Sexism and the Wedding Industry – Time to Wake Up and Smell the Aftershave!

I always know when I’ve written a post that may be a bit controversial; my finger hovers over the ‘Publish’ button for an eternity. My gut tells me that this post is going to see the next ice age come and go before my finger clicks on that blog-busting button. So let the controversy begin! Let’s talk about sexism and the wedding industry.

Please, please, please, tell me how and when the wedding industry morphed into the bridal industry? The bridal industry??!! So where does the groom or grooms-to-be feature in this decidedly gender biased world? And what about the bride-to-be, is it really fair to subtly push all the responsibility onto her shoulders?

She, Her, Bride – What About Him, His, Groom?

It drives me completely nuts when the words ‘the bride’, ‘she’, ‘her’, etc,  are repeatedly used in publications, on websites and on forums. Of course there are going to be wedding specialists that cater almost exclusively for a bride, but why-oh-why do suppliers of general wedding goods insist on punting their wares to the bride?

Even suppliers themselves are bombarded. I wonder how many of them have forked out their hard earned cash, or entered their precious email address into an opt-in form just to download PDF’s titled ‘Get More Brides to Part with Cash’, ‘Get Brides Spending on Your Business’, ‘More Brides Through Your Doors’. Seriously?! Let me just check the calendar – yes we are living in the 21st Century.

Time, I think, to wake up and smell the aftershave folks. There are many, many men who would desperately love to be more involved in the whole planning process and, with a huge chunk of them putting their hands in their pockets for wedding industry supplies, why on earth should they feel that they have to force their way through the ‘bridal barrier’.

Just check out the excellent Staggered.com, yes there are more than a few stag night offerings, but just slightly scratch the surface and you’ll find many a frustrated groom-to-be who wants to get involved, but doesn’t know how.

“And The Next Time You Come, Leave Him At Home!”

Let me give you some examples of the border line sexism that sometimes permeats this wonderful industry ………… “And the next time you come, leave him at home!” Can you believe that these words actually left the lips of a sales assistant in a dress boutique? They were directed at my then fiance. His crime? He had the audacity to want an input into the choosing of the bridesmaid’s dresses. Needless to say, we shopped elsewhere.

We also noticed that a large number of suppliers directed all their questions and answers (even when asked by my fiance) to me. Now please correct me if I’m wrong, but surely this would be regarded as rude in social situations?

There is no doubt in my mind that, in most relationships, one person will have more ideas, be more planning orientated and will wish to take the wedding reigns. So what happens if that person is the groom-to-be?

Food for thought?

Caricature of Michelle Lyndon-Dykes

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