Wedding season sucks.

Why can’t anybody ever fucking get married in the middle of the winter? Jesus.

Starting May 11th, I’ll be spending five, count em, FIVE straight Saturday nights going to weddings for various co-workers, friends, girlfriend’s best friends, and relatives.

We’re laying out about $700 in gifts, champagne toasts, and gift certificates. Though I understand that’s a small price to pay for all the free food and booze that the various hosts will be dishing out at black-market prices thanks to those gougers in the banquet industry (enjoy the shitty $8 bottle of Fetzer! A bargain at only FORTY FUCKING DOLLARS!)

I told the snookums that when the day comes, we’re going to a justice of the peace, and we’re not going to fucking tell anybody about it. No family, no friends, nothing. Maybe we’ll bring the cats with us. Luckily, it’ll be her second marriage, so she doesn’t care.

Big weddings are for big suckers.

Maybe big weddings are for people who have lots of family and friends who love them and want to share their happy day.

If you inadvertently got mistaken for someone who cares about the bride and groom, then you can decline the invitation.

If you resent the invitation, then you shouldn’t go to the wedding. If you are only going because you feel obligated, then don’t go. Send a nice greeting card with good wishes and be done with it.

Ditto what Green Bean said. I would also like to add, however, that MrWhatsit and I found Las Vegas to be a fabulously fun and entertaining alternative to the justice of the peace route.

Well, I understand black455’s frustration with the whole wedding thing. One reception is fun, but five in a row can get old fast. He can still have affection for his friends, and wish them well, even though he isn’t looking forward to having his next five Saturday nights blocked off. I do agree, though, that if it’s extremely burdensome, it’s best not to go, and just send a nice card. If the expense of gifts are a big problem, there are a number of ways to give a gift that’s truly thoughtful and doesn’t cost that much.

I worked in catering for years, and was completely and permanently turned off of big, elaborate weddings. It’s true that the whole thing is really for the family and friends, not the couple, but it has always seemed to me that the more elaborate the wedding, the more the couple think it’s “their special day” and not an occasion for their family and friends to celebrate. I got so burned out on weddings (and I got paid for being there) I made the same vow that black455 did, and stuck with it, too.

The best wedding I ever witnessed involved cold cut trays from a local deli, homemade cake, and a case of discount champagne in the bride’s parents’ backyard. The second best was a catered affair, very simple, just a short, nice ceremony outside, and a simple buffet of scrambled eggs and toast and bacon (it was a morning wedding), and nothing else. Except some friends of the couple brought an accordian and a violin, and next thing you know everyone was dancing, and breakfast was an hour late but no one cared. Those weddings were absolutely ideal–friends and family were able to celebrate with the couple and share their affection, everyone had a good time, with a minimum of fuss and stress for everyone involved.

Well, my friends Sophia and John got engaged a few weeks ago, and they’re getting married in the middle of December! :stuck_out_tongue:

Personally, I think wedding season is kind of fun, though if you go to too many of them where the same people are going to be, it can get to be kind of a challenge picking something out to wear that nobody’s seen before this year. :eek: It’s like what a bunch of freinds and I were discussing last year (with at least four weddings to go to, maybe five for some people); it’s much easier for guys to get dressed for weddings! :rolleyes:

Great post, Bren Cameron. I agree with everything you said. Some weddings are ridiculous, and a lot of brides and grooms are more interested in putting on a show (and getting presents) than in celebrating with loved ones.

Most every wedding I’ve been to has been great, though. That’s because they’ve been the weddings of people near and dear to me.

If someone is faced with the (admittedly unpleasant) prospect of 5 in a row, then he/she should choose among them.
Hint: Your brother’s wedding is more important that your girlfriend’s co-worker’s.

Calling it “wedding season” makes me think of Elmer Fudd hiding in the bushes outside a chapel.

“It’s duck season!”
“Wedding season!”
“Duck season!”
“Wedding season!”

What irritates me about weddings is that so many brides say that “this will be the best day of my life”. I don’t get it. I can see the significance of the day being very striking, but how can you actively design your ‘best day’?

I always liked handfasting better – rather than being so wrapped around money (how much money you spend for a big wedding, how much money people spend on gifts) you are focused on the actual events and your friends and family.

Of course, this is for me; if someone else wants to have a huge wedding, then go right ahead. But I do think it’s a waste of money to spend such huge sums on weddings.

(Case in point: my parents got divorced, and my father is so dependent that he starting dating a woman that made him marry her last summer, else she would leave him. She is a horrible golddigger who has ruined what semblance of a relationship he had left with me and my sisters. My father recently spent 7 months refusing to pay for any of my sister’s college expenses for this year because he doesn’t agree with her major – despite promising he would, and despite the divorce decree. Yet he spent thousands upon thousands renting the most expensive place in town and having the wedding and reception there. Urgh.)

