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  #1  
Old 01 October 2018, 03:37 PM
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Default The demands of a perfect wedding

Planning a wedding is among lifeís more stressful experiences.
As a wedding advice columnist, I get a peek into those stresses. Concerns and doubts fill my inbox as women fret over whether they are coping in the correct way. ďAm I being a crazy bridezilla?Ē asks one, writing because sheís frustrated that a guest is bringing uninvited friends. ďI swear Iím a laid-back bride,Ē says another, who suspects her friends would prefer she just elope and save them the hassle.

https://www.iol.co.za/lifestyle/styl...dding-17213772

I really liked this article. I am so tired of women being labelled "bridezilla" because they want things a certain way - and no I don't mean those women who have ridiculous expectations! IME couples getting married have bent over backwards to accommodate some pretty unreasonable demands on the part of family and/or friends yet no one makes a reality show about that!
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  #2  
Old 02 October 2018, 11:16 AM
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I once heard this referred to as the Wedding-Industrial Complex. (IIRC; I'm blanking this morning).
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  #3  
Old 04 October 2018, 12:53 AM
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Hence why I lean towards either eloping or living in sin. People tell me you can have a simple wedding; I say nothing is simple when there's family involved and all the cultural baggage looming over it.
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  #4  
Old 04 October 2018, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Itís no wonder brides donít know where the line is between a reasonable expectation and one that calls to mind a giant reptile trampling villages. Itís easy to label someone a bridezilla instead of acknowledging that wedding planning is tough. And itís an impossible charge to defend against - any opinion, any request that can be cast as a demand fits the stereotype.

In that way, the bridezilla accusation isnít so different from the day-to-day sexism that follows women everywhere. Opinions and demands are the earmarks of a shrill, bossy bitch. Emotional women have been accused of ďhysteriaĒ for ages.
This is the aspect of the article I particularly liked. I would like to believe that by 2018 women are allowed to want things a certain way, and express those wants without having to be apologetic about it. But of course that's not true. I suspect that this worry about being seen as bossy or bitchy is also expressed in the way so many young women talk nowadays. "I was going to go to the store?" "My favourite colour is blue?" Everything is a question or at least is said with an obvious question mark at the end.

I hate that.
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  #5  
Old 04 October 2018, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Mouse View Post
People tell me you can have a simple wedding; I say nothing is simple when there's family involved and all the cultural baggage looming over it.
People have managed to have simple weddings (my friend J, for example). You get a license, you grab your fiance (or fiancee), go to the city hall or whatever, and you get married. What's complicated about that?

Seaboe
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  #6  
Old 05 October 2018, 03:31 AM
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You can certainly do that, but when there's "family involved and all the cultural baggage looming over it," it may be more of a headache than planning a wedding that's more in line with people's expectations.

I had originally planned on a courthouse wedding, followed a few weeks later by an informal reception. But my mother would have been heartbroken if she didn't get to be there for the actual wedding, and my husband felt (fairly; I didn't disagree) that if my parents were invited, we needed to invite his mom, dad, and stepmom, and if we were going to have that many people we might as well invite our closest friends, but then my mom was upset at the thought of extended family missing out especially if we had anyone other than our parents, and it got to be more of an issue than it was worth making of it. So we just had a quick ceremony in the same backyard where we had the reception immediately after, no break for endless posed photos.

Then there was the question of the officiant. California makes it really easy to become an ordained minister who can legally marry folks, but we couldn't agree on which of our friends we wanted, so we ended up hiring someone.

I didn't feel the need for any type of flowers, but my mom insisted, so I let her do what she wanted. I thought their backyard looked just fine, but they'd been looking for an excuse to redo it, so they spent probably the price of a modest condo landscaping it, and barely finished in time, to my slight nagging terror in the weeks leading up to it. I thought we could forego a wedding party, but my husband wanted two groomsmen and I felt weird with it being lopsided, especially since I had two very close friends who were obvious choices for bridesmaids. I thought cake was unnecessary; my mom disagreed, so we got a cake. I got caught up in some things too and ended up paying for dance lessons, having a huge fight with my mom over a chocolate fountain (I let her have her way on EVERYTHING ELSE!!!) and spending days making infused liquors.

