Post # 1
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
The man and I had a long talk last night about priorities – after (of all things) seeing He’s Just Not That In To You at the theatre. (Have you seen it?) If you haven’t, it’s pretty good. What I’m about to say isn’t a spoiler, don’t worry.
One of the couples they deal with is played by Jennifer Aniston and Ben Affleck, and the problem Jennifer has is that they’ve been together for 7 years, and no ring. But Ben doesn’t believe in marriage, and he gives a great speech as to why he doesn’t – he loves her and is totally committed, but sees no reason to have to ‘show that off’ to the whole world, when they’re perfectly happy as they are. (He also said something about ‘why should I pay $45 to the state just so I can continue to do what we’re already doing’) He had lots of great examples – I’ll let you see the movie and see for yourself.
But the point is, the man feels that way. Not that he doesn’t believe in marriage necessarily, but why have all the fuss? Why not just be together? I feel that way about weddings too. I understand that it’s great for family and friends and it’s a big celebration of love, a wonderful party to enjoy and remember forever. And part of me wants that. But the rest of me wants bigger things in life:
A great honeymoon/other vacations.
Student loans paid off.
Cars paid off.
A solid savings for the future, so that any children we have down the road will be brought in to a comfortable, established home.
None of those things involve a $10,000 party. So we definitely have some thinking to do. We don’t want anyone’s feelings to be hurt, and we DO want to see our friends (especially those from far away who would travel). One option is to visit them and have a lower key non-wedding party with them. There are lots of options to consider.
I don’t know that I really had a question here… but please say your thoughts. Did you and your fiance sit down and discuss weddings and priorities, or have you always just known that you would have a wedding? Is paying for your wedding going to keep you more quickly acheiving other things you strive for in life? And if so, how do you deal with that (I’m not being snarky, I swear, I’m really honestly asking, because I don’t know myself). (And on an offshoot, have you seen He’s Just Not That In To You? I thought it was cute.)
Post # 3
I haven’t seen the movie, but I have to say I don’t understand people like the Ben Affleck character, which is fine. I just can’t imagine calling my soon-to-be-husband my "boyfriend" for the next 50 years because he doesn’t want to pay the state $45. Our wedding is a priority because I believe that a marriage is a way to tell the world: this is the person I am choosing to be my family; the most important person in my life; the one I am positive I want to be with every day. The words husband and wife send a powerful message to people, and mean something more than boyfriend or girlfriend. That is how I feel anyway.
Like a lot of people (women especially, I think) my mother and I (I’m her only daughter) have some strong ideas about what the wedding should be and those ideas cost money. I’m lucky to have lots of people to help pay for the wedding; but I would have gotten married at the court house on a weekday after work if I had to. The wedding is not what’s important to me, it’s the message that the marriage sends out to the world that’s important to me.
Post # 4
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
ES123 – idon’t understand people like that either- I too would hate to call my man ‘boyfriend’ or ‘partner’ for the next 50 years. $50, $100, even $500 is enough to pay for the marriage itself.. but the wedding… meh, I just don’t know. I’m the only child in my family… but both of our families have a history of courthouse marriage (versus wedding).
Post # 5
I’m not paying for the wedding, so I didn’t vote. I’m my mom’s only child, so I think she wouldn’t be AS happy if we didn’t have some kind of wedding for family at least. We’re getting some money from the FFIL too, but right now we’re planning to put that towards the honeymoon, unless the wedding gets a lot higher than anticipated, in which case we’ll help with the cost of the wedding itself.
I definitely don’t agree with Ben Affleck’s character! Apart from the not calling my FH "boyfriend" or some such forever (I was SO glad I when I got my ring and could say fiance, bf just sounds so childish!), to me, getting married is a LOT bigger commitment, no matter how little difference it really makes in your living situation. And by having a wedding, and including other people, I have all these people that are a part of my marriage in a way. Everyone I’m inviting (pretty much) are people I’d feel comfortable going to for help if I needed advice. And I think that if you’re married you’ll think twice about splitting up when you might not otherwise, even if you’d been together forever. My parents got married too young, and got divorced pretty quickly over fairly minor issues, just because they didn’t think getting divorced was THAT big of a deal. I think it’s a huge deal, so by adding those extra layers of commitment and public vows and all, I’m helping insure we won’t back out when things get tough withour at least really thinking through whether that’s what we really want to do.