One of my cousins is getting married this summer, and it is going to suck so much. That side of the family is about as factionalized (is that even as a word?) as a banana republic. My only hope is that one of her bridesmaids brings her boyfriend who plays in the AHL–I figure I can duck out to a corner and talk hockey with him.

A lot of times you can tell how long the marriage is going to last by how much the couple frets over the wedding. People who truly believe that the wedding day should be absolutely the most perfect, best day in their lives are almost always destined to be divorced in a few years. Too many people are more concerned about the wedding than the marriage.

One case in point: my brother’s mother-in-law wanted her daughter to have this huge wedding, inviting all the important people in their town (her husband is chief of police) and generally having the “wedding of the century.” This is a woman who’s been married 5 times and has her priorities seriously out of whack.

Of course all my “evidence” is anecdotal, so YMMV.

Seven of my classmates are getting married on May 25, the Saturday after graduation. Six of these–including two intra-class couples, so we’re talking four weddings here–are good friends of mine.

Five more are getting married a week later. Three more are getting married between now and graduation.

What gets me about the ones getting married on what is now called Matrimony Day is that they all seem to be planning the same damn wedding. The invitations were identical, the ceremonies themselves are only superficially different, and three of the receptions are at the same damn hotel. I asked, with some seriousness, “Why didn’t you just pool your resources and have one huge blowout reception?” They just looked at me like I had grown another head. “Because we want this to be our special day!”

Seven of my classmates are getting married on May 25, the Saturday after graduation. Six of these–including two intra-class couples, so we’re talking four weddings here–are good friends of mine.

Five more are getting married a week later. Three more are getting married between now and graduation.

What gets me about the ones getting married on what is now called Matrimony Day is that they all seem to be planning the same damn wedding. The invitations were identical, the ceremonies themselves are only superficially different, and three of the receptions are at the same damn hotel. I asked, with some seriousness, “Why didn’t you just pool your resources and have one huge blowout reception?” They just looked at me like I had grown another head. “Because we want this to be our special day!”

I’m also bothered by the “best day of my life” mentality. Doesn’t that imply that it’s all downhill from there?

You’ll be happy to know that CrazyCatLady and I are getting married the weekend after Christmas. We have already decreed that there will be no “wedding party” (which is nothing but an exercise in ranking your friends, and in my experience has led to nothing but heartache) and no rented clothing (everyone, up to and including us, is encouraged to wear exactly what the hell they want to wear). We’re dragging our families and friends to New Orleans for the weekend, where we’re going to have a brief ceremony in Jackson Square followed by a fine meal somewhere and some Cajun dancing somewhere else. Our friends are confused; our mothers are horrified. They can have their own damn weddings.

Dr. J

Uh, no idea how that happened. Mods, little help?

You’ve got the right idea, Dr J.

I can only shudder when I hear the “our special day” thing. It’s not your special day. The ceremony and the party are for the benefit of the guests, for your friends and family, to allow them to share in your celebration of your commitment to each other–it’s not for you to be the center of the universe! Dammit, I just want to smack some of those folks. One wedding I saw, the best man stood at the DJ’s shoulder and made sure he played only the songs the bride and groom requested. In the order they requested. The guests were livid. The couple’s excuse? “It’s our special day, we’ll have the music we want.” What, you invited these 300 people here so they could bask in the glory of “your special day?” Or what?

I have my own divorce predictor–cake smashing. I’ve never been able to confirm my suspicions, but I would love to see what the divorce rate is among couples who smash caked as opposed to those who don’t. Now, I’m not talking about little, playful things–one bride I saw put a little frosting on the groom’s nose. No problem, kind of cute. But often the smasher thinks it’s funny to take the smashee by surprise, and sometimes really nail him or her, making a huge mess, messing up extremely expensive, or rented, clothes, and basically humiliating the person in front of all their family and friends. I can only think it’s expressing a supressed hostility that will cause problems later. I think these people must have a higher divorce rate than small-scale, playful smashers, or non-smashers.

I’ve never been able to get a grant to do the study, though.

Try going to a Vietnamese wedding. One of my friend’s sister was married at Easter so I got to experience this for the first time.

First, guests don’t buy gifts, they just give cash (not cheques). Anything ranging from $50 or $100 by an individual or a several hundred from a couple. Cash is given in an envelope labelled with the guests’ names.

Second, the day after the wedding the family has a big money-counting occasion. My friend had the role of bundling 50s and 100s and doubling-counting the loot. In all, the collect was about $40,000. (In cash. On a hotel bed. Like gleeful bankrobbers, we were throwing handfuls of it in the air.)

Third, her father then began to make a spreadsheet and tallied how much each person gave! The idea is that when someone else gets married, he must give an amount equal to or exceeding what they gave at his son’s wedding. It’s all a matter of face, apparently.

