Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Weddings: Where’s the Fun?

Over from Stepper Was Here for a quick guest post, the illustrious Stepper is gracing us with her presence today. Definitely click on over to her blog and enjoy, enjoy!

I was out to lunch with my Mom and sisters when over our strawberry and almond salads, my older sister asked, “So, Mom, how did you and dad pay for our weddings? Savings accounts? Credit cards?”

I sat up straight. Mine are parents of four girls. Weddings are spendy for the parents of the bride. What about four brides? Who all went to college?

Bill and I have talked about how we’re going to handle college for our children. We expect our kids to work for it – as my parents did. They will try for scholarships and hold part-time jobs through school. Ideally, Bill and I will have saved the full amount for each of their college funds – the “McCrery Scholarship,” every cent of which will be earned.

But a wedding? That we haven’t worked out a brilliant funding plan for.

We have talked about it. Presumably, our kids will get married. Some day. Later in life. In their thirties, maybe. Provided we like the person they want to marry, of course.

My feeling is that the World of the Wedding has grown a bit out of hand. Even if you’re not parting with ten grand or more for a gown that is meant to be worn only once and hundreds on a cake that is meant to be destroyed. Even if you are working within a budget and your reception is in your own back yard – there has been a mighty step away from the entire point.

I’m not talking about the point of Marriage (though, arguably, there has been a mighty step away from the heart and soul of this wonderful institution as well). I’m talking simply about the point of weddings.

The point, I submit, is simply: fun. The whole thing was invented as a way for the newly married couple and all their loved ones to celebrate in a real way the spectacularly awesome fact that they found each other, decided to love each other, and committed to that love for – well – ever.

So why aren’t weddings fun, anymore?

Think about it – when was the last time you attended a wedding (that wasn’t your sister or your best friend) and genuinely enjoyed yourself? Unless you parked by the table with the éclairs, my guess is that the last wedding you attended (that wasn’t immediate family or your best friend) was out of a feeling of obligation or mild interest. And the bride and groom were trapped in a reception line, missing their own party. And the majority of family and friends working behind the scenes to pull this party off are stressed. And the majority of the guests are a bit bored, or are awkwardly chatting with other guests, waiting for the next thing: the tossing of the bouquet, the cutting of the cake, or just a turn through the refreshment line before they dump their gift on the labeled table and head to their car and their real life.

This is a crying shame. Shouldn’t a wedding be THE biggest party in town?

Did you know that in some cultures, a wedding celebration lasts days? A week, even? And everyone is actually having fun?

Especially the bride and groom!

Reception lines? Decidedly NOT FUN.

This is what I want for my children. I want a party. One focused less on color palates, catering menus and the perfect dress and more on the personality of the newlyweds and beauty of new love. A fist-pump to the sky for a willing commitment to it. A deep-boned laugh for the glory of the beginning of what they’ve just stepped into. I want the focus to remain in focus. And I want everyone – guest and groom alike – to have a genuinely great time (And I’d like for all involved to willingly embrace the fact that it doesn’t have to be flawless to be great. Stress was not on the guest list).

Yes, I may have to fork over the dough for the majority of my daughter’s wedding; but I don’t have to fork over my sanity. Yes, I may have to start saving, now – but that’s not what’s going to save the wedding.

And I want to be able to take my shoes off.

Stepper and son, Wyatt, at a family wedding.

1 comment:

Tamsin said...

Can I just add that I think that it's time for the bride and the groom's family to start splitting the cost of a wedding down the middle? It's 2011, people, and I, for one, kind of resent the implication that the bride needs to be paid for.

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