Does the average betrothed woman need that many glossy pictures to plan a wedding? Not every woman — make that couple — can spend $100,000 or so on that special day. The idea of dropping more than a down payment on a house on a single day is appalling (almost makes me relieved that I haven't had to make that decision in my life yet). Even an inexpensive wedding these days costs tens of thousands of dollars.
And for the record, I'm not a cheapskate or a tightwad, just a practical guy who asks whether it is wise to spend a crazy amount of money on a party.
After flipping through a few of these magazines, where the stories were barely distinguishable from the ads, I determined that people have way too much time and disposable income to obsess over how flower arrangements and tablecloths should match the taffeta gowns for the bridesmaids.
These magazines appear designed to make every person who's not getting ready to walk down the aisle feel less than human. The magazine extravaganza raised an even more pressing concern: among the lavish titles promising wedding bliss, there is not a single publication geared for men.
Maybe I'm just feeling a bit out of the loop in the middle of the big season. If I could raise the millions of dollars of venture capital necessary for the task, perhaps I could start my own wedding magazine for men — something more pragmatic. Here, I've come up with a few titles and themes:
· Shotgun Wedding — The magazine for the couple who has no choice. They might be forced into a marriage, but they also love the Second Amendment.
· Bride Again — This is the magazine that helps you plan your second, third or fourth wedding. It could feature stories about custody, child support and alimony issues, in addition to listing the best places for a subdued civil ceremony.
· Marital Property Illustrated — You've heard of the magazine for the person who has everything. Well, this is the magazine for people who had things that now belong to the couple, or people who have things and want to keep them. In many states, when you have stuff and get married, some of it becomes stuff owned by the couple, hence marital property. This title offers lots of practical advice and stories on everything from real estate to stocks to retirement benefits, even pets.
· Bridezilla — We've all heard of Bridezilla, or "Brides Gone Wild." This magazine could combine stories of out-of-control wives-to-be with a bent toward the science-fiction aficionado. You know, where monsters like Godzilla — a giant mutated, fire-breathing lizard — sit front and center at the nuptials.
· Kanye's Golddigger — Celebrity magazines are hot; consider Oprah's, Martha Stewart's, Rosie O'Donnell's. Okay, Rosie lost money and folded. But let's roll with a magazine based on hip-hop singer Kanye West's breakout hit, "Golddigger." I'd love to see a back of the book essay, "Don't be a 'sucka,' we want pre-nup, we want pre-nup."
· Larry King's Five Times a Charm — Still in the celebrity genre, but with Larry King, who's been married so many times that I've lost track. Still, this is a guy who knows a thing or two about marriage.
· May-September — A wedding magazine totally devoted to the older guy-younger woman relationship. Ad revenues from "Big Pharma" could bankroll this publication — Viagra, Cialis and other product lines catering to senior citizens could cover the costs. Each issue should come with a special tear-out first-aid poster for the honeymoon: "CPR and Your Senior Husband"; "Stroke of Luck — Save Your Spouse From a Stroke"; and "CSI Cialis: The Four-Hour Remedy." Collect them all. In all fairness, the Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher coupling has made it hip for B-list performers to get involved with older women, too.
· Monkey Suit — To counterbalance the wealth of wedding gown magazines, how about one for men's attire, the formal tuxedo. Lots of guys know little about fashion, much less about a tuxedo. Somebody has to be out there reminding guys that black is better than powder-blue. Then again, given men's interest in all this stuff, maybe this should just be a pamphlet.
· Best Man's Health — I'm not sure if there is a formal line of succession with the wedding party. We all know that if the president of the United States dies or is incapacitated, the vice president becomes head of state. If both go down, the Speaker of the House is next in line. The government has some sort of doomsday scenario for succession of leadership, so shouldn't there be a magazine documenting that for your wedding?
· Good Enough — The magazine for the groom who has had enough out there being single, and is simply ready to settle and it doesn't matter with whom.
Maybe I'll just start my own, called Out of the Gutter and Into the Aisle. Keep your eyes open. One of these magazines may hit the newsstands just in time for your own affair.
Roy S. Gutterman is a Syracuse, N.Y.-based writer. To contact him, visit: www.Lrev.com.