Wedding Dress Mania: Enough Already?

A young woman is heading to the altar despite the fact that none of the women in her family (including five sisters) has ever had a successful relationship. Sounds like the stuff of a Jane Austen novel, doesn't it? Or at least the plot of the latest chick-lit bestseller. Sadly, it's nothing so highbrow as that. It's the storyline of Friday's Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta (TLC, Friday, 9 p.m. ET).

SYTTC's southern spin-off premiered a week ago, with promos that featured ebullient, drawling brides (one called herself Hay-e-ly) and sound bites like, "I can't believe I've found my dress, y'all!" As in the first, New York-based installment, mothers and sisters and aunts and grandmas gather in the dressing rooms of a bustling bridal salon, and do one of two things. They cry and ooh and ahh. Or they clash -- spectacularly -- over veil lengths and cleavage and how important, really, is family tradition versus cutting a sexy figure on this important day? (And who makes this decision, ultimately? The bride or the purse string puller?)

The obvious question here: Is this show glorifying wedding-day neuroses? Is it indulging women who spend several weeks (and sometimes months) obsessing over what they'll wear on one (admittedly long-dreamed-for) day? The answer, of course, is yes. Even if the woman featured in Friday's episode is cursed, what difference will finding the perfect dress make? If anything, shouldn't she be putting less stock in what she wears on her wedding day -- and more emphasis on marriage readiness? Just sayin'.

But the Jane Austen-sounding plot does add a cute twist to the show's basic fitting room formula. There are several million more important issues to focus one's attention on right now. But if somebody wants to escape from life's ills by watching someone else's wedding dress dramas unfold, so be it. And if the bride in Friday's episode turns out to be the first member of her family to find success in love, all the better.

Does 'Say Yes to the Dress' encourage women to lose their heads over a wedding dress? Chime in below!

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