A lot of people start out wanting simple weddings and end up with monogrammed M&M favors.
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  #7  
Old 05 October 2018, 03:42 AM
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I think as more and more couples are paying for their own weddings, the idea of the bride being a spoiled brat spending other people's money will fade. When an adult is spending a whole lot of their own hard earned money on a "once in a lifetime" event - it makes a lot more sense for them to have a strong opinion on how the flowers ought to be.

Heck, I have a friend that is an event coordinator for largely commercial/corporate events like conventions and public lecture type events and the people who pay for those are pretty high strung and demanding and that's just a place for people to get free post-it notes and hand sanitizer.
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  #8  
Old 05 October 2018, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Esprise Me View Post
A lot of people start out wanting simple weddings and end up with monogrammed M&M favors.
I guess that depends on your definition of a simple wedding.

To use another example, when my sister got married, my father said to her and her fiance "Here's $2000. Anything you don't spend on the wedding you get to keep."

They had a church wedding (I was the bridesmaid and my BIL's brother the groomsman), a wedding portrait, invited family and friends, and held the reception in my parent's basement (it was a kegger; they were just out of college).

It was still a simple wedding.

When people blame "cultural expectations" for personal decisions, it bugs me. You could have had your simple courthouse wedding. You chose not to, because you wanted to please your mother. That's you, deciding that what your mother wanted was more important than the simplicity you wanted. That's not some amorphous culture making you change your plans.

Seaboe
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  #9  
Old 05 October 2018, 04:09 PM
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I think it's got to do a lot with the families, as well as with the bride and groom.

But I think it's also got a whole lot to do with that concept of a "perfect wedding" in the first place. You know what I think is a perfect wedding? One where the marriage lasts (and not because either party thought they had no other choices).


I will grant that it's also good to have one where everybody who was on speaking terms before the wedding is still on speaking terms afterwards.
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  #10  
Old 05 October 2018, 04:12 PM
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When we were getting married, my MIL started talking about the things we MUST do, such a an engagement party, putting something in the paper (and another thing after the wedding), inviting all these random relatives, most of whom my wife didn't know or had not seen in years. We said fine, she could organize and pay for all that, and just let us know when to show up for the party. So, none of that ever happened since she would never do anything. If she had, we would have attended the party, and let her invite the relatives and pay for their meals, while we paid for everything else.
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  #11  
Old 05 October 2018, 10:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
I guess that depends on your definition of a simple wedding.

To use another example, when my sister got married, my father said to her and her fiance "Here's $2000. Anything you don't spend on the wedding you get to keep."

They had a church wedding (I was the bridesmaid and my BIL's brother the groomsman), a wedding portrait, invited family and friends, and held the reception in my parent's basement (it was a kegger; they were just out of college).

It was still a simple wedding.

When people blame "cultural expectations" for personal decisions, it bugs me. You could have had your simple courthouse wedding. You chose not to, because you wanted to please your mother. That's you, deciding that what your mother wanted was more important than the simplicity you wanted. That's not some amorphous culture making you change your plans.

Seaboe
Well, sometimes the consequence of not pleasing your mother is being cut off from your support network, forever. So yes, it's one adult making decision to forego their desires to please another more socially powerful adult, and as such is a "choice". But it's a choice with a huge built in power differential.
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  #12  
Old 06 October 2018, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
I guess that depends on your definition of a simple wedding.
I don't think it does? I didn't say my wedding ended up being simple; quite the opposite. I was using it to explain and affirm Mouse's concerns that "nothing is simple when there's family involved and all the cultural baggage looming over it." I agreed with you that one certainly can have a simple wedding, but that choice won't always be without negative repercussions, which might overwhelm the original ambition for simplicity. I also, less explicitly, pointed out that those who desire simplicity in the abstract, myself included, can get caught up in the twee details and end up Pinteresting the everloving pastel candied almonds out of the whole thing.

