Before I get too far into this post, I would like to preface it with a reminder that this is a place of love and respect and I mean no insult to anyone who disagrees with me or chooses differently than me – especially those of you who I may have stood up for at your very own weddings… all 12 were very lovely and beautiful and totally worth it to see you smile and beam in love all day. Yes, you read that right, 12.
That being said, much like having babies, planning a wedding is just not for me.
In fact, it is downright one of my biggest nightmares.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Michael VERY much (like a ridiculous, makes you sick to your stomach amount) and DO very much want to be his wife, partner for life and permanent fixture for his babies to rely on. What I do not want is to plan a wedding; a day that costs a BAJILLION dollars and causes a shit ton of anxiety, stress and unnecessary ulcers. And before you get into it, I know, I know, it doesn’t have to be like that.
But it will.
Of all 12 I have officially been a part of, I can clearly remember a moment during or in the planning leading up to the day where I thought, “Holy shit, no way am I going to have a wedding if THIS is what I will have to deal with”.
The THIS being any or all of the following:
- The financial strain: Regardless of how much money you’re free to spend, have saved or hope to make at your wedding, it is outright INSANE to spend the amount of a substantial down payment on a house on one day that in all honesty will not matter when you’re standing 25 years deep or become part of the statistical nonsense of those that end in divorce. It’s ONE day and for it to cost any more than I make in a month, is insane.
- Unreasonable guests, parents, grandparents, etc. RSVP’ing people who were not addressed on the invitation: PEOPLE, the invite is addressed a certain way for a reason and adding people to your response card is incredibly tacky. If you don’t like that someone wasn’t invited – don’t go! I think it completely reasonable for the couple to be EXTREMELY picky about who shares in their special day and have every right to select who is or is not invited.
- Unreasonable guests, parents, grandparents pushing to have certain people invited who you don’t even know or like for that matter: The rule of thumb should be (within reason of course bar the odd relative or oldest friend that lives far, far away so you have not yet met their partner of 3 years, etc.) you should not be meeting anyone for the first time during one of the most important days in your life. And if you can’t see them at the next handful of milestones in your life, I don’t care what blood line they’re attached to, you should not be forced to invite them because you might upset someone.
- Unreasonable requests of the guests, parents, grandparents, etc. for food, venue, dress, ANYTHING TO DO WITH YOUR WEDDING: Is it really so rude to remind people that it is not about them? It is about the couple celebrating their love in a way that is expressive of them. And if what the couple chooses offends you, you should probably check your knickers, remove the large knot causing you to be such an opinionated, uptight, rude being, and check your ego at the door – your opinion is NOT important for this day. You may think very highly of yourself and your importance, however let me be the one to tell you, unless the couple asks for you to weigh in because they also feel you are of equal importance – butt out.
- The business of getting married: Explain to me when your wedding day (of what I have experienced in modern, western culture of course) became a business transaction? When did it become a day looked at as an opportunity to make money? I have heard on numerous occasions of couples spending well outside of their means to make a better cut through the gifting process – really?! I would think on your day of love in celebration of your life together and the commitment of FOREVER that the monetary gain from making certain choices should be the farthest thing from your mind.
- The show, the spectacle, the bravado: To be honest, the majority of traditional wedding hoopla is a joke to me. It’s a circus during the preparations leading up to the big day, filled with unnecessary stress and emotional upheaval just to get to and through a day. It’s just a day! The pressure to preform and put on a perfect wedding is enough to send a soul like mine running for the hills, refusing to marry and staying engaged forever. In fact this has been the conversation as of late in our household – Mike is pretty sure he’ll never nail me down for a date at this point. Preparations aside, then there is the day of, where participants in the wedding rush around like crazy people, stuff themselves into uncomfortable outfits that pull, push and leave burn marks as we wear them through the day, layer on makeup and hairspray to attempt to not fall out of place as the long day drags out. What happened to the purity of the act of marriage? The simplistic beauty in the vows being said, the romantically intimate moments not dressed up with flowers and veils and sparkles and linens and lighting and candles and, and, and. Where did the fierce protection of the sanctity of the promise you’re making become less important than the way everyone looks, what they say and where they stand?
