Author Topic: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?  (Read 38038 times)

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« on: July 11, 2012, 07:14:10 PM »
My best friend from high school is getting married in a week and a half, and I'm the maid-of-honor.  She's been engaged for almost 2 years and planning her wedding has utterly consumed her life.  I hardly see her anymore at all and we've had trouble connecting because starting about 1.5 years ago, her default conversation topic has been wedding planning.

Why do people get obsessed with weddings?  I don't understand it.  I'm a young woman of marriagable age (24), and poking around about this issue online brought me to some wedding websites, but they do nothing for me.  I've definitely spent a lot of time trying to distance myself from my wants (a la MMM), perhaps this is why?  I don't desire a big fancy wedding, or dress, or centerpieces, or whatever else goes into weddings because I know what really matters: committing to someone if that's what you want.

It's been hard for me to be the maid-of-honor because a big, spendy wedding really goes against everything I believe as a mustachian concerned about sustainability, and because her wedding has made her an absent and less interesting friend. 

Norman Johnson

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
  • Location: Moving around, currently in Florida!
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 09:39:43 PM »
The bride gets to be a princess for a day. And if you are really in to the wedding, fuck what groom wants, he's just one of many accessories to your Big Perfect Day!

Although I am naturally pretty adverse to dropping large sums of money on stuff, I will admit that I did start to get sucked in and had to give my head a shake after my friends starting giving me WTF looks when planning my own wedding.

I feel bad for people like your friend. After the wedding is over, people like her often have wedding hangovers. They are no longer the centre of attention and when they realize that, they try to hang out with their old friends and find out they don't have many friends anymore because all they could talk about was their wedding. I also feel bad because they often put so much into the Big Perfect Day that they haven't even considered what married life might be like on a day to day basis.

vern

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 573
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 10:41:46 PM »
I hear ya' windawake.

When the wife and I got married 11 years ago, we snuck out to a local park without permission and got married next a beautiful river scene.  I had one witness attend and she had two.

Then we all went to our favorite Indian restaurant for the reception. 

I think the whole wedding (license and all) set us back ~$300.  We had a wonderful time and still have a bunch of great memories and photos.

When I hear that the average wedding in the U.S. these days costs ~30,000 dollars I feel ill.

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 11:35:39 PM »
Some people like buying things more than having things. 

If she's more concerned about building this one perfect experience than she is about building this one perfect relationship, then she can always repeat the wedding planning cycle on her next marriage.  Who needs friends when you can always be planning your next wedding?

Lars

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 105
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 11:44:19 PM »
I wish I knew why as well. Primarily so I could say something improbably clever and get them to stop, think, and make a thoughful, wise choice about their wedding and (especially) their marriage.

I am very thankful my wife was not someone who got obsessed with the wedding.

Grigory

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 228
  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • (rhymes with "story")
    • my attempt at blogging
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2012, 12:22:23 AM »
Because Disney. I don't know how many of you folks lived outside the United States, but this country's girls are absolutely bombarded with "yay, wedding and babies!!!" messages from the moment they're born. Think about all the Disney cartoons, gooey romantic movies where wedding is the endgame, etc. It all adds up and gets further reinforced by the giant Wedding-Industrial Complex. :))

In Russia, things are a lot easier: the couple's parents rent out a banquet hall and hire catering or just host a huge party at somebody's house/apartment/wherever. Instead of fancy decorations, doves and limos, it's all about the social aspect. Granted, I haven't been back in nine years, so a lot of things may have changed, but my point is that in other countries, people can have fun weddings without obsessing about them.

