Wedding Refocused: For Marriage or Wedding?
Thursday, January 9
Are We Getting Married to Have a Wedding or Having a Wedding to Get Married?
This blog post is written to create a dialogue and provoke the question of ‘why?’ This post is not intended to speak against anyone’s decisions (past, present, or future), business or service. It is simply offering the question: is there another way?
I believe with a wedding refocused there can be another way.
I started off in the Wedding industry loving everything about it; creating events and weddings that would ‘wow’ guests was my pursuit. But as I poured myself into this industry, and the ‘social’ world that comes with it, I found myself burning out and asking ‘why?’
For the same reason I have asked myself, “why Hallmark holidays and Christmas presents?’ If we don’t look at the ‘why’ behind the things we do, we will find ourselves going through the motions of what society wants us to do; usually this has consumers spending money.
Wedding Costs on the Uprise
A snippet from an article by Brides: “Bad news for anyone with wedding planning in their future (or, alternately, good news for lovers of luxury): In just the last year alone, average wedding costs have skyrocketed. In 2017, a wedding typically set couples and their family members back about $27,000, but in 2018, that number increased to more than $44,000, according to the Brides 2018 American Wedding Study.”
According to Wedding Wire: “the average wedding cost in Canada is roughly $29,450 – which is pretty steep, especially if you’re working with the average millennial budget.” Another 2017 statistic states that the average wedding in Canada is $42,400.
For those of us in the wedding industry, this uprising trend is good news! Yet for some reason this was rubbing me the wrong way; I just couldn’t help but wonder, why?
How is it that we are able to justify spending an exorbitant amount of money on one day? For some it requires a loan, only to bring debt into a new marriage (and we all know that is never a good thing!); it may even cause parents to dive into their retirement fund or take out a loan.
If spending this amount of money is not a requirement to get married, why do we do it?
With this thought lingering in my mind, it led me to asking more questions:
- Why do we host weddings the way we do? What is the reason for the big production?
- Why do we justify spending all this money for one day?
- Are we okay with the waste from this one day?
- Is it worth incurring debt for this one day if it creates financial strain in the marriage?
- Do we need a year or more to plan a wedding?
- Why do we allow ourselves to get obsessed and stressed over silly wedding details?
- And most importantly, why does it feel like we are spending more time preparing for a wedding than the marriage? (Considering how high our divorce rate is, we should all be asking this question.)
Are we getting married to have a wedding or having a wedding to get married? These are two very different perspectives when planning a wedding.
As I began asking myself these questions, I found myself rethinking my business. How can I be authentic in this industry when I have these questions? I found myself pulling back and putting a pause on SWE; avoiding the influence of social media to do some soul-searching to determine if this was something I still wanted to be a part of. A question I’ve been pondering for a couple of years now.
I considered getting out of it all together, but there is something within me that just can’t let go. I am a hopeless romantic, I love helping people, and organizing is in my blood. I can’t help but think that there has to be another way!
A Lesson From The Good Old Days
So I ask, is it possible that we would benefit from a wedding refocus? Perhaps a trip back in time might help us see that it is possible to get married without all this production. Weddings from our grandparents days could teach us a thing or two…and save us some money! There is something about these good old days that represent a simple way of thinking and living – with less stress and debt.
Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about having a beautiful wedding day. I’m just a firm believer that beauty can be found in simplicity, and wedding debt is not a necessity (or a good idea!) to get married.
Perhaps money isn’t an issue, and lucky you! I would still encourage you to ask the why behind your decisions. It can be the difference of hosting a relational wedding or having a production.
A Wedding Refocused
I would like to share some benefits of a wedding refocused with some thought-provoking questions.
Is it possible….
- that having an intimate wedding to include those that are closest to you will bring more value, as compared to a large wedding where you are meeting some for the first time, or seeing some for the very last time?
- that your day would be just as memorable without all of that money spent on all the ‘extras?’ The money you would save could go towards an awesome trip, your mortgage down payment, house items or emergency fund would be more beneficial?
- that a ‘simply’ beautiful wedding would save you time and stress?
- that you would enjoy the idea of a shorter engagement so you can get on with your married life sooner? (After-all, we never know what tomorrow will bring.)
To paraphrase my husbands thoughts: you will never find yourself sitting on the beach telling strangers how extravagant your wedding was and the amount of money you spent on your wedding day. Most likely, your guests won’t either (and if they do, it will be short-lived).
Learn From Others
One can gain a lot of knowledge from married couples by asking them what they would do differently. The key is to ask this question before you begin the planning and spending. The answers may not surprise you: (But you also many not find these answers on the internet without digging. Wonder why???)
- Spend less money on your wedding.
- Have fewer guests.
- Don’t bother with the wedding party.
- Forget the little details that just don’t matter.
LIFE IS SHORT, GET MARRIED!
A refocused-wedding enables you to get married sooner so you can begin enjoying the rest of your lives together (with more money or less debt!).
As you can see, there is a new passion brewing inside of me. If you have an upcoming wedding and desire to do things differently, let’s chat!
Check back for more wedding refocused tips.