OK. I am going to tackle a controversial topic today. The cost of weddings.
Dreaming of being a bride, becoming a bride, bridal showers, finding the dress, deciding on the menu...this can be very emotional stuff. These are the dreams that many young girls have embedded in their psyches as they see older sisters, cousins, girlfriends go through the bridal process.
I'm going to come right out and say it. We got married this spring--secretly at a historical city hall chamber in a favorite town of ours. There were no ring exchanges (I didn't know it was possible, but it is!), no dress, no reception, no party. Our families were extremely happy for us as they know we march to a different enough beat that they never expected us to get married.
The officiants and the provided witnesses, I think, were doing their best to figure out what our story was. We still chuckle about it. I guess it would seem odd that 2 professional looking, happy people ages 36 and 40 would get married on a Monday morning at 10:30am with no witnesses or obvious pregnancy? I remember thinking how fast the process was. Barely 15 minutes! The most important part of the wedding day (in my opinion) compared to the year or so average time it takes to plan a wedding. The irony didn't pass us by.
I know that I am in the minority here. Having been to my share of weddings and showers, I had decided long ago that the bridal process or "best practices" wasn't going to jive with my goals. Being married has never been a destination nor do I equate it with status or "completeness". I believe that a couple is "married" long before they make it to the alter. And for us, it is the commitment to love, honour and build a life together that are the most important aspects of marriage.
Even though divorce rates are so high, the average cost of a wedding has gone up. I've been to weddings that have cost $21000 and to ones that cost near a million. It is quite an industry and big business. When we decided that we'd rather spend our money fulfilling a lifestyle goal (more about it later) instead, it was as if a light went on. Here was something that was congruent with our life. It fit our overall financial direction and we gained peace from the decision. That's how we knew we made the right decision for us.
Don't get me wrong. I can get as excited about a Vera Wang gown or with designing the cake and flower arrangements as the next girl. Who wouldn't be able to appreciate the beauty of great design? Plus I love the fairy tale aspect of weddings. I guess I just didn't desire it enough to make the effort to become a bride for a day.