Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My gripe about weddings.

Let me start this post by saying I'm married and I had a very lovely, very low key wedding. We had about 50 guests at the ceremony and about 150 at the reception. The cost of the wedding was split between my parents, Matt's parents and us. I think the grand total of everything was $6000 or less. And quite frankly? I look at that number now and think- what the fuck was I thinking?

For that money we have a gorgeous book of photographs we've only looked at once. I have a beautiful dress sealed into a gigantic box shoved into a closet in my mom's house I'll never use again. I have a box of mementos and things I thought I wanted to keep shoved into the far corner of our garage. I can't even tell you what's in there since I haven't opened it since I sealed it.

I have friends who are getting married, who are in weddings, and I see these shows on TV and I just think quietly to myself that 75% of them are going to be divorced within five years. What a effing waste of money. And really, what's the point? To out do family and friends married before you? To prove your fabulous taste in unnecessary things?

I have to be honest when I say I kind of look down at the people who feel the need to validate themselves or their relationship by having some outlandish wedding. I have been to quite a few weddings and honestly- I don't remember much from any of them. I remember what I wore (sometimes) and I remember the food, mostly because it's either really good or really bad. Or I remember who I sat with at the table.

I've only been asked to be a bridesmaid once because most of my friends had really small or destination weddings that I wasn't able to go to. But the one time I was asked I had to bow out because after seeing the $300 price tag on a dress, plus alterations, plus the $120 shoes that made my feet go numb, plus having to get my hair, makeup and nails done.. I bowed out. I offered to help in any way possible but there was no way I was spending that kind of money to watch the wedding but with a better seat. I got them a really great gift and helped with her showers and made appointments for everyone and I felt like I was better utilized in that capacity. But I really don't understand how some bride's have the balls to be so demanding of their friends. I was probably anti-Bridezilla. I let my bridesmaids (I had two) pick out the dress. I just asked that they be a blue color, I didn't even care which shade of blue. I told them to get whatever shoes they wanted, do their hair however, but just please be on time. And everyone was. I genuinely felt bad that the dress they picked out was $120. I mean, shit. That's a lot of money.

Don't get me started on Bridezillas. In fact, I am really surprised that some of these weddings even happen because quite honestly, that kind of behavior is unattractive and if I were a groom- I'd run as fast as I could. If she's that out of control over a god damn wedding- imagine child birth. That's all I have to say. Child birth.

I had a conversation with a friend who has a friend getting married and that bride insists that being in some one's wedding is an honor that people should beg for. Really? Because I secretly hope I don't get asked. I've made it known to friends that I just can't afford to spend that kind of money. I have kids, I have a mortgage, I have real bills. I'll get you a gift and support you on your big day and I'll even pay for my meal if you want, but please don't make me buy a dress and ugly shoes I'll never wear again.

And in retrospect, I really wish I had just eloped. Just our parents, a couple of witnesses, a simple dress and the beach. It would have been better because when I think about our wedding- most of the people who came? We don't talk to. They were friends of family and people that didn't really know us as a couple anyways. And that's where I think couples lose the whole meaning of a wedding in the first place. A wedding isn't supposed to be outlandish. You shouldn't be taking out loans to get married. You shouldn't be fighting over flowers or caterers or scripture. I feel like the over the top weddings is a perfect example of how the childhood lesson of the value of a dollar is lost. People don't even blink an eye at $1000 for flowers for a wedding. Unless you have the kind of income that can provide you with the cash to pay for that out right and not use a credit card or take out a loan, you should not be spending that much. It's just crazy.

And please god, don't get me started on rude brides and bridal registry's. Seriously, do NOT get me started.

So what are your thoughts on this? Do you think that weddings are over rated? What do you think about the high expense being in a wedding, not your own?


Justin Dow said...

My wedding was incredibly low key. My wife had just gotten out of rehab from a really bad car accident, but we wanted to get married on our dating anniversary. She bought a cheap dress and I wore what she called "churchy clothes" and we were married on my grandparents deck. The only people there were my aunt, uncle, mom, brother, and my grandparents. And, you know, my wife, as well. For decorations, we had some streamers, a cheap cake, and a bowl of punch. And it was wonderful.

My wife loves to watch the Bridezilla shows and "Say yes to the dress" but they just make me cringe. Why would you spend $4000 on a dress???

Shirley said...

I really wish that I had just gone to Vegas and had been married by Elvis like I wanted to. I don't feel like anything about my wedding was about us.
And I sort of think that people are pretty unrealistic about marriage. Like if you're in tears and having a nervous breakdown because the roses are the wrong shade of pink what are you going to do when your marriage is really going through a hard time?

Oilfield Trash said...

I have often wondered just about every single thing you just said. My wedding including rings cost $2000. Of which I paid for about half of that. My ex's parents paid the rest. It was a small ceremony with 10 people at the wedding and also at the reception.

I can't see how people spend so much money on a damn wedding.

And don't even get me started on those bitches on tv.

And my son is addicted to say yes to the dress. That damn show is going to warp his mind.