I’m also looking forward to getting his health insurance and all, it’s SO much better than mine. And don’t you get some kind of tax breaks or something?
Post # 6
For $45 (or however much the license may be in your area), the institution of marriage guarantees a couple 1,138 federal rights, protections and benefits in the United States. Those who are unable to marry are denied those benefits. Just saying… no matter what your behavior whether unmarried or married, the government definitely sees it differently. So does a medical institution like a hospital– partners and significant others don’t have the same rights as spouses.
The marriage is important to us for personal reasons as well; we’re happy to pay that minimal fee, and are lucky that we can even have the freedom to marry each other when so many people are denied that right.
The wedding? not a priority in the grand scheme of things. I think his mom would be the most disappointed, and my dad because he’d really like to walk me down the aisle. We’re paying for it ourselves, and are lucky enough that we’ve been saving for some time and can afford it. that’s basically why we’re having it– it’s nice to be able to throw a fun party for the people we love, to celebrate an important occasion.
If it meant the difference between getting our dream house with that extra money on the downpayment, vs a dream wedding and sucky house, we’d go for the dream house and have a casual housewarming/reception for our friends and family. (Unfortunately the wedding money wouldn’t go that far towards our house, but we can always dream, right?)
Post # 7
I am paying for my wedding 100% by myself. My FI is paying for the e-ring…but the rest is all me.
I thought about what you’re saying…is it worth $23k just to say "Hey, we’re staying together forever…" and I think it is. Both of my brothers had wedding budgets under $1000. And we attended, and they were nice. But they both wished they could have done more, and they both want to "redo" it. I have the unhappy fortune of being my family’s "Great White Hope." That is, I’m the "successful" one. I’m the first to go to college. I’m living 2,000 miles away on my own, with no financial assistance needed. I’m making it on my own, and advancing in my career. And my family constantly reminds me about it. Part of my wedding is honoring the family that has supported me and cheered me on. Part of it is my own desires: I want the dress and the cake and the whole big thing. Why? Because I earned it. Because it is a culmination of my hard work. Another part is that I am honoring my FI. And I suppose, if I am honest with myself, that part of it is me showing off. Showing myself and my family that yes, I did succeed. Did any of that make sense to anyone???
Post # 8
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
@Liz.smith – good insights! I definitely agree that marriage adds another layer of commitment. I think that Ben’s character starts to change his tune in the movie, when talking to an unhappily married friend who says "the only thing men are thinking when they get married, is how many women they’re missing out on". And Ben says "but she’s the only one I want to be with." I got married young and divorced quickly too (like you mentioned your parents). I didn’t have children and didn’t see it as such a big deal. I think I’ve matured a LOT since then, and now see it as a lifetime commitment that takes a lot of effort and mutual compromise and understanding to pull of.
@renaissancetrophywife – I definitely see that point of view (I even thought of that during the movie, it is NOT the same. It’s much more difficult to be a ‘partner’ (as many homosexual couples unfortunately are still experiencing in this country) than it is to be a wife/husband to someone, in terms of legality and health, at least. The man and I are fortunate in that we both have stable jobs at a company with good benefits, so I don’t generally think about it from the health angle, but it did hit me hard once when we went to the emergency room, and I was worried they wouldnt’ let me stay with him because we’re not family. We too are happy that we’re allowed to be married, when so many deserving couples are not. And yeah, for us I think it would mean the difference between renting (at a VERY high rate) for another 2 years, or buying a home (downpayment) with the money we’d spend on a wedding. Even a cheap wedding is money we’ve been saving for months – money that could be closing costs, or a new washer/dryer, or all sorts of more practical things. Then again, my friend says "why have money if you don’t spend it on anything fun?" And I do take that advice to heart, too.
@mightysapphire – it makes PERFECT sense to me. We’re both in kind of the same boat as you. And part of me wants to throw a really fancy, through the roof shindig that’ll show everyone that "hey, we’re doing great. We’re happy, we’re successful, and we want you all to party with us so we can thank you all for your support." The showing off… yes I’m totally guilty of that. I’m a little worried that by not having a wedding, people will be perplexed because they know we can afford it. On the other hand, I don’t think anyone would be too surprised. We’re a very private couple. So yeah.. I dunno. I just want to be married to my man. My first wedding was not a big deal… $500 and I wore a bridesmaids dress that was champagne colored. FOr a while, I wished I’d done it bigger and better, but now that I’m older, I wish for more solid things, like a home to call my own and secure future.
