More than a one-night affair…

Elements of a Real Wedding


wed-ding  noun

1. the act or ceremony of marrying; marriage; nuptials.
2. the anniversary of a marriage, or its celebration: They invited guests to their silver wedding.
3. the act or an instance of blending or joining

I think I am going to petition for Mr. Webster to include a bullet-point or asterisk under the definition of wedding, which notifies engaged couples of what it takes to plan a Real Wedding.

For starters, it doesn’t identify who is paying for the shindig, nor does it allude to any kind of warning on the numerous fights you and your fiancée will get into over the next several months. Not serious fights, but you know, little stuff- like what song you want for the processional of the mothers, or what color cocktail napkins you have to order for the bar, and what do you want the DJ to wear, a suit or a tux? Wait a minute, why is that even relevant??

As you are left pondering the decisions above, you realize that Mr. Webster’s definition also doesn’t even slightly give you a projected cost.  So you are left to wander around the Internet, clicking on the endless possibilities that could be your wedding. Sometimes, you have a bit of an advantage in your wedding preparedness because you’ve been in a wedding, or you have a friend who’s gotten married, or the best resource yet… you’ve seen those Wedding shows on television.  You know the ones; the ones that define the word wedding much better than Mr. Webster himself, in fully edited, extremely vivid, almost as good as being there magnification. So now that you are engaged, you know exactly what to do, and what not to do (because nobody wants to be a Bridezilla), in order to have the best, possible wedding, a Real Wedding.

If you sense a bit of sarcasm in my tone, you are not misreading my friends. I am being sarcastic and antagonistic.  Why you ask? Because, last time I checked, in the State of California you only need a few things in order to be married (besides the $45 fee for the license):

  1. A Partner
  2. An Officiant
  3. Two Witnesses

You also need Love -although this one is optional depending on the couple, it is about the only recommendation I will endorse wholeheartedly.

Let me tell ya what you don’t need to get married:

Fighting: With your family over the guest list, with your childhood friend over her bridesmaids dress, or with your fiancé because he/she cannot give you a solid opinion on the color scheme & theme you are debating.

Stress: Over your co-worker who also just got engaged and is stealing your thunder, a groomsman who’s had to move to another state because their spouse’s job was relocated, or because you can’t seem to find a the perfect favors that both men & women will keep as an eternal momento from your celebration.

Enormous Debt: Spending far more than what you can afford because you simply must have that thing that was on that show, or because your best friend had it at her wedding & you have to outdo it, or because people expect you to.

A marriage is full of compromise, planning a wedding is practice for the many years of compromising you have ahead of you. No matter how independent, financially stable, smart, or other, you are- you will always have to find a middle ground with the person you will spend the rest of your life with, so why not find that middle ground with the myriad of decisions you are making during the planning too? Is there a decision that crucial to your eternal happiness? I’m not telling you to disregard the expectations of your social circle, not to spend money, or not to include a very special detail from your celebration- but think about how much something really means to you before putting so much weight on it that you only end up with puffy eyes, a headache, and potentially fiancee-less.

Seems as if I’ve gotten off the original blog topic, but in actuality I have not. I wanted to talk about having a Real Wedding and all of the elements, which are so seemingly important to having one: Forgettable details, unnecessary stresses, regrettable fights, and debt. Mr. Webster didn’t talk about those now did he? Having have worked and planned a wedding or two, from the backyard bash to the over-the-top platinum celebration, and everything in between, I can tell you that none of those things that Mr. Webster didn’t address, even mattered on the day of the wedding. When I see my couples basking in each other’s sight, smiling, laughing, and being overjoyed with the moments, I know they aren’t thinking about trivial details. Their families and friends, they aren’t either… they are busy having fun, dancing, catching up with old friends, sharing a night’s breeze- whatever. Maybe that’s why Mr. Webster doesn’t define “Wedding” further, because he knows what’s important.


One response

  1. Yvette

    If you could see me I would be standing up and applauding after reading this!! Whole heartedly agree!!

    February 1, 2010 at 7:14 pm

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