Economic reality

Posted on December 27, 2008. Filed under: reality |

I’m gonna be honest here: I’m not doing a whole lot of what I usually consider “real” wedding stuff.  In fact, I haven’t spent money on anything directly wedding-related in, um, months.  Since I picked up my second wedding dress and paid the remaining seventy bucks, in fact.

All along, I’ve been feeling like a slacker (and a little bit dishonest) for not putting my money where my blog was, so to speak.  If you look through my archives, you’ll see that most of my posts have been about relationships and marriage rather than weddings, and that’s not by accident. I do tend to spend more of my time on energy preparing to be married than to get married, but with the economy the way things are, I want as little of our money tied up in contracts and promises as possible.  While we’re continuing to work on our house and talk about our plans, we haven’t bought any of the many things on our wedding lists.

Now I’m ‘fessing up, because this economic thing isn’t just about me and my cheapness any more.  Many, many friends (on the ‘net and otherwise) are being affected by it, from reduced hours to lost jobs, not to mention the general stress that seems to be pervading life right now.  And that leaves you and I, dear friends, in an odd and often  uncomfortable situation.

Trying to plan a wedding in the midst of all this uncertainty and pain can be… weird.  We just got back from a fabulous holiday with my enormous extended family, all of whom fully expect to be invited (and to be expected to attend) to our wedding hundreds of miles away.  I’m feeling like I can’t ask them to come, but I can’t not ask them to come.  It breaks my heart to think that my people would feel bad at either not being invited or not being able to afford to join us.

Sigh.  So now what?  Well, I guess now’s the time to get back to the basics, to remembering that our weddings are about each one of us and our beloveds, pledging our hearts and minds to each other for the rest of our days.  Our weddings are about celebrating our union with our dearest friends and family, celebrating with food and drink and toasts and dancing, celebrating our luck and blessings in finding and choosing our men.  Our weddings are about finding creative solutions that allow our guests to join us (or not) gracefully and without added stress.

For us, that means that we are adding a hometown reception.  My mom has graciously (and excitedly) offered to host a party for us at her home, complete with dancing and toasting and our wedding duds.  We’ll invite everyone to both celebrations and let them tell us which one they prefer to attend (a couple of my aunts were happily planning a road trip, so they might want to join us in Knoxville).

Look, this economic uncertainty doesn’t appear to be letting up anytime soon, and while that makes life tough, I think it can make wedding planning simpler.  Gone will be the days that we feel like we need to go crazy, to show how much money we can afford to spend, to feel sucked into the wedding industrial complex vortex.  We’re free (free!) to DIY our hearts out, to cut down the craziness, to focus on our people and our dudes.

Join me! Let’s bake our own cakes (or talk our friends into it) even if they’re not perfect, string our own lights (bought at 90% off after Christmas) and maybe (just maybe) cater our own food.  Let’s handwrite our invitations (or, what the hell, use a handwriting font and our $40 Canon printer).  Let’s figure out how to ask for help from everyone we know (more on that later) and let’s make our weddings about the people who love us, not least of whom is that guy we’re marrying.  Let’s spend our time taking goofy couples quizzes with our guys rather than assembling favors that (let’s be honest) might, just might, be more important to us than to our guests.  Let’s see not just how little we can spend on new things for our wedding, but whether we can use things we already own so that we don’t have to buy anything new (um, let’s try, anyway… no promises).

And look, if you’re not affected and neither are your people, I send fervent hopes that your good luck continues.  Have a blast doing all of the things that I, frankly, can’t afford.  But consider, just for a moment, donating to a food bank (even a pet food bank) and joining me anyway!  C’mon… we’ll have fun!

Wanna join me?


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I love this post.

Yes, yes, yes.

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    I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt (and divorce papers) to prove it. Here I am again, pledging my life to my (new) love with eyes wide open (and heart racing) knowing full well how emotionally traumatic this can end… and doing it anyway.


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