In honor of wedding season, it’s time to discuss the fiasco that is weddings. As a disclaimer, I don’t believe I’ve been to, or been involved in an over the top wedding. So I’m not criticizing any of you my dear sweet friends. That said we have become a crazy whacked out society, teaching brides to be, to embrace their inner narcissistic divas.
This has never made any sense to me. I mean little girls are trained to dream about their weddings from birth. Maybe it’s just a programming glitch on the second X chromosome. Estrogen overload!!! “I Must Think About Girl Stuff, Which Means My Wedding in 20-30 years!!!” I can’t say I wasn’t into this somewhat. Because my mother still had her wedding dress and I always liked doing grown up things. So I can remember the few times she let me put on her dress.
The other thing that gets little girls obsessing, is if they are cute enough and the right age for a relative or family friend's wedding, they will be a flower girl at least once. They get to wear a pretty little dress. Have their hair done to maximize their cuteness. And take pictures with the bride wearing her pretty dress. I think somewhere in there mothers and aunts start talking to them about their wedding. At that moment we all realized, this is what our purpose in life is. We are born not for the pleasure of men, or to have meaningful careers, but so that on that special day, we can look the prettiest we’ll ever be, and everyone will comment on how gorgeous we look, and we’ll be the center of attention for one whole day. After that it will go downhill because purpose #2 is to have babies. Doll companies have made millions on this purpose for women so that we can get lots of practice being mommies when we are little. I hated dolls so maybe my second X chromosome was defective somehow.
So we plan and we plan for the next 20 years, and then vehemently search for and stalk Mr. Right until he asks us to marry him. During this 20 years of planning, we have been increasingly exposed to more wedding crap, because well it is a multi-billion dollar industry and the survival of the industry depends on our increased exposure and dreaming through commercials, pictures, and even television shows. It’s worth that kind of money to spend on advertising when many brides spend $20,000 or more for one day. ONE DAY!!!! If I ever spend 20 grand on one day I’d better be getting a house or something that will build our equity. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is worth more than 20 grand, but he’s also worthwhile enough to show him that I’d never waste that kind of money on a party or put our marriage in jeopardy from the start by accumulating huge debt for one day of fun.
I loved my wedding day, but not for the wedding itself but for the fact that I was marrying my best friend and partner for life. If I could do it all over again, I would have spent even less than we did. We could have easily accomplished this by having it outdoors in someone’s backyard, which incidentally was my plan until we picked an August date. And I would have sent out fewer invitations. Although rest assured, those of you reading this would never had been scratched from that list. I just wish we’d spent even less.
I think for most of the crazy brides portrayed on T.V., it is the happiest day of their life not because they are marrying their best friend, but because they are the center of attention. For them, it wouldn’t matter who the guy was up there. They probably wouldn’t notice or care if there was a stand-in for their husband.
I read and hear about stories of brides pushing up the budget for the wedding and passing on money saving ideas in favor of something more fancy or prestigious or pretentious. And they rarely consider the feelings and financial situations of the friends they’ve asked to be apart of the ceremony. Many brides put unrealistic demands on their bridesmaids and husband to be all in the name of the best day of their life. Let’s not forget the running joke of the over priced bridesmaid dresses that your bridesmaids will only wear once and probably look ridiculous in. But that’s right it’s about you the bride, so it doesn’t matter what your friends have to spend to look silly in your pictures.
Finally, I think that too many people focus on that one day rather than prepare themselves to focus on the marriage. I mean the 3 biggest arguments among married couples are about money, kids, and sex. Why would you start your marriage off with an unnecessary debt to argue over, or set the expectation of over-spending and extravagance? It just sets the marriage up to be strained as soon as you get back to the real world. The day goes by so quickly and all you have are memories. Don’t let your wedding memories fill you with resentment towards each other because you are still paying it off 2, 3, or even 5 years later. You’ll be much happier if you don’t.