Osprey

  • Guest
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2012, 12:56:35 AM »
Hello everyone, my name is Osprey and I love weddings. I especially love the big, boisterous kind where the happy couple dances all day and into the night. It's a joyful occasion!
There's a lot of bride-bashing that goes on, sometimes for good reason. My theory is that a couple starts out with an idea of a few things that would be nice to have - good food, good people, good music, whatever - but they get sidetracked by centerpieces and napkins and whatnot.
But you know, the groom can say "whatever you want honey" about anything he thinks is unimportant. Those things are usually "housekeeping," like napkins, and now the poor woman must take care of it. And she's been told by the entire culture that she should care.
So, sometimes she goes along with it because it's what you're "supposed" to do, and with all the marketing and expectations it's easy to get carried away.

gooki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2376
  • Location: NZ
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2012, 01:51:03 AM »
I can't answer the main question, but my wedding philosophy is the less you plan, the less that can go 'wrong'.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4981
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2012, 02:10:38 AM »
I don't get it either and never have. BTW the bride doesn't always get her way. I would have liked a small private wedding maybe 20 or less, with the minimum of fuss. In the end my folks paid for the biggest part of it so they got what they wanted and my ex sided with them, so he got what he wanted.  In the end I gave up trying to be heard, since it appeared I was a party pooper, and let them have their fun.

madgeylou

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2389
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2012, 04:47:56 AM »
osprey, i think that's really well-said. sure some people get nutty about their weddings, but it's not just about ladies being crazy. i think it's a lot more about societal pressure. as you said, the bride gets stuck dealing with a lot of details that she may not care about, and when there's a lot of details floating about, it's easy to get carried away.

i'm in the middle of planning my own wedding now (T minus 10 weeks) and the strangest thing has been how everyone has a different expectation of how my wedding should be. i "should" invite all my siblings, though there are a few that i barely have a relationship with. i "should" have a shower, and a bacheloretee party, and a rehearsal dinner, and a fancy engagement ring ...

but i don't want any of that. just to have my favorite people there and have a great meal and do a little dancing, then fuck off to costa rica for a month the next day. so that's what we're doing.

OP, hopefully once the wedding is over you will get your friend back!!
« Last Edit: July 12, 2012, 08:53:19 AM by madgeylou »

Norman Johnson

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
  • Location: Moving around, currently in Florida!
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2012, 08:04:15 AM »
Madgeylou, I hear you on the "should have" people. I couldn't believe all the stuff I "should have". One way to politely stop those people in their tracks is to ask them to do that part of the wedding for you (if you like their idea or don't care either way). I didn't have one person take me up on it! And FTR, my matron of honor was the worst for telling me all the things I needed. I know it drove her nuts that I didn't care about picking out centerpieces and that I didn't have a cake at my wedding.

Gooki- I planned a nice party where we would get married and I went into my wedding day with the thought that as long as I was married at the end of the day, the day would be a success. Imagine my horror when the person who was supposed to be looking after our license lost it! It was found, but for a few horrible minutes, I actually thought my wedding just might be a fancy party with no main event!

gestalt162

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 34
  • Age: 7
  • Location: Buffalo, NY
  • Junior Mustachian
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2012, 09:04:14 AM »
Like all things, follow the money trail. The wedding industry, between dress makers, reception halls, caterers, florists, limo companies, musicians, photographers, etc. makes billions of dollars a year off the idea that a wedding should be a dream in a day.