I found this absolutely fascinating. With my Asian background I enjoy the pragmatism of the custom of giving cash (and I understand the ‘saving face’ issue), but I know it would shock my Anglo friends.

However, as much as I enjoyed the wedding, I’d hate to go to more than a few a year. Man, those’re some expensive evenings!

My fiance and I also hate the idea of huge weddings, but we’re a little stuck. Her immediate family (sisters, cousins, aunts & uncles) constitute the major portion of the county’s population, it seems. Just to get the “immediate” (read: Hon, we just have to invite him/her if nobody else…") members will make a wedding of about 100. We’re thinking of eloping, but her family would come unglued. Trust me…I should start a rant on that…

To help save on pennies where we can, we’re making our own favors: a little box with 8 items in it, with notes for Life’s Instructions. Like an eraser (forget about the past), a band-aid (for when life goes bad), etc. The box itself will be decorated with lace and ribbons, in keeping with our theme of antiques. We both love antiquing, and will be dressed in Old-Time Costumes. Should be a blast (we hope). What will help a little is that in her family (they’re Italian), the guests usually bring an envelope with cash in it. Think Godfather. Coming from way out west, it’s something new to me (in South Dakota, it’s toasters and so forth). But her sister got married herself last November and raked in a couple thousand. wow…

[minor hijack]But here’s a question: my own circle of friends is about 2000 miles away. A few of them will be able to make it out to our wedding (and we’re saving frantically to help with my parents, siblings and sons), but many won’t be able to. So I had a thought: I’m planning on a closed-circuit broadcast of the wedding, with a large-screen TV set up on each end…my friends can see our wedding, and in turn, we can see them. I’m even thinking of “hosting” a reception on their end, so they can get smashed…errr, enjoy themselves, too. What do you think? [/minor hijack]

Weddings drive me nuts. I hate going to them, especially because every one that I’ve ever been to involved a downright obsession with everything being exactly how the bride wanted it.

My predictor for divorce is the ratio of interest the engaged couple shows in planning the wedding. The absolute record for this involves people I knew who got married when they were thirty.

The wedding planning went something like this:

He played a lot of football, drank beer, went shooting, chatted about computers and generally tried to hide from her as much as he could.

She would chase him down, drag him physically out of the room as he said things like ‘Oh come on you nag, I just poured that beer!’ and showed him flowers, invitations, china patterns and other such things that his only input on was ‘I don’t care which ones you pick, they’re all girly and stupid looking. Why can’t we have paper plates and beer mugs?’

They went on a three week honeymoon.

The day they came back, they separated and filed for divorce.

That sounds lovely, Toaster52. Very thoughtful of you. I would toss the idea out to them and see what they think.

A small reception gift idea my parents did with my sister’s wedding: They printed up the engagement pictures with the wedding date on them on their inkjet printer into small wrappers that went around miniature chocolates (Hershey’s miniatures).

FTR, May 11th is the co-worker, who thoughtfully managed to get her invitations out in a timely manner. I had already RSVPed by the time I found out about the next three, otherwise I would have skipped it. My cousin, (who lives in town, otherwise I’d have an excuse) is getting married June 8th, and I’ve known about that one for awhile, too.

May 18th is my girlfriend’s best friend. No skipping that one. I get to push around tables for the reception and help pay for the champagne toast.

May 25th and June 2nd are two long time friends of mine who I haven’t talked to in awhile. I was aware that they were engaged, but not that they had set a date. I found out about those two on Monday and yesterday, respectively.

I can’t really get out of any of them. And I do wish to share in the joy of the union, etc.

But I’m sorry, five weekends in a row is fucking insane. I ended my OP with a jab at big weddings,* but I suppose my real problem is with the concept of “wedding season.” I mean, I understand that you want nice weather and all that shit, but a little consideration for your guests and an ounce of originality wouldn’t hurt, either. I’d imaging people of my age (23) and a little bit older have to sit through a helluva lot of weddings as their friends start to marry off, and pacing would make things much easier on everybody. Plus, hall rentals and honeymoons are cheaper in February.

*Not that I don’t have other, entirely fucking valid reasons for hating big weddings. I used to be a banquet houseman for a large downtown hotel. 75% of our summer business was wedding receptions. Ever thrown tables and set places for 700 people with some badly dressed, overcoiffed bitch of a wedding planner screaming at you about the fact that you didn’t alternate the tiles on the heavy sumbitch of a portable dancefloor you just busted your underpaid ass setting up? Fuck weddings. Fuckem fuckem fuckem.

By the way, throatshot, your idea sounds good to me. Beware of simulcast guests getting loaded on your dime and deciding would be a good idea to moon everybody at the party, though. Not that I would ever consider doing that. No siree.