole. (The question remains, how do we as consumers avoid it when there’s little choice of anything else?)

Mead also challenges the accuracy of the $27,852 price tag placed on the average wedding: a number, she explains that is issued (and promoted) by a major company that publishes bridal magazines.

What’s the advantage of promoting the $27,852 price tag? Mead argues that if a bride is told repeatedly that is the average cost of a wedding, then she believes that spending nearly $28,000 is perfectly acceptable.

One Perfect Dayis an essential read for anyone who wants to create a wedding with authenticity. There’s a good chance that after reading it, a bride will ask herself: Is this the wedding that we really want, or is this the wedding the big white wedding machine has hypnotized us to have? As Mead points out, even the best of us can fall under the glittering, fairytale spell of the American Wedding.


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  1. Posted by Victoria on June 17th, 2011 at 9:24pm

    There is definitely something to be said for hosting your wedding *your* way and not the Wedding Machine's way. We cut out many of the traditional wedding elements like post dinner dance, garter toss, bouquet toss, wedding cake and traditional banquet hall.

    We hosted our reception in a restaurant, focusing more on friends sharing a great meal, rather than buying into the machine. Heck, we even purchased our simple titanium wedding bands on eBay, because, why not? We got exactly what we wanted without the price tag.

    I wish more people would just host weddings in a way that was true to themselves, rather than what others expect.

    In planning mine, the most ridiculous comment I got was, "Your wedding isn't really a wedding anyway. It's just a dinner."

    It blew my mind. Isn't that all a regular wedding is; a big dinner in a banquet hall?

    For some people, the drilled into your head customs are everything. Silly.
  2. Posted by Christina on June 18th, 2011 at 12:24pm

    Victoria, I wholeheartedly agree. Being true to yourself is key!!!
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