My fiancee and I are planning our wedding currently, which will be in August 2013. My fiancee wanted a very elegant wedding, all I care about is that we get married in the church, as it's important to me. We have struck a pretty good balance between the two. We have already gotten some of the 'big' planning things (church, reception hall, caterer, music) out of the way. I heard that the average American wedding runs $25K, ours should run about half that. Despite the fact that my family is wealthy, and hers is well-off, we're serious about keeping costs relatively low- I totally thank MMM for this. We don't see the point in hosting an elaborate wedding for tons of people that will financially burden us and/or our families, when we are looking to save up for a house and all the attendant things that come with homeownership. Some things we have done to keep costs low:
  • Invite less people- That means no long-lost cousins, or high-school friends we haven't seen in 5 years. My rule is, if I haven't talked to you in the past 18 months, you're not invited. None of our coworkers are invited either (yet), as we just don't know them that well. That weeded our guest list down to 50-60 people- mainly family and close friends, and we're making sure that all of them have a wonderful time at our wedding.
  • No save-the-dates- Most of our guests live in the area, and already know the day we're getting married.
  • No "engagement photos"- We both think they're pointless, and would rather have wedding photos.
  • Use our connections- I have been working for a cover band as a roadie for the past couple years- their repertoire ranges from classical to modern rock, and includes some of our favorite artists. When I told them I wanted them to play our wedding and reception, they agreed to knock a substantial amount off their going rate, and play everything we wanted. My brother is a good amateur photographer with good gear (and my best man), and will be taking all the photos at our reception. We will be using a laptop and the band's speaker system for dance music.
  • Shop around for food and reception halls- We looked at many different places, including homes of our relatives, and decided on a reception place that was beautiful, had great rates for food and drink, low reservation fees, a buffet (which cuts costs vs. a served dinner and gives more choice), a reputation for excellent food (confirmed by us), and an attached hotel room they would rent to us free of charge. One place we saw charged thousands of dollars just to rent the hall, plus insurance and hired security, and it was in a public park!
  • Keep flowers to a minimum- I hate flowers- they're expensive, environmentally unsound, and die after a couple days. We're minimizing the use of flowers as decor, and using more glass and candles, which are cheaper and can be taken home by our guests as favors.
  • Homemade favors- We are extremely proud of our garden, and plan on incorporating herbs from it into favors for our guests. From personal experience, I find the best favors are ones that you're not ashamed to use a month or two after the wedding, and remind you of the great time you had.  People love our homemade gifts- I hope these will have the same effect.
  • Ask for cash- My fiancee and I have been living together for 2 1/2 years already, and have everything we could possibly need for a home. No need for breadmakers, crystal stemware, or pig-shaped salt and pepper shakers- we have no shame in asking for cash gifts for our honeymoon and a downpayment on a house.

Sorry about the length, but I thought that other couples reading this post would like to have an idea of what we've done.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4752
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2012, 09:44:50 AM »
But you know, the groom can say "whatever you want honey" about anything he thinks is unimportant. Those things are usually "housekeeping," like napkins, and now the poor woman must take care of it. And she's been told by the entire culture that she should care.
So, sometimes she goes along with it because it's what you're "supposed" to do, and with all the marketing and expectations it's easy to get carried away.
'Society' also tells men and women that they're supposed to drive new cars, have iPhones and cable, and go to Cancun every year. That's no excuse for it, and if you do any of those things someone here will likely punch you in the face. If spending money on the wedding isn't in the groom's values, and spending money on the wedding isn't in the bride's values, they shouldn't spend money on the wedding!

There are literally dozens of people here of both genders across three different threads who have chosen not to spend money on elaborate weddings because it's not an expenditure they value. The pressure may be a little stronger than for buying that new Escalade or 62" plasma (the wife says "whatever you want, honey" to the husband), and the pressure may look a little different, but I'm not so convinced it's really a different thing.

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2012, 02:21:50 PM »
but i don't want any of that. just to have my favorite people there and have a great meal and do a little dancing, then fuck off to costa rica for a month the next day. so that's what we're doing.

Smart!  Now for a lesson on how not to do it, my friends' daughter got married earlier this year.  The guy she married is an up-and-coming lawyer (and IMHO jerk) from a background of money.  So they decide that in the interests of conspicuous consumption they're going to have the wedding in Cancun or some such resort place in Mexico.  This means that everybody they invite will get to spend about $4K on flights and hotel rooms.

Now my friends are reasonably prosperous middle-income people, but $8K is still a chunk of money to them.  They own a ranch, so they can't just pick up and leave for a week, and they don't like to travel anyway.  So after a lot of discussion, they (and a lot of her side of the family) wind up not going to her wedding.

Now the joke is that apparently the Mexican wedding is not legal in the US, so they had to have a legal wedding when they came home.  The bad feelings this couple created meant that most of her family didn't come to that either, and last I heard they're not even speaking to each other.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4752
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2012, 02:27:09 PM »
So wedding, then Central America is a superior choice to Central America, then wedding.

salmp01

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 120
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2012, 02:45:37 PM »
I got married about 4 years ago.  My wife is an only child from a fairly well to do family.  Our wedding was obnoxiously big (400 guests) and it cost a fortune.  My father in law offered to pay for everything.   I told my wife a couple times in the beginning of the planning stages that I didnít agree with all that is involved with a big wedding but I let it go and let my wife and her family do all the planning. 

