I recently read an article on Total Sorority Move that finally put into words a sentiment I’ve been feeling since I started planning and coordinating weddings.
I do not want a wedding.
Disclaimer: I am obsessed with other people's weddings and always will be. So emotional, so picturesque. I have about eight different wedding boards on Pinterest, because it helps me do my job. The design and coordination part is something I will always enjoy doing, for others. And I'm aware that if everyone else felt the same way I do, I'd be out of a job. But we are all entitled to an opinion, and this is mine, about my own life.
My tagline since I became a coordinator is that I know this is the job for me because ever since I was a little girl, I always planned other people’s weddings in my head, but never my own. And to this day, I have the absolute hardest time envisioning my own special day.
Of course I want to get married, I think that there’s nothing more important than binding yourself to the one person you love for eternity, but I am skeptical about the wedding aspect, and honestly after seeing so many weddings take place as my occupation, I feel even more strongly about that.
Weddings are awkward.
From the very beginning they start out uncomfortably because there’s always a debate on who gets invited. Unless you can afford a million-dollar wedding and therefore you can invite every single person that crosses you and your fiancé’s, and your subsequent parents’ minds, you’re going to have to cut some people from the list and it’s going to be a problem. It’s like birthday parties from childhood where you really shouldn’t have to invite anyone you don’t want to invite, because it’s your day after all, but then you feel obligated to.
Weddings are expensive.
Oh my god. Before I was a coordinator, I really did not have any idea how much an average wedding cost. Honestly. Not your super budget, DIY wedding, and not your E! Wedding Special, but your standard, normal, wedding. Thinking about how much money these people spend on the flowers that literally don’t even make it past the ceremony, to the food that is average at best, regardless of how expensive or prestigious your caterer is, to the amount of money spent on bridal party bonding and gifts, it makes me want to barf. If my family or my fiance’s family is going to shell out that much for a five-hour event, I would much rather take that money and go on a cruise or three with my new husband and forget the party.
Emily’s article in TSM brought up the issue of wearing white and how it symbolizes purity and that whole situation. Well, frankly, I’m a very pale person and regardless of the status of my virginity, I would not want to wear white on my wedding day because I would look like a corpse. But then Pinterest and Instagram would have a heart attack if I didn't emulate the perfect bride on my wedding day and the few judge-y spectators that we felt obligated to invite would presume things about my perceived purity, which is no one’s business but my own.
The bridal party.
I know people who have had 12 or more bridesmaids. Again, mind-blown. You know that many people? You like that many people? You like that many people to spend money to ask them to be a part of your big day, buy them cutesy matching bridesmaids gifts, and put up with the dynamic of that chosen group for the months leading up to your wedding? Well bless your heart honey, but no thank you. I also know people who’ve only had a few bridesmaids, even one, or none! Obviously it doesn’t matter the number, but again, it’s the awkwardness that comes with it. Who do you ask? Are you forced to ask someone you’re not as close with to even out the numbers between bridesmaids and the groomsmen? Do you feel obligated to have someone be your bridesmaid because they asked you to be theirs? Not for me.
The emotional roller coaster.
I have started bawling just thinking about the potential of a first dance with my dad. My family thinks it’s hilarious and they can attest to this happening. I’m literally tearing up as I write this. When I do a wedding, and the bride walks down the aisle with her dad, I cannot stop myself from crying and this is literally a woman I met 24-hours prior. What the hell am I going to do when it’s my own father who I love and care about dearly, who has to “give me away?” Or when I have to dance with him at the reception? It’s not a photo opportunity because I would be sobbing so hard. At best, it will be something to laugh at when I’ve finally recovered from the emotional trauma of breaking down in front of 150 people.
I am going to be in love with my fiancé, or otherwise we wouldn’t be getting married. But what I want to vow to him when we become bound to each other for eternity, is not something that I feel other people should be a part of. Think about any intimate or deep conversations you’ve had with your significant other, are your coworkers also sitting there? How about his teammates from college? Oh, your great-aunt? Feel uncomfortable yet? Obviously, our loved ones are going to know that we care deeply and immensely for each other if we’re getting legally joined, but we don’t need to prove it in front of them.
I would rather spoon my own eyes out than participate in the garter retrieval and toss tradition of a wedding. My mother and I have had this conversation and she agrees with me. It’s so uncomfortable. Yeah, here new husband, stick your whole face up my skirt in front of our families. Lovely. I think I’ve made my point.
As a wedding coordinator, I find great joy and a sense of accomplishment and pride when I pull off an awesome wedding. My clients are always super happy and grateful, and I’m glad that I made their special day the best it could be. But this is a day that they actively chose to have, and I am in the process of actively deciding I want nothing like that when the time comes. I don't think any less of anyone because they chose to do the same thing that 2.3 million other couples in America do a year (thanks Sound Vision).
Marriage is a beautiful thing and I know that in other parts of the world, there are people who are forced to be married, sometimes at half the age I am now. I’m also aware that in America, marriage is a right that people fought for years and years to have, so I’m fully aware of the privilege I have to make this decision one way or another.
However, a marriage has nothing to do with a wedding. You can have a beautiful wedding with all the decorations and flowers you want, but at the end of the night, it’s just you and the person you married. I would much rather put my time and effort into building a strong relationship and an even stronger life together, than worrying that I don’t have enough mason jars or wine corks for my centerpieces that some wedding coordinator will break anyway.