Monthly Archives: October 2013

Wedding Vs. Marriage

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It’s time to get something off my chest. My apologies in advance for the rambling – I have a lot to say.

Most of you know that I’m engaged. Engaged to the love of my life. For most of us, the first thing that comes to mind when we hear the word “engaged” is wedding planning. Of course! Better start now, we all know that planning a wedding takes MONTHS, sometimes even more than a year! I mean, the whole point of getting engaged is to have the perfect wedding…

And that’s where my heart breaks and my head explodes. I can’t tell you how many people have asked me since the day Josh popped the question “have you started planning yet?” And when I tell them that no, I have not, I get the follow up “do you even have a date?” Well, sure… sort of. We originally wanted to be engaged for about 6 months, so that means January sometime. Then of course, “that’s coming up, aren’t you stressed because you haven’t planned anything yet?” *sigh* No, I’m not stressed. Why, you ask? I have a few follow-up questions for you.

1. What would happen if the food wasn’t perfect?

2. What would happen if my dress and/or hair wasn’t perfect?

3. What would happen if I didn’t get the venue I wanted?

4. In summary, what would the end result of our wedding be if it wasn’t absolutely PERFECT?

I’ll tell you what would happen. At the end of the day, I’d be married. I would be married to the love of my life. Disastrous, right?

I’ll admit, I got excited to plan everything out for a couple weeks. I looked at wedding ideas on Pinterest, I went wedding dress shopping and found a beautiful dress that I then bought on a pre-owned wedding dress website (OMG, did she just say she bought a USED dress?), I found a gorgeous venue that would make for some awesome photos… but after a week or two, I realized something. When I thought about my wedding, that’s exactly what I thought about. “My wedding”. That’s when I slammed on the brakes. I had to think about the word “wedding” for a bit and I realized that when I thought about that word, I thought about flowers, oak trees, dresses, cake, food… but I didn’t think about the union of two lives, the promise of lifelong love and commitment. Honestly, I was disappointed in myself. I had been swept up in the hype. I let our culture dictate what my wedding should look like and how much we should spend. Then, as if by divine intervention, a set of circumstances arose that made us reconsider having a traditional “wedding” altogether. We began considering alternate ideas such as going to Vegas to get hitched just saying our vows, then throwing a little party to celebrate our commitment. It just felt right. I already had a dress, most of our friends and family are within driving distance (though sadly, not all), and most of all, it sounded like a lot more fun than stressing out for months to make sure we had the perfect wedding. Sounded great to me.

Then we got people’s reactions to our (seemingly brilliant) idea. “Why don’t you just wait until you can afford the wedding of your dreams, sweetie?” (let me just throw it out there, that unless you are my mother or Josh, don’t call me sweetie. The word alone is enough to merit a fist to the mouth, then add the condescending tone… yeah, you’d better just walk run away.) Well, sure. We could wait. I mean, who knows if it will be 3 months or 5 years before we have the money for the kind of wedding YOU want us to have? Sounds reasonable. Next. “You’re going to regret not having a real wedding one day. Don’t you want to look back at those photos with your children?” I’m just going to respond to this question and all other questions or comments that anybody may have regarding this issue with the following statement.

What makes this sweet, casual, private moment:

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Any LESS special, or even legitimate, than this expensive, extensively-planned moment:

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Mine may be the unpopular opinion, but I believe that people who want to get married will find a way. And that, honestly, is more romantic than any amount of money spent on an extravagant wedding. After all, the amount of money spent does NOT correlate with the amount of love felt between two people or the strength of their marriage. This whole situation has left me with a bad taste in my mouth from the word “wedding”. From here on out, we are simply getting married. We are not having a wedding.

So before anybody else has anything negative to say: Yes, Josh and I are getting married. Yes, it will be casual. No, there won’t be a horse-drawn carriage or 10,000 white roses. If you happen to be invited and will be disappointed at the lack of fancy food – please stay home.

Disclaimer: to anyone who will inevitably get offended because they spent a fortune on their wedding – The photos above can be reversed as well. There is nothing better about a small, inexpensive get-together versus a large, expensive wedding. It all comes down to personal preference and budget. I’m sure all of your big weddings were beautiful and I wish you the happiest of marriages.

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