I have to say that I did have a good time at my wedding! 

Norman Johnson

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
  • Location: Moving around, currently in Florida!
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2012, 03:38:58 PM »
Ah yes, the destination wedding...  They used to call that eloping, but now you invite everyone along to share your honeymoon. Not my idea of fun, but I guess it is for some people!

Stacey

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 104
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Maine
    • Bottling Moonlight
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2012, 03:59:28 PM »
I don't know what type of wedding your friend is planning, but we had a small and very DIY wedding - my husband cooked all the food, we had an ipod and lawn games for entertainment, we did our own flowers, made our own decorations, had it at a friend's house, bought all the dishes at thrift stores, etc.  That made it so much more personal for us and certainly less expensive BUT it required a lot more time and effort than an "off the shelf" wedding.  We felt consumed by the process because we wanted to make sure everyone had a great time.  You know your friend so if this is at all the case, you may want to see if there's a way to get involved that doesn't involve a layout of cash on your part, but that you can have some alone time with your friend while you work on something related to the wedding.  I've done that with several of my friends and they've always said in hindsight that it was exactly the kind of support they needed.  But, that's still no excuse for not paying attention to what's going on in your life - just providing a different perspective that sometimes the more personal, DIY, small weddings tend to take up a lot of mental energy (in a good way, of course). 

Osprey

  • Guest
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2012, 05:17:20 PM »
About societal pressure and the WIC: I do think it's different from the usual things that warrant a face punch. Due to the emotional component, you can't just say "don't get married" the same way you can say "don't buy a new car." For most people who want to get married, opting out is not on the cards.
Sure, nobody needs to have a big splashy event. But the point remains: who will be organising the cutlery at your backyard bbq reception? Who will be booking the camping space for your handfasting in the woods? Who will be coordinating appointments and photocopying documents for your lunchtime courthouse signing?
Who is supposed to care enough to volunteer?

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4752
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2012, 07:26:49 PM »
I definitely agree that all that needs to be done, just like there are some people who legitimately need a car. Saying "don't buy a new car" is like saying "don't have a $50k destination wedding", not saying "don't get married. I'm not arguing that it's the bride's place in the world to do all the photocopying, or anything like that. I'm saying that you don't have to spend money on something you don't value spending money on, even if it's a wedding.

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2012, 10:07:44 AM »
Thanks for all the responses.  My feeling is that my friend doesn't even necessarily WANT to do all of the things she's obsessing over.  It's just in her head that she has to do them. 

My perspective is that weddings have this obsessive pull over some people, where at the beginning of their engagement they get really excited so start spending a lot of time online, exploring options, reading about weddings, and then it becomes a habit and they can't stop thinking about the wedding to the point that their entire life is consumed.  Something like that.  But I also think that it has a lot to do with consumer culture telling women (and men) that having a big, cookie cutter wedding is the only way to get married.  Like with many things in American life, many of the aspects are assumed.

My hope is that if I ever get married, I will only care about the things in my wedding that I had previously thought about (no bridesmaids, simple ring with no stone, possibly in winter, awesome cake), and either do everything else DIY (crafting parties are always fun) or go without.

mustachecat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 398
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #21 on: July 13, 2012, 02:04:54 PM »
I'm always skeptical when I see stats for the average cost of weddings. The sources are always places like The Knot or the Wedding Channel, so I suspect that those surveyed are a self-selecting group.

That said, I'm sure that many people overspend on weddings. It's hard to resist the cultural programming around them.

elincolnp

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Young landlord working on my Mini-Stash :)
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2012, 02:49:23 PM »
Okay, this forum totally brought up a conversation that my boyfriend and I had just last night, and even though it's a little unrelated to weddings, I think it fits well with the general theme :)

We are planning on getting engaged soon (like the next couple weeks). We've known we want to get married for a while, so it's not really an OMG Is he gonna ask?! kind of situation...and I'm not that kind of girl either. However, since I'm moving across the country, we feel like it's important to share with our family and friends that we're at that level of commitment, and to have some sort of end goal (marriage) to keep us going through those long lonely days apart.

