Monday, July 28, 2008

I Do Have a Wedding Problem

Get it? I do?

Little did I know, as I was posting my latest wedding screed, the Post had a big article up on the front page of the business section about the latest wedding trend--frugality! (Apparently, I subscribe to the Sunday Post for nothing, as I can't even manage to read it the day they validate me. I mean my views on weddings)

I know you know I hate weddings (my co-worker came into my office today to tell me my anti-wedding mania was getting a little out of hand) but I really wanted to highlight one quote from the article:
Experts say there are many ways to cut wedding costs. "This is the time to prioritize what you need and realize that there is always something in your budget" to economize, [Richard] Markel [director of the Associaion for Wedding Professionals] said.
That is my problem with weddings. Markel's statement has always been true about weddings, long before a crippling recession hit, but his industry has made a fortune preying off of ugly stereotypes, faux traditions, selfishness, and rampant greed and consumerism. The wedding industry has made billions of dollars convincing families that they need to spend outrageous amounts of money (whether they can afford it or not) for their special day.

And, as a commenter on my AAUW blog pointed out, it has also created a gross sense of entitlement on the part of the couple, but I would argue that extends to the guests. Don't you dare skimp on the alcohol or entertainment, or we're going to be talking about you later.

I love parties, I really do, but the wedding culture coupled with the recent economic boom was an ugly mix, and I'm not sorry to see it go. Consumerism and corporate greed turned weddings--occasions that should be joyous and loving--into something ugly and competitive and cripplingly expensive for most of the population.

So go ahead and get married. I know you're going to. (Though keep dissemination of pictures of yourself kissing your beloved to a minimum, please.) But keep in mind that cheaper weddings are so hot right now, and that every dollar you save can be spent on the quality of your life, not just the quality of one day.

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