Monday, June 18, 2007

Wedding Anyone?

This summer, my husband and I have been invited to two weddings. Both are on dates that we cannot attend due to prior commitments. The last wedding we attended was shortly after Phill had his first seizure. He faltered at finding words. He was not himself. My association of that difficult time and weddings is hard to ignore. He no longer has problems finding words while on his current medication, so I know that he won't have time congratulating the couple or the parents or interacting with other guests.

Still, I am loathe to go to a wedding.

The ceremonies are long, filled with readings by brothers, cousins, and whoevers. Some have an entire mass. I sit in the pew hoping that each ceremony will be short, Princess Bride short. In fact, I probably wouldn't have had a ceremony if it were not for family wishes. A piece of a paper would have been enough for me. Maybe I would have had a good party for my friends and family.

I know. I know. You are going to comment that attending a wedding ceremony is to show your support for the newlyweds. Yes. Yes. Sure. Don't even point out that a religious wedding ceremony is also fulfilling some requirement of god to go forth and multiply. I know all that.

I show my support for the couple by buying them something from their wish list. A big thing. We don't buy salad tongs. We go for the big items.

My problem with weddings these days is that how overboard people go on spending. If you have to take out a loan for your wedding--you have spent too much. That ceremony is one day, maybe two or three if you host a breakfast or rehearsal dinner. That dress will be worn once. The bridesmaids will hate their dresses and won't ever look at what you made them wear again. Have a wedding ceremony, but remember that beginning in debt isn't a great way to begin a marriage.

Have I griped enough? Did I give sufficient evidence that I have become a grouch?

What about you? Do you enjoy attending wedding ceremonies? What do you like or dislike about them?


Awesome Mom said...

Well I am not often invited to weddings and the ones that I was I had so much trouble finding a babysitter that I just skipped. My ceremony was simple, only close family came. My reception was minimal. We had it in my parent's back yard and served party food from costco. I would have skipped it entirely but a lot of my husband's family was going to be in town for the family reunion that was being held that weekend. His grandmother kindly scheduled it so that we could have more family coming. We didn't even have brides maids or anything like that, my sisters wore formal dresses that they had used for other events.

I agree with you that simple is better and that if you have to take out a loan you are paying far too much. My one of my sisters is supposed to be getting married this fall and I am encouraging her to keep things simple. It really is the marriage that matters not the one day of the wedding.

CJ said...

Oh, I love weddings! Some of the difference between us is that I am Catholic and believe marriage is a sacrament: two made one, something new created for eternity. I also think we've lost something in moving away from the old (like medieval) rhythms of feasting and fasting, and a wedding is a reason for a feast. I agree with you about the folly of taking on debt to pay for a wedding, but I do love to celebrate weddings.

Marijean said...

Ceremony, no. Reception, yes. I agree with the cost-factor though -- it's becoming prohibitive to even consider attending. Case in point, this Saturday my cousin is going married so we all had to have new duds, travel to NY, gift, shower gift, food while we're there, etc. In Nov. a close friend is getting married in Vegas. VEGAS! So naturally we're going -- and going to go broke. Ah, well, you only live once.

Sarabeth said...

I should clarify that there are at least two weddings which I would attend no matter where they were. One is a family member. The other person is a friend from college. Those two I would not miss.

Genevieve said...

I like (most) weddings, but I do think that the whole reception thing is getting out of hand. I am much in favor of a simple reception of finger foods, cake and punch at the church before the couple runs through a shower of rice, jumps into a well-decorated automobile, and motors away for the honeymoon.

These receptions with a full meal and a bar and a dance that lasts until midnight bore me to death. I certainly wouldn't go into debt to provide it for a group of people, many of whom are no more impressed than I am!

elizabeth.thomas said...

Oh, I love weddings when love is all in the air, swirling about, seen on the faces of the bride and the groom, and surrounding you in its carress. That is a lovely time, feeling and event. I've attended at least two weddings where this wasn't the case but both of them had great parties so it wasn't a complete loss.

As for cost, who am I to judge? Most little girls dream of what their weddings will be like and a few act on those whims and have those over the top weddings. Good for them! If they went into debt, well, you unmade your bed so lie in it and don't say a peep! It is their decision and not mine. And if I'm invited to such a shindig, the least I can do is smile and have a good time.

I have three weddings to attend this year and one at the beginning of next year and I'm looking forward to all of them. These are four of my good friends and I know that love will be present and no matter big (as one will be) or small (as another will be) or in between (that will be two) it will be some wonderful times spent with my friends. And I cherish those.

And, sis, as for family members at least on our side, you won't have a wedding to attend until Alexandra gets married so you have quite a few years before that happens!

dragon knitter said...

the last wedding i attended was my own. this being my t hird marriage, i had never had a real wedding before. we tried to keep the money down, i let the bridesmaids pick their own dresses (i just coordinated, since one was here, and the other in georgia!), and i let hubbie decide waht tux he wore. we did this as cheaply as we could, and we got married in the park. the ceremony was relatively short (30 minutes), which was fine wth me, because it was awfully hot for a september wedding (it was 92!) by the time it was here, i just wanted to get it over with, but it was still worth it. something i'll always remember.

Liz Self said...

I just read a really interesting book on this called A More Perfect Union. It's about a Jewish New York bride who's trying to keep it small and how she gets sucked into the wedding industry. She gives some interesting information on the industry and history of wedding traditions. I've talked before about my own feelings on weddings. I sincerely hate attending them and didn't want one of my own. There's something very fake about it to me. Wes and I didn't change in the moment we got married, we promise anything we hadn't already to each other. We did "become one." We just said publicly we wanted to marry each other -- which we really did when we got engaged. So it's cheesy to me to get all excited like one minute you're singe, and one you're married. Nothing has changed in those 30 minutes of vows. The change and committment are what happen when you make the decision in your own heart and enact it through marriage. I'd rather see my 30th, 40th, 50th wedding anniversary feted heavily than my marriage.

Liz Self said...

Typos -- blggh. I meant to say, we DIDN'T promise anything we hadn't already to each other, and we DIDN'T "become one." We were just two independent people choosing to join our lives together -- our seperate entities remained.