In the last 3 years I have been involved in three weddings, including my own. Being directly involved in two of them, I have come to see the ugly weeds that can sprout quickly and viciously in the midst of a beautiful thing.
My best friend was engaged first, in May of 2011, to her common-law boyfriend of 5 years, and I was very happy for her since it was something she’d always wanted. She’d asked me to be her maid of honor, for which I was initially excited, then realized all the responsibility that came with the title. (I got married just over a month before her so I ended up being the matron of honor.)
Then ensued all the “wedding shopping” for which it was my “responsibility” to attend. All of it. She just got married July 27, 2013 (over a week ago) and in that 2.3 years I attended two Bridal Fantasy fairs, and multiple dress shops, and however many fittings, you name it. Bridal Fantasy for me was just a lavish, over-the-top poster of what a North American wedding should look like. Limos, limo-buses, high-end $1200 DJ’s with smoke machines, expensive macaroons, and plastic looking cakes (that when sampled certainly tasted that way). Booths with wedding table settings and centerpieces created out of what looked like half a tree and draped with everything glitter and diamonds. Walking out of that place I was only left with the thought of “how can anyone even afford a wedding when these are the expectations?”
When you google the average cost of a wedding in North America, $26,000 is the number that appears!! No wonder many people live common-law with the way cost of living has gone up coupled with the expectation that you’re going to need between $19,000 and $32,000 in order to have “the perfect day”. And that number does not include the honeymoon.
My second beef with weddings in our country is how we tell brides they are allowed to act. Not directly, but through media, celebrity weddings, and television shows that are all about overspending, air-headed, snotty bridezilla’s. Constantly you hear brides are told “Honey, this is YOUR day” and “Today is about you” which leaves pedesteled brides resorting to the generally tearful phrase “but this is supposed to be about me!”…which frankly is a poor albeit selfish way of dealing with the bride not getting her way.
Pardon me, but it does read in Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it.” It doesn’t say this is the day the Lord made FOR YOU. It also says in Psalm 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it’s fullness. The world and those who dwell therein.”
We are so easily bombarded by the world’s ideas that somehow you are OWED the day of your wedding (and those leading up to it) and everyone must wait on you hand and foot. Some brides seem to think that their friends lives should stop and come second to the brides wedding. When I requested to my best friend if I could please do my own hair for her wedding to save $100 (after I’d already spent $1000 to be in her wedding), she told me the other bridesmaids had also dropped out of their expensive hair appointments. Then she said “everyone had two years to plan for this.”
Come on, lady. I love you to death, but why turn to absurd statements like that.
She did pretty well for a bride under much stress. A few points throughout the day before and the day of the wedding she did have a few snapping moments, which when addressed, she would say “I’m allowed my one bridezilla moment.”
Now, I’m not blaming her for any of this. Truthfully, I have sat and watched TLC for hours, all the wedding shows they have available. From Rich Bride, Poor Bride to Say Yes to the Dress, and even Bridezillas. The attitude and actions of most brides on these shows is atrocious, and that’s an understatement. How can you tell a bride to be nicer when she’s been shown time after time this type of behavior is allowed and even excused for?
Where is there posts on the internet and magazines that talk about being a UNDERSTANDING, GRATEFUL, and KIND bride, one who carries herself with grace and is humble before others and before the Lord? Well certainly being a beautiful bride from the INSIDE and out does not make good television.
I was humbled by my own family and friends at my wedding about seven weeks ago. My grandfather fell ill 9 days before the wedding, while I was out of town at work. I came back 4 days before the wedding, and my whole family was constantly at the hospital, leaving me to do almost all of the leg work myself. My husband tells me that the only thing I complained about when I called him sobbing at night those 3 days was NOT that no one was helping me or that there wasn’t time to get the ceremony programs done, but that I did not have the time to stay all day long with my grandpa, only a few hours here or there.
He died the morning before the wedding while I was at the spa getting a body polish and my gel nails.
My mom and her side of the family (three boys, two girls) were all making the food for my wedding, and in the midst of everything they lost their father, and still gave to me and my husband from the bottom of their hearts.
Our wedding was on Father’s Day and there was no room for selfishness or pride. How could there be when there was so much love, which is SO much more important than if the centerpieces look perfect.
During the signing of our marriage license, we played “Nothing Compares” by Third Day. “Nothing compares to the greatness of knowing you, Lord”. Not even a wedding day compares to the joy and the love we will experience when we get to be with Jesus.
And I hope more brides focus on this instead.