There once were 10 couples who did almost everything together. Some divorced and remarried, most had children and some couldn't. We spent weekends together, we holidayed together, we raised our children together. Now we're spread across two states and two of us have lost our husbands another has happily remarried. One couple rarely keep in touch. But, for about 10-12 years of our lives our children were born within a short time of each other, they grew up together and we were in every way 'tight'. So, the first to get married is my best friend's son.
Yep, received a wedding invitation for March. They've been together for four years, living together for about 8 months and time has come to tie the knot. I love this boy and I like his choice of bride but was surprised a little that he's gone down the conventional wedding path.
This got me thinking about weddings (not marriage) and there relevance to Gen Y. Whilst I'm over the moon and delighted to be part of his celebration, I can't help thinking that perhaps they do something more constructive with the money. So much to consider with weddings, especially when your folks are paying the bill:
First, there's the guest list. Big family vs small family, work friends vs old friends, demands of in-laws and parents, who makes the list? Do you include children, girlfriends and boyfriends? Adam was invited, but his girlfriend of 3 years (who both the bride and groom know very well) was not. I know they're mindful of numbers but . . .seems a little odd.
Then who pays for who? I have this rather old fashioned thing that if you move out and live together, you pay for your own wedding. OK, I'll buy the booze or help with the caterers but hey? You're grown up enough to work, vote, fight . . why do you need your folks to pay for your party?
I also think that you should do it your way. Just because Aunt Mable sends you a crocheted tea towel for Christmas doesn't warrant an invitation or her condemnation because you want to get married on a beach or not wear shoes. If you're paying for the gig, invite who you like. If you're not . . well I guess you have to suck it and see. Dress how you like and be as conventional or as bohemian as you like. Again the proviso being that if your event is being paid for by someone else, you are subject to their whims. With sponsorship, come conditions and demands.
Where to have the ceremony? OK you're not religious but you want a church wedding because that little Chapel in the Rocks looks oh so beautiful for your photos and Elton John married a girl there even though he's a screaming queen (this is not the venue chosen for this particular wedding by the way, they're not doing the Church thing) If you don't believe in God, why marry in a Church? I actually understand Cleric's points of view on this. I married a Catholic and so there were certain 'conditions' but I loved him and it was important to him so I conceded. But a Church wedding would not have been my choice. My sister was married in our garden, it was lovely, heartfelt and truthful.
Gift registries. Now I know that receiving a smashed alabaster telephone wasn't the highlight of my wedding. Nor were the three toasters and golf trophy towel sets with bath towels so small they'd barely dry a Bichon Frise, so I guess a gift registry has merit but keep it realistic. A plate of Chicken Cordon Bleu and soggy vegetables and half a bottle of spumante does not equate to a full set of Royal Doulton China so leave some alternatives for the cheapskates. Personally I think a Bamix is very handy. I hasten to add that this is not 'wedding specific' this particular wedding will be very well stocked in the wine department thanks to the fine taste of the Groom's father.
The gear. Now my wedding dress and bridesmaids outfits cost less than the shoes. Thanks to Thommo who made the lot. All I did was a few hems. Baby sis spent about $3000 on her dress, worn once. Of course for the men it's not about the get-up, they do as they're told and hire the appropriate suits. The biggest expense a new pair of shoes, tie or buttonhole. Sometimes men make sense. Take it easy . . not often . . .sometimes!
The Reception. I had mine at home on a property that we'd only moved into six months prior. We prettied up where the garage would eventually be with a marquee and had very simple catering. My enduring memory was me with 'The Dress' tucked in my knickers whilst doing the time warp and Uncle Jack whining because we were partying too late.
Two of my siblings also had weddings at home in varying degrees of salubrity but they were all pretty cool and moderately inexpensive. So I don't get the expensive 'reception' thing with beautiful tables and an 11pm curfew. The last wedding I went to, must have cost close to $10,000 that's two first-class round the world tickets AND accommodation in my book. And I pinched the table centre because it was so pretty and couldn't bear to see it go into the bin.
Photographs - these days the ceremony takes place around 4 or 5. The Reception venue is rarely available until 6 or 7 so all the guests go and get pissed at the club while the happy couple have an hour of photos . . hang on . . that's an awesome idea . .cuts down on the open bar. Clearly invented by the groom's family. Then you have a wonderful CD with mushy music and a lovely black and white mood print hanging over your bedhead to remind you through the years how slim and young you looked as your whole body goes south and your sexual positions change to incorporate the missionary position because lying on your back makes you look younger (God did I say that?). I spent far too much on my wedding photos which are unceremoniously stuck in the top of my wardrobe and never regarded.
All in all, I think weddings are a scam. This particular groom booked a '50th birthday' and received a discounted reception. Had he booked a wedding reception, they'd have hoicked up the price. Savvy kid our 'Frank.'*
Right, your turn . . . did you pay for your wedding? Did you have one? Was it formal? Casual? Would you do/ have done it differently if you had control? I'd love to hear your stories. Spill . . .go on . . .
* Not his real name.
Some of you will have seen this before but it still makes me smile:
Bless you Frank and Binnie. We're really looking forward to being part of your special day and drinking your dad's booze! Oh and we accept the invitation . . the Bainos are bombarding!