Why Weddings Have Become Meaningless Displays Of Pretense For Gen-Y
It's the most important day of her life; the day she's dreamed of since she was a little girl; the day her life as a woman officially commences; her big day…
It's her wedding day.
What was once a paramount, sacred tradition that enabled a couple united by love to become joined together for life has now become little more than a grand exhibition of wealth.
In today's society, this oh-so-special day has actually morphed into a sort of contest, and even can be considered a spectacle in a way.
Every bride-to-be believes that her wedding will outshine everyone else's, and the obsession with how perfect things will be for others has surpassed the importance of the personal significance of this (hopefully) once in a lifetime milestone.
What was meant to be one of the happiest days of a hopelessly romantic couple's life has become a practice in personal advertising to communicate the message: “Here we are, happily in love, and here is the carefully crafted wedding to prove it!”
Many couples believe that the more money they spend on this one-day event, the likely it will be a success and leave guests feeling satisfied. Weddings have become events for impressing others, instead of a celebration of the couple's love.
The wedding industry has greatly expanded over the years, becoming a multi-million dollar industry that most brides and grooms buy into.
Of course, everyone deserves a beautiful wedding, but isn't financial security and a debt-free future with your new partner better than spending all of your money on a wedding just to impress others?
The amount of money that is spent on excessive weddings can be used to supply the down payments for a home. Purchasing a home is an important step to building a future together and is not on a one-day event that everyone forgets about after anyway.
Details including the bride's dress, the invitations, the venue, the menu, the cake, seating arrangements, and even those photos meticulously placed around the venue have all been cautiously directed, hand-crafted and planned. Not only is everything perfectly planned, it's practically staged.
The entrance of the bridal party and groomsmen, the entrance and introduction of the bride and groom, the first dance, the eventual serving of the food, the toasts, the father/daughter dance, the cake cutting, the bouquet and garter toss, etc., etc.
These repetitive and generic wedding traditions make the receptions into really long, orchestrated and scheduled events, where you always find yourself as a guest wondering when the polite time to leave is.
The sad part is that when you really think of it, weddings do not reflect the reality of what they are supposed to mark, which is the beginning of a marriage and the joining and commencement of two people's lives together surrounded by their closest friends and families.
It's usually the opposite. People attending weddings these days have a sort of expectation, sort of like when people go to Las Vegas and just expect to come back with large winnings.
Most of the time these people aren't even that close to the bride and groom, and are the ones criticizing every detail that was so carefully planned.
They might say the wedding dress is ugly, or the food sucks, or even complain about the décor. Most of the haters at weddings were only invited out of obligation to parents and other relatives.
These guests do not even truly matter to the bride and groom, but unhappy guests want everyone to know how much they are not enjoying the wedding.
The real purpose of a wedding reception should be to let the bride and groom celebrate their love and happiness with their guests (who should be actual family members and close relatives and real friends), as they have a bite to eat and get congratulated.
If the regimentation and control of every little detail of the event were lost, people (including the bride and groom) could actually enjoy themselves. I feel that weddings consist of a lot of waiting for the most part.
Waiting for the bride and groom to enter, waiting for the food to be served, waiting for the dance floor to open up…
The media has played a large part in creating the pressure to have large, impressive weddings. Reality shows such as TLC's “Say Yes to the Dress,” and the ultra-shallow “Four Weddings,” which features four brides who attend each other's weddings and literally rip apart each one, encourage brides-to-be to plan the most expensive and extravagant events imaginable.
If you need an example of how scary wedding culture has actually become, look no further than this scene that played out during “Four Weddings” where a contestant once rated another bride's wedding a four out of 10 because she “got food stuck in between her teeth.”
Add the reality TV created “Bridezilla” mentality to the already stressful process of wedding planning, and brides feel that it is their duty to become complete B****** to ensure that everything goes their way and their weddings impress highly critical guests.
Brides literally obsess over precision planning, even though in the end, every single wedding is pretty much the same. Brides pick practically the same dresses, color schemes and floral arrangements, and most even choose nearly identical playlists.
Instead of brides glowing with happiness, they are actually most likely exhausted from getting no sleep the night before and having to wake up at 6 a.m. for to make sure their heir hair and makeup look perfect.
So in all this pre-meditated glitz and glamour that is used just to impress, the actual act of marriage and its meaning get lost in the craziness.
I'm not saying that all brides should get married in their backyards and serve hotdogs as a sign of their love, but I am saying that brides and grooms alike should not forget the reason behind the event that they are celebrating.
So please brides-to-be and friends of brides-to-be, reconsider your reasoning for planning over-the-top weddings and stop to think about what's truly important.
Top Photo Credit: Bride and Groom via Shutterstock