Time was that wedding days meant a choice between beef or salmon. Now simplicity has gone out the window along with affordability and, some would say, good taste. But yearning for romance remains, writes Claire O'Mahony
It’s not often that glamour model Jordan leads the way forward trend-wise but with her ostentatious marriage last year to crooner Peter Andre she did just that. All right, so a glass Cinderella style carriage, pink wedding dress bedecked with Swarkovski crystals and 7ft train and a foot high pink crown might be a tad too much for most people’s taste but her stance that bigger is better when it comes to weddings was spot on.
Celebrity weddings like that of Cheryl Tweedy and Ashley Cole, who married last week, are providing plenty of inspiration for mere mortals. This year, stretch limos and white doves are hot and even meringue wedding dresses are back with vengeance.
But whereas celebrities can look to deals with magazines such as Hello and Ok to help them foot the bill, the rest of us don’t have this luxury. The average cost of an Irish wedding range from €20,000 - €25,000 – practically the deposit on a house. So why have Irish weddings become such grandiose affairs?
There’s a perception that rip-off Ireland is responsible for escalating expenses and expectations but Julie Cobbe, Commercial Manager with SimplyWeddings.com, says that brides themselves are pushing up the costs. “Many brides nowadays want to have everything their mums didn’t have. If that means blowing the budget to get the helicopter to the church or the fireworks to finish off a fabulous day, then that’s what they will do.
Sunday Tribune fashion editor and editor of Confetti magazine Ciara Elliott says it’s simply a reflection of a buoyant economy. “Time was your wedding day meant donning your best dress, arranging sandwiches and tea for neighbours and strolling down to the local church to be ‘handed over’ from father to new husband” she notes. “These days the bride wants the whole shooting gallery of fabulous dress, classy reception, stylish hen weekend away and honeymoon to die for. And why wouldn’t they? With the rising economic tide, Ireland has taken a lot of its spending habits directly from the US where weddings have been getting progressively lavish since the 1980’s.
Certainly, not all couples are opting to celebrate in such an excessive way, but things have moved on from the era of homemade dresses and cakes and ‘beef or salmon’. Yet despite these generational differences in style and cost, modern brides still wants elegance, romance and perfection, just like their mothers di