Let’s Read Bride’s Magazine, 1983!

For a rundown on Bride’s, check out the 1969 issue that I did last year. One generation later, the 80s version is both different and samey. It focuses a lot less on Your Life As A Wife-To-Be, Welcome To The Rest Of Your Life, and is a lot more about putting your all into the wedding ceremony. Unfortunately it also remains 98% white-targeted in terms of model representation, with only a few of the formalwear models representing Asian women and zero black women. Seriously. What the hell. Anyway, I love these big gnarly tomes of big gnarly dresses and stupid overwrought headpieces and I hope you do too.

Brooke Shields is 17 here. 17.

You generally want your bride to be running towards you…

For all your sister-wife special occasions.

This was the cover insert. I guess the other people are her friends from school, going from another mention elsewhere. This is so weird, like it’s indulging America’s collective creepy fantasy of seeing their little girl as a bride. Almost as weird as her short sleeves UNDER the full Juliet sleeves. This is a strikingly modest and covered-up era of bridal fashion, but that is official overkill on the sleeves. Pick a sleeve, Brooke!

Coty Nuance – because you’re not a tramp, but your perfume is!

David warned Elizabeth that she would never be accepted into his family if she did not perform the traditional pre-wedding ritual of poking at an empty birdcage with a branch while the freed bird watched from the window. If the bird was enticed to return, Elizabeth would be welcomed – if not, David would marry the heiress to the family business’s rival corporation and she would be sent packing.

It took two hours after the reception ended, but they finally found the last bridesmaid. “Never again”, slurred Becca, “No more bullshit weddings with these goddamn HATS…isn’t that right, princess pony pal?”

When doing a bridal makeup consultation, make sure to tell them that you want to look like an oversexualized teenage actress who can’t actually legally get married yet, despite being on the cover of a bridal magazine, and who took Hollywood by storm in her breakout role as a child prostitute! Here’s the breakdown of the makeup she used.

I kind of want to be this lady.

The black longsleeved dress is contemporary as hell. Who’d have thought it?

I love Space Bride.

Make sure that when choosing the members of your bridal party, you pick the friends and relatives who look the most like they’re plotting your imminent downfall behind your back in photos.

Look out, bride, your college roommate has drawn your fiancee’s cousin into a sexually charged web of deceit – and they’ve got you caught in the center!


I love it when a page goes out of its way to describe the colors of something…but is too cheap to actually print the page in color. Then again, this isn’t Groom’s magazine so who cares. Why don’t we have a Groom’s magazine, anyway?

“Your name can easily be pulled for future store mailing lists” as the amused smile slowly fades away from your face…welcome to the future. Enjoy your flatware.

I will never be over ads that make women into the literal objects that they are trying to sell.

They look like rival gangs about to tear shit up.
“We’re the EVIL TWINS.”

This was like a eight page series that all included this endearingly awkward little girl model, and I couldn’t dare leave out TUXEDO SHIRT DRESS LADY.

When your ruffles dissolve into a credible fog-machine effect, you’re doing ruffles right.

Gloria took one last look in the mirror and breathed in with pride, savoring the air of freeze dried rose petals. It had always been her dream since she was a little girl to marry Steve Booker, The Potpourri King of Cincinnati, and in her wedding gown that had been custom designed to evoke a stuffed drawer sachet, she felt that she was finally worthy of being his dried apple and cinnamon stick-scented bride.


Got a favorite? I kind of like the third from the top left.

In case the skeevy guy you’re with isn’t good enough for you and your fabulous gold fascinator headband made of gift wrap bows, slip on a pair of Hanes pantyhose and just reel those scumbags in.

I feel like we were all robbed by not seeing this in the lavender iteration.

More borderline-inappropriate wedding fantasy with poor Brooke Shields. I think around this time she was sort-of-dating Michael Jackson, who it should be noted is on record from Brooke as having asked her to marry him several times. Brooke was not having that, and to the chagrin of America she married her first husband at a good healthy mature age of 32.

“Bob and Diane gave us a bagel and a newspaper as a wedding favor to take home.”

Food in tubes? Oooh, how European!

Mailing yourself postcards from your honeymoon is crazy but actually kind of a cute idea. Not a cute idea – listing the Herpes Resource Center as one of many helpful hotlines that a new bride should have within reach of the phone.

“Where did the money come from, Jim?” Susan asked in desperation, pressing her hands to the side of her fiancee’s grimacing face as he crumpled into sobs. “WHERE DID THE MONEY COME FROM?

I wasn’t going to trust her with my pregnancy test results until she reminded me that she’s a physician…AND a woman.

