Not Engaged Yet

Just curious - what do y'all think about this?

An older friend of mine posted this article, since we've both seen a handful of our acquaintances jump the gun so that they could go ahead and have their fairytale wedding with little regard to the lifetime commitment it should entail. The author makes some great points (but I still want to have a wedding someday).

Thoughts?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/valerie-alexander/lets-ban-weddings-and-baby-showers_b_4428778.html
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Re: Just curious - what do y'all think about this?

  • edited December 2013
    Honestly? She sounds bitter. Her larger points -- about needing to work with minorities to place value in higher education and the effects of childrearing on a woman's career -- are great.

    But banning 'weddings' and encouraging PPDs and denigrating the idea that people could enter into that lifetime commitment WITH the big party is stupid.

    So because a bunch of her friends made bad decisions and ended up divorced, other people shouldn't be allowed to have big weddings?

    ETA: fix typo
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
  • bethsmilesbethsmiles Denver, CO
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    edited December 2013
    Eh...I agree with @HisGirlFriday13 - she sounds bitter and IMO full of herself. I know plenty of friends who jumped the gun on marriage but none of them did it for the wedding.

    I disagree that the wedding is the problem. I think there are people who think getting married will fix problems in their relationship. I think there are people who just move too fast in relationships. I think some people aren't realistic about what marriage entails. I think there are people who see their friends getting married and think they need to as well.

    I'd be lying if I said I wasn't super excited to have a big awesome party when BF and I get married. I don't see it as celebrating an accomplishment for me as a woman (it's the groom's day too!) but about celebrating life and love and all the good things that are to come. I see the point she is making about celebrating other milestones in life but just because college graduations don't have a huge party doesn't mean young girls don't aspire to graduate from college.

    And everyone I know had celebrations for graduation college but more informal get togethers as opposed to something formal like a wedding because it would come off as 1) really AWish and 2) really gift-grabby if you threw a big ass celebration for yourself every time you accomplished something in life. Wedding receptions are about thanking your guests for coming to the ceremony, not celebrating your accomplishment. But since she had a PPD I'm not surprised she clearly doesn't know that.


  • Blackbird230Blackbird230 Connecticut
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    She does sound extremely bitter, I agree with PPs. When a union is right and you're meant to be with someone, the stress of the wedding isn't what breaks you apart. What breaks you apart is your relationship and how that has weathered good and bad times. She doesn't know why her friends are divorced. And no one will truly know beside that divorced couple.

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  • PepperallyPepperally
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    edited December 2013

    While I agree with a lot of her points on celebrating other milestones, these are milestones (getting married and having babies, no matter the age) that have been celebrated in some way for centuries.  There are modest and reasonable ways to celebrate and there are crazy, over the top ways to celebrate it.  If you are going out of your way for this one affair, going into debt, putting others into debt, putting others out of their way for your one special day, then yes, I think it's overboard.  It really depends on your priorities...and your wallet.  $20 to me may = $100 to you.  It's all relative.

    It's not a priority for me at this point in my life to have much of a wedding at all.  I have struggled to get out of debt, as has my BF, so to us we don't see the point in putting our hard-earned money into that one day, when we could be using it for a down payment on a house, something we both want way more than a big wedding.  However, I do not judge anyone who wants to spend their money on a wedding.  If I hadn't been through what I've already been through financially, I may see it differently...I may want that "big" day. 

    Plus, I agree with @bethsmiles that the wedding isn't the main problem...her whole second paragraph sums up how I feel.  I think women can get caught up in the wedding aspect, but usually there are much deeper issues than just having a grand affair.  She's (the author) pretty much saying that a big wedding will always end in divorce.  Sorry, I'm not buying it.

     

  • KeptInStitchesKeptInStitches the Northern Plains
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    I'm going to be dragged kicking and screaming into having anything that resembles a wedding (I hate crowds and I personally can't stand spending money on what amounts to, in my view, an over-the-top party), and I find her bitter and way too holier-than-thou.
  • Dignity100Dignity100 Northeastern Ohio
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    Well - she says in her article that she got her wedding; it sounds like she just doesn't want to have to fork out money for gifts and such at other people's weddings and baby showers.  And as for 'make the choices your 37-year old self would make'; there are plenty of women 37+ that have weddings.

    Now if she was trying to say that the wedding business has gotten a bit out of hand where people are expected to through this $25,000+ wedding regardless of if they can afford it or not, I might be willing to agree with that. 


