Valentine’s Day just passed and I bet thousands got an elaborate surprise marriage proposal while others made their way down the aisle toward wedded bliss. The day itself along with the commercial rhetoric of perfect love and romance is a bit cliche but who cares so long as you’re happy, right?
Weddings…it starts with a proposal and goes straight to the planning. That made me think of the time when I binge-watched three hours (ok it might have been four) of Say Yes to the Dress (SYTTD). If you don’t know the show then you’re missing out on mindless drivel as brides-to-be visit a New York salon in search of their dream wedding dress. They try on one of a kind gowns and model for their snotty entourage until they find the magical dress and say Yes. I’m sure they had something special on to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Now, this is not my normal mode of entertainment but I got totally sucked into the emotional fantasy aspect of planning that special day. It’s so excessively commercial, shallow, and self-indulgent that it’s like a car wreck you can’t help but scrutinize from the couch. I’ll admit I have opinions on some of those dresses (omg-what are they thinking?) and somehow after watching the show I always feel better.
There is a real fairytale aura around the planning of a wedding. For many, the planning started in their head while watching shows like SYTTD or as little people dreaming about their significant other. It’s the beginning of something new, fresh, and sparkly. But is that who you are?
It seems that as soon as “wedding” or “bride” is said, there’s a big cha-ching button on the cash register. I spent $700 on my dress back in the day and even then it was a bargain dress. It was like nothing I’d ever worn before, nor since. Was it me? Well, I was very bridal but I’d do it differently today.
Weddings are big business, there are no two ways about it but things have changed so there are more options. One tradition that doesn’t stand anymore is the all-host bar where liquor flows freely all night. Now we see no-host or toonie ($2) bars. I think this is awesome. Many thought it tacky to invite guests and then ask them to pay for their drinks. I think it’s smart not to liquor up your guests at your expense.
The traditions of old no longer apply unless you chose to embrace them. Many brides source out a lot of things online—including a dress. Many craft sites cater to the reuse/resell aspect of wedding decor. My niece did this a couple of years ago. She got her linens, chair covers, chandelier, chalkboards, etc. online from other brides and then after the wedding resold them all. Smart.
Everyone wants to make their day unique and special but there are a few things I want you to keep in mind.
The budget is number one. Who’s paying for what? Are parents involved or just you and your partner? It’s important to be upfront and note exactly what the most important part of the event or celebration is going to be. Will it be about the dress? Family? Destination? Saving money? It’s one day.
Don’t forget about your attendants. While the guys rent a suit or tux, bridesmaids are expected to purchase expensive one-time dresses. Be mindful of others. It’s often friends and family who throw the bridal showers and stags too. Remember they’re buying gifts while also supplying food, drink, and decorations. It adds up fast.
If you’ve decided on a destination wedding in Mexico or some exotic locale don’t expect everyone to be on board. Again, finances can dictate reality and many won’t be able to attend.
You and your partner need to decide together. Stick to your guns and do your day your way. Remember real life starts after the honeymoon. Cha-Ching…