The End of Weddings

I just changed my profile picture on Facebook. Because it’s nearly one year on from our wedding and I figured the bridal photo was starting to look a little crazy.

Is there a rule for that? How long do you hang onto a wedding picture as your public profile? It’s one party in the course of your whole life. And I don’t look like that every day.

What I replaced it with was a picture of me with a silly expression and no make-up. My husband liked it. Quite a few other friends also apparently liked it. And it drew comments from a couple of old friends who fit the category of: guys-who-once-tried-to-be-more-than-friends-with-me-and-ever-since-have-made-me-a-bit-uncomfortable-so-I-avoid-them. Maybe they liked it more than the wedding picture. They weren’t invited to our wedding, although I have other guy-friends who were. It is hard to maintain a friendship with someone when you’re wondering if they ever really enjoyed hanging out with you, or if they were just filling in time with the hope of it moving onto something more. Some people are totally fine with being friends and some people push boundaries inappropriately.

However, my consciousness about hanging onto wedding photos reminded me of this video, which I saw earlier this week:

And I have to say that I have a bit of an invested interest in this sort of exposé… because I work at a venue that does weddings. I’m the lady with the earpiece.

There is one thing that I’ll say in our defense. The additional cost of flowers, cakes, decorations, etc, isn’t some kind of “wedding tax”. It’s just an acknowledgement that brides tend to be more exacting, more emotionally involved in the result, and therefore a lot more hassle. In this way, the suppliers are also at the mercy of bridal magazines and all of the social engineering of weddings. Brides and grooms are wound tight because they feel like they’re being judged, and therefore if the entree comes out with sauce on top rather than sauce on the side we might get someone ranting that we’ve ruined their lives. That rant doesn’t tend to happen at birthdays. It almost never happens at corporate events. It’s sauce (and easily fixed). It’s not a reflection of your social standing or the longevity of your love. It’s fucking sauce!

As someone who works with lots of weddings, I’m also well aware of most of the pointless bullshit that floats around in this industry. And I’m much less worried about being judged on my own wedding (although this is also probably because I consciously choose to let that go). Maybe some of my family wanted a church service. Maybe some of our friends wanted an open bar. I know that the event coordinator at our wedding was judging the fuck out of me, but that’s just because I wasn’t cool or thin or pretty enough to be in their venue. But these were fairly minor considerations to us. In the end, we just wanted to have a fun day.

I thought that the funniest thing about our wedding was the number of people who asked me whether I was going to get married at work… and the number of colleagues and managers who seemed offended when I said “no”. Who wants to get married at their workplace? Plus we weren’t having that kind of wedding. I made all my own canapes and my own bouquet. I supplied red plastic cups and bamboo forks. Our reception dinner was at a restaurant. My dress was second-hand (and not white), bought from a woman whose own wedding was cancelled. Our dress code was “wear what you think you look good in”, so we got guests in everything from heavy metal t-shirts to full Victorian garb – and we thought that was great! I chose all of those elements to our day because they made me happy. No, I really didn’t care about the lack of centerpieces.

Some people think that all of this is proof that we’re poor. I know they think this. But truthfully I also see zero point in ostentatious displays of wealth. No one is impressed. In fact, the more showy your wedding (or car, or holiday, or house) becomes, the more sad it starts to look. It becomes a great big monument to the couple’s own insecurity. And I’ve met those brides – the ones who buy a Ferrari of a wedding and then don’t seem to notice when everyone assumes that they are just overcompensating for something that’s lacking. If the point is to make other people think that your life is great, then the big spend is counterproductive.

In the end, it’s just a party with your family and friends. Don’t stress too much. Enjoy yourselves. Don’t invite people who’ll make you nervous or unhappy. It’s not that hard.

And before you start thinking that I’ll be doing myself out of a job: I’d be quite happy to do less weddings and more corporate events. Despite weddings’ reputation for expense, we make more profit on corporate events. How? Less hassle equals less labor cost.

So seriously: rent a BBQ and have your wedding at home. Do us all a favor.



One thought on “The End of Weddings

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