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Cinderella Dreams: The Allure of the Lavish Wedding (Life Passages) Paperback – October 17, 2003


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Cinderella Dreams: The Allure of the Lavish Wedding (Life Passages) + Brides, Inc.: American Weddings and the Business of Tradition + One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding
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Product Details

  • Series: Life Passages (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; First Trade edition (October 17, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520240081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520240087
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,140,589 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Despite rampant unemployment, financial insecurity and dizzying personal debt levels, there's still a place for purveyors of wedding gowns, flowers and multi-tiered cakes. Professors Otnes and Pleck, of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, amply explain why. Some of their observations aren't surprising, as when they posit that weddings are a way to flaunt social prowess, but other insights about the link between consumer culture and wedding bells are fresh. They also cover the trappings surrounding the wedding day, such as the engagement ring, the perception of romantic love and even the bouquet toss. Although they sometimes make lighthearted observations, Otnes and Pleck are often scholarly. They adeptly weave in anthropology and cultural commentary to sharpen their points, for instance, discussing the introduction of the "sacred" into the shopping process. As the bride (and it's almost always the bride instead of the groom) selects items for use during the wedding day, she tends to assign significance to them that's far weightier than the objects' usual meaning. Therefore, a silk pillow that would normally be flung onto a couch and forgotten is instead turned into a magical object because the wedding rings will be placed on it during the ceremony. The authors write, "Such items meet the definition of sacred artifacts as described by scholars in religious studies, consumer behavior, and other disciplines." That's a lot of analysis for one little pillow, but almost anyone who's been a bride or gone shopping with one can see the truth of the statement.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Elizabeth Pleck and Cele Otnes pair their distinct talents to offer us a lavish display of the lavish wedding. In fascinating and often surprising detail--across time and place--they make sense of why we have clung to and, in fact, have radically embellished this vestige of Victorian culture."

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Vicki S. on January 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Scholarly but never dull, this fascinating chronicle of the changes in the American wedding over the past century reveals the extent to which so many of our wedding "traditions" are actually fairly recent inventions -- lifted straight from the movies, or foisted upon us by the many industries that profit from the lavish wedding. Though the authors approach their task as researchers and seem to have no particular ax to grind, readers who feel that the opulence of the American wedding has spiraled out of control will likely find plenty of support here for making a change.
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