I never thought I'd be that girl. Poring over wedding blogs, cooing through glossies, and bookmarking bookmarking bookmarking. Then I got engaged to this guy:
Ok. I hear you. He looks overly pensive and mildly pissed off in this picture, but the appeal of that jawline is undeniable, as is the coolness of posing next to a wooden pirate man. And trust me, this guy is the greatest thing to hit planet earth...ever. Which is how, I'm sure, any lovely lady reading this feels about a guy to whom they've promised the remainder of their lives, commitment, fidelity, adoration--and thousands of dollars to celebrate it.
I always knew about the Wedding-Industrial Complex, understood in that vague way that overspending was out of control, that those other people put themselves into debt for one day that's merely a rite of passage. That the modern day wedding has blown up like me on a Christmas-time cupcake binge, all for an event that for someone of my socioeconomic position and cultural background is in essence, ceremonial. We live together, we share finances, we have a fur-baby. What changes because I have the good fortune to be allowed to make it legal?
Here's what happened: I discovered a few things that coalesced into the inspiration for this blog.
1) That handsome rogue up top has always wanted a big wedding. Me? I always figured I wouldn't care. Married in Vegas by an Elvis impersonator? How delightfully irreverent! Private elopement on a beach in Puerto Rico? Mmm, rum! Not for him. And though love is about many things, I think it's success relies heavily on compromise.
2) Those days when I spent my vast amounts of free time deciding how I can see all of my friends and family and party like an aging child actor have passed. Moments with people I love are preciously scarce and far too infrequent. They are dying off like an endangered species that isn't cute. So a wedding is as good an excuse as any to enjoy the company of people I love.
3) Wedding stuff is pretty. The Wedding-Industrial Complex is mucho dinero for a reason. It's freaking appealing. I like centerpieces. I really, really like making inspiration boards.
I never thought I'd be that girl. But I am.
Quick sidenote: I think weddings have become the industry monsters that they are today because most of us lack the time and resources to hold stylish fetes every other week with our friends. My (beloved) brother-in-law's (also beloved) mother once told me how in 1960's New Jersey, her and her friends would all take turns throwing parties every Saturday night. Nothing lavish, but hors d'oeuvres or dinner, lots of drinks, and dancing until dawn in the basement if need be. How awesome is that? How much does that inner small-town girl wish she could run into her girlfriends at the supermarket to chat about Saturday night's cocktail menu rather than catch up for seven minutes on your cell phone during lunch to vent about how the boss is a vicious troll, the dog puked on your papa-san (again!), why the f**k don't my pants fit, let's BBQ on the 4th of July, k? Perhaps I'm oversimplifying it or creating a world that didn't exist, but in any case, that desire to socialize, to entertain still beats strong within us, and finds an outlet when we plan a wedding.
So, what to do when you're principled and don't have wads of cash burning a smoking hole in your on-sale jeans pocket? How do we come up with a theme that encapsulates how we want to celebrate our love and commitment--and do so on the cheap? I've heard a lot that wedding planning is stressful, but I want fun! I want wedding planning adventure! I want bridal swashbuckling and DIY seating charts that ooze charm! So here's me trying. I hope it helps someone other than me, but if not, blogs are often about emotional exhibitionism, so if nothing else, here's to hoping for your amusement.
Katie the Weddingthirsty