BUT - I've always told myself that I wouldn't accept an engagement ring. A. I think it's kind of sexist, and it really goes against my beliefs (that I don't need to be "bought" by my man) B. It seems like a big waste of money, and I'd much rather use it as a downpayment for a house. C. Everyone judges the ring as Representing the couple (which is fucking insane, and such a marketing ploy), and I don't even want to participate in that kind of marketing manipulation. This feels especially relevant because my boyfriend makes a lot of money, and could easily afford a very nice ring, and so I feel like if we buy something simple and symbolic, I'm going to be explaining for months why he didn't get me some eye-ball sized diamond.

However, I feel like if we have nothing, are we really engaged? How is that different from what we are now?

What have you guys done about rings? What is an engagement without a ring? How does a mustachian handle engagement rings? Is the cost worth it?

sol

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8492
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Pacific Northwest
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2012, 03:01:19 PM »
However, I feel like if we have nothing, are we really engaged? How is that different from what we are now?

An engagement ring is an expensive relic of a bygone era.  I'd skip it.  Hell, I did skip it.

Yes, you can really be engaged without a ring.  It's different from how you are now because you will be announcing your engagement, publicizing your commitment.

If you feel like the ring is the only point of the engagement, might I suggest you reconsider the engagement.

Norman Johnson

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
  • Location: Moving around, currently in Florida!
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2012, 03:03:01 PM »
My husband bought me a ring, but we both went to pick it out. It is customary to exchange rings when you get married, but nothing says you can't use your engagement ring as the wedding ring. And nothing says you have to have a diamond. You can get many other beautiful gems that don't cost nearly as much as a diamond. There are also plain gold rings too.

A pawn shop could be a good place to look and aren't superstious about a used ring. Jewelry can lose value in the same way a new car does when you drive it off the lot.

As for are you engaged without a ring? Only the two of you can answer that! Congrats??? :D

twinge

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 326
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2012, 03:06:37 PM »
we went ringless (and weddingless for that matter).  It's lasted over a decade, so I guess that says something.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27766
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2012, 03:43:56 PM »
We did the ring thing, but nowhere near 3 month's salary standard.  Course we were broke college students.  I think the engagement ring was 6 or 700, and the wedding band was about 300.  Around 1k total.

I'm glad we did, because she absolutely loves the rings. She didn't need Tiffany's or a giant ring (hers is just under 1/3 a carat), but just something special picked out for her.

It really depends on the people involved.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2012, 05:14:52 PM »
Re: engagement ring.

My mom had a beautiful blue topaz ring that my dad gave her for their 5th anniversary.  She reset the stone into a white-gold setting for my college graduation and I wear it every day on my right ring finger.  I think if I get engaged I'd just transfer that ring over to my left hand until I got married, then get a plain band and switch the blue ring back. 

Do you have a family ring or something that might mean something to both of you to use just for the engagement?  Otherwise, really the ring doesn't mean anything.  I definitely think that wondering about someone's relationship status is more interesting than having it advertised, say on a finger or a Facebook profile.

smalllife

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 983
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2012, 05:19:48 PM »
I do not understand the obsession with weddings - it is one big, expensive day if you do anything more than going to the courthouse.  All the fuss, trappings, and dealing with everyone else's expectations about your day . .  . no thank you.


The only wedding related trapping I want is an engagement ring, which I would prefer to be from a pawn shop to avoid blood diamonds, to cut costs, and to have something truly unique.  I've never heard of used rings being bad luck and since I don't believe in luck I'll just ignore the heresay :-)

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4981
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #29 on: July 13, 2012, 05:43:35 PM »
I do believe the engagement ring in previous patriarchal times was worn to show "she's promised" (betrothed). I guess the flashier the ring, the less likely it was another bloke would try to steal her heart... after all he would need to be a better catch, and hence able to afford an even bigger ring.

