Post # 1
A friend of mine recently got engaged. I’ll call her Jane. I’m really happy for her, and she’s the happiest I’ve seen her in a long, long time. I have a few reservations about it because she’s only been dating the guy a few months (though they’ve been BFFs for almost a decade), but she has a really good head on her shoulders, and I trust that she knows what she’s doing. She’s not one to make big decisions like this lightly.
Anyway, yesterday she posted on Facebook two possible wedding dates: one next May and one next December. She asked for opinions from the peanut gallery. Most people were saying that May would be best. She left a comment that said, “For the record FI was pushing for May, I am inclined to start agreeing. I am already sick and tired of thinking about [the wedding].”
A couple hours later, some guy responded, “Jane, based on my experience getting couples ready, if you’re saying ‘I am already sick and tired of thinking about it,’ then you are seriously not ready to get married. You’re doing it for the wrong reason. Wait until December or this won’t last.”
When I woke up this morning and saw it, I commented again and said that I hadn’t realized that not being ready to plan a wedding meant she wasn’t ready for marriage. “Last time I checked,” I said, “a wedding did not equal the marriage itself.”
Not long afterward, someone else commented: “Though over-stated, there is a positive correlation between happy marriage and complex wedding planning. Wedding planning introduces stresses common to a marriage but not necessarily common to dating, and therefore it provides certain prepatory experiences (financial balancing, dealing with in-laws, compromising for each others’ deeply held preferences and cultural differences, dealing with in-laws, taking a look at your relation with bridesmaids/groomsmen/guest-list and how those external relationships will change once married, dealing with in-laws…). The ceremony itself is also of great significance and can really start things off on the right foot (or the two left feet, depending on who your dance instructor is!).”
Post # 3
- Wedding: May 2012 - Salvage One, Chicago
I think the simplest answer is: you can’t generalize.
Post # 4
This is nonsense. Ask him to show you the statistical data that backs up his claims.
From my personal experience: I HATED wedding planning. But both Darling Husband and I love being married. We haven’t had an argument since the wedding planning is over.
Post # 5
While I can sort of understand why they would see a link between the two, at the same time that person has to realize that everyone has different circumstances.
If Fiance and I had headed down to the courthouse the week after we got engaged, I don’t think we’d be any less prepared for marriage than we are less than a month away from our “big” wedding. All of the things that the last comment pointed out, we’ve dealt with before wedding planning. We’ve lived together for awhile, so there’s financial balancing. His father lived with us for 6 months, so if that doesn’t count for dealing with in-laws I don’t know what does. Most of our bridesmaids/groomsmen are already married (we’re late bloomers apparently), so we’ve been able to experience how relationships change after marriage.
Yes, wedding planning HAS brought us closer together, but I don’t think a girl not wanting to dive head first into the circus that is wedding planning means she isn’t ready to get married. I fully agree that the wedding doesn’t equal the marriage.
Post # 6
to all this i will say what my Fiance said to me when we have issues with wedding planning… ” I dont want a wedding.. I want to marry you, a wedding is a way to have that happen with our friends and family involved..but I would elope just as quick as long as I get to be your husband”
I think that should sum it up Fully
Post # 7
@AprilJo2011: I already did, and the second commenter just responded, “I cannot recall the specific study (aside from anecdotes, of course). A quick JSTOR search for terms like “wedding marriage divorce correlation” turns up interesting studies, usually contrasting the related issue of cohabitation prior to m…arriage vs. cohabitation after marriage; a 1983 study by Roy E.L. Watson suggests my argument in the implications section of his paper, “Premarital Cohabitation vs. Traditional Courtship: Their Effects on Subsequent Marital Adjustment,” Family Relations 32(1): 139-147. It would be nice to find something dealing closer with our cohort, though.”
Not every woman is born an event planner. Personally, I’ve loved the wedding planning process, but I know not everyone does – and yet plenty of them end up happily married. I can definitely understand some of the arguments the second poster makes, but there are other ways to deal with and learn about those issues.
Jane, especially, has some extra stress put on her because her family is full of crazy.
Post # 8
Blowing off some steam by casually commenting that you’re “sick and tired” isn’t an indication of anything other than your feelings at that moment. I’d say that your friend’s ability to communicate her stress in a non-threatening way bodes well for her communication during the stressful times of marriage. Actually, I wouldn’t say any of that, because reading into that simple statement is completely ridiculous.
Post # 9
I think that’s ridiculous – and I had a 27-month engagement. Like you said, not every woman is a born event planner. If she and her Fiance know that having a smaller wedding (timeline and budget) is what’s best for them, that’s cool.
If there are any statistics attached – I’d be more inclined to believe that ‘shotgun’ weddings are a contributing factor – the couple who runs off to Vegas after two weeks of dating. the 17-year olds rebelling against their parents – things like that where the couple decided on more of an impulse vs. really discussing if they felt ready for marriage.
Post # 10
@JBing: Good answer.
Darling Husband and I did learn a lot through the wedding process and it was very valuable to us, but our marriage wouldn’t have been doomed to fail if we would have just eloped! If that’s the only difference between a succesful and an unsuccessful marriage, the divorce statistics would look a lot different!
Post # 11
I think it’s bull.
I do understand that dealing with wedding stress together can be beneficial to your relationship and potentially could help you learn how to work through problems, but I honestly don’t think it’s any indicator of whether or not your marriage will be successful.
I’ve always thought the opposite way – the women who get SO involved with details and wanting things to be perfect make me think they’re more interested in the wedding than the actual marriage.
Post # 12
The person who responded to your comment worded it in a better way that I could agree with. I agree that planning a wedding does introduce a lot of new stress and is a BIG test on the relationship, BUT I don’t think that if you’re not into/excited about planning a big wedding/don’t want to doesn’t mean your relationship won’t last. I haven’t met a married girl who said she enjoyed the wedding planning process and wished it’d lasted longer. All of my friends, myself included, can not wait to “get it over with”. We are ready to have our free time back and be happily married with a life again.
Post # 13
Whoa, whoa, whoa… I totally disagree with comment guy. I understand how she feels about being “sick and tired of thinking about the wedding.” Just because she doesn’t want to plan the event, does not mean she doesn’t want the marriage. I think it just happens that women generally like event planning, so this guy drew up this strange happy planning=happy marriage correlation. For one, wedding planning is stressful – mentally, physically, and financially. I believe as long as your friend isn’t stressed about it emotionally, then there’s nothing abnormal going on.
I’m almost hesitant to say this because I know there’ll be bee backlash, but I’m going to say it anyway. I often feel that women who are too invested in the wedding planning lose sight of the big picture. And then after the planning and big day are over, reality sets back in and they realize they now have a marriage to work on. I’m not saying all women who love planning are like this, but it happens more often than you think.
Post # 14
I think the whole thing is ridiculous, and what irks me the most is people like that who think Facebook is an open forum to post unwanted and unwarranted opinions or insults on other people’s status updates or photos. Would they actually say that stuff to someone in real life? So why does hiding behind a computer screen make it okay? Grrr.
Post # 15
I have a lot of things I want to say, but I’m going to refrain for the moment. I just texted Jane to ask her permission before really turning her Facebook wall into a huge debate.
Post # 16
This guy just sounds like a know-it-all who likes to facebook argue. Please. If you say on facebook “Ugh, I really don’t want to go to work today” does that mean you’re not ready to have the responsibility of a job? No, it probably just means you’re mildly stressed and venting. Why does everything need to be picked apart?