Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why the Wedding? Part 2

When I left off, I was contemplating the negative portrayal of modern brides and weddings that I've been noticing in the media and in my interactions with people. There seems to be a school of thought that says that most people throw big weddings for less-than-awesome reasons, or that the act of having a wedding itself is inherently wasteful and unnecessary.

But I think that it's totally legit that Mr. Octopus and I decided to have the wedding we're having. Yes, it's going to be big, yes, it's going to be what most people would consider traditional and what some might consider fancy, and yes, it's going to be expensive. But I really believe that it was the best possible choice for us. Here is why:

Because I wanted to give this transition in our lives a heavy weight. Mr. O and I will have been together for eight years by the time we come up on our wedding day. We were boyfriend and girlfriend for a very, very long time, and becoming husband and wife feels like a major rite of passage to both of us. We both wanted a fairly long engagement (sixteen months) and a big wedding because we wanted to really feel this change.

Because I want to say my vows in front of all our people. I think it's very beautiful and very meaningful to gather everyone who knows and loves us together to hear us publicly declare our intentions and commitment to be together forever. I love the concept of having my friends and family bear witness to our vows. I want everyone to hear me promise to be Mr. O's wife, forever.

Because of the opportunity to have so much love in one place. I feel like that was kind of a hippie, New-Agey way to say that, but it's really how I feel. I can't imagine any other situation in which we could gather our loved ones--all of our friends, all of our family--in one place at one time. I am so looking forward to having this day to celebrate with everyone who is important to me.

Because I want to have a once-in-a-lifetime throwdown of a party. Mr. O and I place a huge value on experiences. I have never once regretted spending money on having an amazing travel experience, going out to a really special meal, or otherwise doing something fun and interesting that I can look back on happily. Yes, we could put a down payment on a house with the money the wedding will cost, but having this one incredibly special experience instead of upgrading from our one-bedroom apartment outfitted in craigslist-chic decor was more important to us right now. As one review of One Perfect Day put it, "weddings, unlike most other things we purchase, reliably deliver heart-stopping measures of joy."

Plus, our people are spectacular partiers. I would never purposefully give up an opportunity to unleash my friends and family on some booze and a dance floor. It's going to be epic.

So there you have it--the reasons for our wedding, none of which involve an elaborate performance art piece I've been concocting ever since I first laid eyes on a Barbie doll. This was a conscious and purposeful choice that Mr. O and I made with our families, fully aware that we had other options, but wanting this one the most. So in your face, anonymous Internet haterz!

How did you choose the type of wedding you're having? What does it mean to you?


  1. My fiance and I have a really similar viewpoint on our wedding as yours. We want to throw a big party and have everyone witness our commitment to be with one another forever. And like your friends - our friends like to party :) I read somewhere that there are three times in a person's life when their loved ones tend to gather: when they hatch, match, and dispatch. Since most people remember neither their birth nor their death, the "match" part is the only one we get to truly celebrate.

  2. As a photographer who has shot hundreds of weddings I have to say that I've run into a fair number of brides, parents of brides, and so on that demand perfection.

    Do I think that they are "bridezillas"? NO.

    A bride know that this will be her ONE wedding day; that they'll be together forever and she'll never have such an opportunity to do this all again. She has every right to feel this way - it is her day.

    The other thing to consider is that a bride wants her most special day to be perfect. What is wrong with that? Nothing.

    I'll be honest - there is always something that goes wrong. The flowers are not the right color, the butterflies that were to be released were left in a hot car, the cake tastes dry, the groom forgot his name when it came time to say his vows. No wedding goes off perfectly. That doesn't mean that you don't plan for and demand perfection.

    There is nothing wrong with a bride that wants her wedding day to be just how she dreamed it.

    This is your special day - it's your wedding.
    That being said you've laid down reasons that acknowledge your family and friends too which is so awesome because these are the people that you will turn to in order to get over the bumps in the road. They are your support system and having them share in your special day creates a community around your marriage that far too many couples neglect to remember.

    By their taking part in your wedding you have also invited them to take part in your future as a married couple. To help you get through the tough times, to help you celebrate the great times, and to walk with you as you create your life together.

    Good luck to you - I hope your wedding day is a reflection of the beautiful life that you and your soon-to-be-husband will build together.