Why I Believe In Marriages, But Not Weddings
By April Davis
I know this is a bold statement and a lot of you may already be on the defensive. Those of you who attribute their wedding nuptials as the best day of their lives probably want to slap me. How could I not believe in such a wonderful occasion?
Well, I’m not against your marriage or how you choose to celebrate your big day. Some people want to have the poufy white dress, 3 course meal, and traditional ceremonies with all your friends and family present. I understand that. What I don’t understand is how what’s ultimately a marriage between two people has turned into an economic commodity being commercialised and exploited by the wedding industry.
The $51 billion industry, with over 800,000 employees is what I’m a little shaky on. Some where along the line the concept of a marriage has become attributed to a different set of values, when at the end of the day, a marriage is for the bride and the groom, the wedding is for everyone else.
To explain my point I’ll give you a break down of my own wedding experience. My wedding was relatively small and cheap compared to most with the average wedding costing $29,000 according to TheKnot’s Real Wedding Study. Mine cost a total of $8,500. This included 66 guests, the marriage celebrant, photographer, wedding, and bridal party dresses, groom and groomsmen suits, the venue, and wedding stationary and basic alcohol. It doesn’t include the costs associated with Bridal Showers or Hens Nights.
However, despite the relative ‘cheapness’ of my wedding it was a lot of money, and it was money I deeply regret spending. Through the whole planning process my family and friends put a lot of pressure on us to do things their way. As the months rolled by it became increasingly apparent that no, the wedding isn’t about the bride and groom, it’s more like planning a peace summit between two families with conflicting ideas on what the ceremony and reception should be like.
Then, when the day finally arrived I was exhausted. I barely saw my new husband because everyone seemed to be competing for our attention and acting like we were celebrities that should be poised for the camera 24/7. It felt like an expensive, overwhelming performance devoid of the level of love you would expect from such a romantic occasion. Aside from the special moments like saying our vowels and sharing our first dance I felt more like a puppet than a loved up bride.
If I could have my time over eloping would be on the top of my list. I don’t regret getting married, it’s a life long decision I’m incredibly proud and happy to have made, but I do regret doing the whole white wedding cliché.
If you have a large family, you’re very close to and want to share this momentous occasion with, by all means have the wedding of your dreams. I only advise you tread carefully and consider all your options before putting your deposit down. Glamorous parties aren’t for everyone; I’m not ashamed to admit it wasn’t for me. But if you can avoid making the same mistake I did, you’ll be a hell of a lot happier in the long run, and a lot richer.
Editor Note: Did you know….research indicates the more you spend on your marriage, the shorter it will be. Time to think twice about that really expensive venue and dress?