June 24, 2010

Complex Is An Understatement

Oh man, so much to say today!  First though, have you read Jonniker's post on the the two rudest things that have happened to her lately and the follow up post about weddings?  Very hysterical stories (comments too!) and seriously, you will die of embarrassment.  I mean like Drop. Dead.  But please reincarnate yourself and come back here because ***clap clap*** we have so many things to discuss!

So the thing that I found funniest about all those tales of The Rude were that so many of them had to do with weddings, and man if there is another event that is as tied up with miscommunications, expectations, etiquette (barf!) and general craziness please advise me now so I can put it on my list of Things To Avoid Like the Plague.  A wedding, however, will probably not be something I am able to avoid, so my mind boggles when I think about how to put one together and also stay sane.  (I MEAN HELLO, DID YOU READ ABOUT THE RUDENESS?)

I mentioned a while back that I am trying to convince Garrett that we should start thinking about our wedding this August when all our house projects are OVER!  The anti-climatic nature of that that has shocked some people I know, because OMG who talks about a wedding when they are NOT engaged, and ohmygod let me see your finger where is your ring? how big is your ring? have you picked out a ring? And, I guess I understand that sentiment, but honestly the whole surprise aspect of engagement is a little bit lost on me, just the idea of "engagement" is a little terrifying (this article sums up my fears quite nicely).  Garrett and I have been together for almost 5 years and I would say that shortly into our relationship we both kind of knew that this was it, and because of that I'm not hotly anticipating a surprise shower of rose-petals and a giant diamond bauble.  Because we already have a family diamond that is sitting and waiting to be dealt with, and because I think that Garrett knows me well enough to know showy romantic gestures just don't float my boat since I regularly snort with laughter over Jared Commercials, I just don't think the traditional proposal is in our future. (Though stranger things have happened, and I wouldn't be horrified to have a little moment)  But can't we just count as engaged already, or do we need to do the down on one knee thing?  sigh.   


This is the eternal question, I suppose.  The one I am sort of tired of fielding.  The reason I am pushing for an August "Let's Start to Plan" Date.

Now don't get me wrong, I am thrilled at the idea of marrying Garrett.  THRILLED.  He's my lobster and all that.  I am not anti-marriage at all, and in fact it is important to me that at some point we make our union legal.  But after a number of years attending weddings, being in weddings, hearing about the weddings of others I am just sort of tired of the entire Wedding Industrial Complex.  I'm all for traditions, but I've never been one to follow them blindly (especially when they were invented as a way to make money),  I certainly have no intention of doing something because some bridal magazine tells me I need to, and I think it is lame that I may have to pay twice the price for something just because I will need it on my wedding day as opposed to any other day.  These things incense me.  

And let's talk about the spending for a minute, can we?  I'm just going to come out and say that I will absolutely, positively, not spend an amount of money equivalent to a down payment on a house for a party.  I just won't.  I will happily rank as below average in this category of life.  I've spent too many years getting myself into and out of debt, learning how to save, and making a financial plan for my life and somehow spending half of my annual salary on a party just seems to be taking a hit off the crazy bong! I don't need to have any more nightmares of Suze Orman yelling at me, I have engaged in enough of that trauma just surviving my 20s. 


And I understand this rationale, really I do, and if you threw and extravagant wedding, please do not think I am judging you.  I've been to some and they were very fun.  No complaints here. It's just personally I can not part with my own money that way because over the past few years I have turned into a Miser-in-Training and right now I just have some other financial goals.  Bad timing I guess, because I swear if you would have asked me about my dream wedding ten years ago I probably would have said "Get me unicorns!  No price is too high!"  All that being said, I have to admit I do sort of take issue with the pressure of this "One Time Event," mostly because I feel like that pressure is a marketing tactic.  It's like when you go to buy a car and you find one you like and the sales guy is all, "You better sign the papers now because it may be gone tomorrow."  As if I would never be able to find another silver Honda Civic anywhere in the state of California.  Yes, the formal celebration of a marriage usually only happens once -- you know unless you are Ramona Singer and then apparently it happens every 17 years -- but what about the marriage?  I guess for me, it just seems to make more sense to focus resources on the marriage itself, because that sucker lasts FOREVAH, right? But apparently the Marriage Industry doesn't have quite as savvy of a marketing team as the Wedding Indsutry.


And in the end, this is the rub my friends.  There was a time when I was trying to convince Garrett to elope or have a destination wedding to avoid all this wedding planning hullabaloo because, let's be real, it probably isn't going to be that stressful FOR HIM.  But he just kept getting sad at the thought of that and saying "I really want my family and friends to be there."  And really, how can I say no to that?  Also it helps that my family absolutely kicks ass and is always the life of the party, so it's pretty much confirmed that if they show up there will be a good time whether we are playing flip cup or singing in church.  So I guess a normal wedding it is!  But the reconciliation of "What we're supposed to do" vs. "What I have we have  the ever-loving patience want to do" does look to be a bit of a challenge.  I know in the end we will create an event that is meaningful for us and if that makes it a little offbeat we will do our best to communicate the motivations to the ones we love -- I just hope we stay sane in the process.  But I guess if we don't,we'll always have the Honeymoon Industrial Complex.    


HereWeGoAJen said...

Oh you have good points. We had a really small destination wedding that was perfect for us. And WAY below average cost, even though we splurged on a lot of stuff.

Annie said...

Oh Holly. We started planning before we were engaged. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Actually, I remember quite clearly that we had to book the church 6 months in advance. So we talked to our priest who said, "are you engaged yet? Come back to me once you've given her a ring." Har.

Our engagement wasn't a surprise, either. It was lovely and perfect for us but not a surprise. And I wouldn't change a thing. :-)

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