Pretty Gowns in Bloom, II, redux

Azizah, have failed, and some we just can’t find a distributor for here in New York.

But I looked in Ebony,Essence, and Vanidadesfor bridal tips, and found very little.


Ebony article on happy marriageEbony:

Flipping through the spring issues, when most bridal editorial is produced, I found very little.  In the June 2014 issue, there’s an article on the “Secrets of Happy Marriages”.  The Ebony website tells me that there was an article in February of this year reporting on the “Say Yes to the Dress” episode where WNBA stars Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson choose wedding gowns, but most of the talk about marriage in this magazine is about how to have a good one.  Frankly, this is much more important stuff than the wedding itself, but we still want to look at pretty dresses.

StyleCat search for “bridal”



Wedding layout from Essence magazine


This title offers slightly more of the “Oooh Aaah” effect by providing an article on an actual bride, radio host Shirley Strawberry, complete with details of her gown, headpiece and accessories.  (April 2015 issue) But again, this isn’t coverage of either bridal fashions or less-famous real brides.

So where are African-American women of style going for information on bridal products?  We know the bridal industry is huge in this country, so they have to be consuming in this market, don’t they?




Here’s where the internet is my friend.  When I began to look online, I found tons of Wedding Industrial Complex aimed specifically at the African-American market.  Here are a few of the more comprehensive sites I found:

Wedding table and dress from Mmnaluchi website
Munaluchi layout inspired by Gustav Klimt, spring 2015: art-inspired-shoot-mint-wedding-ideas-munaluchi-026



Here are some websites aimed at African/American women:






Vanidades story about Spanish bride Vanidades:

But what about Hispanic brides? We subscribe to Vanidades, a title aimed at Hispanic women in America.  But it doesn’t have much coverage of the wedding industry, either.




Vanidades story about Spanish bride's winter wedding






I found one mention of a fairy-tale wedding in the April 2014 issue.  But even this article reads more like a paparazzi-fed celebrity report than wedding-industry romance about the dress, the shoes, and the tiara.



So where are Hispanic brides getting their wedding inspiration from?  This question is complicated by the number of different countries of origin among Hispanics in America.  But here in the library, we have all kinds of demographic records!  A quick search through Statista ( produced the breakdown, by percentage, of country of origin among all Americans identifying as “Hispanic”.  Once in Statista, I searched for “Hispanic population in the U.S., by origin 2010″ (census date).

Puerto Rican/American wedding customs from Latina Abroad blog

Puerto Rican/American wedding customs from The Knot blog

 Dominican wedding customs from The Knot blog

(shout out to for embracing so many cultures!)

Dominican/American wedding customs from Dominicans to the USA blog

Ironically, both Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic are popular places for Anglo-American couples planning destination weddings.

Chinese/American couple at their wedding
Chinese-American wedding in Manhattan, from Atlantic Monthly article, March 8, 2011

Another large culture found in the New York area is American-born Chinese.  While we  subscribe to several major Chinese fashion magazines, the language barrier makes it difficult to get information on the variations of Chinese wedding customs celebrated in the U.S.  Fortunately, there are helpful sites with detailed instructions:

According to this article in Fortunemagazine, August 8, 2014, “The average American wedding costs $29,000 and has 140 guests…  The average cost of an Indian wedding in the U.S. is $65,000 with 500 guests,” says an planner who specializes in Indian-style weddings.  This kind of ceremony has generated it’s own multimillion dollar wedding industry.  Despite this, American bridal magazines don’t address this sort of ceremony at all.

Indian-American culture clearly embraces the  colorful wedding ritual.  Unfortunately, other than the recently-created Vogue India, we have been unable to find any American vendors who carry Indian-fashion magazines.

Yet again, the internet helps solve this problem.  The growing network of wedding planners, venues, and suppliers who specialize in Indian customs can easily be found by the click of a mouse.  I found many sites, all of which have lavish images of red and gold bejeweled brides and grooms wearing turbans or riding horses.  Here are just a few, to inspire you.

We’ve only written about several ethnic-American cultures here, due to space concerns.    Clearly non-Anglo Americans are finding the information and resources to plan the weddings they desire outside of traditional print sources.  Thank you, internet!  The bigger question remains, however: “does it matter to non-Anglo Americans that mainstream bridal magazines don’t reflect their presence in this market?”  Unfortunately, it would take more resources than I have available to resolve it.  In the meantime, enjoy all the pics of gorgeous gowns and decorated venues.  And happy wedding season!


2 responses to “Pretty Gowns in Bloom, II, redux”

  1. Janet Hellers Avatar

    I think that non-Anglo Americans don’t care that mainstream bridal magazines don’t reflect their presence in their market. They have there own ways to get there information they need.

  2. […] Indian weddings are a super big deal. They tend to be much more elaborate affairs than the average American wedding, and this title revels in that. Advertising in the main issue involves a lot of wedding jewelry. The wedding supplement itself, however, offers layout after layout of women dressed in the elaborate bridalwear of their culture: red saris and lehengas covered in gold embroidery are set off by elaborate collars of gold, rubies, emeralds and pearls. And the textiles! Even the men are dressed in brocades and colorful silks. […]