Why are weddings so expensive? What makes people spend a year’s wages on one Big Day? And just how Big does your Day actually have to be? Does getting married on a shoestring make your nuptials any less romantic than Daddy dropping a cool £7m and hiring Beyoncé?
What are the big no-nos? Do bridesmaids’ dresses always have to be so hideous? Does the bride have to cry? When does Mumzilla turn up? And does the best man’s speech really need to be so awful?
Packed with scandal, stories and intrigue, Wedding Babylon lifts the lid on the excesses of an industry where emotions run high, money flows like champagne and £3,000 cakes are made of polystyrene. Following a week in the life of a busy wedding planner, and based entirely on true but anonymous stories, Imogen Edwards-Jones takes you behind the scenes on what is supposed to be the happiest day of anyone’s life.
Hilarious, shocking and thoroughly entertaining, here is definitive proof that sadly the course of true love never did run entirely smooth…
Last Christmas Eve my boyfriend got down on one knee and presented me with an impressively large diamond. I’ve never been one of those people that had their dream wedding planned since they were five, but as soon as the ring was on my finger I struggled to think of much else. Dresses! Flowers! Centrepieces! The whole wedding thing is crazy – so much to do, so much expense – and with less than a year to go until the big day, I am now extremely focused on remaining organised and stress-free. But that’s not to say I don’t like hearing about other people’s Bridezilla breakdowns…
For those unfamiliar with the Babylon series, Imogen Edwards-Jones collates anonymous, shocking secrets from industry insiders and turns them into a story that could well be fictitious if it weren’t for the fact you know it’s not. The incredible revelations from the likes of Hotel Babylon and Fashion Babylon have made various bestseller lists, because it seems like we just can’t get enough of those ‘behind the scenes’ tales.
I read Edward-Jones’ take on the fashion industry a few years ago and really enjoyed it, so with my own wedding in the pipeline I couldn’t resist Wedding Babylon. It’s described as the truth about weddings, as told by the industry insiders themselves: planners, florists, caterers and the rest, all collated into one week in the life of an anonymous planner working in London.
This book focuses on big budget weddings. Like, really big. The smallest cost incurred within the book is £30,000, and is described as being a tiny budget for a simple day – but by my standards that is a huge amount of money, so I struggled to relate. It’s no secret that weddings are expensive affairs, and perhaps you don’t even realise the extent of it until you begin planning your own, but when the book talks of £100,000 being spent on flowers alone, I began to think my own planning isn’t quite in the same league.
With that said, it’s always interesting to hear how ‘the other half live’, and the celebrity-style weddings (plus the few wedding secrets spilled from the likes of the Beckhams and Rooneys), with the sheer amount of money spent, are quite unbelievable. And I suppose that is where my problem lies. I don’t see anything wrong with spending a lot of money on your wedding day (if you have it, that is – let’s not go into debt or anything) but I suppose these people just spend so much that I kept forgetting the stories are actually true. It’s too easy to think it was just one of those “what I’d do if I won the lottery” games and not the reality for some!
I enjoyed the book, but I did feel quite incredulous at a lot of the stories – I guess that’s sort of the point, though. It’s not just the money either: Wedding Babylon is full of insane mothers (made me feel very glad my Mum is quite normal) and even couples that request all their guests are plied with cocaine after dinner…
If you’re not getting married you may find this book even more difficult to relate to than I did, but you’ll like it if you enjoy celeb culture and/or hearing how the rich spend their money. I definitely wouldn’t call it an accurate representation of your average wedding (none that I’ve been to, anyway) but I would quite like to hire Beyoncé for my evening entertainment…