Quote:
When people blame "cultural expectations" for personal decisions, it bugs me. You could have had your simple courthouse wedding. You chose not to, because you wanted to please your mother. That's you, deciding that what your mother wanted was more important than the simplicity you wanted. That's not some amorphous culture making you change your plans.

Seaboe
...I didn't blame cultural expectations though? I clearly blamed my mother. ;-)
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  #13  
Old 06 October 2018, 07:00 PM
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Sometimes (most of the time?) the relatives who put enormous pressure on a couple to do something they don't want are being driven by cultural expectations. I mean, they either just want to make their kids miserable, or there is some other pressure that the parent/relatives are feeling that makes them (the parent) uncomfortable enough to want to relieve it by passing the pressure on to their kids.

So culture does not necessarily directly make people who want simple weddings have elaborate ones, but it's not like culture has nothing to do with it either.
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  #14  
Old 07 October 2018, 10:38 AM
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Sometimes it's the people.

We had a couple decide rather randomly to get married Tucson. They flew in from overseas, chose the hotel I worked at and made plans. They were very wealthy so a budget wasn't really a thing, but the bride was pretty much the most laid-back bride the wedding planner had ever met. She had 2 or three reasonable requests for colors and a few items that were culturally important to her. The wedding planner emailed her photos of how the table could be set. "That's fine." The photos of how they thought of decorating the ballroom? "Looks good." She did that with pretty much everything. The wedding planner walked around dazed.

On the other hand I've been yelled at because our flower beds that were not close to where the ceremony would be set were full of flowers not in the wedding colors. I was informed that we WOULD be changing them to match the wedding colors. Yeah, we ignored that little order.

Or the mothers of the brides. Hmmm... which wedding gave us more problems? The one where the mother of the bride had a screaming fit because we shut the cash bar down at whenever bar time was ("this is ruining her entire wedding!") or the one where the mother of the bride brought leftover cookies from the cookie table up to the front desk because "you need a treat since you're working all night"? And the daughters learn from mom.
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  #15  
Old 07 October 2018, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhiandmoi View Post
Well, sometimes the consequence of not pleasing your mother is being cut off from your support network, forever. So yes, it's one adult making decision to forego their desires to please another more socially powerful adult, and as such is a "choice". But it's a choice with a huge built in power differential.
Whatever. My mother was not happy at all when DH and I announced our engagement. Wow, what a shock. Hope the bookies in Vegas didn't loose too much money. I didn't speak to her for a month. I think my mother was afraid that I would have the same in-law problems she'd had. Didn't happen, plus my MIL lived first in Michigan then in Florida, so distance. She and my father did host a small reception in their house, but that was the only money they spent. We paid for everything else. My mother never did like DH, but I could have married Jesus Himself and that would not have been good enough.
YYMV of course.
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  #16  
Old 08 October 2018, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitap View Post
...or the one where the mother of the bride brought leftover cookies from the cookie table up to the front desk because "you need a treat since you're working all night"? ...
I don't think I understand what you are saying here, because it sounds like it was a thoughtful gesture.
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  #17  
Old 08 October 2018, 03:43 AM
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Yeah, I think it was a comparison of that wedding and the other one, and that wedding came out on top.
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  #18  
Old 08 October 2018, 03:51 AM
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Thank you, I see that now.
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  #19  
Old 08 October 2018, 03:00 PM
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I was trying to point out that while yes, cultural expectation can be a thing, simple weddings can be a thing, too. Saying that (g)you can't have a simple wedding because cultural expections (which is how I read Mouse's post, way back) is a vast overstatement, IMO.

Seaboe
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  #20  
Old 08 October 2018, 03:20 PM
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I'm not sure I'd call potentially creating major rifts between gyou and gyour nearest family "simple".

I mean, generally the purpose of a simple wedding is to minimize the cost and/or minimize the amount of stress associated with planning the wedding. If the latter is the biggest issue, replacing wedding planning stress with angering family stress, I'm not sure a "simple" wedding is possible for some people.
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