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Why Can’t People Just Get Married?

January 30, 2008

When did weddings become year long affairs that cost friends hundreds of dollars?  The engagement party, the shower, the bachelorette party, and finally the wedding…and I have eight weddings this year.  If I attend all of the events for each, that’s 32 gifts…and weekends… 

It’s not that I’m not happy for my friends.  I am really happy for them.  I just think that weddings have gotten out of control.  It seems that some people forget that their wedding is a celebration of their marriage and not a competition for the world’s greatest party where they can treat people like crap and do whatever they want.

Comedian Thomas J. Kelly of I Hate Weddings has dedicated a whole website to commentary about wedding issues.  In one post, Kelly asserted, “If a gift is EXPECTED it is not a gift. It is payment.”  A bride responded, “Grow up, stop worrying about every dollar you spend…and try to focus on other people and doing a little something to make them happy.”  I can see how both sentiments are correct…except that it’s not just a few dollars any more. 


I don’t hate weddings.  I actually thought of this while I was writing wedding vows for a couple who were being married by the judge I clerk for.  I had never met the couple.  They were throwing a $50,000 wedding.  They picked flowers, a DJ, a venue, etc., but they couldn’t bother to write the promise they were making to eachother that everyone was there to witness.  People should be mindful that their guests are there to celebrate their marriage and that their big day – or four – is not the only thing their guests have going on. 

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Patty Walsh permalink
    January 30, 2008 5:25 pm

    Great column. I have to add one thing, based on something I received in the mail yesterday. If I have never met the bride, even if I’m distantly related to you (by marriage) I should not be invited to your bridal shower or your wedding. Invites should not be sent to every relative of the bride or groom, only those who actually know the couple. This rule is expecially appropriate for those with large extended families, since gives the appearance the couple is only interested in a gift.

  2. Lisa permalink
    January 30, 2008 5:58 pm

    Hysterical! The cover lines of the magazine are hilarious. I’ve never been married, but I know some brides tend to throw out any inhibitions they might have had on making demands on people once they get a ring. I agree with Patty on her comment also. Been there!

  3. January 30, 2008 11:25 pm

    I agree with above posts – also – i think couples may also invite heaps of ppl they don’t know because of their parents.

    Some parents think that its a second wedding for themselves and vicariously relive their wedding experience thru their kids -also, some parents might see it as a chance to show off etc… i have a friend whose mother in law got really invovled in the wedding planning and started making all these demands! drove my friend bonkeres…lots of tears were involved…
    mmm makes a las vegas wedding all the more attractive… hahaha

  4. January 30, 2008 11:26 pm

    haha “10 ways to flaunt ur wedding ring to the bitches at work”!! thats so true – the headlines of the mag are spot on! kekek

  5. January 31, 2008 2:55 pm

    I agree with all of the above! Though I love my friends dearly, I was in 4 weddings in 1 year – those included a sibling and being maid of honor for my 2 best friends who got married 3 weeks apart. Needless to say, weddings are increasingly more expensive to go to, let alone be in! Ladies (and gents), let’s not forget what the wedding is really about – the marriage.

  6. pheffner permalink
    January 31, 2008 3:40 pm

    As someone who is both married and has been at guest or attendant at many weddings, I think a lot of the points above are valid – but not in every case. While some brides and grooms are guilty of the selfish behavior listed above, it’s not fair to lump every engaged couple into that category. Also, how is it possible that you can both spend a ton of money to have everyone there (including people that you don’t know very well but are obliged to invite so that no one’s feelings are hurt) and then be accused of being in it just for the gifts? The average couple doesn’t recoup anywhere near what they actually spent for the wedding, even a “wedding on a budget” like ours was. The cost for even something simple is just that overwhelming. I understand that many of us are at an age where we are going to a lot of weddings, which can be costly – I myself attended 6 weddings the year I got married, so talk about expensive! – but if and when you choose to get married yourself, I challenge you to find a more cost effective way.

  7. January 31, 2008 8:01 pm

    Nice post Abbie. I don’t hate weddings either, but I do hate what people have turned them into!

  8. January 31, 2008 10:57 pm

    ah, for my friends who are from asian and middle eastern backgrounds – it is tradditional to give money as a wedding pressie. some of their close friends & relatives gave thousands of dollars. (beta than getting a toaster…) and some of my friends have made a profit on their wedding!! mmm… money making idea anyone!! hahahah

  9. bewilderedhousewife permalink
    February 13, 2008 3:03 am

    I am SO with you – unfortunately, my mother-in-law planned the wedding and had no idea how to control herself. The shower, too, was ridiculous, attended by sixty of her acquiantances I had never met before. It’s six months post-wedding fiasco and I am STILL not over seething… but let’s not get into that.

    Great post. Thanks for stating the obvious to a few people I wish had read it.

  10. Heather permalink
    April 17, 2008 6:03 pm

    Great post! (Side note none of my response is sarcastic). I am currently planning my wedding, and feel like it is the biggest waste of time and money for everyone. The only reason I am doing all I am is for my mom. If left up to me I would have a picnic and go hike somewhere with an officiant. It is funny you bring up the gift thing. My mom finally cracked me into registering at a couple of stores, but I still would rather people not buy me anything. And by the way I hate weddings whether it is someone else’s or my own that I am planning. Yes this is a little off the wall, but just sharing my frustrations. Oh and by the way I only buy one gift for the bride and groom and usually I give it at one of the showers. I do not buy a gift for every function.

  11. Sarah permalink
    July 15, 2010 8:53 am

    Hysterical! The cover lines of the magazine are hilarious. I’ve never been married, but I know some brides tend to throw out any inhibitions they might have had on making demands on people once they get a ring. I agree with Patty on her comment also. Been there!



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