Saturday, February 11, 2012

Anniversaries over Weddings

Recently I joined Pinterest, a mistake I know, but hear me out: It's awesome. I've been hard at work creating the Best Kitchen Ever. However, since discovering Pinterest my dislike of weddings has been renewed.

I just don't like weddings. I think they focus on all the wrong things. And call me selfish, but the happiest day of your life should not include being interrupted 110 times by 110 different people walking up to congratulate you as you sit trapped in a tight dress with a pained smile while everyone else gets to eat cake. You're at that f-cking table in the front of the room, you've got no where to hide. You try to eat, but you're the perceived hostess, you have to be the one to say "Oh, thank you, thank you so much." You can't eat, because you have to speak and be beautiful, over and over again. They will all touch you. They will all kiss your face. They will all leave your groom alone. He will eat cake. Everyone will later tell you how awesome the cake was. EVERYONE GETS CAKE BUT YOU. Women get all up in arms about being treated like an object, and then so many of them spend months planning TO DRESS UP LIKE A CAKE ON THE ONE DAY OF THEIR LIVES WHEN CAKE IS MOST OUT OF REACH.

"But Georgia, you should love weddings," You say, "You're a girl--"
No, I know. Look, I just said I'm on Pinterest--

"Hey, didn't you get married last year?"
Yes, I did. In a small, intimate--inexpensive--ceremony. Wait--just hear me out.

There are literally thousands of Pinterest boards with wedding ideas, pictures of gowns, elaborate floral displays, and they are all gorgeous. (Heck, I admit it, I love looking through them). But then there are like, 5 boards on the entire site devoted to marriage, being married, or married life. And I made one of them myself, so 4 really. Weddings are one day. Marriage is thousands of days. Shouldn't this be reversed?

I'm friends with several beautiful brides-to-be right now. All wonderful, all intelligent, (all probably reading this so let me stress real quick beautiful, wonderful, intelligent one more time and that I love you) and they are all completely freaking out. In each case, it's over money. How to get it so they can afford some giant, expensive wedding.

During last year's posts about our small, inexpensive wedding a lot of bride friends would chime in, "Totally, me too!" Brides-to-be may be thinking this now. So let me be clear.

When I say giant, I mean more than 50 people. It's a wedding, not a prom.

When I say expensive, I mean costing more than $3,000. Any young couple and their families should hopefully be able to safely drop $3,000 on a wedding. Anything over $3,000 in this economy is insane to me.

(From my perspective: At our wedding Ryan and I had 16 people. Collectively between plane tickets, dinner, and clothes we and our loved ones may have spent $3500. And you can ask Preston or Tim, I was still sitting there on the morning of my wedding saying, "This is too much. I want to elope" from my elopement).

The brides I know are stressing over hundreds of decisions our society has forced them to believe are crucial to being a good wife. When really all they need to ask themselves is: Can I live with being the only person in my home who changes the toilet paper, without questioning what the other person uses for toilet paper when there is none?

My typical guide when it comes to romantic love is, WWWABD or  "What Would Wesley and Buttercup Do?" Yes, I'm a child of the 80s, but it's also good rule of thumb. And I'm pretty sure Wesley and Buttercup would never have been like,

Buttercup: Oh Wesley! Let's be together right away! In years, once we've saved like, $50 grand!
Wesley: As you wish.

She didn't even drop money on that dress. B-tch stole it
from her ex boyfriend, like a boss. 

I think our society should shift its focus from fancy wedding celebrations to fancy anniversary celebrations. I think it's a great idea, and here are five reasons why.

1. And the biggest reason: It focuses on marriage. Let the party get fancier with every passing decade, even better.

Think about it:
How scary would it be to actually
stumble across this sign in an attic?

2. It would let young couples concentrate their energy on planning a happy marriage over a happy day. Couples would then be encouraged to plan the wedding they can afford to enjoy the life they want.

These are so affordable I can't even tell if
they're flowers--and they're gorgeous!

3. It would be way more awesome to throw a party for a couple in their home, with their children and grandchildren. Young couples today are given royal celebrations like they've already pulled something off. No way, let's be real: We're not even waiting for the wedding night anymore. Let the couples who have faced the tough choices and survived hard times (like paying down an expensive wedding for a decade...) be celebrated for a day.

Look at these cuties! Don't they deserve
a serious pizza party?

