weddings: what’s the deal?

This post may come off as negative, but really it’s just me questioning truth. Excuse my rant.

I was conversing with a couple of people the other day about weddings, and I have come to the realization that it has become an event of pure commercialism. What ever happened to a ceremony/event meant for two people in love?! It’s become more of an ordeal (aka headache) for the couple. It seems that nowadays weddings have lost their value. I have noticed that once people get engaged, they are encouraged to plan a wedding within the year. No delays! Why?!

Is it a bad idea for a couple to wait to celebrate their event because they would prefer to save money for more important priorities such as bills? Why does a bride have to wear a lavish dress?! Why are you urged to invite people you haven’t spoken to in over twenty years?! Do you really need to spend thousands of dollars on flowers that will die within a couple of weeks?! A limo… really?! Favors?!

I think I pondered over a million more questions, but I’ll stop right there. Seriously though, what’s the deal with weddings? It’s a load of money that gets burned up in a day – that money could be going to a cause that helps others!

I’m not saying that all of these expenses are bad; I’m just questioning the real reason behind weddings. Are these events truly for the couple or is it really for someone else? When I hear other bride-to-be’s talking about weddings, it’s always THIS and THAT about their plans. Not once have I heard them talk about the person they love (aka the reason why there’s a wedding in the first place).

The rule of thumb should be weddings are meant for YOU and YOUR FUTURE SPOUSE. What do you think about weddings?

I say all of this now, but my wedding will have some of THIS and THAT too, but I’m going to do it our way. πŸ˜‰ It feels good to finally get that all down in words. Again, excuse me for my rant on weddings.

…and no, I’m not just a poor and bitter girl who can’t have the wedding of her dreams. Even with enough money to plan a wedding that would make my dreams come true, I still would do it our way.

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42 Comments

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42 responses to “weddings: what’s the deal?

  1. I soooo agree!! I got so caught up in things that we were “suppose” to do for our wedding that I ended up losing sight of what I really wanted. Definitely do what makes you happy!! πŸ™‚

  2. NanaBeth

    You are so so right. We got married in the local park and it was lovely.

  3. Sarah, honey…..I TOTALLY agree with you!!! There is a reason people elope! (they are probably the ones that stay together too!)

    Hugs,
    K

  4. hmmmm, sounds fo familiar to what my sister is going through now. She just got engaged about a few weeks ago and now are planning their wedding for next June! They want a modern wedding, but it seems our mom wants a traditional wedding… My sister wants to please everyone. its so early in the planning that she is getting totally stressed out.. ALREADY!!!!
    We all tell her, they should plan what they want and forget about what everyone else wants or expects!
    Rant away! i agree weddings are a waste of money..LOL …. thank god i don’t have to go through it again =) ( knock on wood)

    hugs
    juli

  5. I agree with you. To avoid all of the things you were talking about, we decided to get married in Crete… Those who mattered to us decided to come along, the others stayed behind. It was the perfect solution. We had a wonderful wedding … the whole day was just about us, and it was such a wonderful relaxed day. We even got to hang out by the pool between the reception and our evening party. No obligations, just fun and a celebration of our love. And it didn’t cost nearly as much as it would have if we had done it at home! Who needs limos??? It all comes down to this: you have to do what you think is right for the two of you, and no one else. Like you said, it is a celebration of finding that perfect one for you, and that’s what it should represent. You see, I could go on about this subject for quiet some time as well LOL! I hope when you get married you’ll find that balance between pleasing others and doing things your way!
    xxx Peggy

  6. i totally understand your point of view!! planning my wedding is a huuuuge headache, ugh! the only reason we’re having one is because my mom’s paying for it, haha. we’re really just doing it for our families. sure, im excited about wearing a pretty dress and seeing my family and friends but i seriously wish i could just go to a wedding planner and tell her to plan it because i dont want to deal with it, lol!

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  8. Dara Lynn

    Next month, my husband and I will celebrate 15 years of marriage! We eloped, with my mother and his best friend in tow as witnesses!

  9. Chris Aiton

    I have been married twice – the first time was a big church wedding with a full mass and then a reception after – afterward I was sick for a week. The second time was an evening ceremony in the house in which we lived with a few close friends attending. It was so perfect and so relaxing – the judge did the ceremony and then read a beautiful poem about love.
    I understand your rant – have a great week!