Thanks everyone for your insightful comments! I do want to clarify so no one gets too worried about me: I DO NOT agree with the Ben character’s hate for marriage in the movie. I do agree with his feelings on weddings (or apply his feelings on marriage to just weddings). I very much love the idea of marriage and all that it means. But Weddings… I dunno.
Post # 9
It’s definitely an internal struggle I have with myself! I’ve thought all the same things – I could take this money and get a house. But for me, I think I would always regret not having some kind of celebration – the type of which would cost a lot of money. As my fiancee said, we really do have years and years to save for a house. But in 30 years we can’t really have the same kind of party we’d want to have now. 30 might be an exaggeration, but I hope you get my point.
Post # 10
Believe it or not, the wedding is actually more of his thing than mine. He has a big family that loves and cares about weddings, while my family is small and not so close. If I eloped, most of my family wouldn’t notice until I saw them at christmas!!!
Post # 11
- Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall
@scheerintraining – that’s kind of the case for us too. We’re actually going to ask his most important relatives how important it is to them. If it’s tres important, we’ll have to have the wedding.
Post # 12
I’m with the PP who said this whole thing was more her groom’s than hers.
I never really thought I’d get married. And I never dreamed about my wedding growing up. Don’t get me wrong, I love and am fully committed to my man. We own a home together and are fully integrated into each other’s lives. But I’d be just as happy to register as domestic partners and live forever in the same situation that we’re in now.
But marriage was really important to my finance. (By the way I HATE calling him my finance and only do it online for clarity. In my real life I still call him my boyfriend).
So after several conversations I told him that if he really wanted to be married then I would do it as soon as we were financially stable. About a year after we bought our house, he proposed (although I forbid him to buy me a ring).
I still wanted to have a simple courthouse ceremony followed by a nice dinner with our families. But he insisted on a "real" wedding.
So we compromised and are having an in-country destination wedding for about $10K. It’s still more than I would want to spend on just one day and just one party. But it’s something we can afford to do, and I think we’ll have a great time.
Post # 13
The wedding has NEVER being our priority…we buy things here and there…we’re having it at my parents house and it’s for about 50 people. The entire world will know soon enough we got married but we’re not going into debt to let them know.
Your choices are too specific but if I had to select one it would be family…we’re having a church wedding to make everyone happy.
P.S. I’m also at the groom’s wishes…lol… he wants the wedding more than i do.
Post # 14
I have some complex feelings about marriage and our wedding. My parents are paying for our wedding (and we are conributing a small amount). The thought of spending 50K on one day makes me feel a little sick. Like everyone else, I think the money would be better spend on a downpaymenf for a house, paying off my student loans, saving for the future, etc.
I proposed the idea of a low key small island wedding. My parents did not go for it. My FI and his family really voted for this option.
BUT the other part of me has always wanted a fairy tale wedding….
At the end of the day, we realized that although the wedding is mostly about "us" it is also about our families and friends who have been with us, routing for us for the last almost-decade. We ultimately want to share our special day with all of them.
So, it is a prority for us, in the sense that we are psyched to have a big party with all of our family and friends and are planning it with the help of our parents (well, mostly mine.)
On the issue of the marriage itself, I feel very strongly about the commitment. It is not a religious thing for me. I just believe that once you speak the vows your relationship has a new meaning. My FI, on the other hand, feels that it is more of a formality. He feels like we have been "committed" and therefore "married’ on some level for the past several years. He ultimately does think that making it official is important but would probably have been happy with a courthouse marriage. On the one hand, I think the whole "we don’t need a certificate to prove our love and commitment" is sweet. On the other hand, I think it is something guys say when they don’t want to deal with the hassle of planning a wedding!
Post # 15
The wedding thing was more my FI’s idea than mine because I am more practical. I am lucky that my parents are footing most of the bill for the wedding. My FI and I are just picking up odds and ends and the honeymoon. I hope to be able to pay my mom and dad back for some of the wedding expenses. I am sure we will look back on this day and always smile because we had a great time!