Katie P said...

Couldn't agree more! I have a friend getting married and I keep saying "it's ONE day". I totally wanted to just go on a cruise with immediate family and if my dad hadn't asked for a "normal" ceremony, we would have! I know a girl who borrowed all that she could from her 401k, but so did her mom!!! I'd rather you give me money toward our mortgage.

Steff said...

Well, I can honestly say that I'm pretty sure you'd be happy with my wedding I'm about to have!

I've made all the invitations and got the paper on sale, so total I spent $10. My dress will be under $100 and I'm paying for my bridesmaids dresses, which will be $50. We're only having 50 people at the wedding and the reception, and we're having shishkabobs and different salads, so that will be pretty cheap! We won't have a limo or anything because we're riding a tandem bike, and all the flowers will be made out of fabric by me and my bridesmaids. As far as centerpieces go, we're using old mason jars which I already have, with more fabric flowers and candles. So pretty much my whole wedding will be about $1,300! I'm pretty stoked.

Dana said...

I just wrote a big long response and we blew a fuse because of our air conditioner and my computer went out and I lost everything I wrote! To sum it up, I am not married but don't want to spend hardly anything on a wedding and don't understand those that do. My mom works at a floral shop and they just had a wedding last weekend that had $10K in just flowers! Stupid. I want super low-key. I've also backed out of being a bridesmaid because of cost. I gave 8 months notice but she was still pissed at me. They were divorced one year later.

Ms. Ro Chelle said...

Yes. Weddings ceremonies are highly overrated. I also wish I had eloped. I would have probably gotten better pictures that way.

Julie H said...

I pretty much feel the same way. It's ridiculous how much some people pay for a wedding. Jessica's friend's sister got married and the girl's parents offered a down payment on a house or a big wedding. The girl chose a big wedding. How stupid is that?

Ruth said...

I got married by a judge in his garden.
We got nice rings and they were the most expensive things and the pair came to about $250.
My dress was a really nice dress I got on clearance for $12 at Younkers.
My husband has stood up in a lot of weddings and always hopes when a friend gets married he never gets asked.
I stood up once for my sister. I can't imagine paying $300 for a dress.
I had been engaged before and we had it all. The nice dress and expensive invitations. I still have the dress cause it wouldn't sell on consignment. The wedding that didn't happen cost me more than the one that did.
I gave you the Overlord award. Stop over and pick it up.

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

This made me think of my brothers wedding in my opinion it was over the top and cost a in the 10 of thousands my sister in-laws wedding dress set her back over a $1000 and I could not get that.......I wore my aunts wedding dress when I got married and we tried to keep the cost down a low as possible but my sister in-law had no such thoughts if she liked it she wanted it and they have only been married a few years and the marriage is on the rocks......all that money it could have been spent on something more important......

Anonymous said...

Agreeeeeeed. I will say though- I always hope I'll get asked to be in the wedding. For me, it's like they're saying "this is my big day and you mean so much to me, I want you to be apart of it." Now, when Adam got engaged, he asked if I wanted any part of his wedding. I flat out said no. At best, I said I would be a groomsmen. Apparently he thought I was joking. (Ahem, I wasn't.) Instead he *forced* me to do a reading. I had no choice. He said it was already in the program. So that's cool.

For me though, I want a super private and personal wedding. I know I say I want 50 people, but I really do want it to be just me and him. Elope I guess. Because at the end of the day no one cares if you're married or not. It IS between you and that person. But I do want to share it with my immediate family and super close friends. I know I'll end up offending a lot of people, but oh well. And I want a night wedding and the immediately have an amazing meal, then maybe gifts? perhaps music to dance to, but no official "dance". I don't plan to spend a ton, but I do want a nice dress (nothing insane like those tv show prices though omg) and simple but nice table setting. And the big splurge will be an amazing meal. And photographer. I want loads of pics.

I might have to write my own post on this!

Kattrina said...

I definitely think they are over-rated. Hubs and I got married in a small inn in Vermont. It was a great time and we had fried chicken and mac and cheese (rather than some crab stuffed chicken breast that no one likes) and we had a ball. It was so fun and low key and everyone loved it. Only about 40 people came which turned out to be perfect. It came to under $10,000 and although about $3000 is still on my credit card, it was worth it. Anything more than that is too pricey. And I take my dress out once a year for our anniversary and we take pics. Fun times!

asj said...

we eloped and it was so special because it was just the two of us and all about us... we had a wedding a year later but honestly that was more for our family [I'm all my mom has and she wanted to experience her daughters wedding] but we did a lot of bartering/got stuff for free/DIY and did it fairly inexpensively... looking back I'm glad we did it but it probably wasn't necessary...

Anonymous said...

Wow. Sometimes we are so alike it is fucking scary.

My wedding costs a grand total of $2500 (but of course that was 15 years ago). I have the EXACT same things you have (the book, the box with the wedding dress and the box full of shit I haven't looked at in 15 years). We had about 100 people attend the reception, and I did the same fro my bridemaids....I told them just to have the same color dress on - that's it. (I had two as well).