  10. Julie Tucker-Wolek

    You know I love you…and you know i love your rants :):):):):):):):):):):):) my previous wedding was over the top crap….as that is what the ex-mother-in-law wanted (that’s what it always seems to be…what EVERYONE else wants…ugh!)…so this time with me and brian… we were like…been there….done that… so we did the simpliest of ALL wedddings…. there was maybe 25 peeps there….the kids stood up for us… it was right around Easter, so Brookie’s dress was a dress from JCPenney’s and her hat was from Target’s dollar spot….lol….think hers cost me maybe $40.00 total for her whole outfit…the boys wore simple tuxes and my dress was a whole $85.00…. lol..and I made our arch myself!! I did everything in pinks and blues to celebrate that we have a boy and girl together! :):):):):):) And for the reception??? No cake, no frills, no presents….all 25 of us went to a Mexican restaurant for dinner afterwards and then the four of us went to Vegas for a week on a family honeymoon!! LOL!!! This time it was ALL about us and what we wanted!! LOL! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

  11. Well said Sarah! You do what’s best for you and that will be the perfect wedding.

  12. Rant on Girl! Elliott and I kept our wedding super simple and we got so much flack for it. One of his Aunt’s was mad at me for not making her daughter the flower girl and I had literally talked to the woman once…and E wasn’t at all close with her. Then his parents got mad because they felt their business partners should be invited???? WTH??? I stuck to my guns and did things OUR way and I’m so glad that we did.
    I totally think that the money that gets spent on weddings could make a young couple a nice down payment on a home that would hold years of memories:)

  13. Ruth Tacoma

    I think the biggest problem with weddings is that it’s all about how it looks, rather than focusing on making it meaningful.

    Since I live in a smaller community we don’t have too many of the lavish affairs that are often seen on television, but I often feel sorry for brides when it comes to pleasing “others” (mothers are often the cuprit).

    Make it a small, or large, but meaningful wedding and I love them. πŸ™‚

    I have 3 boys and wish it to be a meaningful affair for them, surrounded by people they love who will encourage them in this journey with their future spouse. And that their bride to be will feel beautiful and special for her wonderful day, even if the dress is handmade and costs $50.

  14. I agree with you Sarah…it’s ridiculous! My hubby and I were totally broke when we got married almost 12 years ago. We were happy and in love though and didn’t want to wait until we could afford a formal wedding. Our solution? We took about 15 of our closest friends and family members and went down to the courthouse. We spent less than $200 for that day, and thinking back on it makes me just as happy as if we’d have spent $1,000. It’s not about how fancy it was…it’s about getting to spend the rest of my life with the man I love. It was a perfect day in my eyes for sure!
    – April

  15. Lisa D(pdrnc)

    I agree with you 100%. My husband and I had a pretty big wedding (about 250 people) because we both have large families.
    We bargain-hunted for prices and didn’t do anything we couldn’t afford. We also bought a house a couple of months before the wedding. I’ve been at weddings where the couple opened gift envelopes to pay the DJ or band. INSANE! I think a lot of girls these days try to have these Hollywood style weddings to out-do their friends, too. I always tell me friends to focus on their marriage, not their wedding. Once their day is over, they will still have to live with each other everyday and I think they lose sight of that.

    Sorry, I don’t want to start a rant too but I have many of the same feelings as you. Have a great day!

    • rant all you want. …and i totally agree. if you don’t have the money to do it, then it shouldn’t happen. why create more debt on ONE DAY of your life?!

      for my wedding, everything will be paid for in cash. so after the dreaded day is over, i’ll be stress free. πŸ™‚

  16. Well Eric & I had a simple wedding at church. Followed by wedding dinner. We didn’t really go over the top because we know we can’t afford those but stick to what we can. I totally understand where u r coming from. Some ppl spend so much & end up in credit card debt! Sad but that’s the reality πŸ™‚

  17. My DH and I have been blissfully married for 18 years now and did the wedding small and our way. It was at his grandmother’s home, in her back yard with only about 30 people. We spent money only on the things we really wanted to have like a string quartet and some good catered food. It was an intimate wedding with just the closest of family and friends to share our vows that we wrote for each other. We saved a ton of money doing it out way so that we could have a memorable honeymoon…Tahiti. Anyway, I did make decisions that didn’t please everyone and after 18 years, I wouldn’t do a thing differently!

