it breaks my heart that there are so many people in this country who are not afforded the right to legally marry. it makes me feel guilty for being able to marry whenever i want, wherever i want (although not WHOever i want... and thats the crux of it, for me. how can the government tell me who i can and cannot marry?). when matt and i get married, it will be with an acute awareness of our blessings.
as meg says: It is both a great privilege and a huge responsibility to be getting married in the middle of this fight for civil rights, this fight for marriage.
i know how easy it is to get complacent about such things, so i was super grateful to meg for blogging so beautifully about this issue. do yourself a favor and read it!
The really sick part is that the wedding industry tries to tap into our psyches by feeding us crap about our weddings being "The best day" of our lives and our one chance to have "The perfect day." With that kind of pressure, of course we're going to think that the benefit of hiring profesionals outweighs the cost. We become convinced that we need a professional to write our friends' and families' addresses on invitation envelopes or to put flowers in a vase or cover the chairs at our receptions.
Suddenly, all of these things that would never seem necessary for a regular party feel like non-negotiables for our W-E-D-D-I-N-G-S. We start to doubt our ability to have a meaningful and memorable wedding if we can't afford all the professional services (or--gasp!--choose not to use them).
really, i'm posting this so that i will always have it nearby when i find myself overcome by wedding insanity :) reality check, please!!
lovely anna left me this comment - and it just sums up my feelings about the wedding so nicely (my bolding)....
I hate the word cheap – just because someone chooses the cheaper avenue does not mean they haven’t spent just as much time on their wedding. If anything they have often needed to think more to make it a beautiful or individual event.
Oh dear I feel a mini rant coming on! I want to make my own invites. I want to print them on my gocco and then type them on my typewriter. Oh I’m being cheap again – just because I detest the cookie cutter wedding and want to be different does not mean I am skimping on my materials!
CAKE CUTTING FEES – In London I’ve had hotels quote me up to $12 per person – really, really?!!!!!
I was sucked in by wedding magazines – but now have seen the light – I hate how they force the perfect wedding onto everyone. I have no desire for my wedding to be perfect. I just want my closest family and friends to see me marry the man I love and help us celebrate the first day of the rest of our life. Preferably with great unpretentious food and yummy wine. hooray anna!!
as i see over and over in my obsessive reading-of-wedding-blogs, this getting-sucked-into-wedding-bullshit is SO common, and SO commonly something that really intelligent women have to fight against (internally and externally). as meg at a practical wedding calls, it, "losing the plot". even the brightest and most evolved among us lose the plot in the planning process. just remember YOUR plot points, and breathe...
and that concludes another rambling think from yours truly :)
Really?? Dude!! California!! I am SO disappointed in you. You're supposed to be a bastion of lefty politics! A sunny liberal paradise! A forward thinking, envelope-pushing pioneer! If you of all states can't get your heads into the 21st century, if you of all states insist on passing and upholding hateful, discriminatory laws, what hope does the rest of the country have?? Thank God for Iowa.....
I suppose it's a good thing that the couples who were married won't have their marriages nullified, but that hardly feels like a victory. I really cannot believe how hard headed and completely unreasonable people can be. This is a policy informed by ignorance and fear. One day we'll tell our grandchildren about this, and it will blow their minds that we lived in a time when only straight people were allowed to be married.
so we've decided to skip the save-the-dates. it just seemed like a lot of unnecessary money, paper, and time to waste. we're being a little more earth friendly and just doing invitations on the early side. i'm just making sure i let family, long distance peeps, and the bridal party know by phone or email that it's going to be on OCTOBER 10!! at least, unless something happens in the next couple of planning steps that makes that date impossible :)
so i'm trying to come up with ideas for the invitation. i've been searching online for inspiration, and after a while, they all start to kind of look the same..... i saw a cool indian-inspired letterpress invite, and it made me think.... our colors (more on colors later) have a coincedentally southwest/mexican flavor (yellow, orange, turquoise and white, essentially), so i thought, why not do something sort of mexican-folk-artsy? kind of along these lines:
the colors would be different, obviously, but the image is just what i was picturing.... by the way, this comes from a quilt made by one of my favorite etsy sellers, badbird.
i know this isn't news to most people, and this has been written about many many times (see here, and here, and here, for some of the best examples) - but GAH!!!!!!! i just have to vent a little bit!! i've been researching wedding stuff all morning (in other words, it has been a completely typical day for me so far), and am about ready to puke.
matt and i have decided to buck convention and have the ceremony and reception in my ever-loving-parent's backyard. sure, it means that there are a million more details for me to obsess over (and believe me, the control freak in me is doing the happy dance and clocking in some overtime), and since my parents live in suburbia there is a privacy issue to deal with, and neighbors to butter up, and who knows what kind of noise permits we might have to russle up, but it means that we'll be able to make our wedding that more personal and fabulous without taking out a $50,000 loan. which is not even a SLIGHT exaggeration of what we would very easily spend on a "standard" wedding these days.
ANYWAY, this morning i woke up swimming in anxiety - convinced that we were doing something completely ridiculous and insane. i was worried that the music would be too loud, causing our reception will be interrupted and shut down by the police. i worried that we wouldn't be able to come up with an asthetically pleasing and affordable way to block the yard from passersby and that our ceremony would become a street spectacle. i worried that 150 people wouldn't fit into my parent's yard. and yes, i worried that people would tsk tsk us for being cheap (the word i imagined them using) and untraditional.
and so i found myself this morning at work, resuming my hunt for the perfect venue: somewhere spacious and beautiful, with enough indoor and outdoor space, somewhere that would allow us to bring our own caterer in and basically have total control over the day. oh, and someplace we could actually afford. needless to say, my search was as fruitless today as it has been for the past month. HOWEVER, it was not a total loss, as i now find myself even more thoroughly disgusted by the cost and expectations of a "typical" wedding, and my anger has me totally gung-ho about our little backyard diy-fest.
a little taste of what made my blood boil: an historic home with surrounding gardens, in the bronx, informs ever so matter-of-factly on it's website that in order to have your wedding there, you must:
a) become a member (for one year) at a cost of $5000 b) pay an additional $1500 site rental fee c) use their own caterer - at an AVERAGE cost of $250 per person
that, ladies and gentleman, is over $40,000. and, if you're having a "traditional" wedding, that means you still have to spend thousands on a dress, a tux or suit for the groom, a band or dj, a photog, a videog, invitations, save-the-dates, programs, flowers, an officiant, bridal party gifts, and favors. not to mention decorations, a guest book, CAKE CUTTING FEES (seriously? how can anyone even say that with a straight face??), shoes and jewelry for the bride, hair and makeup for the bride, and a wedding planner. the fact that anybody does this drives me batty (it is really, REALLY hard for me to refrain from certain four-letter-words right now). all i can think about are the people who are working 3 jobs to feed their families, kids who are starving, all the suffering in the world, and people choose to spend tens of thousands of dollars on one day, on all this shit (oops, that one slipped out) that usually just ends up obscuring the whole point of the day. i understand that people dream about their weddings, i understand the desire to make the day important and special and unforgettable. i TOTALLY understand getting caught up in the wedding frenzy and suddenly feeling like you absolutely, positively MUST have those $200 table runners. it's such a big, convincing, culturally ingrained machine (the wedding machine, that is). i myself have been sucked in many times. but today i feel like i've been slapped in the face (in the best possible way :)) - i don't give a flying rats ass what anyone thinks we should or shouldn't be doing/spending. this is about me and matt loving each other and wanting to make a formal committment to each other, in front of everyone we love. thats it. it's not about the food or the flowers or the music or even the party.