Posts tagged I hate weddings
I’m not too crazy about weddings. Well American weddings, to be exact. I think the song I embedded above pretty much sums it all up nicely as to why. I guess the main thing is that they seem to be devoid of the culture that I’ve grown up accustomed to. I was raised with loud, boisterous European sensibilities tempered with a classy edge, so I tend to view American weddings as bizarre and alien undertakings because for the most part they can be rather dull.
There’s just something about their pomp and circumstance that seems to defeat the purpose of such a joyous occasion. There’s also the all-too-common “bridezilla” that our western culture tends to breed. Maybe it’s because getting married in America has become more of a checkbox on the linear road of life – you know, you finish school, get a job, find yourself a girl and put a ring around her finger as soon as you can and then hopefully have kids before she turns 35 at the very latest.
So you have this wedding and hire the band or DJ, eat some bland but beautifully presented food and avoid the dance floor like it’s made of lava until some brave soul who’s 9 drinks in at the open bar ventures out to do the funky chicken. Then there’s the question of “how much do I give the bride and groom in my mandatory card?” Another thing is the fact that it’s pretty much guaranteed that the happy couple do not know at least 15 – 20% of the guests – sometimes it’s as high as 40% due to the +1s that people bring so they don’t show up alone.
Some might say “oh boo hoo, Mike! Free food and open bar!” Well, actually it’s not really free as many of you who have been to a wedding any time recently may have recalled a box with a slot in the top somewhere near the table where you get your seating card. You’re supposed to put money in there for the bride and groom – at least $100 per person. Go ahead and feel terrible if you didn’t know what the box was for or avoided the box altogether up till now.
The big problem with American weddings is that because of the above factors, people get to doing a lot of small talk to pass the time (and believe me, you’re sure to be in for at least 5 hours). “so, what do you do?” “are you here with a date? You’re NOT?!? (look of disapproval followed by whispers to familiars speculating that you may be gay) “Oh I don’t want to dance, this isn’t my song” (you mean you can’t dance), “yep yep, well I should get going, work in the morning you know!” and the biggest one that gets my goat is that people ACTUALLY complain about this, that, or the other!
I’ve been to more weddings than I can count and the only ones I’ve enjoyed are the cultural ones. And I mean the ones that are unabashedly cultural to the point that they completely ignore what country they are in. For example Greek and Israeli weddings are so much fun you forget you’re at a “wedding” altogether People are so freaking happy and uninhibited that the wedding can last well into the wee hours. And since the band is also of the same culture they will play all damn night until they pass out!
The last Greek one I went to, I was so happy for my friend and the bazouki music was blaring and the Ouzo was flowing that I got carried away! We destroyed every plate the venue had and even burned money (literally) in large denominations - 50s and 100s!
Sunday night, I went to a wedding that I totally expected to be a snorefest but then I realized it was an Israeli wedding once I arrived and I knew it would be a gong show. At Israeli weddings the bride and groom are treated like rockstars. They always have talented live bands and singers who play Mizrachi music and the MC always announces the married couple like they are about to box each other at Madison Square Garden. The dancing is epic and it pretty much feels like you’re at a hot club where everyone loves each other. The food is fantastically spicy, salty, sweet and savoury and the liquor at the tables is bottomless. Typically you will get a flute of champagne, a large wineglass, a small wineglass and a shot glass at the table. Tonight’s wedding had full bottles whiskey and Vodka at each table for the shot glasses and I definitely partook. We made sure our friend’s wedding was freaking awesome and there were almost no wallflowers.
Where am I going with this? This post is supposed to be anti-wedding. I guess the hate-on is limited to the North American ones then. After all, I do happen to live on that continent so the majority of the weddings I go to tend to be the kind I don’t like. The high divorce rate in this part of the world doesn’t exactly help me either with my opinion. The combination of those two things and my generally poor relationship skills have made me deathly afraid of weddings in that context.
I know that IF I ever tie the knot I will only invite people I know personally, I will make sure the band is freaking awesome and is capable of getting people grooving and moving. I will make the donation box optional or find another way to raise the money if needed in some way that feels less obligatory (i.e. charity poker and blackjack) and I will make sure the food is delicious. If my bride is of a certain culture I will make sure to fully represent her tradition and mix it with my Italian/Middle Eastern roots to make it something really special for the guests. Those of you who know me and have been to #NusCabana know that I like to be hospitable, so the above should not surprise you.
All I can say to conclude this post is that I know that many girls dream of that princess wedding for themselves. But I would like to put forth that if you’re going to have a wedding and invite people, consider that the reception is really more for them than it is for you. Concern yourself with your honored guests and worry less about making every little detail perfect and expensive. Make sure you know and care about all your guests and if there are a few +1s make sure you get around to greeting them. You have the rest of your lives to spend together and it’s important to know that not every day can be as exciting as your wedding day, so don’t compare the coming months and years to it lest you find yourself unhappy. Weddings are for the guests. The trick is inviting the ones who love the couple and know them well enough to want to make that day fun and special as thanks for honoring them with an invitation. Party until you can’t party no more because if ever there was a reason to do so, getting married is it – so forget what you have to do the next day until the next day comes.
I was going to put up some cool videos, but for some reason the connection at my midtown apartment has a .20mbps upload speed so it’s pictures for today until I settle it with Rogers.