Sunday, September 27, 2009

So What's the Big Deal About Weddings?

I'm on the phone with my mom this morning and she is telling me about a wedding that she went to yesterday. I'm not a fan of weddings and I'm really not sure why. I guess my practical mind can't really wrap itself around the concept of spending so much money on one day. I mean, I had a wedding and I got wrapped up in all of the hooplah, but looking back I'm kinda like "Why?"

So this was an upscale New York wedding. The ceremony was at St. Patrick's Cathedral. First let me stop and say that I didn't even realize that they DID weddings there. I mean, I know it's a real church and they do hold mass there and everything but I can not even imagine what it would cost to hold your wedding there. Eighteen years ago Frank and I got married in a neighborhood church and it cost of $500. And believe me, it was NOT like St. Patrick's! Then there was the tourist factor at this wedding yesterday. People off the street were allowed in during the ceremony. They could not walk down the center aisle but they were allowed to mill about on the inside perimeter. Kind of weird if you ask me.

The bride had a professional hair stylist (She does hair for all kinds of TV shows) and a professional make up artist follow her around all day. You know, if my lipstick faded, oh, well. Can you imagine having a team of people at your beck and call all day to make sure your lips are forever glossy??

Our wedding was small in New York standards and at the time my dad gave us the option of having the wedding or getting the cash that he would spend on the wedding. Like two idiots we chose the wedding. I have to be honest with you, there are a LOT of negative memories about that day that had we chose what was behind door number two, we might be happier people today.

I guess here's my question to you: Do you think you have a better marriage today BECAUSE of your wedding? People who spend $100,000 on their weddings, well, doesn't that make the divorce hurt that much more? Our wedding back in 1991 cost about $10,000 total. We planned it quickly (I was pregnant - sorry) and we were unprepared for such expenses - dad did not pay for everything as I thought he would and so we ended up not making any money. You live, you learn. We had only 100 people there - and we hurt a lot of feelings because we had to stick to that number. I was not given control of the list, guess who was? Bottom line, SO NOT WORTH IT!!!

Although, on a cheery note, one of the greatest memories from our wedding was having the entire room sing "American Pie" while we ate. That was amazing. So tell me people, how did your actual wedding affect your marriage? Did it make it for better or for worse?


A.Marie said...

Hi there! Let me tell you what; I don't think that money can buy happiness and it sure doesn't make a marriage either last or not last.

Hubby and I got married "on the cheap." I had a lot of medical expenses due to my disease, so we didn't want to go into a lot of debt. I had someone make my wedding outfit, a friend made the cake and mints, another friend did the decorations, both set of parents provided come cash and helped furnish our house, and we had a honeymoon right in IL (Galena, IL).

Overall, our wedding and reception probably cost no more than $600.00. We paid for the honeymoon with some of the cash that people gave us in our wedding cards (we spent $150 for the cute little place that we stayed at) and tried not to kill our budget by eating out at real fancy places.

Our wedding was a good experience, but it wasn't fancy. I had a friend with a very fancy wedding and she is miserable in her marriage!

Dorothy said...

I'm with you it's not the money its the love and trust from family and friends that I rank as important..

Nice blog my first visit.

Dorothy from grammology

jenn said...

I was also pregnant when I got married, and we had a civil ceremony in the courthouse. Cost us about $20. I missed out on all the gifts a huge wedding would have gotten us, but I didn't care then and I don't care now. No one, especially my dad, thought we would last a year, and now it's almost 15 years and three kids later, and we are happier than any of our siblings. When you're marrying the person you are meant to be with, it shouldn't matter what kind of wedding you have.

I have been in St. Patrick's, and it is beautiful.

Frugal Vicki said...

Me and my husband are still married, so it didn't make it worse in the sense that you mentioned, but it has made it more difficult more than one time in the sense of it caused bills we had a hard time paying, and we all know what financial stress can do to a marriage. Plus, I think now what we could have saved that money for, like a down payment. And the stress BEFORE the wedding to save. And we didn't even have an outlandish wedding so I can't imagine

JP said...

For the most part... my wedding didn't have a lot of impact on my marriage except for being the fodder for a lot of funny stories... A bridesmaid thinking my dad was an incredible dancer. The wedding consultant just about having a stroke when the DJ starting playing the Macarena (which I'd told her they were forbidden to play, but then relented so long as I had left the room). Being drunk on our carriage ride. The nephew falling on the wife's dress in the middle of the ceremony. Making my wife giggle in the middle of the ceremony.

We've been married for 13 years now.

Frances said...

Well, my hubby and I wanted to elope because we just couldn't be bothered. But the families would have none of it--I was the first in my family to get married, hubby was the last--so it had to be a spectacular affair.

We refused on the "spectacular" part but agreed to do the church, gowns, reception, guests, etc. I'm lucky to be a magazine editor so yes, I had a professional makeup artist throughout the day (he was my friend!) and professional photographers and a fashion designer who made our gowns (she was my dear friend and bridesmaid) and a professional string quartet (my brother's).

The wedding was lovely and we didn't spend so much on it although it looked like we did because a lot of my friends and family gave the stuff/services for free or with a huge discount. It was an intimate affair.

We're glad we agreed to do the wedding because we were so surprised at the love shown us--everybody wanted to give us something (gowns, flowers, cake, music, etc) so I didn't stress over anything at all. And on the wedding day itself, all the happy smiles, warm hugs and laughter and tears made up for the preparations.