I make no apologies for my disdain for weddings.
It’s hard to respect an event which costs, on average, nearly $28,000, turns (relatively) sane people into selfish boors and generally highlights all the deplorable excesses of society in a single day.
Worse, far too many brides focus months or sometimes years of attention on their wedding day, rather than the fact that, if things go well, this will be the person they’ll be spending their next 50 or so years with, while too many grooms see their wedding as just another opportunity to get their high school or college buddies together for one more booze-fueled festival of inanity.
And there are plenty of companies all too happy to exploit this ever-increasing celebration of the individual, rather than what it’s meant to be: The joining of a couple.
Weddings provide an interesting barometer for just how far off the deep end a sizeable proportion of society has tumbled.
As columnist Alexandra Gekas wrote not too long ago, “I really think a lot of people put more thought into their wedding than into whether or not they are marrying the right person. … They act like finding and catching that man is a victory of some sort and as if getting married is an accomplishment in itself, for which the reward is a big, gaudy party. Newsflash: Getting married is not an accomplishment, staying married is.”
It reminds me of couples who, before, during and after having their first (and often only) child, feel the need to fill the entire world with a steady stream of updates, photos and other mindless commentary.
Giving birth isn’t that big a deal and you’re not the first and only life form of have accomplished the feat of reproduction.
Baboons, for example, do it on a regular basis and you don’t see them flooding family, friends and even strangers with unsolicited highlights on the Simian equivalent of Facebook or Twitter.
At what point did our society decide all trends have to careen toward one extreme or the other? Ginormous weddings. Zero carbon footprint. Complete energy independence. Schools with zero-tolerance policies for medications of any kind (including Advil and aspirin).
When does the trend back toward common sense begin?
Fortunately, I’m at the point where most of the people I know are either married, have indicated they aren’t planning on getting married or aren’t what you might term “marriage material.”
I do have some young’uns that will likely be getting hitched at some point in the future, but with any luck, that’s at least 15 years or more down the road.
I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
In the meantime, perhaps science can make the above image a reality; real-life bridezillas would likely do wonders to put a stop to metaphorical ones.
If nothing else, that’s a wedding I be happy to attend.
(Top: Photo credit: J. Quinn Miller in Baton Rouge, La., via I09.)
15 thoughts on “I’d rather eat barbed wire than go to a wedding”
I’ve never been big on weddings or the whole ‘I’ve caught a man’ syndrome ‘look at my engagement ring’ [sticks obscene blood diamond in your face]. Apart from anything else it is soooo patriarchal and totally devalues women in that getting married is all they have to live for.
I never could explain to my mother why I got married and she died with that question unanswered. Mainly because I don’t know why I did either. It was at a register office with two obligatory witnesses invited. Three other people invited themselves. It was set for Friday evening after work (no downtime allowed in our house) and the honeymoon was a hirecar for the weekend.
I rarely wear a wedding ring, especially after a ferocious bee sting that made my finger swell above the ring to the point I thought I might have to get the ring cut off, I didn’t change my name. I refer to my partner as my partner or by his name because it is no-one else’s business whether or not I am married. It comes in useful for dealing with bureaucracy.
My father had dreamed of a marquee on the front lawn with a brass band. Tough. My wedding, I do it my way, in a register office on the other side of the world. And the one thing we both agreed on before we wed – we didn’t want children.
Good for you for doing it your own way; rather than being a lemming like so many others.
Your comment about it weddings being patriarchal is interesting in that the extravagant weddings often – though not always – seem driven by brides and their mothers. The mothers seem to be living vicariously through their daughters. Instead of sitting their daughters down and imparting a bit of wisdom about how life is anything but a primrose path and the importance of agreement on issues such as children, child-rearing and, especially, finances, many just seem to want to play dress up with their daughters.
If there’s one lesson I want to impart to my daughters it’s that you’d better be able to make it on your own and don’t look for a man to carry you along in life. I’ve seen too many instances where a spouse has decided not to honor the vows they took on their wedding day. If you don’t have a good education and some applicable skills, you’re going to have a tough row to hoe, especially if children involved.
I’ll write a blog post as a reply – anything I cd write on here would be far too long. I’ll link back to you and let you know when it’s up, couple of days probably.
I look forward to reading it. I like your matter of fact take on things so I’ve have a feeling this will be particularly enjoyable.
Yes, I can understand that, with all the dinosaurs around, weddings are not quite as fun as they used to 🙂
There’s only one wedding I enjoyed (actually, I enjoyed leaving after it was over more) and that was my own wedding back in Jan. 1973.
PS. There was no $28,000 dress. The entire wedding was not that costly. Of course, 40 years ago things just didn’t cost as much.
And I’d imagine y’all had more common sense than to spend that much money – or the 1973 equivalent – on a single day.
this is a great piece and if i ever do get married again, i plan to elope and have a bbq with my friends after.
Wise, wise decision. When I remarried, the only reason we didn’t do something similar is because I had several young daughters and it was important to my now-wife and I to do something to demonstrate that two families were coming together, to set an example for them. It, of course, turned into a fiasco, but the intentions were good and my daughters had a wonderful time.
I am definitely not a fan of weddings either, so much so that after 25+ years of living together ,and two kids, the Man and I remain unhitched!
My mum spent years none to subtly wishing my sisters and I would all get married until she visited some family in the UK. That family had multiple marriages, children to a variety of husbands and all the associated dramas.
When she came home from her holiday she told us all that she no longer cared whether we married or not, as long as we were happy. None of us are married but are all still with the same partners many years later. Weddings aren’t the be all and end all that’s for sure.
Of course I would contemplate a big white wedding if I could get a t-Rex to attend the reception. That’s my kind of wedding photo! 😀
It’s nice that your mum was able to change her viewpoint when she saw that a big wedding didn’t necessarily equate to a happy marriage.
In retrospect, even a komodo dragon or gila monster would have been a welcome addition at my first wedding.
Love the pic!
With you on that! In fact if ever I am invited to another wedding I’m breaking out the barbed wire…unless you can loan your T-Rex. 😉 My relatives will skin me alive if they ever read this.
When I lived in New England, because of the limited amount of nice weather relatively speaking, I had friends who attended weddings practically every Saturday from Memorial Day until Labor Day in the years immediately after college. Never mind the expense involved with buying presents, getting gussied up, etc., just the amount of enjoyable-weather lost while sitting in a church and then a reception hall seemed intolerable to me.
And don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me. I may not have a T-Rex to lend, but I’d be happy to wrangle up some snakes or some other beasts that would clear out a wedding pretty fast. 🙂
There you go. I got carried away though 😀