“An engagement ring means a lot to me because it’s a sign from my fiancee that he’s willing to support an inhumane and exploitative industry in order to pay a ridiculous amount of money for a chip of shiny rock, set into a band of yellow metal, so that we can both appease our parents and greater society in an expensive and overblown ceremony that only feeds into our outdated, sexist, misogynistic cultural values. When my fiancee gave me this ring, I cried – not tears of joy, but with bitter tears of the knowledge that the pressure to conform to America’s outdated ideal of the nuclear family had finally broken him into supporting slavery and oppression. His tears mingled with mine, and I forgave him, because I knew that he was just trying his best to make me happy although it was misguided. Anyway, we are registered at Sears, Macy’s, and Bed Bath and Beyond.”

My mom’s wedding dress (from 1983) looked a lot like the blue one to the far left, except it was the same color pink as the one in the center. It had the same big drape and pleated skirt, but the sleeves were long and straight.

During Olivia and Mark’s reception, Robert kept a low profile by occupying himself in small talk with Olivia’s mother, but Donatella knew that he was aching to stare at Olivia in her Alfred Angelo wedding gown. Donatella kept her hand on Robert’s shoulder while she blazed with jealousy at the bride, tightening her grip lest he slip away. Her shimmering pleated jersey gown in the latest fashion color by Dance-Allure only made her cheeks glow brighter. With Olivia’s mother on one side and Donatella on the other, Robert stood helplessly pinned between his past…and his future.

Of course, Olivia loved Mark – he was kind, smart, and very handsome, and very very rich, and utterly devoted to her. But if today was supposed to be the happiest day of her life, why wasn’t she happy? Her Alfred Angelo Classic Victorian gown with semi-cathedral train was all she ever dreamed of as a ragamuffin growing up in the orphanage. Was her true love across the room, engaged in small talk with her mother, being fiercely guarded by the Sophia Loren-esque beauty Donatella?

Donatella wasn’t one to smile easily, but the thrill of having pushed her rival Olivia off a cliff before the wedding ceremony warmed her from within and made her eyes sparkle. Robert was hers, and nothing would come between them now. She had it all – a beautiful home, a handsome prince, and an elegant off the shoulder gown from Alfred Angelo.

My riot grrl band will be named Eve of Milady and this will be the cover of our debut album.

Wow, no way! They called each other on the phone!

“According to store owner Dick Witt…” I’m done.

Remember the Masters of the Universe movie that screwed over the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull by making her an old lady in a frozen tube? And she had like a pointy ice-crown? That’s what that headress reminds me of. And it reminds me how mad I still am that they took one of the coolest characters in all of He-Man and make her a helpless old lady with no lines stuck in a frozen tube.

Nothing says “racy boldness on your wedding night” like matching sleepshirts!

Not to be outdone by that bitch Donatella, Margaret stayed up all night before the wedding taxidermying real doves, which she then painstakingly sewed to the skirt of her Pastore gown.

Something blue, eh? How about my blue-chip stock?

A rather long interview with Marie Osmond in celebration of her one year wedding anniversary that doesn’t seem terribly interesting, aside from the usual Osmond family wackiness…until you do some research to see where Steve and Marie ended up and find that they divorced in 1985 and then married each other again in 2011, which is kind of nuts. True love!

Every newlywed couple needs a fugly new bed to have sex on!

Time traveling Katy Perry shows you how to look your hottest on your honeymoon.

On your honeymoon you can completely block out everything and just hang out with horses!

Mark and Olivia’s wedding cake was tall and ornate enough to hide the bomb that Donatella had planted, but the detonator button was clogged with plaster-like frosting and Donatella’s plans were foiled.

I just really appreciate the model staring directly into the camera with a “What ARE you doing with your life, DARLENE?” look on her face.

“If that fucking goat eats my dress, I’m barbecuing it at the reception.”

Don’t forget that a Christian marriage is always a threesome between you, your spouse, and the Holy Spirit!

And, amusingly enough, this was the following page. UNFORTUNATELY, as you can see, the feature on hot hot wedding night passion was torn out of the magazine before I got to it – so someone either wanted to keep those steamy 80s sex tips to themselves, or had a fit of moral protectiveness and decried it as smut.

But it’s ok, because we’re at the Honeymoon Travel section and that means – THE POCONOS! And also how to get the most out of Mexico’s complete fiscal collapse.

All this AND a pizza party!

oh my god, I actually found a clip from For Lovers Only:

Starring Andy Griffith, Mona from Who’s The Boss, and a totally unknown Jane Kaczmerek at the 11 minute mark!

How much bleach goes into cleaning those bathtubs in between guest checkins?

So…are you more of an apple, or a plum?

Scott Bakula will be your personal lifeguard!

“How was your honeymoon in Hawaii!”
“Well…I got to take home some pineapples, so that was nice.”

I have no idea what one would do with seven solid brass candlesticks unless you were planning to stage your own haunted house, or threaten to bash them over the head of your dastardly half-brother who threatens to expose and destroy you. I think I’d go with the wine set.

Thanks for reading! This one goes out to all the folks who’ve had to change up their wedding plans for this spring, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic ruining everything good in the world.