by Mike McNamee Published 01/09/2005
An article in The Guardian (the old fat one, not the new skinny one) caught my eye last month. Under the pictorial caption "Just Married - Just Don't" and a subhead of "The hell of weddings", Tanya Gold went on to describe the "nauseating carnival of excess" that she feels today's wedding has become. Apparently the average wedding now costs £17,000. The average guest spends £300 split into £55 for a gift, £32.75 on booze, £9.20 on underwear and the same on a hat (bit of a sexist list - I have never spent that much on a pair of Y‑fronts or a hat for that matter and just how much booze can a gal consume in a day?).
Photographers don't really get a mention other than a quote from a vicar, "I don't allow video or flash photography during the service, it turns everything into a performance" - I can think of a few photographers who think that the photography is a bit of a performance! The overall tone of the article was very downbeat of the "big occasion", saving its greatest sarcasm for the attention to detail that the modern planner puts in to the type of tie for the napkins, etc, and ending with the words ",...they (the Bride and Groom) really want the wow factor".
I am not sure if this is good or bad news for the photographer. I suppose on a rising scale of costs the snapper might pull a bit more, as a fixed percentage of the total, and in any case, if you have spent so much on an ostentatious display it would be a shame not to get it between the pages of the album for posterity. The downside is that when the happy couple return from their honeymoon excesses, the bills will be arriving and they may feel less inclined to be up-sold into that new, shiny, leather number from Graphi. It looks like a fine balancing act to me!
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