I resolved some time ago to avoid mentioning The Royal You Know What on this blog.
However, now it’s over – but is on some kind of endless media loop tape – I feel impelled to say that the main problem with weddings in the tarty 21st Century isn’t the empty promises and meaningless gestures. Everyone loves those. No, it’s the fact that the groom can’t be a bride too.
On the Big Day he has to channel his inner princess through his Wife-To-Be. Which is very traditional of course, but a bit unfair and not really what today’s narcissistic, pampered young men have been led to expect by advertising and Men’s Health magazine. Or, for that matter, feminism and ‘equal opps’.
On the one day in his life the average man gets to be treated like a celeb or royalty and travel by limo and be endlessly photographed and videotaped he has to wear a very boring standard issue hired Victorian frock coat that hides his gym body – or if he’s lucky enough to be a member of the Royal Family a pillar box red ‘dress uniform’ apparently made out of felt, horsehair, chicken wire and Gilbert & Sullivan props. His wife on the other hand gets to choose something modern, designer, sensuous and very expensive. That everyone will look at and talk about.
This makes for a rather ‘over-determined’ bride, poor dear. Who has to try to live out not only her own inner princess fantasies but those of her fiancée as well. You can imagine the arguments that go on in today’s bridal shops: ‘Look, Nigel, I TOLD you it would be better if you just went for another work-out or haircut and left me and my girlfriends to choose the bloody frock!’
Maybe it’s because the groom is still forced to channel his inner princess through the bride that Kate and her Tudor eyebrows looked a little like a post-op TS version of Wills.
For the sake of some kind of balance, I should also add that one of the reasons why gay (male) weddings can seem so redundant to me is because there is no bride at all – just two grooms. All the fuss and bother – and twice the suit hire – of a straight wedding but without the frocking point.