Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Modern Love (get me to the church on time)

With the wedding of my best friend taking up the better part of my psyche and time this past month or so (particularly this past weekend), I've been thinking a lot about my own wedding (well, if I have one) and what I would want it to be like.

How I'm picturing my big day (if I ever happen to become engaged), is a trip away (Carribean? Italy?), and outdoor ceremony in a scenic area (by a lake, on a beach) with a few select people (close family and friends), and us two. If we wish to involve our family further, and involve more people, I would see us having a party upon our return - nothing too fancy, just a get-together with food, drinks and good music - to give those that couldn't share the big day with us a chance to share in the event.

Watching my best friend and her fiance grapple with the politics of planning and involving everyone in their extended families in their day, while still trying to keep it about them and a celebration of their union, cured me of ever wanting to go through a similar experience.

I'm not saying it's not a good idea to involve family at all, I'm just saying it's not fun when family members get TOO involved (unless you want them to). It just makes things so much more complicated and the real point of the matter gets lost - it becomes about everyone else's needs and wants and not about celebrating the couples' love and union. You have to create seating charts that require an PhD in Mathematics to decipher because Uncle Herald can't be at the same table as Aunt Phyllis since they hate each other, you have to provide a meal for every Tom, Dick and Harry you ever met in University and their significant others, you have to hear your mother/mother-in-law's opinions about the "right" way of doing things every time you turn around, and blah blah blah...

I'm also not saying you shouldn't have a big wedding - a marriage should be a celebration -  but I for one am shocked at the amounts of money that some people shell out just for such a celebration. It's ridiculous, and I don't see the point in starting off your marriage poor and in debt just to have a big fancy, fairytale event. Of course, even going away to get married and having a party could be expensive, but it would make it much easier to keep costs down as there wouldn't be as many small costs randomly adding up (chances are a lot of things would be inclusive, also the big luxury would be the trip; the rest of the wedding could be very simple). And I figure if I'm going to spend $7,000, I might as well have an adventure or a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Plus, with a destination ceremony, you have the honeymoon built in without any extra planning and packing! Not to mention that if you keep it simple and only include a few select people, you're not asking your friends and family to shell out hundreds of dollars for your special day, which can sometimes put people in an awkward position.

Also, I'm not going to lie - I would love to have a day just for "me", where I'm the centre of attention and I can wear a beautiful dress and accessories, and have an excuse to have a big party and catch up with old friends and family. I can certainly see the appeal. But at the same time, I absolutely dread having such a huge occasion centred around me - after all it's about you as a couple, not you as a bride - and having the weight of expectation on my shoulders. And I don't want to be put in a place where I have even a slight chance to become a "bridezilla" and make everyone around me miserable just to get married. Besides, you can be the centre of attention, look beautiful and have a big party without spending a lot or pulling every last strand of hair out of your head.

Of course, I'm not even sure I'm the "marrying kind" as they say, or that I even believe in marriage. Well, it's not that I DON'T believe in it; I just feel on some level that it's overrated and not really something that is necessary in today's world. I guess seeing a horrid divorce unfold in front of your young eyes would do that to you. Aside from that though, I feel on some level that, even though we have come a long way in terms of feminism and women's rights, girls still place a huge amount of importance on getting married and having a fancy wedding, and I don't understand it. It kind of dumbfounds me. To their favour though, there's no question that society still places this pressure onto people my age, and people in general, to be in relationships and define them according to tradition. Plus, I'm single and haven't found that person I love enough to want to spend the rest of my life with, so perhaps when that happens I'll change my mind (I doubt it though).

PLEASE NOTE: All of this is JUST MY PERSONAL OPINION and by no means am I judging what anyone else chooses to with their life or for their wedding - everyone has a different idea of what is fun and important, what is worth spending money on, who should be involved, etc. I'm just sharing my point of view, as this is an issue I find very interesting and that has been on my mind lately, and I happen to have strong opinions about. I just don't necessarily agree with some of the pressures that have been built up around these events. Also, none of these comments are reflective of my friend's wedding - their ceremony and reception were lovely and tasteful and personal, and I know for a fact that they budgeted everywhere they possibly could (more proof that you don't need to lay down the annual GDP of a small country to have a great wedding).

Ultimately, what I feel is that the wedding isn't the important thing - the marriage is, and that's what you want to put the time and money into. The wedding lasts a day, but your marriage (ideally) lasts much longer.

6 comments:

Allison said...

I completely agree that people's weddings are getting out of hand. Plus all the pre-wedding parties. Stag & Does, engagement parties, showers, bachelor/bachelorettes...then the wedding itself. Yeah it costs the bride and groom a lot - but it also cost's their friends and family a lot too! Gifts and clothes and hotel stays...

I'm glad none of my close friends are getting married soon. Oy. I'm so broke as it is.

That said, I often plan my fake wedding in my head. I think it's a girl thing.

Kim Humes said...

I hear you - I spent several hundred dollars on this wedding, being part of the wedding party. I was happy to do it, but it was really painful once I added the numbers up. And what can you do, you can't say no if it's a good friend, you just have to suck it up. Again it was fun and I was happy to be a part of it but just not necessary

lalalalauren said...

Great post! I have similar opinions on getting married and it's nice to know I'm not alone. It seems like a lot of people I know are going wedding-crazy these days. I actually got conned into doing all the music for a wedding that's coming up in about a week and a half. It's for a couple of great friends of mine so it's no big deal, but they aren't musicians and don't understand the amount of work it takes to learn new songs. So in the past week they've been throwing new material at me left and right, saying things like "We just realized we want *THIS* at the end of the ceremony, not that other song."
Gah. If I ever get married, I'm going to elope. I'll take lots of pictures, put them on Facebook, and tag everyone I know as random strangers and inanimate objects so they can feel like they were there.

Melissa said...

I think it all comes down to the last sentence of this post: the wedding isn't the important thing, the marriage is. Spend tons of money or don't, invite tons of people or don't, bend to family politics or don't, but when it comes down to it, it's just a party. Awesome post. Welcome back!

Benny said...

A divorced woman once told me, "Weddings aren't for you. They're for the guests." When I think about it, the same is true about most milestone events. Your friends and family usually want it more than you do, and you have to think of them more than yourselves. After all, there are two of you and fifty of them. F that noise.

Benny said...

A divorced woman once told me, "Weddings aren't for you. They're for the guests." When I think about it, the same is true about most milestone events. Your friends and family usually want it more than you do, and you have to think of them more than yourselves. After all, there are two of you and fifty of them. F that noise.

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