Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Wedding Identity Theft?

I have a confession to make.

I don't really like bridal magazines.

In a place where Martha is revered for her creativity, I just haven't been able to get that into it. Over the course of our engagement thus far (it's been almost a year!) I have purchased a grand total of three magazines: 2 Martha Stewart Weddings, and one Bride and Bloom. I must confess that despite the over the top nature of the Bride and Bloom, it is filled with tons of pretty pictures and hardly any advertisements.

When Calvin and I registered at Macy's, they gave me a free subscription to Modern Bride. (Why me and not Calvin? Well, according to Macy's (sexist) policies, I'm the "primary" person on the registry, despite the fact that we put Calvin down as the primary person. I guess they figure that having two X chromosomes better qualifies me for wedding planning.)

Never one to turn down an opportunity to look at pretty pictures for free, I accepted the offer, and my first issue of Modern Bride arrived at my doorstep today. (Note: this is the Feb/Mar issue; never mind the fact that it is the beginning of December.)

It contains some true gems:
"High-glam gowns with dramatic details and just enough flash ensure a wedding-day look that's remarkably radiant." Because you won't look radiant enough on your wedding day unless you have a blinged out gown.

"When honeymooning in a fabulous locale, you need sunglasses to match." Um, no, you don't. $10 Target sunglasses will work just fine, provided that they offer the right UV protection.

And then there was this:
"Wedding Identity Theft: Copycat brides are stealing ideas from those close to them. Is it a compliment- or criminal? And how can you protect yourself in a sea of sameness?"

In my mind, this is absolutely ridiculous. If you see an idea on a website or bridal magazine, and you do it for your wedding, and people like it, why is it wrong for someone else to do the same or similar thing? I honestly believe that there is no such thing as "wedding identity theft." (Well, except maybe in the case of someone else pretending to be you meeting all of your vendors and showing up on your wedding day wearing a white dress. But that would be wedding theft, not wedding identity theft.)

Weddings are steeped in tradition, which is why so many brides have bridesmaids, wear a white dress and veil, cut a cake and have a first dance. As a victim of plagiarism (I had some of my own work published under someone else's names), I am acutely aware of the problems with stealing someone else's work. But using the same save-the-date magnets that someone else did isn't plagiarism. You can be inspired, you can borrow, and you can even downright copy someone else's look- but imitation truly is the greatest form of flattery, and it certainly isn't "wedding identity theft." True identity theft can wreck havoc on your finances that can take years to sort out. "

It is quite possible though that others disagree with me. What are your thoughts about "wedding identity theft?"

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