The significance of this is long gone, the rings to me are a special symbol of love and commitment between couples. How big and what they cost is not the point.

The funniest conversation that epitomises what we have been saying about weddings obsessively taking over lives:  I overheard an overgroomed hairdresser excitedly talking about her fancy wedding, in great and lengthy detail: then realised the wedding had happened 3 years ago.

windawake

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 435
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #30 on: July 13, 2012, 06:24:33 PM »
Happy - I agree!  I was talking to my buddy today wondering what my friend will talk about once her wedding's over.  He said that she'll probably talk about the wedding still.  That made me sad, because this whole time I've been hoping that after the wedding day this will be finished.  Guess not!

CeciliaW

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 57
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #31 on: July 13, 2012, 06:56:59 PM »
then realised the wedding had happened 3 years ago.

It may be, that to her, this was the "best day of her life" and it's the only thing keeping her going through the years of 'real life' she's going through now.

happy

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4981
  • Location: NSW Australia
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #32 on: July 13, 2012, 08:00:46 PM »
Don't get too sad Windawake, I think most people do stop being obsessed about it, although it might take a few months. I think its pretty unusual to find people who endlessly  and continuously recount the event down to the last detail once its over.   There will be the obligatory sharing of the photos and some discussion about what to do with the dress, but usually it winds down. And of course we should all be able to share memories of something special from time to time.

You may be right Cecilia : poor hairdresser :(

Jamesqf

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4047
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #33 on: July 14, 2012, 12:20:17 AM »
...I'm going to be explaining for months why he didn't get me some eye-ball sized diamond.

Why not lay out a few hundred on an eyeball sized chunk of cubic zirconia, and let it be your secret shared joke?

elincolnp

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Young landlord working on my Mini-Stash :)
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #34 on: July 14, 2012, 07:05:19 AM »
...I'm going to be explaining for months why he didn't get me some eye-ball sized diamond.

Why not lay out a few hundred on an eyeball sized chunk of cubic zirconia, and let it be your secret shared joke?

Fantastic idea :) We've definitely thought about it...

madgeylou

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2389
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #35 on: July 14, 2012, 07:24:49 AM »
What have you guys done about rings? What is an engagement without a ring? How does a mustachian handle engagement rings? Is the cost worth it?

i wear a pink one of these as my engagement ring and i adore it.

http://www.kielmead.com/forget-me-knot/

some people look at me funny, like what's wrong with me that i have a clearly inexpensive ring instead of some kind of rock -- dont i think i'm "worth it"?

but i adore my ring. it is so cute and sweet and it just feels like me.

do what you like! it only has to be meaningful to you.

sideways8

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 123
  • Location: Beach Park, IL, USA
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #36 on: July 14, 2012, 07:55:27 AM »
madgeylou that's a cute ring! I'm actually afraid of wearing expensive jewelry because I'm not a very delicate or coordinated lady.

REDxBULL

  • Guest
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #37 on: July 14, 2012, 11:39:26 AM »
Ah yes, the destination wedding...  They used to call that eloping, but now you invite everyone along to share your honeymoon. Not my idea of fun, but I guess it is for some people!

This is what my sister and brother in law decided to do.  It seemed very selfish of them asking family to go Jamaica for a week to see them get married.  My fiancee (now wife) and I chose to kill two birds with one stone, and get married after we returned from the trip at a courthouse.  It probably pissed them off but we just called it our pre-honeymoon.  While they probably "only" spent around $10k they made it very stressful for people to see them get married. 

After they returned from the trip it seems like they are trying to still live the rich life.  They have since purchased a high quality bed, a 60" tv for the bedroom, an expensive coffee table, and to top it off a Dodge Durango, with a Hemi of course.  It's almost kind of sad watching them bury themselves in debt just to put on a show for those around them. 

