Media meltdown over cash cow royal wedding

Off they gallop, keen to pander to the shamelessly prurient vicarious thrill that so many people get from following the royal soap opera. And what’s better for ratings and merchandise tie-ins than a big wedding episode? Journalists will be anticipating months ahead of letting the waffle freely flow while merchandisers offer wedding-related content up to them on a platter, and they get to dust off some of their old Diana content for the nostalgia quotient as well.

The British economy is already perking up. Bookmakers are offering odds on the date, the venue, the dress designer and goodness knows what else. The Wedding Industrial Complex is girding its collective loins for the onslaught, as designers take the opportunity for free publicity by rabbiting on about their latest wedding constructions and how they’d be just “perfect” for the royal bride. Jewellers must be grinding their teeth over the decision to recycle a family ring for the engagement trophy. Good on the Prince, although not having one at all (or having matching engagement bands) would have been truly iconoclastic.

P.S. my bah-humbugging on this is sadly incomplete due to failing to note that the current Western wedding fantasy is almost entirely based on royal wedding fever amongst the Industrial Age aspiring bourgeoisie – before 1840 when Queen Victoria was married in an immense white satin and lace confection that she never meant to wear again, brides mostly got married in a stylish outfit suitable for Sunday best afterwards. Her gown was widely photographed, and thus widely copied, and here we are.

a promotional picture for the Fred Astaire June Powell movie 'Royal Wedding' with the word KA-CHING! superimposedAnyway, I am so not interested in any of the gossip about this wedding, that I know already will unavoidably filter through my mental periphery in the months to come (prime example – that I know about the engagement ring as above). So how about a thread where we share some fun pop culture moments about weddings (or non-weddings) that avoid the Consumerist Fantasy Wedding tropes? I’ll start off with Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling (from the film titled Royal Wedding – yes, I am cognisant of the irony of using a film cashing in on a previous generation’s royal wedding fever to illustrate my point):

And here’s a rather nice deconstruction how the above scene was filmed:

What’s your favourite bling-ka-ching-free pop culture wedding/un-wedding moment?

Categories: media, relationships


8 replies

  1. This alternate take on the Royal Wedding in the film version of Stardust is rather amusing, in an #iamtwelve sort of way. 😉
    (Note: I originally embedded this, but changed it to a link, as still image for the video is the NSFW bit.)

  2. Ms 5 just watched the Fred Astaire clip and must have said “Amazing!” 20 times. 🙂

    • I think that’s the universal response the first time anyone sees it!
      I’ve been procrastinating via related dance videos for most of the day 🙂

    • By the way, proving my point about the commercialism, we’ve already had a spammer trying to hawk their brand new royal wedding related website by telling me I was “dreaming” if I didn’t think that this royal wedding was going to be a huge event followed by gazillions of fans. Dude, way to miss the point. Of course it’s going to be huge, but should it be?

  3. No it shouldn’t be. I was right in the middle of a rant about how obsessed we are with entertainment in our culture that the iTunes/Beatles deal was regarded as SMH lead story material, and then along came the royal wedding news. See! See! See! We are mad.
    Though I did have to laugh in a schadenfreude sort of way when my youngest daughter responded to the announcement about the ring with: “And yes that ended so well. Not.” Apparently everyone else in the world is too polite to point this out.
    All I can say is that it (the ceremony, not the marriage) had better be over and done with before I arrive there mid-year, or I’ll be kicking over any barricades that stop me seeing wot I came to see.

  4. Best coverage of the Royal Wedding so far: Couple Who Met at University to Marry.

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