Regarding weddings

We got married in a French castle. Lavish and all. I am very grateful to my parents in law who paid and took care for everything. That was really amazing on their part, and I can’t thank them enough!

If I could go back in time though, and if it was my decision alone, I would just do the town-hall wedding, with 5-6 of the most closer-to-us guests and be done with it. I just don’t see the point of expensive weddings. “Γαμος τρικουβερτος” my mother says to describe big weddings. And I ask you, why? Why spend a fortune for such a thing, when you can keep the money and educate your future children in a better college? Or buy a house, or a new car?

Sorry, I just don’t see the big deal over the whole wedding thing. I was never one of these women who dream of their wedding day: I picked my wedding dress within 10 minutes, 1 week before the wedding (because I had just arrived in France). Heck, my mother and my mother in law, present at the store that day, couldn’t make their own minds which wedding dress they wanted for me, rather than ME having such a hard time deciding. I just find all that superficial. What really mattered to me was to find my one true love and be with him (which I did). I guess, I like things to be simple, I don’t particularly like formalities.

Then, there’s the other thing: many parents (like my own parents for my brother’s wedding) are pushing for a big wedding because it’s a social status thing. The bigger the wedding, the more “respected” you are as a family man (let alone that my parents divorced 2 years later 😛 😛 ). Well, yeah, that’s cool and all, but thing is, why should the couple be your sacrificing goat? There were people at my brother’s wedding that the couple never met before (e.g. the elected senator for our periphery, that my father invited). At the end, in many such weddings, it’s the parent’s party rather than the kids’.

Some will bring the “have a celebration, bring the two families together”, argument, but I don’t buy it. I had a good time at my wedding, sure, and I am sure the guests did too. But it’s not something I would want to spend thousands of dollars/euros at. Even when calculating-in the wedding gifts, you’ll still be at a great financial loss. Heck, most of the guests are probably going to get so drunk, that they wouldn’t remember whose wedding that was. Case in point, we haven’t watched our wedding video more than once, and I have no clue where our wedding pics are located in our house.

So my advice to you youngsters out there: don’t do a big wedding. Go marry in a town hall with up-to-10 of your closest friends/family, and then, during the next months, just invite over on weekends the rest of the family/friends for barbecues or dinners at your home. This way you will get more personal time with them to talk about your plans and your life together with your new spouse, rather than one big crazy party where everyone’s drunk. That’s what I would do now that I am older and wiser (and if it was my decision, JBQ likes the formalities of a big wedding for example).

11 Comments »

Ivan wrote on July 15th, 2009 at 9:10 PM PST:

I agree with you on this one! When I got married, for my dad it was a chance to bring the extended family and friends together at a pleasant moment. (As the family gets older, they mostly see each other at funerals.)
On that special day, the married couple only has few minutes to talk to each of the invited. Talking too long with one person will be considered impolite, because then you leave other people neglected, which is sad, really.


Philip Goh wrote on July 16th, 2009 at 5:09 AM PST:

No!!!!11!!! As a photographer, the bigger the wedding the bigger my fee!


Rene wrote on July 16th, 2009 at 9:36 AM PST:

I’d have to agree here, I don’t really see the point of a wedding ceremony myself either, though for me the only purpose of the wedding is the legal benefits anyways since I’m not religious and otherwise see no special significance to the \married\ status. I especially don’t understand the people that put themselves into 10k+ in debt in order to have a gigantic wedding, so that they have more guests to give them things out of their gift registry…makes no sense to me at all.


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Eugenia wrote on July 16th, 2009 at 11:12 AM PST:

>see no special significance to the \married\ status.

There’s no real significance, except for tax, legal, and self-assurance reasons. For example, a handsome man/woman, doesn’t need marriage. But a less attractive one, does need it. I am not a beautiful woman, and I can tell you, if I wasn’t married, I wouldn’t feel very comfortable. Not to mention I wouldn’t even be allowed to move to the US to follow JBQ. So “marriage”, in some legal meaning, is needed in some cases. But I agree, not all cases and not for all people.