  18. It’s the industry!! And those stupid Say Yes to the Dress shows. I seriously cannot watch women go and buy two wedding dresses that each cost $5,000 because they want one for the wedding and one for the reception. Uhm, my dress cost like $500 (and I was able to try it on in my size, unlike what happens at most bridal shops) and I just had the one. $10,000 would make for a nice down payment on a house. Ya know?

    • exactly! the industry is whacked up! why do you need to spend that much money on a dress you’ll wear once!? it’s bogus! and flowers — don’t even get me started… when you get a simple arrangement delivered to someone for their birthday, it’s anywhere from 30-100 bucks… but why is it that florist jack up the prices for weddings?! it should be right in that same price range, don’t you think?! lame! if that’s the case, i’ll just tell them it’s not for a wedding, but i need a certain amount of dozen roses for someone… and ARGH to spending thousands of dollars on catering/food?! when you go to restaurant it’s NOT 100+ dollar a head! SHEESH!

      okay, i’m going at it again. i’ll stop right there. haha

  19. I agree with you 100%! When Nate and I do tie the knot, it’s going to be small, handcrafted and most importantly about US! We both have very large families that will probably be insulted when not everyone gets the invite (like a third cousin you haven’t seen since third grade), but I’m with you, I don’t want to pay for a big, crazy circus event that I don’t even want. It will instead be a small, intimate affair and we will be surrounded only by those closest to us. And, it will be AMAZING πŸ™‚

    • i can’t wait to hear all about it, toni. i’m sure it’ll look GORGEOUS… as long as it’s what you AND nate want. πŸ™‚

  20. Good luck with planning your wedding and everything πŸ™‚ I’m sure it will be a beautiful event to your liking πŸ™‚

  21. There are definitely those out there who get caught up in all of it! We didn’t have that experience at all. We cut costs everywhere we could and planned to have a wedding that celebrated our relationship with a party that everyone would enjoy. It was fantastic and we had a great time with our family and friends. It’s all about having a day that celebrates YOU as a couple when it gets down to the planning. πŸ™‚

  22. I’m totally with you! We kept our wedding a small affair and had the reception at my parents’ house. That had a beautiful and big backyard so why not? It was perfect!

  23. I didn’t have a large, extravagant wedding…but it wasn’t small either. It was maybe not everything I would have dreamed of. But it was a great celebration with lots of friends and family. And, it was what we could afford at the time. If I did it all again today…it would be bigger, more lavish. But that is because we can afford it now. Everyone has to do with what works for them. Rant away!

  24. I’ve been to one “fancy” wedding, and was not impressed. And I think the reason for that was it was very “look at us…no, you can’t eat until we do…no, you can’t dance until we do…” Annoying. πŸ˜› What I really liked about our wedding was it felt like a big gathering of family and friends. It might just be the part of the country I live in, but I haven’t experienced much wedding hoopla. We did a lot of things for our wedding on our own. I made my bridesmaid bouquets. Our rehearsal dinner was pizza. I printed the programs on the church photocopier. The flower girl dresses were Easter dresses from Target. At 5am on the day of our wedding, I was up helping my mom prepare food. We had an awesome buffet made solely by family members…best wedding food I’ve ever tasted. Two “splurges”, if you want to call them that: the dress (which was still very inexpensive by most wedding standards), and the photographer, who was just starting out but came highly recommended (and because of that was also very inexpensive by most wedding standards…I couldn’t afford to hire him now). And I totally would have made cupcakes for the wedding cake, but a certain husband wanted a cake. (Although, as we later learned, cupcakes don’t tip over easily…LOL) But anyway, long story short, even though we did a lot of things by hand, it didn’t feel like very much work.

  25. Wow. I just wrote a novel. πŸ™‚

  26. Do whatever makes you and your partner happy! It doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg…stay happy and take care! Ate Lil

  27. Great topic, Sarah! I had a very traditional ceremony when I got married and even though we simplified everything a lot and tried reduced costs, it ended up being very stressful and expensive as most ones are. I guess at this point in my life I’d never go through all that again, and would priorize the real life that comes after and which costs a lot too…
    I agree 100% with your words πŸ™‚
    hugs

  28. Pam

    I agree with your rant. When I got married the invites were not that important to me, so I ordered them from a very inexpensive on-line company. I got so many negative comments about those stupid invites. It was so silly. You gotta set your priorities – mine was to have a fantastic reception…and it was.

