On the way to work, I tend to flip around between the different radio morning shows. Everyone kept talking about weddings and I couldn’t figure out why. Finally, one of the shows mentioned that this is June, which is apparently right smack dab in the middle of Wedding Season. Why anyone would want to get married during the hottest part of the year baffles me. If you’re a teacher and you want to get married when you have some time off, I get it. Otherwise, I don’t.
Then again, I don’t really like weddings anyway. They seem like a really expensive way to turn you and all the people around you into stressed out jerks. I expressed this sentiment to Ben and told him that I’d rather invite my friends and family to all jump in our cars and drive through traffic together because we’d get the same results without all the fuss. Most of the conversations on the morning shows have been about people’s bad experiences at weddings or while planning their own weddings. People are too cheap to pay for something that a guest wants or the guests are being too demanding about something. Future in-laws fight. Lifelong friends stab each other in the back over the choice of dresses. Bridezillas. It’s really a terrible thing.
I’ve been watching Friends reruns here and there over the past few weeks, and they’ve had episodes of all of the different Friends weddings. As funny as they all are on tv, those weddings would all be completely miserable experiences in real life. They were all also very expensive and time consuming. I have never understood why people put themselves through so much stress. Why not spend that money on a down payment on a house? Pay off student loan debt? At the very least, go on a nice honeymoon? Actually, people seem to like to start their lives together with lots of stress and lots of debt. The American Plan is supposed to be that we go to college, graduate with ungodly amounts of debt, get into more debt by planning a huge wedding that nobody enjoys, go on an expensive honeymoon, and then come back and get into more debt by buying a house that you can’t afford while driving multiple cars that you can’t afford.
Right now, Ben and I are both paying on our student loans. I graduated with $32,000 of student loan debt in 2012 and I now owe $36,000 even though I have made every one of my payments on time for the past two years. I can’t afford to pay more on them than I’m already paying, though. We are also saving up for the down payment on a house. Since he has three kids and rebuilds cars, we need a house with alot of space. As it is, Ben crams himself into a tiny garage to work on the Mustang, or he makes the three-hour trip back and forth between our house and his parents’ farm to use the trailer and/or work on the Jeep. It would really save us time, money, energy, and stress, if we just invested into a home where he could do all of that without making the long drive. Looking into the cost of homes, we could buy one similar to the one we’re renting right now for close to the same price as buying one that will allow him to enjoy his hobbies at home. Thinking about adding more debt to my name frightens me, but it’s also necessary (just like it was for my degree).
So, when I think about people spending the amount of money on a wedding that I spent on college, I feel a a bit nauseous and a bit violent. Why put yourself through that for something so stupid?! You can celebrate the day with your friends and family without all the muss and fuss. Eliminate unnecessary costs and stress because there will be no shortage of either of those in your life. Have a small ceremony, gather your closest friends and family around for a nice meal, and enjoy your time together as a new family. As far as I’m concerned, the only things about weddings that really matter is the promise that you are making to your husband/wife and, of course, the wedding cake. All of that other mess can go somewhere.