I started writing this post months ago and then put it aside. It seemed… I dunno, unnecessary. But then Liz Lemon got married and it reminded me this was sitting in my drafts and I thought I’d revisit it.
Continuing on my “Stuff I’ve Read on Sites I Love” theme, I’m moving on from street harassment to why weddings are awful. My friends have been hearing me rant about this for years, but this all comes up now because my favorite websites seem to be agreeing with me lately. For instance, a Slate writer wrote about her elopement a couple of weeks ago. She said what I’ve been thinking for years:
We all know people who were too busy on their wedding day to eat the food that they so carefully selected—and if that isn’t a demonstration that a wedding is for everyone else but the couple, I don’t know what is.
And then there was this pure genius: “I’ll Never Love Anyone Enough to Plan a Wedding” — which is totally what I think every time I watch one of my friends plan their wedding. Actually, no… what I really think is more along the lines of “I hope my future husband loves me enough to not make me plan a wedding.” Because let’s face it ladies… the job falls on you whether you actually want the big wedding or not. Jackie, the author of this particular article, seemed to be particularly good at getting into my head, and made me angry that I hadn’t thought to pitch this story to XOJane:
I’m pro-marriage, but the routine of it and the circus surrounding it makes my skin crawl … Parties like that, full of obligations and standards and stress and BIG money inevitably create a climate that is possibly the exact opposite of the way love is supposed to make you feel. Love, being the event that they supposedly celebrate.
As I said before, my friends have been hearing me say all of this for years. Some of them seem convinced I’ll change my mind, which I find insulting — mostly because I’m sure they’re thinking, “Oh, she’ll change her tune when she finds the right man.” I’m 31. I know myself very well. A big wedding is not something I’m interested, no matter who is walking down the aisle with me.
There are a lot of reasons why I have no interest in planning a big wedding. First and foremost is the fact that I am an intensely private person. My family often complains that getting any information about my love life is a bit like pulling teeth. I’m about 98% sure that there is really only one friend who can claim that I talk to her about my relationship woes, and even then, I don’t share nearly as much — good or bad — as most of my friends. So, it seems completely unnatural to me to declare my love in front of a bunch of cousins I never talk to.
I also have a large family and a lot of friends…and not a lot of money. Weddings are generally wasteful and decadent in a way that my Yankee frugality just can’t get behind. If I had an extra $20k lying around, I’d get the terrifying pine trees behind my house taken down, and pay off my car — not throw a party.
Then there’s the fact that I am an obsessive compulsive perfectionist when I bother to put my mind to something. I know myself well enough to know that if I was going to go to the trouble of throwing a wedding, it would have to be EXACTLY what I wanted. Maybe something like the one Jackie described on XOJane:
Last weekend, I went to the best wedding I have ever been to — and it was possibly the most work-intensive as well. A backyard farm wedding, handmade down to the antique brooch bouquet, plates collected from thrift stores, potluck food supplemented by delicious bbq, cake baked by the bride and her mother.
It sounds beautiful…and like it took over the couple’s lives for a good six months if not a whole year. Why? Why? Why would you want this?
Of course I recognize that my opinion isn’t the only one that would matter if I should someday find myself talking about getting married. But unless my imaginary husband is independently wealthy and willing to take on the bulk of the planning, then there will be a very long discussion. My first choice would be to elope, but I realize that is not what everyone wants. But there are so many other options.