4. It could be done every 5-10 years. Different themes. Different color schemes. Ladies,... different dresses. I'm still not encouraging people to spend a fortune, but the DIY possibilities make even this cold wedding heart melt.

A reason to string photographs on fishing line?

5. It worked for many of our grandparents.
During WWII the average wedding took place in the family church or private home of the bride or grooms' parents. The couple wore their nicest clothes, the families celebrated with a pot luck or afternoon tea. There was no time or resources (...there are still no resources. We're in the middle of an economic disaster) for anything fancier. In 10 years the couple would celebrate with a nice dinner. In 25 years they might have friends over for a dinner party. And when 50 rolled around their children would get a cake and gather the important folks from a lifetime of love to wish them 50 more.

A 55 year anniversary celebration.
Be honest, no wedding can compare to this.

And really, we all wish for that, don't we? There's all this focus on a retro look with vintage materials, when really we should try retro living with vintage values. I'm not saying we go back to waiting for the wedding night (LET'S NOT GO CRAZY) however, I am saying let's go back to thinking of the future as many days, not just one. The joy and the happiness should be spread out over a lifetime.

The ghosts of the past come alive
 to make out while you're at work.

Brides, don't look at your wedding as the happiest day of your life. Look at it as the start of the happiest days of your life, with many more to come. The day you paint the living room in your first home, the day he survives a car crash at rush hour, the day you two hear your first child's heartbeat, the day you finally achieve [insert dream here], the day the vet saves the family dog after he eats a couch pillow, hearing your grandchild say 'I love you'--those are going to be the happiest days of your life. We've got a lot of good things to hope for, hinging it all on one make or break afternoon none of us can afford is crazy person shit.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a ten year anniversary to start planning... What? I'm getting a head start!


  1. PROTIP: Any money you save on your wedding can be spent on a honeymoon.

    Consider the options:

    - Spend thousands on a stressful event that maybe 15% of attendees will actually enjoy.


    - Spend that same money relaxing in a honeymoon suite in the fanciest hotel you can find. The kind where you can take the robes home with you and they don't even care. The kind where you can be completely naked as the bellhop wheels your breakfast into the room and he's not even allowed to say anything about it.

  2. Listen to my husband, he's making a great point!

  3. Loved this post, Georgia. I couldn't agree more! =)

    Our wedding cost $137 (including my $30 dress from JCPenney)! The minister was our biggest expense (although I should have asked for a partial refund as he got lost and turned up over half an hour late!). It was me, hubby, and his parents as witnesses...and that was it. And thirteen years later, I guess not having the big "fairytale" didn't scar us after all. =)

  4. Could not agree more - with everything you posted, Georgia!

    Peter (hubby of 42 years, coming up for 43) prefers funerals: he says one can be truly miserable then!

    We had our wedding on a Wednesday, then we knew the 36 folks who attended (we invited many more) really did want to be there. Worked well for us - if only folks could all read your post - and I hope your brides-to-be friends are some of them!

    Hows the sick member of the family doing?

  5. =D The best mother-in-law took the photos (back when everyone still used film!), and they somehow ended up being superimposed with images of squirrels (photos she had taken earlier)!!! Only four (rather crappy) photos survived unscathed.

    My mother-in-law cried. I thought it was hysterical!

  6. Aw, Ash--wedding squirrels! :D

    Isobel, that sounds wonderful! And it also sounds like Ryan and Peter would get along. When folks kept asking us why we weren't having a bigger wedding, Ryan would reply, "We can't put people we love through something as terrible as a wedding!"

    I am very sad to say poor Sam is not faring well :( Much of my Pinterest activity has been done between medicine doses, as I'm too bummed to paint something happy, but am trying to look through pleasant images for future inspiration. We're keeping him very comfortable right now, and of course Winston is by his side. Respiratory ailments in rats are so difficult to kick :( They have a fearsome reputation, but really they are very delicate (sweet) creatures.

  7. I find I regret even having the small wedding we did in my grandmother's living room. It was still too much. I didn't want it. Sure, it's ridiculous to look back on now, but Walter and I just wanted to sign papers to make it legal so that we could live the rest of our lives as a married couple. Unfortunately, you can't just do that. There HAS to be a ceremony with a designated official presiding. Lame. We want to celebrate our love forever, not make one day ten thousand times more important than the rest of our lives. Marriage IS thousands of days. I don't understand why anyone would pay more than they make in a week just for all the pageantry. It doesn't make you any more married than the couple that got quickie-married by drive-thru-Elvis in Vegas.


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