Tuesday, May 12, 2009

the wedding industry is a piece of crap and totally disgusts me

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.

so there.


  1. Yeah, I hear you. It's ridiculous and overwhelming. I say go for the backyard DIY fest! And check out Katie's blog (abackywardwedding.blogspot.com) for some inspiration, if you haven't already.

  2. planning can quickly become overwhleming. but just remember that in the end, what ultimately matters most is that you married the man of your dreams : )

  3. Oh my, I have just found your blog. Oh such a girl after my own heart. Gah indeed. I am also thinking about having my wedding reception at my parents house. I think it could be intimate, detailed and casual all at the same time.

    I hate the word cheap – just because someone choses 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 coolie 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.

    Gosh sorry. Breath anna! That's better.