- I loved our day, BUT statements: I need all of my fingers and toes to count the amount of times I have heard that a couple wished they did it smaller, simpler, didn’t focus so much on the details and things, and more on the promises they were making and the love they were sharing – and more importantly that they did it for them and not for their parents, grandparents, guests, etc. I can tell you that number is almost if not equal to the 12 I have been a part of, not counting of course the weddings I have attended and heard the same uttering of wishes. The day should be for you and only you. The fact that you have invited your loved ones to witness it should be the secondary thought to the wedding – not the focus of the day.
- You’re getting MARRIED: Now this one is less from the wedding’s I’ve been a part of and more just a general observation, but the flippancy with which some people take on the vow of marriage is probably my number one reason for not wanting to plan a wedding – I am shit scared of becoming the rising statistic of the divorced population. I am one of those people that thinks a marriage vow – one that is used to join you in union for life – should be made for life. Don’t get me wrong, I do understand and am not speaking about the cases where abuse is present and it becomes a matter of life and death to get out. What does make me quiver at the state of our societal views of marriage is that when it’s no longer fun and exciting and new and fresh and you’ve had to get through your share of shit together, people seem to eventually give up. They walk away, they stop fighting for their relationship, they turn their backs and they stop accepting challenges as a team. They stop trying and working on themselves for their partner. If your partner doesn’t challenge you to be a better person and inspire you to take the steps to do so now, please, please, please consider what you are promising before you say your vows. Michael and I have been together long enough now that we participated in many of our friend’s weddings at the begging of our relationship that are now divorced and either engaged or already married a second time – for no other reason then they thought they could either change each other, or that nothing would change and things would be peachy. The whole ’till death do us part portion seems to be lost on those entering into marriage these days. It’s supposed to be for better or worse, not until your partner shows you their worst so you move onto better. It’s not just one day, it’s a lifetime of commitment, of work and of love. I place so much importance on taking this step with Michael that I am totally okay with taking our sweet, sweet time – and thankfully, so is he.
- The Bridezilla effect: I know now, after round 1 through to 12, that no bride is immune to the bridezilla effect at one point or another (or in some serious cases, all the way through) during their wedding planning/day. And I desperately do not want to become this version of myself if I also do not carry the immunity to it – which let’s be honest, I probably don’t. I have watched the sweetest souls become the worst versions of themselves under the pressure they put themselves under to have “the perfect day”. I get that some women…okay, okay most women, think differently than me and have been planning their wedding day since they were 5 years old and just couldn’t wait for their prince to come along and marry them so they could and NOTHING will ever stand in the way of them getting what they want. I get it. I really do, even if I don’t understand you. However, just because you are getting married and are stressed and have Aunt June breathing down your neck because you didn’t invite her daughter – your cousin, you’re reminded – that you haven’t seen in 8 years and doesn’t know you or your fiance to your wedding, does not mean lashing out on the people that are around you is acceptable or even excusable. What makes me even crazier are the people that use their wedding as an excuse for being giant assholes to their wedding party, friends, family, parents, etc. and expect them to understand like it’s okay because you’re getting married. It’s just so crazy to me to think that the event YOU are putting on for yourself that is causing YOU stress because of the choices YOU are making is a reasonable governance for your behaviour – it’s not and you’re just being a five-year old stuck in a grown woman’s body and I really don’t want to get down to that level.
I am sure I could conjure up a few more points, but I think you get the picture. I could also peg part of my lack of desire to the fact that I have planned 12 with my ladies and event plan in a professional capacity which can take some of the joy out of it – but I think it’s really just one of those things that I don’t have the natural desire for, like babies. And before you mark me as a commitment-phobe or a heartless wench, please understand that I am very much in love and excited to spend my days making Michael crazy – I just know that for me, the idea of planning and executing a wedding makes me want to go find Elvis in Vegas and runaway with my groom into the Nevada sunset.