Sunday, January 04, 2009

a wedding related post, dun dun dun

I've been thinking I should post about the wedding planning process for awhile now since I'd like to have some memory of it in a few years, but have been far too lazy. December can do that to a person. Tonight we went to see "Seven Pounds" and one of the previews just happened to be for "Bride Wars" and it pushed me over the edge.

I know, I know, this movie is supposed to be funny because it's so over the top and ridiculous, but I just can't get behind re-enforcing and even encouraging the trend for crazy, over the top, weddings that have nothing to do with getting married and everything to do with status and showing off.

Right after (and who am I kidding, before) we got engaged I started looking at wedding blogs & websites for ideas for our wedding. It didn't take me long to figure out this is essentially the female equivalent of porn. It's just all so pretty! I mean, who doesn't love a perfectly decorated room, with matching linens, gorgeous centerpieces, matching letter pressed menus and a "lounge" area with new furniture and accessories. If you're not careful, you could even start to believe that this is totally normal and even expected for a wedding.

Until you make up your budget of course. Make up your budget and then figure out just what that dollar amount gets you in wedding-land. If your budget looks anything like ours, it's not a whole heck of a lot. The real brain blowing part comes when you try and calculate what the cost of these "Real Weddings" featured across the interweb must be. This part, this is where my brain explodes. These "Real Weddings" rarely come with a price tag less that $50 000, and I think in many cases that's a very conservative estimate.

Not only do they cost ridiculous amounts of money, but they are all about "the invitations," "the cake," "the florals," etc. There's a piece of the trailer for "Bride Wars" where the vendor for the hotel asks both brides if they'd like to consult their husbands to be about the date they are choosing for their weddings and with barely a hesitation both girls give a firm N-O. Because clearly the fantasy wedding that happens at the Plaza after receiving the ginormous Tiffany's ring clearly has nothing to do with their husbands at all. They are simply another accessory that will be perfectly decorated for the day.

I don't know how anyone justifies spending the equivalent of a serious down payment on a home on one day. There are some who say if you have it to spend then why not, and I agree with this to a certain extent. I understand being too lazy to shop around, too busy to do some things yourself, but the sheer waste on one day still doesn't make any sense - especially when many couple put themselves into serious debt for their weddings. We all know where those $3000 invites wind up, and just how many days does $5000 worth of flowers last for anyway?

Don't get me wrong, we are putting some effort into making things look pretty. It is however, more comparable to the kind of pretty you'd make your table for Christmas or someone's birthday, just slightly larger scale. Also, I love paper, so the whole "need to make invites" thing is right up my alley to obsess over - just not in the $3000 obsess kind of way. But what am I really expending all my wedding related brain energy on? How to have a ceremony that's meaningful to us. How to spend as much time as possible with our guests. How to properly celebrate with those people who are close to us the commitment to one another that we are making, the beginning of our married lives and just how much we appreciate the support from everyone present that helped us to this point. Oh yes, and of course, how to do this on budget.

You see, I can't help but think that if we thought a little bit more about the marriage, and a little less about the wedding our marriages on the whole would be a little more successful. Or at least that's what I'm hoping for.


Rach said...

You know I agree 100% with your post. But unfortunately, I fear that those who think this way are in the minority (at least in major cities) and that weddings have become "trendy". 50,000$ - dear Lord!

Mr. Beingessner said...

Amen to this post! And even if someone CAN afford to have an opulent, ridiculous, wasteful wedding, that doesn't mean they SHOULD. Imagine what good that money could really do?

In lieu of take-away treats at our wedding, we made a donation to the cancer society -- did anyone bemoan the lack of a small chocolate treat? Heck no.

That said, our wedding was kind of ridiculous...but hey, we were young and didn't know better. Or something like that.

Not So French Girl said...

I would say that weddings like this are not real life. However, I have known 3 bridezillas. It's not pretty. And those are 3 passive husbands. I'm glad that you are reasonable.