Not including the trip we spent under $1,000 to get married, with an engagement ring.  Neither of us wanted to do any of the planning involved with a traditional wedding, so a courthouse seemed like the obvious choice for us.  I don't think there's anything wrong with traditional, but some people seem to get way to get in way over their heads.  I think a lot of wedding planners feel like a director trying to make sure everything is perfect for the show.

keith

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 311
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Seattle/eastside
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #38 on: July 14, 2012, 07:42:36 PM »
Agreed with others here... nothing wrong with weddings, but large/expensive weddings make me want to puke.

Definitely good to think carefully about why we do things, instead of just following cultural norms. To me a big fancy expensive wedding doesnt make sense. Its simply not worth the time/energy/money that goes into it.

kdms

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 178
  • Location: Ottawa, Canada
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #39 on: July 14, 2012, 08:07:11 PM »
Re: Engagement rings

My husband brought me just the diamond when he proposed.  When I asked why, he said it was going on my finger, not his, and he didn't want to presume to pick out a ring that might not be to my taste.  :)  When we went to get the rings made, we had both the engagement and the wedding bands done at the same time and he wore his wedding band as an engagement ring.  For us, it wasn't about custom or society expectations -- it was a symbol between us of the commitment we were going to make to each other, and to hell with what anybody else thought.  He got a lot of questions about why he was wearing his band before the actual wedding, and his response was that he was committed, whether the wedding had happened yet or not.

When we were discussing the rings a few years later, he also admitted to a second reason - if I'd refused he would have had an investment to sell (lol).

I find it very odd that people feel they have the right to question such a personal symbol.  Nobody has ever asked or even insinuated a question about my rings.

masont

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 50
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #40 on: July 14, 2012, 09:27:44 PM »
My lovely wife has a lovely ring of moissanite and white gold I found on a 70% off sale for a couple hundred bucks.  It's really pretty.  You'll find that nobody ever asks "so, is that actually a diamond in there?" 


elincolnp

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 35
  • Location: Portland, OR
  • Young landlord working on my Mini-Stash :)
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #41 on: July 14, 2012, 10:53:12 PM »
Re: Engagement rings
 For us, it wasn't about custom or society expectations -- it was a symbol between us of the commitment we were going to make to each other, and to hell with what anybody else thought.

That's really adorable. Thanks for sharing.

Norman Johnson

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
  • Location: Moving around, currently in Florida!
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #42 on: July 15, 2012, 06:56:01 AM »
My lovely wife has a lovely ring of moissanite and white gold I found on a 70% off sale for a couple hundred bucks.  It's really pretty.  You'll find that nobody ever asks "so, is that actually a diamond in there?"

And if they do the appropriate response would be o_O

:D

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6603
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #43 on: July 15, 2012, 12:08:00 PM »
I don't really know.  You might be asking the wrong crowd.

I had a "big" wedding.  100 or so guests, $55 a head, total was just under $10k in 1996 (including the honeymoon).

This was not really by choice. I would have preferred a backyard ceremony or an elopement to Vegas.  I really don't like being the center of attention - baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, etc. (I made it down the aisle so fast they were only 1/2 way through Here Comes the Bride.)

I can only think that many people are raised on the big wedding ideal.  And the big vacation.  Or they adopt their parents' and friends' expectations.  In the end, we had a "real" wedding because my husband wanted one.  He wanted to share our day with his friends and our families.  I couldn't fault him for that, especially since he paid for the thing.  I didn't spend a lot of time planning it.  I found a location nearby on an Army base with a Navy chaplain (I was in the Navy at the time).  I chose a Catholic priest/chaplain to make my mother happy.  I picked a hotel across from work that had decent food and places for out of town guests (which most were, I was in DC) to stay.  There was no limo or videographer.  I found a decent photographer, but I didn't feel the need for the artistic stuff that people do today.  The photographer did the wedding ceremony only.

It was very low key compared to most weddings these days.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6603
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #44 on: July 15, 2012, 12:12:30 PM »
However, I feel like if we have nothing, are we really engaged? How is that different from what we are now?

An engagement ring is an expensive relic of a bygone era.  I'd skip it.  Hell, I did skip it.

Yes, you can really be engaged without a ring.  It's different from how you are now because you will be announcing your engagement, publicizing your commitment.

