The Vows So Dear

Posted on January 15, 2010

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I’m assuming, that this is that time of year they call The Wedding Season. I base this conjecture on the fact that I just got back from watching two of my closest friend’s tie the knot / bite the dust. The issue of Emirates Bride that just plopped on to my work desk, and the sudden flurry of brochures for a few upcoming Bridal Shows might also have something to with it.

Either that or this is The Divine’s way of telling me to buck up and get a move on. Eitherway I’m going to consider this as incentive to wipe off the dust on my neglected blog.

I personally love weddings. Not so much for the food (it’s hard to eat when you’re all dolled up anyway) or the fake pleasantries you have to air-kiss your way through, but the fact that the ceremony to most couples is the permission slip that entitles them to officially start living their life together.

But lamentably we’ve strayed quite far from the original concept of communion. The awarding of ‘I now announce you man and wife’ has morphed into a frightening likeness to the Oscars: ‘And the best wedding of the year goes to…!’

Long gone are the days when the very heart of a marriage was reflected onto the ceremony itself. The pageantry involved, the formalities so strictly adhered to in deference to one’s own preferences, and the pressure on the family to keep up with those darned Jones’s, has brought up the cost of an average wedding to an estimated $20,000 (excluding the expenses of the honeymoon and rings). It’s a wonder the hosts are able to enjoy the function at all, what with that scorching hole in their tuxedo / dress pockets.

It’s not so much anymore about giving away their daughter, so much as it is giving away my daughter in style. Even for those with the genuine intent of hosting an intimate ceremony, the burden of social duty quashes any such dream.

The number on the guest list is a carefully calculated formulated equation, where:
The grand total of invitees = The no. of guests you’d actually like to invite X 3.

Members of The Committe of Comparative Analysis will have none of that ‘small function shmunction,’ or a wedding cake that’s one tier too less. The bride’s dress is scrutinized, the quality of food is analyzed, and the inadequate lighting of the hall is nit-picked with such passion that you might as well leave them comment cards to fill out, and for you to collect on their way out.

It’s now a given, that the wedding is the bride’s and the bride’s alone (all the groom has to do is manage to fit into his suit and show up on the day), or in our case the bride’s family and the bride’s family alone.

The wedding dress is custom made, the wedding singer is flown down from someplace, and the location selection is based on whether or not they can make the drinks to match the theme.

The attention to detail in every aspect of planning involved, more often than not acts as a catalyst to a series of pre-wedding disputes and brings out the Bridezilla in even the most timid of brides-to-be. At the end of the day, the function might go off smoothly, but the run up to the day has been so stressful that you’re too exhausted to enjoy your own big day. Also, so consumed are you with all that hoo hah that you tend to forget what your presence there is really meant to mean. Oh right, today’s the day I become a wife.

I might come off as condescending here, but please note I have nothing against the good folks who have every intention of pulling out all the stops for their big day; provided you can afford it of course. Sure, if you’ve got a few $10,000 dollars to spare, by all means go for it you lucky girl, you!

It’s just heart-breaking to see parents / husbands-to-be fork up their entire life’s savings on just one day; on imported chocolates that most guests can’t differentiate from a local variety, or on an ice sculpture that probably won’t even make it through the night.

Is it really worth all that? Who is it all for really?

As you can tell (and to the disappointment of most people I know), I’m not all that fussed. This might come as a surprise to most of you gentlemen, but not all of us girls have had this mega-bridal master plan written out ever since we were 5. Some of us haven’t even give much thought to it until we’re forced into deciding whether the white petunias should go at the centre of the head table or flanking it.

I don’t mean to say that I don’t want a wedding, nor am I trying to imply that I couldn’t care less about what I’ll be wearing. I just wouldn’t mind so much if the flower girls are taller than the paige boys, or if the waiter’s uniforms clash with the theme.

We’re all quite capable of delivering a night to remember without having to splurge on unnecessary extras.

So Mother, if you’re listening, let’s not go OTT alright? And Dad, no matter what they tell you, the imported gift baskets were NOT my idea.

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Posted in: Blogpost, Society