December 2010 Brides Magazine, by the Numbers


# pages: 288
# pages of advertisements: 206
# of remaining 82 pages of actual content devoted to engagement rings, which presumably are in the rear-view for most of Brides’ readership: 8
Price of ring leading off the feature: $1,100,000. [That was not a typo. One million, one hundred thousand.]
Price of “less” in the “luxe and less” comparison of two similar rings: $6,679.
# images of white brides: 141
# images of brides of color: 6
# of animals hanging out with “modern princess” in “Once Upon a Time” photo spread: 5 (piglet, giant butterfly, fawn, horse).
Estimated height of modern princess’s updo: 18″
# suggested presents in “Gifts for Your Girls” feature: 41
# suggested presents that hurt my brain: 4 (yoga mat with mp3-player dock, $40; tiny serving trays, $5 each; ugly ring suggested to add “sass to a work outfit,” $38; $68 flip flops, $68.)


  1. I think I may sneak into a newsagent and do the same.

    I never understand the devotion to engagement rings. Apart from advertising revenue of course!!

    (Although I quite like that ring. Not a lot but it not hatred.)

  2. $1,100,000??? Who do they think is reading their magazine?!

    • Billionaires who are not already engaged.

      Actually, I suspect that the theory is showing expensive rings makes engaged women feel bad about the “lesser” rings they have, and then they have to “make up for it” by buying all the extremely expensive crap that is featured in the rest of the magazine.

  3. You mean I missed out on getting my friends $68 flip-flops?? and my ring apparently fits into the little hidden “least” category of “luxe and less”

  4. What are the $68 flip flops made out of?

  5. 6 brides of color??? 141 white brides??
    I work in publishing, creating publications that are typically 32 pages long, and in our last book there were 10 people of color out of 22.
    They just aren’t trying hard enough to represent if they only have SIX.

    • The ratio of people of color to white people pictured in the magazine is a little less misery-inducing, but the magazine is called Brides, the readership is mainly brides, and they’re not all white, damnit.

      To pull a quote from a study from 2006 I read about on Racialicious, ““Such portrayals of African-American women as bridesmaids may communicate a negative assumption that it’s better for African Americans to stay in background roles as opposed to positions of equal status or power.”

      So scholars and activists have been commenting on this since last decade and nothing has changed. Buh.

      • Plus the ring? From Max Azria? Would be putting more money in the pockets of a man who consistently refuses to put women of color in his shows.

  6. i kind of like that ring, but not enough for $38. and i don’t think it adds sass to an outfit, i think the sass needs to come from within. i’d rather spend the $38 on booze and then we’ll see how sassy i get. but not at work. let’s just get that straight. i save the boozin’ for rainy days, celebrations and happy hours, which can happen any day at any time. win!

    i love how you dissect these mags. it’s my fave. and the one post you wrote about wedding cyborgs taking over the world. yes, those are great.

  7. $68 flip-flops?! Even if I had already spent a million dollars on a ring (which I wouldn’t), I STILL WOULD NOT SPEND $68 ON FLIP-FLOPS.

  8. Of course, if they are “wedding” flip flops that automatically increases their value by, oh, about 110% right? At least that is what I am starting to understand with by extensively reading bridal magazines and blogs.

    I also am very confused by all the wedding pictures with animals. In a magazine article its one thing I suppose, that’s a fashion shoot. But I’ve seen actual wedding photos where the bride and groom in all their finery are cavorting with cattle?

  9. i completely love these posts where you analyze magazines, by the way. in the words of liz lemon, TO brides magazine, “SHUT IT DOWN!”

  10. ha ha I want to thumb through the issue just to see this sass ring

  11. I spent $600 on my fiancées ring and it felt like a ton of money. And she really, really loves it.

  12. ThankyouThankyouThankyouThankyou!

    It was really selfless of you to go through that pain so the rest of us don’t have to. I just refuse to buy those magazines even though every so often I feel them calling me… I know that if I cave in my simultaneous reactions will be:
    1)”Oh, give me a *break!*”
    2) “Am I doing it wrong that I refuse to go into hock for this stuff?”

    And the pain of holding those two contradictory thoughts will make my brain explode.

  13. What was the 5th animal???? (or was it the princess?)

    Also, I totally read the horrid ring comment wrong and thought it said “to add sass to a WORKOUT outfit.” I was completely confused why they would recommend that. Though I do find the idea of that at a gym, with all those ugly balls hanging off of it (and how much it would probably hurt other people and the wearer), pretty darn amusing.

    Also, I’m a big fan of your writing and sense of humor. The end.

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