A Suburban City Girl in A Small Town

Moment by moment……

The Business of A Wedding

on October 8, 2012

June 15th, 1996. Supposedly, the happiest day of my life (before giving birth to my girls). My wedding day. 

I woke up that morning to a tension headache that only got worse as the day went on. I walked down the aisle with a 102.3 temperature. I was stressed out to the max and although I looked beautiful, I was warm in my dress and my face itched from all the makeup. My toes pinched and I had to use the bathroom in the worse way. My dress, while beautiful, just didn’t allow for such functions to be performed so easily. After the wedding, my new husband and I went to our hotel (after a quick trip to my mom’s house to change) whereby, instead of a romantic evening, I warned him not to touch me. I showered and promptly passed out on the bed. Three hours later I woke up, the fever gone and I was starving as I hadn’t eaten very much. We went to the hotel restaurant where I had my fill and then back to the hotel where we both passed out from exhaustion. 

Oddly enough, this is the norm for most newly married couples

According to Weddingstats.org, the average cost of a wedding is between $26k and $27k. That’s on the wedding alone!!! So here’s my question. Why is it so important to spend so much on one day for one party to celebrate something that really is quite intimate and private? 

Although I had a “wedding”, the day I actually got married was three months before the wedding day. My husband (at the time) and I got married by the Justice of the Peace wearing matching t-shirts and jeans. We got married, ran errands, got some pizza and spent the weekend holed up in our home watching movies. It was perfect and private. When my mother-in-law got married, she and her husband went to Hawaii by themselves. They had a lovely private ceremony. A small cake and coffee reception was held at a friend’s house when they came back. It was quiet, calm and beautiful. 

So what is the deal with these big weddings? I get it’s a family affair. I understand wanting to celebrate. But do we need to celebrate at $25.00 per plate? Think about it. $26k or $27k could be cash for a new car (or pay off a vehicle thus decreasing debt); it could be cash payments for furniture or even a down payment on a house. But to blow it on a dress worn only once, alcohol that causes stupidity, pictures that fade with time, food quickly eaten (and most of the time, not really enjoyed) and a cake seems a little on the ridiculous side to me. 

Am I wrong, readers? 

I’m the mom of two teenage girls. I figure both will get married at some point. Since they’re not from a wealthy family, we’ve begun to speculate over how we can cut costs. My older daughter, Shelby, made is easy and said she’ll just elope. She doesn’t like to dress up and she doesn’t like to be the center of attention. My younger girl, Emilie, is creative enough to make much of what she wants on her own. (I personally love the weddings where things are homemade.) 

Yet the question still stands. 

A wedding is a ceremony in which two people pledge their lives to each other. Promises are made. Heartfelt words are shared. So why do we feel that we have to keep up with the Joneses, as it were, when it comes to something this intimate? Consider this: 

A Brides Email to her Bridesmails

A couple of 14-carat gold wedding rings. Pictu...

A couple of 14-carat gold wedding rings. Picture taken in Brazil, where 14-carat is the most common kind of gold used in jewelry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I mean, really? My wedding day was ok but honestly, it caused people in my family not to speak to each other. It caused hurt feelings. Money was spent that didn’t need to be spent. And 10 years later, the marriage split up. Nothing brings the ugly out of a family like a wedding or a funeral. I don’t know why that is but that seems to be a common theme in families of all shapes and sizes. Friendship are made and broken over events like a wedding. Like this poor girl – she will lose friends over this all because she wants this wedding to be this spectacular event. 

A wedding is a spectacular event but, in my humble opinion, it also is a private one. My daughters have asked me several times since my divorce what my next wedding will look like. If I get married again (I’m enjoying my singleness, at the moment), I will most likely elope. Something very private, very intimate and inexpensive. 

But that’s just me. 


One response to “The Business of A Wedding

  1. I agree completely. My husband and I had some options before we got married; have a huge ceremony and spend tons on other people, or have a small, personal ceremony and buy furniture for our house (and a car). I opted for the second and haven’t regretted it since.
    Our wedding was in Vegas, it wasn’t “cheesy” and it wasn’t a long, drawn out affair. We took 15 minutes, had a great time, and then spent the next four days holed up in an awesome suite. The total cost was about $1000 and we couldn’t have imagined doing it better.


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