That cunt that I hate (Judas) that stole my work? She had her parents spend $25,000 on her wedding!!! WHA-WHA-WHAT? And you know what? Her fucking food sucked balls and half of her wedding pictures came out blury because I think her photographer was drunk (seriously). She was so upset about the pictures that she called all the people who attended and asked if they took pictures and if so could she have copies.

But she is a major cunt, and deserved what shit she got.

Jill said...

Ugh. I dread wedding season. I am married, but we only had about 10 people there and then had a casual reception.

I have been in 4 weddings and I shutter whenever the bride utters, "you can totally where the dress for other occasions."

I generally don't get all gussied up in my bridesmaid gown to hit the town on a Friday!

Lies I tell you! Lies!

Sunshine said...

About 10 years ago when i got married the cost was split by both families. I think it was $5000.00 a piece which was a lot the. MIL insisted on long lost people so she paid for them. I can honestly say we had a great day and people years later (no kidding) would come up to us and tell us how much fun they had.

I had to bow out of a wedding about a year ago because of the cost of the traveling, accomodations, dress - for a two day out of town jaunt...she was my oldest friend at the time - hasn't spoken to me again - least she forget I was in her other TWO weddings and flew out to see her for her 2nd childs baby shower. Thats nice what weddings do to people.

Ang said...

Funny you posting about this - It's been on my mind a lot lately! My own wedding mostly.
I never had big dreams of a wedding or anything of the sort - and now, my cousin is getting married and I'm in the wedding.
I don't mind being in the wedding because I can afford it AND she took our financials into account when looking at dresses - us girls picked them out and they were affordable, imo.
Seeing her plan makes me not want to plan - Steve is NO help in that dept., no way do I want to do it alone. Hearing how much money she is spending... no fucking way!

I've been throwing out the idea of Vegas to Steve for several weeks now.. the ONLY thing.. the one and ONLY thing that I'd have a hard time giving up is having my dad give me away. No way he'd come to Vegas anytime soon - his wife is preggers and due in Oct - so that's out. I simply don't know how I can make myself okay without my dad being there.

Mrs. Bin said...

We paid for everything at our wedding. If we asked you to be a part of our day we will foot the bill. I had 3 bridesmaids and groomsmen, 2 flower girls and a ring bearer. We paid for all dresses shoes and tuxes. It was a celebration of us. There were 150 or so people there. We spent less than $10k. Far less if I remember correctly.

salgalruns said...

Hahaha - you read my mind! My boyfriend and I have been together for 6 1/2 years and will be getting married, however, we have already decided that it's much better to do something destination wise (with actually just us) and then do a fun open house style party afterwards for all those who have lived vicariously through our relationship. (I figure with the money we'll save, more can be spent on the bling!)

I'm a big fan of great photography and a beautiful (but not over the top) ring.

Most importantly - isn't it about the MARRIAGE, not the WEDDING? Perhaps that's the problem with the Bridezillas? Just my 2 cents...

Anonymous said...

Honestly... With my ex, I HAD that quiet family + a couple close friends only on the beach wedding. And... Meh. I never felt like anyone celebrated with us. If that makes sense? Like no one was really all that excited & happy for us. The ceremony itself wasn't bad. But there was no celebration afterwards. On the other hand, the money spent on lots of weddings is outrageous & I wouldn't go to those lengths. But if BF & I get married, we're having a party. I don't want a traditional walk down the aisle bs thing that's more stress inducing than fun. But I want a decent sized, happy get together of the people that really mean the most to us. (Oh- to everyone who thinks planning a teeny tiny wedding with family only is not stressful... It's a lie. Don't fall for it. It'll go just as badly as any other time you've planned anything with your family.)

Anonymous said...

i've seen some of those shows and some of those women can be total biatches. for my wedding, i bought all of my bridesmaids their dresses, told them they could wear whatever comfy shoes they wanted as long as they were black (hell, i didn't even care if they were flip-flops) and paid for their hair/makeup. the only thing they had to do was show up, eat the food and pretend like they were having a good time.

somehow, weddings have turned into a 'one-up-you' event. sad.

Barbsus said...

My husband and me spent around 600€ for the wedding altogether. After getting married at the magistrate we fled for a lunch with the witnesses and his aunt and her husband and then spent a night in a hotel. Next day we had a party for the closest friends and family (16 people, including us and 2 small children) where I cooked the lunch, only the cakes and drinks were bought.
I made the wedding invitations myself and people attending were taking the pictures, which came out great.
I couldn't be happier about the whole thing, it was great and it really felt like it's about us and not a party for some random people we never see anyway.

Jen @ Dear Mommy Brain said...

In retrospect, I wish we had taken the gobs of money spent on our wedding and gotten married in Venice. Because while incredibly memorable (because everything that could've gone wrong did), most of it was for my parents. Except for the photography. I have no regrets spending $4k on a photographer because when it's all said and done, that's what you are left with. Memories.