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  • Blackbird230Blackbird230 Connecticut
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    @Dignity100, I do love how she's criticizing everything and yet had a wedding.

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  • She didn't just have a wedding, she had a PPD.  She tried to illustrate how her marriage is going strong because she only had one wedding guest, but then she shelled out $15,000 for the PPD:

    "However, I still felt the need to fulfill the fantasy, so a year after exchanging vows, we had a big reception for 125 of our closest family and friends. No band, no DJ, no cake, just a nice dinner with an open bar, and I did wear a wedding dress, because I knew it would be my one and only chance. It was fine, but if I'm being honest, there were better ways to spend $15,000."

  • Yeah, this woman sounds extremely focused on the bottom line and kind of miserable about the money and time people "waste" on weddings and showers. It's like she almost doesn't believe that getting married, and especially having a baby, judging from her tone, are things that will make anybody happy unless they are approached with total seriousness.

    I don't think anybody gets into marriage or parenthood thinking it's going to be a piece of cake. While plenty of people don't realize quite how hard it's going to be, I think pretty much everyone has the knowledge that it's going to take work in their heads from the get-go. I would personally not like it if someone told me I couldn't celebrate my marriage with a wedding or enjoy a shower thrown for me because it meant I didn't understand the severity of the situation.

    Also, I don't know what she's talking about in terms of people not celebrating graduation, first jobs, etc. My family was always really good about this and acknowledged this sort of event with at least a little something. Of course it wasn't a massive formal event; we just went out to dinner and had a pretty cake; when I graduated high school, my parents went crazy and got me a used car and a computer so I could get to college and my part-time job and be able to do my work. That was more than enough for me; and honestly, I wouldn't mind the same sort of low-key, relaxed celebration for any future wedding of mine (obviously sans the car and computer :). I think the way a person chooses to celebrate their milestones is very personal, and no one needs to dictate exactly how we should all do it.
    Blackbird230
  • Blackbird230Blackbird230 Connecticut
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    Echoing @Amapola14. No one should be telling us how to celebrate our milestones. People have all kinds of weddings and each way is what makes them special. Some people have small gatherings, court weddings, destination, large weddings. We all do it differently and we do it to fit our lifestyles and who we are.

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  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta
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    She didn't just have a wedding, she had a PPD.  She tried to illustrate how her marriage is going strong because she only had one wedding guest, but then she shelled out $15,000 for the PPD:

    "However, I still felt the need to fulfill the fantasy, so a year after exchanging vows, we had a big reception for 125 of our closest family and friends. No band, no DJ, no cake, just a nice dinner with an open bar, and I did wear a wedding dress, because I knew it would be my one and only chance. It was fine, but if I'm being honest, there were better ways to spend $15,000."

    I'm sure she wanted that wedding all along and it sounds like she has some sour grapes about it.

    I don't like her idea of banning weddings, but I do agree that all the tv shows about them is excessive and leave many women thinking they have to have the whole shebang whether they can afford it or not. Like @Kait said any type of wedding is special.

    She seems really upset about the baby showers. I get not wanting to glorify teen pregnancy - totally on board with that - but a shower is a huge blessing to a teen girl who can't afford the baby essentials on her own, and even to some adult parents for that matter.

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  • @lalalaurita, I agree that she either wanted the wedding all along, but probably for the wrong reasons. It sounds like she wanted to keep up with she sees "everybody else' having, and was disappointed with the result. Oops for her, and really for anybody who has a massive wedding solely because they feel like it's the only valid kind of wedding. I think shows like "Four Weddings" make it way too easy to dismiss how other people like to live it up. The idea of putting a numerical judgment on the quality of someone's dress, venue, music, etc. seems absurd to me - all I care about is that I get to see you get married (and yeah, please have a place for me to sit and something to eat afterward; I'm not picky about whether it's a picnic table or a chair with a fancy seat cover, a finger sandwich or a steak).
  • blabla89blabla89 Atlanta
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    Amapola14 said:
    @lalalaurita, I agree that she either wanted the wedding all along, but probably for the wrong reasons. It sounds like she wanted to keep up with she sees "everybody else' having, and was disappointed with the result. Oops for her, and really for anybody who has a massive wedding solely because they feel like it's the only valid kind of wedding. I think shows like "Four Weddings" make it way too easy to dismiss how other people like to live it up. The idea of putting a numerical judgment on the quality of someone's dress, venue, music, etc. seems absurd to me - all I care about is that I get to see you get married (and yeah, please have a place for me to sit and something to eat afterward; I'm not picky about whether it's a picnic table or a chair with a fancy seat cover, a finger sandwich or a steak).
    Exactly. Honestly I've only see 2 or 3 of the 32 wedding shows (because I don't have a tv) - but I've seen Say Yes to the Dress and it made me a little dizzy to think about spending that much on a dress. That was years ago and I kind of bought into the designer dress fantasy, but now that I know I would be paying for it myself (due to unexpected changes in my family's finances) - I could be perfectly happy with an inexpensive dress. None of my hometown friends had a $25k affair but we had so much fun at their weddings.
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  • Yeah, I've never met anyone IRL who has spent more than $12-15k on their weddings, and they were perfectly lovely. And yeah, I can't see spending upward of maybe a couple hundred dollars on a dress I know I'm only going to wear once. There are some beautiful dresses out there, but nothing worth sacrificing a ton of money for.

