The Washington Post's Wedding Week Incites A "Bridal Wave" Of AmbivalenceSFeeling uneasy about your marital status? Well the Washington Post's Wedding Week is here to ratchet your anxiety up several levels! And I'm here to summarize the paper's nuptial coverage so that you don't have to actually read it! Let's start with the most endearing story and work our way from there. Two disgruntled ex-bridesmaids-cum-Washington Post writers plan the "Anti-Wedding" for a very sweet couple named Jaqi and Chris. "It turns out that Chris is a pathologist, and Jaqi works for the IRS. This will be the union of life's only two certainties... death and taxes. A themed anti-wedding," remark the anti-wedding planners, Caitlin Gibson and Rachel Manteuffel. Long story short, even though the anti-wedding includes a protest (sample signs, "Til Debt Do Us Part" and "Money Can't Buy Me Love") and a pizza dinner, fighting the "wedding industrial complex" seems to take almost as much energy as submitting to its diamond-encrusted claw.Then there is Post scribe Rachel Beckman, who writes about the desperation she felt when awaiting a proposal from her longtime boyfriend. We received more than one dismissively worded tip about this article. One reader wrote, "Feminism means bullying your boyfriend into proposing on your timetable? Hm. Who knew?" Even though some of the longer descriptions of Beckman's prissiness and obsession with the "perfect" proposal were annoying, I didn't find the article anti-feminist at all. What's wrong with knowing that you're ready to get married and being assertive about telling your boyfriend that? It's not like Beckman's fiance was some poor captive with no will of his own. Finally, there's a live chat with Erin Torneo, Valerie Cabrera Krause who wrote The Bridal Wave: Surviving the 'Everyone-I-Know-Is-Getting-Married-Years. Torneo writes in the introduction, "I wrote this book because I was tired of seeing my engaged friends become "lobridemized" by the wedding industry, tired of the contradictory cultural messages (women, be anything you want, but if you aren't altar-bound by 27, egads! spinsterhood for you), tired of seeing people get married just because they thought they were supposed to without giving any thought to what marriage is (but an awful lot to the wedding)." Kudos to Torneo for a) coming up with the term "lobridemized" and b) emphasizing how difficult it can be when society is giving women such an incredibly ambivalent message about their lives. If you take anything away from the WaPo's Bridal Week, it should be an awareness of the societal pressures most women are facing when it comes to marriage and the desire to go easy on people who embrace the wedding industry, even with all its faults. Wedding Week [WaPo] The Anti-Wedding [WaPo] One-Ring Circus [WaPo] Wedding Week: The Bridal Wave [WaPo] The Bridal Wave [Official Website]