Weddings. Has any word, other than that ending in “-gasm,” produced such sighs of exaltation? Though our customs vary, there’s not a corner of this world that doesn’t celebrate the joyful union of two people. People love a good wedding.
Similarly, people hate a bad one. One dry cake or lackluster floral arrangement is all it takes for the whispers to start: “Did you see the dress? She looks like a bedazzled bratwurst! And the flowers. Good heavens, did she corner the market on tangerine carnations?” In the internet age, this seems to have gotten worse. Now, not only are your guests dissecting the wedding, but all your high school classmates think that veil made your eyebrows look fat, while your photographer’s other clients frown at your funky venue. When it comes to weddings, everyone has an opinion.
Even worse, they will give it to you. Your great aunt wants you to know how tacky buffets are, but your childhood friend would hate for your wedding to be cookie cutter. When I started thinking about our wedding, I had a vision: something romantic and casual, with a strong vintage vibe and really great food. Above all, I wanted not to spend the average American wedding budget, because holy macarons, that’s a new Volvo. Yet, every time I make a decision, I consider what people will think. I flashback to all the weddings I’ve been to, where I smugly sat in the pew, judging. Y’all, that is what a girl of marriageable age does at weddings. We hold them up to our own Pinterest-fueled standards and judge, judge, judge.
Kittens, that’s pretty fucked up. When we attend other parties, be they Halloween masquerades or Super Bowl couch gatherings, we don’t pass judgment. We eat whatever food is provided, laugh with our friends, and enjoy ourselves. We don’t care that Ginny’s cake wasn’t chocolate or that her hair was half-up. We thank her for hosting and go about the business of merriment! Sure, if something goes horribly wrong – the TV explodes at halftime or Colin Bridgerton the Cat eats the turkey – we’ll talk about it. However, only in extenuating feline-disaster circumstances do we openly pass judgment! What’s different about weddings?
Initially, I blamed the presents. When gifts are standard, perhaps people wish to be compensated with a perfect event? It’s an interesting theory, but it doesn’t hold. If we were so uppity about enjoyment reciprocity, wee Tommy wouldn’t have a Chuck E. Cheese birthday fête. If we happily bring presents, when we’re to be tortured with animatronic mice, we shouldn’t be that fussed about a cake-and-punch reception. So, I’ve drawn another conclusion. I think we’re so judgmental about weddings, because we’re stuck in the 1950’s.
Despite wave after wave of feminism, society still thinks of weddings as the bride’s glittery rainbow day. This is the one day she’s been waiting for her whole life. It’s the day she gets to be Princess Shinylocks Man-Nabber, Belle of the Ball. This isn’t just a party, it’s the only party in her life that’s ever going to matter. It’s the pinnacle of her achievements as a woman, a time to show off her trim figure and exquisite taste, before she rockets down the hill of stretch marks and minivans. It is her day.
Y’all, this is ridiculous. I know I’m about to be shunned by the entire wedding industry, but I don’t even think this should be an industry. People should get married, have a party with their nearest and dearest, then continue to joyfully boogie down every day of their lives thereafter. It’s not my fancy duchess day. It’s the day I’m going to marry the love of my life and celebrate! How I choose to do so is not indicative of my value as a woman. If I want to have hamburgers and a short dress, then so be it, because it’s just – gasp! – a party.
Darling wedding guests who will never read this blog, let’s make an agreement. I’ll provide a good time and great cake, if you don’t give my centerpieces the side-eye. If you or yours get married, I promise to be just as joyful a guest.