If you feel like the ring is the only point of the engagement, might I suggest you reconsider the engagement.
I agree.  I have an engagement ring, but I almost never wear it.  What does it change?  If you want one, great.  Otherwise, it's just a "whose is bigger" type of thing.  It was meaningful to me when I got it, but once I got married, it became just another piece of jewelry.

The only jewelry I wear is my plain gold wedding band.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6603
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #45 on: July 15, 2012, 12:19:11 PM »
My lovely wife has a lovely ring of moissanite and white gold I found on a 70% off sale for a couple hundred bucks.  It's really pretty.  You'll find that nobody ever asks "so, is that actually a diamond in there?"

I have a moissanite necklace, and got a ring for my mom and my sister.  I used to work for the company that made the actual material (SiC), then sold it to a company that carved the stones.  When the jewelry company had stones that didn't meet their specs, they came back to our company and sold them to the employees at cost.  Which means a 3/4 carat was $50, 1/2 carat was $25.  (This was at our parent company, I'm at a satellite, so I only really had one chance at buying them.)

Anyway, it was good enough to fool the jeweler my mom went to when she had the stone set.  SiC is double refractive instead of single, it's the best way to tell the difference compared to diamond - at the time, most jewelers didn't have the equipment to tell.

yeah, I'm a nerd. 

Stacey

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 104
  • Age: 41
  • Location: Maine
    • Bottling Moonlight
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #46 on: July 16, 2012, 11:33:30 AM »
However, I feel like if we have nothing, are we really engaged? How is that different from what we are now?

What have you guys done about rings? What is an engagement without a ring? How does a mustachian handle engagement rings? Is the cost worth it?

Of course you would be.  An engagement ring can be a beautiful symbol of an engagement - but that's what it is - a symbol - of what you actually are, which is engaged.  I think it's an entirely personal decision.  Personally, I did not want any engagement ring and my (now) husband knew that.  We both worked in high paying fields where most women wore very large engagement rings, so I was prepared to have to fend off a lot of questions.  But, I received very few questions about my lack of ring.  A few times people would ask to see my ring and I'd simply state that I didn't have one - and that was that.  I didn't feel any judgment either - I usually just explained that it wasn't my thing.  No judgment or preaching on my part, no judgment on theirs.  That being said, my husband made me the most beautiful ring out of grass when he proposed.  It was perfect and special for us. 

Do what you want, not what anyone else expects - whether that's with a ring or not.  I think the most important part is to make it a personal decision, and not based on expectations to (or not) get a ring.

tannybrown

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 118
  • Age: 38
  • Location: South Scottsdale, AZ
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #47 on: July 16, 2012, 12:27:14 PM »
I'd say that a wedding is along the lines of healthy food, vacations, used car purchases, or other entirely worthwhile expenses that fit just fine with Mustachian living.  A wedding is a rite of passage and while you can break the bank on a wedding without even trying, you can have one that's reasonably affordable as well.  And very few other events bring together your friends and family like a wedding will.  I wouldn't have skipped mine entirely to gain another 6 months towards FI.

If you're hitting your savings rate goals, I'm not sure it matters too much what you do with the small portion you're not saving.  Where you spend your 30-50% is up to you.

Perpetual_Student

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 86
  • Location: Longmont CO
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #48 on: July 16, 2012, 01:10:35 PM »
I don't understand why anyone even bothers to get MARRIED, much less have a wedding.

I think most weddings are about self-obsession and attention-seeking through conspicuous consumption.  At least, that is how it seems to me.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 27766
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Traveling the World
Re: Why do people get obsessed with weddings?
« Reply #49 on: July 16, 2012, 01:30:04 PM »
I don't understand why anyone even bothers to get MARRIED, much less have a wedding.

I think most weddings are about self-obsession and attention-seeking through conspicuous consumption.  At least, that is how it seems to me.

That's true for most any wedding you'd hear about in the media (celebrity weddings, or over the top lavish things), but if that's all of the weddings you've been to, you need to get some new friends.  ;)

We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
We (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out our Now page to see what we're up to currently.