A sex ed blog with more
So, what’s the big deal with weddings? I’m not getting into the significance of marriage here, simply looking at engagements and weddings and how confusing I find it all. From the Cultural Differences blog post, we have learned that different cultures place varying significance on the whole shebang. I heard from an Italian that the idea of engagement rings and various parties (engagement, wedding shower, etc.) comes from Hollywood TV and movies. In the US, one channel (TLC) has every Friday night devoted to weddings: Say Yes to the Dress (bride and bridesmaid versions), 4 Weddings, I Found the Gown, Wedding Fiesta, My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding, Wedding Island, and more!
The wedding industry is a multi-billion dollar a year industry, with each couple typically spending an insane amount of money on their nuptials. Why is it that many people feel the need to get all fancied up for one day? I am not immune to this, either – I want a pretty dress and a day when everyone looks at me. But the sheer price and all of the preparations are entirely overwhelming.
Having not gone through it myself, here is a list of all of the things that I see happening around me in regards to wedding preparations:
– Engagement party
– Wedding shower (maid of honour typically prepares this)
– Bachelor and/or bachelorette parties OR a stag & doe as a fundraiser
– The actual wedding clothes: bridal party outfits – apparently these are paid for by the couple, bride & groom outfit
– Venue, food, getaway car, speeches, music, attendees, any religious aspects [these can be many]
– Probably other stuff I’m forgetting
The crazy thing to me is the typical pricing for all of these things. A wedding dress can easily reach $5000, a venue the same. Food is usually $50/head. If you have 200 people at your wedding, which is not difficult when you mix 2 lives and all of the associated people in each of them, food pricing will add up quickly.
We’ve all heard the term ‘Bridezilla’: brides-to-be can become monsters leading up to their wedding date. And for some reason they’re given license to because it’s their day. I have to wonder if this happens with same-sex couples, too. Though goodness knows, it’s hardly in the mainstream media so we’d never be privy to it unless we were directly involved.
It seems like venues are becoming more and more difficult to find, since churches are no longer the ideal spot for many to exchange vows. Maybe this is one reason the prices have skyrocketed – because they can? And why does there need to be an aisle? Is it so that everyone can see the dress? Maybe since we’ve spent so much money on it, it needs to be ogled by all for as long as possible.
I have to wonder: is the stress of a wedding really worth it? I mean, if you’re looking for a marriage, that’s easy enough to have without spending oodles of money. If you’re wanting to commit in a ceremony in front of friends and family, that also doesn’t need to be ludicrously expensive; we can see this in various cultures all over the world. But, if you want a fancy party, then that’s where the big bucks come into play. I guess I’m looking for indicators as to why weddings tend to cost an arm and a leg, and cause all kinds of stress for a tonne of people involved. Why is it important to commit in front of a whole bunch of people?
My cousin and her partner say no. They have two children, live together, just moved into a new house, evidently are fully committed, and receive all kinds of pressure from their in-laws. At Thanksgiving, when discussing this, they said “Sometimes we think about it, but then we remember how much work and money it is and think ‘meh.'” I’m honestly not sure how they refer to each other. I know two people who have been together for 10 years (high school sweethearts!) and call each other husband and wife, even though they plan to get married at some point in the next 3 years or so. Apparently, it makes things a lot easier. “This is my live-in boyfriend of 10 years” sounds a little awkward, no? Personally, I’d say ‘partner’ but not everyone thinks as I do. And there’s still a pause of ‘oh, you’re gay?’ if/when partner is used. But that’s another issue altogether.
And then I saw this video and this blog post and realized that evidently, it’s not about the wedding. It’s about the marriage. And maybe the importance of the wedding is to have a great start to a marriage. Maybe having the almost perfect shindig will set you up for a lifetime or two of happiness.