    Also, SYTTD has taught me that I will not have an entourage when I pick out the dress. MAYBE my parents will be there. Maybe, if they want to. But not a whole gaggle of my friends, probably not my brothers (I doubt they'd have much of an opinion except, "Let's get OUT OF HERE"), and most certainly not my FI. That's entirely too many people and I can't imagine that they'd all really want to spend an entire afternoon of their lives watching me try stuff on.
    Blackbird230
  • edited December 2013
    @Amapola14: I was a BM (twice!) In weddings that were in the $12 -1 range. Both of them were chock-full of etiquette faux pas, including the wedding at lunch time that had hors d'oeuvres only and a cash bar.

    Money can't buy class, and it obviously can't buy good weddings.

    Our budget was less than 1/2 that, and we had hosted beer and wine (because that's what we wanted and could afford), a full meal at a meal time (actually a bit early; dinner started around 5.45, and most people eat later), etc.

    If you're going to spend that amount of money, for God's sake, host people properly.

    ETA: Fix smartypants phone typo. Stupid smartypants phone.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
    CLoGreenEyesblabla89
  • @HisGirlFriday13, exactly! It's not how much you spend but how you use it. I'd rather make sure everyone has a good time and have a cheaper gown or something, than blow my budget on looking pretty and not being a gracious hostess. Rude doesn't look good on anyone, and I don't care what you're wearing or how much you spent on hair and make-up.
  • Well, I think she makes a lot of good points, actually…especially her points about how society needs to celebrate a woman's achievements beyond becoming a wife and mother.

    However, maybe she would appreciate weddings more if she didn't deprive herself of one.  She had one guest at her wedding, and then had a PPD a YEAR later…except it wasn't a PPD.  IT was a big dinner, with no music, in which she wore a wedding dress.  Which just sounds awkward as hell.  I wouldn't want to fork over 15k for that either.
  • Well, I think she makes a lot of good points, actually…especially her points about how society needs to celebrate a woman's achievements beyond becoming a wife and mother.


    However, maybe she would appreciate weddings more if she didn't deprive herself of one.  She had one guest at her wedding, and then had a PPD a YEAR later…except it wasn't a PPD.  IT was a big dinner, with no music, in which she wore a wedding dress.  Which just sounds awkward as hell.  I wouldn't want to fork over 15k for that either.
    I don't think any of us are disagreeing with that; I even said in my post I agreed with those points.

    What galls me is her asseveration that women who have big weddings can't possibly be taking the institution of marriage seriously and her separation of wedding ceremony for marriage.

    We say on these boards all the time that your wedding day is the day you legally get married, whether that's at the JOP or in a church or wwhatever.

    But for the author of this article to imply that those of us who had big parties or church weddings aren't taking the lifetime commitment seriously is ludicrous.

    DH and I, between his six months of RCIA and our marriage prep, spent nine months doing pre-marital prep: talking about religion and finances and children and problem-solving and family planning and spousal expectations.

    And we then had a full Catholic Mass and a reception, to both of which we invited 152 people. Does our 'big party' negate all the pre-marital work we did? Does our desire to celebrate in our church, with our families, mean we're not serious?

    No.

    And I'm sorry this blogger has older friends who are rushing into marriage willy-nilly. That sucks. Do I have friends who did that? Yes.

    But people will make dumb decisions no matter what. People will rush into marriage whether or not they have a big wedding.

    You can't fix stupid.
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    I'm gonna go with 'not my circus, not my monkeys.'
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