>As a photographer, the bigger the wedding the bigger my fee!

Get a real job. Kidding. 🙂


VonRiesling wrote on July 16th, 2009 at 11:28 AM PST:

I was married at the clerk’s office with some friends present and have no regrets about it. In fact, when I observe folks in my work/social circle spending time and money on various wedding matters I just smile. The friends who have the biggest weddings I’ve attended over the course of years tend not to be married anymore.

As for the industry of photogs and videographers who pay rent on these ceremonies, there will always be a market it seems.


Tom Dison wrote on July 17th, 2009 at 11:38 AM PST:

It is the one thing I would change about my wedding also. I did not know many of the people. Plus, there was SO MUCH STRESS to the event. My wife and I both agree that a small ceremony with our closest friends would have been better.

But then comes the dilemma of who NOT to invite!


Adam S wrote on July 18th, 2009 at 8:33 AM PST:

Let me chime in as a sole voice of reason in a sea of tunnel vision. A wedding isn’t always just about the bride and groom. I live in Florida. When my wife and I got married, it was the biggest family reunion on her side… ever. Everyone came down and, in many cases, met for the first time. In fact, her father’s family and mother’s family had NEVER met because her parents eloped.

Weddings can be about family. If you eliminate another big event that is about happiness (not sadness, like a funeral), you make the world a smaller place.

Yes, they are expensive. Yes, not everyone thinks it’s necessary. But in many cases, it’s the kind of event that makes you want to surround yourself with all the people you care about and build strong family bonds. Maybe that kind of thing isn’t important to everyone, but even as a guy I think my wedding was awesome.


Terry Brennan wrote on July 18th, 2009 at 6:42 PM PST:

Eugenia, congratulations to you and to your husband. My best to both of you.

As to why: it is either for the bride (to prove that she REALLY got him) or for the parents of bride or groom (to prove that they REALLY ARE married). You were right not to fight it.

Wish I had been there.

Terry Brennan


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Eugenia wrote on July 19th, 2009 at 12:31 AM PST:

>When my wife and I got married, it was the biggest family reunion on her side… ever.

Right. And you had to pay for it.

If it’s worth it for you, go ahead. But for many people, they rather keep the money and buy a car so they can go to work, to feed their future children.


Eddyspeeder wrote on July 20th, 2009 at 5:40 AM PST:

Western wedding ceremony traditions have come a long way. Ancient traditions (e.g., a couple having intercourse after the wedding in front of a tribe) have been adapted by christian traditions (which is what the kiss at the wedding symbolises). It has long been part of our culture, so these uses exist with non-christian people in Western nations all the same, even though this makes it hard to understand why bother (which I take to be your point), unless you want a “prince & princess” wedding.

Without intending to bestow my opinions on you, I would like to explain why from a christian perspective, a large wedding is actually quite sensible. Any agreement/contract between two people is legally binding when there are at least two witnesses (this is, for instance, mentioned in Deuteronomy 17 and 19, although historically this custom must have long been in place before it was noted down). Although you thus *can* marry with just two witnesses, having more witnesses means you make a statement or testimony to all in attendance that you want to live out the symbol that marriage in christian tradition conveys. Ephesians 5:22-28 explains how it symbolises the everlasting love and dedication of Jesus for His followers and the obedience of His followers to Him. Sadly though, because of all the divorces, this image is completely distorted and sets a bad example to all who were in attendance.

By the way, Ephesians 5 has often been abused to suppress wives. If you read it well, you’ll see that the man should actually do everything for his wife out of love of her and of himself. So if he wants to go to Rome and she wants to got Paris, they should in fact end up walking along the Seine.


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Eugenia wrote on July 20th, 2009 at 10:27 AM PST:

>having more witnesses means you make a statement or testimony to all in attendance that you want to live out the symbol that marriage in christian tradition conveys

Yeah, the problem is, I find all that to be horseshit. For those who don’t, of course, they are free to spend their last dime on a “statement”.


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