In defense of weddings

Posted on December 1, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I’ve kept my mouth shut for a long time (hard to believe, I know), but I have to say it: there is nothing wrong with wanting (and having) a really nice wedding, whatever your definition of nice may be. 

I know, I know, I’m preaching to the choir here, but it must be said.  By me.  So I can get it off my chest and move on.

Do you know what I’m talking about? 

You find out someone’s engaged and congratulate them, and the first thing they say is, “But don’t worry, we don’t want a real wedding.”  Or someone mentions a wedding and everyone else tells stories of people who were so ____ (insert desirable trait here, like “in love” or “practical” or “not into what other people think”) that they didn’t have a wedding, they just went to the courthouse.  Everyone else croons, “Oh, how wonderful” and then feels compelled to talk about how they wished they’d done that.

Not me.

I don’t wish for one minute that we didn’t have a wedding.  Despite the cost, the frustration, the confusion in my own head about why and what and how, it was worth it.  Completely worth it.  Our people came together and celebrated with us.  We wore clothes that made us feel good and important and special.  Sure, they’re just clothes, but don’t you dress up for important occasions like baptisms and graduations and for heaven’s sakes, first dates?

There’s something romantic about being so wrapped up in each other you don’t care who’s with you to celebrate your nuptials – and certainly if that’s your thing, I think it’s awesome – but there’s something romantic, too, about putting up with all manner of ridiculousness and drama to be able to enjoy one day that’s just about your relationship.  Not you, or you and your husband, but your relationships with each other, with your families, between families.

Sometimes I look back and I think, “We could have gone on a really fabulous vacation for the money we spent.”  Other times, “Gosh, everyone else spent so much money, too, just on being here.”  And I do sometimes wish we could say we were so ready to get on with our lives that we just did the paperwork and moved on.

But I’m not a “do the paperwork” kind of girl.  I’m a sentimental one who clearly was not ready to be married when we were first engaged.  Being engaged, planning a wedding, getting through the drama and the frustration and the questioning of, well, everything – I needed all those things to be good at being married.

Being engaged was good training for being married.  We built the skills we use every day: negotiation, trust, choosing appropriate times, silence (for me) and active listening (for him).

Getting married doesn’t necessarily require a wedding, but going through the process certainly enhanced our marriage, and I don’t regret it.

So when I hear about how romantic or practical or sane it was that someone didn’t need to bother with a wedding, I’m glad for them.  And then I pipe up, briefly, to say that we really enjoyed being surrounded by our families and friends when we decided to give away our single lives (wocka, wocka) and that it was worth every penny.

When I was engaged, I felt the unspoken pressure to make excuses for having a real wedding, to blame my parents or my husband or my family’s traditions for making me go through with it.  For a while I even tried to convince myself that I had no choice.  But I did, and clearly it was my choice, since my sweet husband would have gone along with whatever made me happy.  And I’m glad I chose our wedding.

Wedding are awesome and I’m not afraid to say so.  Because it needs to be said, don’t you think?

{Disclaimer: if you don’t want a “real wedding,” that’s great, too.  I’ve been there.  But if you do, if you really do, don’t feel the need to hide it.  You’re not a Bridezilla for wanting a wedding, even if you want your bridesmaids to match and your hair done just so.  “Bridezilla” is about your attitude, not your choices.  You can not care one bit about details and still be a Bridezilla if you’re mean or thoughtless about it all.}


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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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