It's the first Saturday of June and that means that wedding "season" is in full swing! Not that weddings don't happen at other times of the year - they do - just not as frequently as they do in the summer. Luckily I haven't been invited to any weddings over the last few years. The majority of my friends have either been there, done that or not crazy enough to do that again!
My dad (who was happily married to my mom for 59 1/2 years) used to joke that the only difference between a wedding and a funeral was that you could smell the flowers at a wedding!
Weddings have become more and more elaborate over the years, not to mention ridiculously expensive! I didn't actually research the cost, but I have heard that it can be in the tens of thousands for an average wedding! But these days who can tell what an average wedding is? Weddings run the gamut from the old fashioned church nuptials, reception and dance to a vacation wedding where you and a few dozen of your nearest/dearest fly somewhere warm/exotic to tie the knot. Then there are the vows that are exchanged on beaches, on mountains, under water or sporting events.
Brides (and some grooms) go crazy with the planning and match and engrave everything. Couples used to just give their guests a wrapped piece of cake as a thank you gift for coming. Now some are actually providing swag bags! I've even heard of couples who are choreographing their first dance a la "Dancing With The Stars"
Wedding gifts are often a nightmare. Every etiquette expert says asking for money as a gift is TACKY, but the reality is that most couples already have most of the things they need. So a "Presentation" or "Gift Registry" is a great way to avoid receiving the four toasters, hideous vase, gaudy throw cushion or the linens that don't match your bed/bath decor. Then there is the old tradition of the couple selecting china, stemware and flatware patterns so that people can buy them as wedding/shower gifts. I remember my grandmother trying to get me to choose a china pattern when I was in my mid teens so that I could start a "Hope Chest" or as I called it, "My Hopeless Chest". I've never understood the concept of spending a fortune on table ware that you only use a few times a year. You want an 8 place setting? No problem. There is nothing wrong with having a couple of sets of Corelle, a flatware set and glass sets from Wal Mart or some other discount dealer - and by the way that will only set you back a couple hundred not a couple thousand!
Bridal parties can be a mine field. Do you really want to have ALL those people standing up there in hideously matching outfits that will never be worn again? Guest lists are another area of contention. This is the bride and grooms - not the parents. Do you really need to include your parents friends from work that you've never met or the third cousin you haven't seen since you were seven? Nope!
STOP THE INSANITY!!!
I've gone on record in earlier posts, that I have no desire to get married. Like many women, I recall conversations with my gal pals about their dream weddings. I'd politely listen as they described in detail what they wanted. Some had thought out every little detail. But what if the guy you marry doesn't agree? "Oh he will, or we'll figure it out." They'd ask me what I'd want and even when I said I wouldn't marry, they'd insist "what if?"
Okay so IF I ever planned my wedding, the first thing I'd need is a living, breathing single, sucker. Sorry I meant to write "groom". I'd want a small intimate ceremony in the autumn at sunset. I look better in dim light! One hundred guests maximum, fifty or less, even better. If you have the service in autumn at sunset then it is an evening wedding, so you can get away with a light buffet or even better a dessert buffet rather than a sit down meal. We could dance in the moonlight, which is even better so I'd look great! Rather than a band or DJ, we'd pick the music list and load it on an mp3 player and let it play while we mingled. That way there would be no Polka's, Conga Lines, Macarena, Chicken Dance or anything else we didn't like! Smart, huh? No videos but a few brief select pictures. I have a great recipe for a chocolate cherry, almond fruit cake that could easily be made into a simple wedding cake. The wedding party (bride, groom, best man, and maid of honour) would be in simple casual attire with corsage's and boutonniere's. No fancy white dress or monkey suits allowed!
Brides and grooms need to keep it simple and remember that this is only ONE day of what will hopefully be a lifetime commitment. There is no need to go in debt to start your life together. Do what you can afford and concentrate on your relationship and your future.