Does the entire wedding industry these days seem like one big racket to you? In your lifetime, how many thousands of dollars have you spent flying all over the country (or out of it) to watch people say “I do,” buying place settings and champagne flutes from couples’ Williams-Sonoma registries, and oohing and ahhing over boulder-size diamonds on your girlfriends’ ring fingers? Adding up the numbers can be a dizzying experience, but what’s truly disarming is the fact that your total payout most likely pales in comparison with the price tag for just one of these celebrations. In 2009, industry-trend resource TheWeddingReport.com reported that the average cost of a wedding in the United States was $19,580—that’s more than $12,500 greater than the median annual tuition at a four-year public college.
The answer is yes, of course, but along with Valentine’s Day, as long as women want it and men are wimps – both Dad and/or fiancé – nothing is going to change.*
Loving wife and I sort of semi-eloped, having just a couple of friends and my brother over for a small wedding which was followed by short long-weekend honeymoon. It was a decision made not because of money, but because of our own personal situation, and we decided to buy a new car – which we sorely needed – instead of spending it on $10,000 dresses, $2000 cakes, and the rest. And since we are on our 26th year of marriage obviously the austerity of our wedding didn’t do us any harm.
I do wonder if all the energy and money put into big weddings might not be better spent in other ways, especially in these uncertain financial times. Then again if women stop buying all this totally unnecessary fluff a whole ‘nother industry would be on the skids.
Plus, without spending money on weddings we would miss out on such delights like bizarre wedding dresses, big redneck weddings, and bridezillas. (Rednecks let us know that it’s possible to do an interesting, if not classy, wedding on a budget, while bridezillas show just how far men have been beaten down into quivering jello-like wimps since the 60s.)
Doesn’t matter if it is a racket or not really. I’m pretty sure the industry is safe. Women are women and men are men, and men end-up wanting what their women want, or if not they are smart enough to pretend they do. So the tradition will continue, with tens of thousands spent on every daddy’s little girl, while the groom’s dad gets away with a rehearsal dinner at Ponderosa and a keg of beer in the back yard afterward. Something I am looking forward to since I have three sons.
And just think, if gay marriage becomes the rule that will open up a whole new market where spending on wedding-fashion bling will reach heights heretofore unseen.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Yes, I know nowadays women often pay for their own weddings, but that doesn’t change anything except that the potential groom is obviously a fricken genius.