God Save the Queen!

erica - bridal magazine

ERICA: I just spent $82 on bridal magazines at Universal News.

The guy at the counter said “are you in advertising or something?” I had to quickly say “no” and avert my eyes. There were no Playgirls or Naughty Schoolgirl mags tucked in amongst my pile, and still I was embarrassed. I don’t know what it is with me and magazines, but when I go into a store like Universal News, I feel exactly like a crack addict must feel walking into a crack house. There’s the initial burst of adrenaline as I’m overcome by all the colors and all the glossiness. And then I feel this overwhelming sense of relief and calm. At which point, I’m able to scan the racks with a sniper’s precision, picking out any new wedding magazines that have recently made their way to the shelves. Then I gingerly carry the stack over to the register as if I was cradling a newborn child. It’s all rather ritualistic for me.

I should explain that the $82 price tag is due to the fact that I’m totally and completely addicted to English wedding magazines. They are my bridal porn…and they cost bank (anywhere from 9.95 to 11.95 per issue).

I mean, I am a very discerning bride-to-be myself…and I do have a bridal business…so is $82 really that bad?

It’s hard to convey to others who have not yet read any Brit mags just how fantabulous they are, but I’ll say this: to compare English bridal mags to the American versions is sort of like comparing a clunky old walkman to a sleek new ipod or Hanes control top pantyhose to Spanx. English wedding magazines rock and American wedding mags suck.

I mean, I read them all no matter what, so it’s not like I’m burning an American flag in my tub or anything, but the English ones just set my heart-a-flutter. They feature loads of “style file” like features with endless ideas, always include lots of “real wedding” spreads and even the ads are more interesting.

Best of all, not every single, solitary, ever-lovin dress in their magazines is a white strapless ball gown. English girls sometimes wear sleeves! Or shorter skirts! Can you imagine??!! Didn’t think so. It’s hard to envision this because 99 out of every 100 dresses (in both the ads and the magazine spreads) featured in American wedding magazines are white strapless ballgowns. This is not a scientific analysis for sure, and I do realize that I am in the vast minority of brides-to-be, but I if I see one more white, princess, strapless ballgown, I’m going to throw up (let the hate mail roll on in).

Here are my current crop of faves (in order of fabulosity):

*Brides UK ($8.95): sooo much more glam and glossy than the U.S counterpart with gorgeous photography
*Cosmopolitan Bride ($8.95): fresh, young and fun. Has loads of non-traditional wedding ideas
*You and Your Wedding ($9.99): this one is a bit more sophisticated and ad heavy, but has loads of great bridal fashion spreads and runway reports.
*Wedding Magazine ($8.95): this one is best for real-life wedding reports