- 8 years ago
I understand why marriage is a big deal and why brides and grooms want to celebrate it with a party for family and friends. What I don’t get is how do you go from that to months, if not years, of planning every detail of this party.
I come from a culture where weddings work like this: the couple decides to get married, rents a space, buys a dress and suit, gets food and music and informally invites the guests. Then they eat, dance, and party. Note what this includes: celebrating with family and friends. And what it excludes: all the inconsequential details like favors, flowers, decor, invitations, save the dates, bridesmaids, playlists, do-not-play lists, the “perfect” photographer, the “theme” of the wedding, escort cards, corsages…you get the idea.
I’ve had a few friends and relatives ask me why our engagement is so long – anything more than a month or two sounds crazy to them. “What could you possibly be planning?”, they ask. When I run down my to-do list, they struggle to understand why these details even matter. So I am struggling with this question: why do we feel compelled to pour time and effort into all this STUFF that is not important to the central point of the day – celebrating with our guests?
Here is one hypothesis I have: Even in the US, a couple hundred of years ago, only the very rich had these big coordinated weddings – most people just got together and partied. Meanwhile, the upper classes spent ever more time and money to “outdo” each other in the parties they threw. As time went on, the general population has improved their standard of living, and things that used to be considered luxuries (going out to eat, leisure activities and vacations, etc), became widespread. So the elaborate wedding with bells and whistles became a standard for most of society.
Do you agree or are there other explanations for how we got from an evening of food and dance to these complex, year-long affairs? And is it a good thing or a bad thing that weddings and wedding planning are so much more intense than they used to be in the past (and still are in some countries)?
PS I’m not hating on weddings with lots of attention to detail as I am planning one myself…but just questioning why we all do this 🙂