We are convinced that there is no justification for wedding insanity. We feel qualified to make this judgment as single women who have never been married or engaged, and have never planned an event more complicated than happy hour. But we have seen what happens to some intelligent, strong women when confronted by the multibillion-dollar Wedding Industrial Complex: Those few unattractive tendencies, weaknesses generally kept under control -- bossiness, melodramatic romanticism, obsession with looks, agony over superficial details -- coalesce into a toxic distillate. What chance does anyone have against an industry that seduces the rampaging feminine id? The masses need to be liberated.
What if . . . we become Anti-Wedding Planners? What if we find a couple who shares our opinion and lets us plan their unorthodox, fabulously cheap anti-wedding, located -- we dream -- in a bus depot or a Laundromat? We envision the glorious reversal of typical wedding cliches: the symbolic release of dirty city pigeons in lieu of doves, bouquets of dead leaves, a buffet of peanut butter or grilled-cheese sandwiches. The wedding itself would be a statement, a metaphorical loogie aimed right at the wispy veil of wedding-obsessed America. It must be anti-industry, but pro-romance, because real love means knowing, This is my soul mate, even if (s)he's wearing a garbage bag.
I sympathize with the writers for correctly identifying one of the big problems with weddings today. The average couple spends about $30,000 just on the wedding, which is about $27,550 more than the average couple can actually afford in my opinion. The whole thing becomes a lavish and opulent display, one's own private Hollywood red carpet day, complete with wasteful expenditure and a "Star Is Born" feeling centered around the bride, who is supposed to Have Everything She Ever Dreamed Of Because This Is Her Day, Expletive Deleted!
Only it's not her day, as I've discussed before. And so much time and attention gets put into weddings, but so little into marriages, that we could almost postulate a connection between the increasing costs of weddings and the decreasing duration of the marriages.
Unfortunately, the self-styled "Anti-Wedding Planners" don't end up solving much. They still have to go to extremes to plan the "wedding protest event" they end up planning; the couple who marries is a cohabitating couple who are united by a relative who gets ordained over the Internet, and while the guests who send regrets are suspected of being snobs who won't come if there isn't going to be an ice swan and crystal champagne glasses, it's possible that they're simply prudent people who wonder about the duration of such a match.
It's entirely possible to have a simple, quiet wedding. In a church. With a real priest or minister officiating. And cake and coffee in the parish hall afterward.
But however admirable it may have seemed to the writers of the article to take on the wedding industry, the reality is that until people start taking marriage more seriously, weddings will continue to be frivolous and spectacular, whether the spectacle is that of the traditional sort, or of a lavish protest march that may not have cost much, but that contains the same elements of vulgar parade as the typical wedding.