I am wary of elaborate weddings.

lego_wedding_topperIn a couple months, my wife and I will get to celebrate our tenth anniversary. Yesterday, we had the opportunity to attend the wedding of some friends from church. After the ceremony, my wife and I agreed that–beautiful as it was–we didn’t want to go through a wedding day again. So, we’re just going to stay married indefinitely.

Here are a few random thoughts on weddings. Take them or leave them.

The idea that your wedding day is the best day of your life is garbage. People who say that their wedding day was the best day of their lives must lead pretty terrible lives. Do you even remember your wedding day? It is a ton of work to get married. You have to juggle the photographers, the wedding planners, the caterers, the site supervisors, and on and on. The only upside to the whole day is that by the time you can finally strip out of your sweaty garments and enjoy a minute of peace, you are married.

The day after your wedding is a billion times better than your wedding day. First, the circus that was the wedding is behind you. You get to spend a whole day married to your spouse. And chances are good that you won’t have to work on this day, so your only task all day long is spending time as a couple.

But even that day shouldn’t be considered the best day of you life, because if you stay married and continue to like each other, every day builds on those before and they just keep getting better.

Weddings are way too expensive. Seriously, it is ridiculous that we are spending so much time and money on a single day regardless of how momentous of an occasion it is. If I told you to spend a few hundred dollars on an outfit that you will only wear once in your life (hopefully), would you do it? Add to that the cost of throwing a big party for all of your friends and family (people who would love to spend time with you whether there was an open bar or not), customized wedding favors, a DJ, and a venue to host it all. Things add up.

That is all money that could be spent on things like rent and food for months, but it gets used up in a single day.

Marriages get lost in the wedding preparations. People often spend so much time dreaming about their perfect wedding, but forget the whole reason for it. The best part of any wedding is the marriage, but the emphasis from society is about whether or not the bride and groom look perfect instead of whether they are prepared to love each other on days when perfection is a distant dream.

So here’s my proposal:

Instead of elaborate celebrations on the day a couple gets married, let’s have a simple ceremony. No fancy dresses or rented tuxedos, just declarations of love and commitment. Let’s save the big party and all the presents until later. That way, the couple has something to look forward to and another reason not to get a divorce.

Maybe at the ten year mark.

Just saying.

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3 responses to “I am wary of elaborate weddings.

  1. Oh, I like your ideas! I too think these $10,000 and OVER!!! weddings are completely ridiculous!! Stop it already!
    I spent $5,000 on my first 30 years ago, and I thought that was too much!
    Yes, stay married indefinitely!! Please! 🙂

  2. I will refer to this blog when your girls desire to get married. In fact, you may want to print it out and review it with them when they each turn 10 years old, just so you set the expectations at the correct level. (I’m agreeing with you, but kind of laughing at the same time in anticipation of dear ol’ dads change about later in life.)

    However, I must tell you, I remember most every detail of my wedding day. Good and Bad. So does Mark, so it’s not just a girl thing. No, our wedding was not big and elaborate. Yes, there are things now, i.e. engagement pictures, which we never did – even if it was in fashion then – but I don’t think it was. No, we didn’t have an open bar. Yes, we did pick a date so it would be more convenient for family and friends from a distance.

    No, I didn’t spend a fortune on a one-time outfit. I borrowed your mom’s dress. No, we didn’t have the day after our wedding off of work. We married on Sat night and Mark had to work on Sunday morning. No, we didn’t have a hugely expensive honeymoon either. Our honeymoon was almost a month later when we could both get off school and work. It was on the cheap and great fun. It still is.

    Yes, we did both learn on our 1 year anniversary — for our “surprise” disclosure of the year — that both his parents and my parents had offered us each a thousand dollars just to elope and skip the wedding. That two grand (back in the dark ages of the late 70’s) would have put gas in the car, paid rent, all utilities, and part of the college tuition for almost a year. Do I wish we would have eloped? No, not really. Mainly because I plan on staying married indefinitely.

    You are truly correct when you say each day and each life event that unfurls in this journey called marriage has the ability to enhance the relationship. As long as both people remain committed to each other and to the concept of indefinite marriage. Not just until….whatever….fill in the blank.

    So, the moral of my story is this: Start early on to expectations for your girls. Make your elopement offer enough to cancel out the one-time wedding wish. My folks and his folks could have made it happen with just another grand or a year’s college tuition on either side!

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