bonny_kate: (Default)
Joel and I went to a wedding last weekend that was everything the WIC* tells you an elegant wedding should be. The Save the Dates were on multiple layers of elegant pearl finished cardstock, with a cute little story and hand drawn artistic pictures (I thought they were the invitations when the envelope came in the mail). The invitation itself was multiple layers of the same pearl finished cardstock in pastel colors, with what appeared to be hand painted flowers around the edges. It had a pocket, and was wrapped in lace and ribbon with a square seal featuring the Bride and Groom's initials.

The wedding itself featured four violinists, bridesmaids in matching dresses, and programs** that matched the invitations. The reception was at a fancy restaurant on top of a hill, overlooking the city, and began with cocktails and signature drinks. It moved inside and there were several courses, champagne for the toasts and wine with the meal, cake and a candy bar. The tables had pearlized tablecloths with gorgeous floral centerpieces*** in the center, a mass of pink and peach roses and flowers atop a crystal type candelabra with votive candles. There was a three tier cake, beautifully decorated with fresh flowers, a candy bar, and chocolates on the table****. The dance floor had all kinds of fancy lighting, and the couples names were displayed in lights over the fireplace. It was lovely and elegant.

I feel like this is what the WIC tells women they should want. A lovely, elegant, expensive wedding. It was a lovely, elegant (and expensive) wedding. And yet I am so glad it was not our wedding. I would not trade any detail of our wedding for theirs. Actually, I felt a little sorry for them, because their minister preached a kind of crazy sermon, the wedding was so small and there were so few people there, the DJ was kind of horrible at times, and the dancing was lackluster.

At some point during all the wedding planning, I ran across a website that suggested one consider one's dream wedding, and from there see what elements to keep or abandon. I considered this for a few minutes, and realized that I was already planning one wedding, and didn't have the space in my head to plan a "dream wedding." If we'd had a bigger budget, would we have done things differently? Probably. But we didn't, and I didn't second guess myself. We had the wedding that was right for us, and had some of the Wedding Magic that I really thought only happened in the movies. I might have thought, before planning a wedding, that I wanted a fancy and elegant wedding, but when we planned our wedding I found just the quirky, fun, and occasionally elegant wedding that I did want. And I'm glad I didn't listen to much to the WIC and gave up things I didn't actually care about, like real plates and silverware and steak.

So, it turns out that I can enjoy a fancy, elegant wedding without being jealous (in fact, I secretly believe our wedding was better, but am also totally relieved that it is over and done with and we can get on with being married).


*Wedding Industrial Complex (coined by A Practical Wedding, and it perfectly describes how the Wedding Industry tells you it is about Having All the Things)

**The programs were kind of useless, because the minister completely ignored the order of service and jumped all over the place and skipped some things. These things happen.

**I ended up taking the one from our table home, where, lacking vases, I cut off all the stems and put the flowers in a six quart pot and a two quart pot, where they made our apartment smell deliciously of roses. Yes, that many flowers for one table, and there were fourteen tables.

****If you must have favors, chocolate is totally the way to go. They gave us *truffles* (I might have snuck a few extra).
bonny_kate: (Default)
To sum up, I am now incredibly sympathetic to anyone getting married. I've been there (it feels like we were just there, but the reality is that we've been married for a little over six months, and were engaged for exactly six months). So, while I'm still snarky (I don't think there is anything in the world that could stop me from being snarky), I'm more understanding and less judgmental.

I think, now, that there are really only two things that make a happy wedding. First, it has to be a happy thing that the couple is getting married. I've been to a wedding where I thought the couple made some poor choices, or was really rushing into things, and that makes it less happy. Secondly, the couple has to be nice on the wedding day. I've never been to a wedding where they weren't. The couple may have been stressed, but there have been no crazy tantrums (or general craziness, like the wedding Joel went to where the money dance had a credit card reader, which I find past the boundary of good taste). But with those two things, I will have a splendid time as a wedding guest. The rest of the details matter, but not that much.

I went to a wedding a month or two ago for one of Joel's friends. It was really simple. An afternoon church service followed by a reception on the church patio with cupcakes and snacks. And yes, I did notice that the wedding invitations had multiple spelling errors. I mostly just felt sorry for the couple because I know it could easily have happened to me, which is why I obsessively had multiple people check the invitations. Oh, there was also the moment where everyone was supposed to sing a song on the screen, but nothing was there for the entire song (which didn't even have a repeating chorus). We talked about it (there were many friends there), but mostly everyone found it amusing and then spent more time wishing that we were allowed in the bounce house (it was kids only). There were certainly things that could have been done better, but there always are.

I find that I'm sympathetic to the brides and grooms that are trying to plan a wedding and finding it stressful instead of blissful, and having to juggle what they want with what they've been told to want with what everyone else seems to want. And more and more with all the details I'm not judgmental, because I'm finding that while I wouldn't have listed the places we were registered on the wedding invitation, or done a wedding invitation in shades of pink and floral, it's not bad that someone else has. It's not going to stop me from going to the wedding or wishing them well. It makes me very happy with what Joel and I chose to do, because it was perfect for us. I may secretly think it was the best way of doing things, but I actually understand that other people have the wedding that is right for them.

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Kate Saunders Britton

April 2017

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