    I hope someday that everyone (gay or straight) will be able to have the wedding of their dreams without judgement.

  29. I hear ya, my wedding was $300.00 out the door at a little wedding chapel here in town, it wasn’t the best thing in the world but it was good enough to get the job done. The only thing I would have done different is hired a better photographer or checked my family’s camera batteries because both cameras had dead batteries the only photos we have were taken with disposable cameras and are very poor quality.

  30. In the end all that matters is love… and in the most difficult times to remember “FOR BEST and FOR WORST” because when the storms are gone the sun shines back again if true love was holding the two of you together. I believe in love… and weddings should be meaningful for the two that are getting married… you do it to create memories to hold on to when things get rocky but also to celebrate a miracle, because finding your soul-mate is a gift that not everybody gets in life. I say… I look forward to be at your wedding because I am sure that whatever way the two of you decide to make it is going to be wonderful!! (I will bring the rice!!)

  31. Totally agree. I do not understand starting out a marriage in debt due to crazy weddings, mainly to impress others. WTH? Why are they so many wedding shows on TV lately.

    We were planning a nice wedding when Josh came up on deployment to Iraq so we took the easy rode out and had a nice little ceremony at a small chapel in South Carolina. No one was there but us, no flowers, cakes, fancy dresses, or expensive honeymoons. We didn’t even spend that night together as he had to be back on the base by a certain hour. I wore a red floral sun dress. We didnt have rings or any of that mess either. Afterwards we went straight to the mall and bought me a platinum nearly flawless ring, which was more important to me than the rest of it.

    I was married for almost an entire month before I even told my mother. When people found out I heard crap from everyone. Josh’s grandma even said she would give it 2 years, and she is sooo not that type of woman you would expect to hear that from. Now 7 years later, we have $ in the bank, we OWN our house (but saving for a bigger one), we have 2 priceless little boys and were still counting the years. I can’t even being to tell you how many couple I personally know thats been married and divorced in this same time frame.

  32. ummmmmmmm totally agree with you!!! my girlfriends gave me a shower… steve had alittle bachalor party witha couple of his friends… mostly dinner… as for the wedding… Steve and I went to Las Vegas to a very sweet little chapel, just the two of us… no one else and it was lovely…. it was perfect… not a lot of money. Then when we got home afew months later, my dad and my sisters gave us a reception with just family and a few friends it was the best thing EVER…. and didn’t put us into debt… and it was all about us… it was perfect!!! and my dress was on sale… past seasons design… and only $50.00… it was beautiful…

    have a good day… and you’re not ranting… {{hugs}} Michelle

  33. Bob & got married at a winery… the same winery where he had proposed 9 mos earlier on a trip to Sonoma. Since obviously it was away from home, we only had 17 people there. It was exactly what we wanted. If anyone wanted to join us, they could, but it was really just about me & him. My dress didn’t cost thousands of dollars. I believe it was less than $300 if memory serves me. We had 3 sets of flowers… one for me & one for each of my sisters. We found a photographer & minister online. Appetizers, wine & dinner was all served afterward at the winery. In fact, I planned the entire wedding online & in blind faith that it would come together when we arrived. The whole thing went off without a hitch, but even if it hadn’t we still would’ve thought it was the best day ever. It’s not about how much money you spend or who is there to witness it. It is all about the 2 people making the commitment. And if more people thought of it that way, instead of making such a big deal about the wedding, there would probably be a much lower divorce rate.

    Do it your way. It will be perfect that way… πŸ˜‰

  34. Vel

    I couldn’t agree more, Sarah. My first wedding was fun and all but we spent too much on everything, went in debt for stuff and it just wasn’t worth it (especially since it ended in divorce two years later). I see nothing wrong with a simple ceremony with just your closest family and friends.

  35. I totally agree!!! My wedding was small but beautiful at a local winery! We set our budget and our guest list (a whole 20 people) and stuck to it. Family members and friends were upset about not being there but we stuck to our guns and said we were sorry. I was able to have the major items I wanted the beautiful gown, the harpest and flutist, and an amazing dinner from a well known restaurant because we weren’t feeding and entertaining a mob of people. It was perfect and I wasn’t stressed or pressured one bit.

    Weddings should be about two people commiting their lives to each other not about showing up other wedding you have been too or making other people happy. In the end, the results are the same. You end up married!

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