Monday, November 24, 2008

I love weddings. Just not my own.

I have heard many times that every girl dreams and waits for their wedding day so that she could become the most beautiful bride and be queen for the day. I am never one of those girls.

Weddings in the 21st century is a multi-million dollar industry. Wedding couples splurge on invitations, flowers, attires, accessories, photos, videos, restaurant, hotel, etc. just to prove that this would ultimately be the biggest day of their lives. In some countries such as Malaysia, the practice of dowry is still very much present. On the other side, guests spend hundreds of dollars in gifts or money every year for weddings.

I think that wedding is definitely a cause worth celebrating. Not only because it is a tradition but also a celebration of the love and union of two people with those who know them. While I love weddings, I can’t help but think that it is so over-rated these days. I will tell you why.

I love it for the fact that it is also an occasion for family and friends to gather together to catch up on lost time, to reminisce about the past and also to welcome and look forward to the arrival of a new member in the family or circle of friends. The food is usually great, it is an opportunity to over-dress and last but not least, to witness some of the traditions practiced by individual culture.

However, what I don’t like about weddings is the simple fact that I have attended too many weddings where I hardly know the bride or the bridegroom. The invitation has been extended to me by virtue of bloodline no matter how distant it is, colleagues whom I hardly know or acquaintances. 

I also think that weddings have lost a lot of its charm, excitement and real meaning. In other words, it has become so commercialised especially for the new generation. I believe that in the past, one of the main reasons for wedding to be the biggest day of a couple’s life is for the fact that it is also the day when the couple will be united in body and spirit for the first time.

It is really the start of a life together as oppose to now when many couples have been living together, or at least, shared intimate relationships way before their wedding nights. It is all fine and I don’t hold anything against this but it just doesn’t have that same charm, significance and spirit as before, especially when it is being carried out in such a large scale. Hence, my opinion that it is so over rated.

Now, the final thing which I don’t like about weddings will probably offend many people who read this but I will not hold back because I think it is time to defend my parents, in regards to my own marriage.

My parents are not traditionalists. So when my brother and I decided to get married without having a wedding dinner and formal traditional ceremony, they gave their unequivocal blessings. I love and thank my parents for that. This is completely a personal choice since I tend to believe that it’s the marriage that counts and not the wedding. I bought a decent dress for my civil marriage ceremony a day before and forgot to remove the price tag until minutes before entering the registrar office. I have a photo to prove it (see below)!

Bride being tagged_compressed

Anyway, since then, my mother has been taking some unreasonable and might I add cruel heat from some of my relatives. Some of them have accused my parents for failing to execute their parental responsibilities of having a wedding dinner. On top of that, my mother was told that we have been attending and benefiting from other people’s wedding but were too stingy to have our own. My mother was stunned and as the lady that she is, remained silent and took it all in, only to be hurt deeply inside.

Now, for some of you who might share the same sentiments as these relatives of mine, let me just try to put it as short and straightforward as possible. For all those years that my parents have been invited to weddings, they have given money, most of the time handsome amount of money, to the couples. So, those wedding dinners were not free of charge. A lot of time have been spent on waiting for dinners which often start very late and not to mention money spent on buying a dress. So, please, if anything, my brother and I have spared many people from having to do this. They don’t  get anything out of us, just as we don’t get anything out of them.

I hope that people will keep in mind that, weddings cost money, not only to the couple but also the guests. Unless you are rich, many do actually see weddings as some form of a financial burden but they still attend out of obligations and social grace.

Wedding is a time for celebration and joy but let’s not take it out of that context. The next time you plan a large scale wedding, do put your guest list in mind, especially during this time of economic recession.

p/s: I do not have anything against weddings if anyone misunderstood what I wrote. I believe it is a personal choice.


  1. i can't believe you can write so much just about wedding. i didn't read the whole thing but i know you know that i don't really believe in marriage unless if you wanna have kids and that too is more for the sake of the kids due to social acceptance.

  2. 888,

    can you imagine how much longer it would be if it was about my own wedding??!!!

    Anyway, I am planning to write a piece about traditional chinese wedding but just haven't had the time to do it. It sure won't be for your reading!