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Monday, May 05, 2008


Weddings have become a big business in the United States. The average cost of a wedding for a couple from Windham is more than $48,000! (If you believe the website www.costofwedding.com.)

Bridal fairs are held in huge convention centers, paid seminars are given on wedding planning, and, there are jobs for people involved in weddings that weren't in existence 25 years ago! (Think of the ice sculptors who now spend time year round carving out crystal swans and fountains!)

The business of weddings has spawned reality television programs such as Bridezilla. They in turn, have spawned even more books on planning the perfect wedding! (See the RichBride PoorBride Your Ultimate Weeding Planning Guide [395.22 RIC] for an example.)

All this is by way of introduction to the Peabody Essex Museum's current exhibit called "Wedded Bliss, The Marriage of Art and Ceremony," which runs through September 18.
Wedded Bliss, The Marriage of Art and Ceremony explores the wedding as a source of inspiration for the creation of art in cultures around the world. Featuring approximately 130 objects, this ambitious exhibition presents work by artists such as Pablo Picasso, Marc Chagall, Claes Oldenburg and Jacob Lawrence alongside historic and couture gowns, ceremonial items and rare jewelry. The complex beliefs and emotions surrounding the matrimonial experience are reflected in three centuries of art and culture from the United States, Asia, Africa and Europe. The full spectrum of the matrimonial experience - from courtship, engagement, and pre-nuptial arrangements to wedding rituals, ceremonies, and anniversaries - is richly represented.

Borrow our library pass and plan on a visit to see this intriguing show. A preview can be seen at the museum's website.

And since wedding season is coming up, you may wish to look at our collection of wedding books in the 392.5 section. Here you can learn a little of the history of weddings by thumbing through Weddings: Dating and Love Customs of Cultures Worldwide Including Royalty by Carolyn Mordecai [392.5 MOR], or view some of the dresses worn by brides over the years in Clare Gibson's Wedding Dress [392.54 GIB]. And, if wedding cakes interest you, we have Martha Stewart's Wedding Cakes [641.8653 STE] for you to drool over!

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