I’m at that age where all of my former sorority sisters are getting married. This means that every time I log-in to Facebook I am bombarded with an unreasonable amount of wedding-related status updates. It is a very surreal experience seeing the girl that got Eifel-Towered at Theta Chi talk about how it’s only “79 days until 2 hearts become 1.” There seem to be two main kinds of wedding posts that dominate my mini-feed. I have categorized them as “couple-focused” and “wedding-focused”. Under the couple- focused category falls all of the mushy statuses that profess undying love for their future hubby on a daily basis starting around the time of engagement and continuing up until the day of the wedding (my research indicates that the number of ‘likes’ and supportive comments dramatically decreases after more than 4 such posts). Under the wedding-focused category falls all posts detailing unnecessary wedding drama. You know, the: “OMG are there any weddings bands out there that DON’T suck!? Seriously starting to consider just plugging in my nano LOLZ” And of course the “um, since when is “ballet slippers” the same shade as “light pink” Seriously. About. To. Freak. Out.” Under this category you can also find the constant barrage of wedding-related progress updates complete with photo documentation: “The place cards came in!”, “Finally settled on the perfect color for the table linens! Phew!”
Now let’s be clear, if this makes these girls happy, then I am very happy for them, but this is not something that I want for myself. I wouldn’t say that I am anti-marriage, but I would say without hesitation that I am anti-ridiculous-and-unnecessarily-extravagant-weddings. As of 2009 the average amount spent on a wedding was $28,082.00*. That is a tremendous amount of money, planning, and effort all focused on a one-day-long celebration. It would seem to me that after such a huge, amazing celebration, actual married life would seem awfully anti-climactic. In my mind, a day of extreme happiness and celebration followed by a lifetime of mediocrity is certainly not a recipe for a happy, healthy relationship. It seems logically that a relationship following this sort of pattern is structurally flawed and that perhaps a solution would be to de-emphasize the wedding and instead emphasize adventure and celebration spread throughout the entirety of the marriage. Do you know how many adventures you can go on with $30,000? A lot. And in my experience, adventure, excitement, and sharing new experiences are all crucial to maintaining a happy and healthy relationship.
I readily concede that in many ways I am not a traditional girl, so I don’t expect that everyone will be able to relate to my perspective on weddings and marriage, but for me marriage is in no way necessary. I have heard so many girls say that they need a partner to “complete” them, or that all they need to be happy is a husband. Honestly though, if you don’t feel happy and complete as an individual, you have problems that marriage is not going to fix. I am happy with who I am and I know what I want out of life: I want a life full of adventure and excitement and I refuse to settle for anything less. I know that I am capable of living the life that I want as an individual, so the way I see it, it’s a win-win: either I live a happy, exciting and amazing life (sans hubby) or I find a man who supports and shares in what I want out of life. And let me tell you, if I fell head-over-heels to the point where I was ready to begin considering marriage, the LAST thing on my mind would be place cards and table linens.
* Jaeger, Chris. “Wedding Industry Statistics.” Editorial. American Wedding Study. Bride Magazine, 5 July 2011. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. http://weddingindustrystatistics.com/.