"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those
who are willing to work and give to those who would not."
--Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Getting Married: Then vs. Now

I got married in the mid 90’s. I was completely clueless as to how to plan a wedding but somehow I managed to throw something together in time and in February of 96’ I said I do.

Looking back I’ll tell you some of the things I didn’t do and in the end didn’t matter.

  • I didn’t get a wedding coordinator.
  • I didn’t make any centerpieces for the tables.
  • I didn’t rent table clothes for the tables
  • I didn’t make any kind of decorations for the venue.
  • I didn’t have any parting gifts for the guests.
  • I didn’t buy a dress, (I rented it.)
  • I didn’t have a flower girl or a ring bearer.
  • I didn’t have any cute signs telling you wear to go.

But you know what? We’ve been happily married for 18 years. And I can guarantee you that if you ask anyone from that day what we had for dinner, they probably couldn’t even tell you. My hope is that they can look back and remember how much we loved each other.

Fast forward to today and the world of Pinterest. Before you think I’m bashing Pinterest I want you to know that I love Pinterest. I have many many boards on Pinterest but here’s the kind of pressure Pinterest puts on those planning a wedding these days.

  • Must have table linens. Matching your colors preferably.
  • Must have cute chair decorations on backs of chairs and covers if ugly.
  • Must have centerpieces that go with your over all theme. Because weddings now have themes.
  • Having a wedding coordinator is a must.
  • Decorating your venue with sparkly lights and pretty fabrics set the stage for the night.
  • Real flowers vs. fake flowers. The debate is still on going.
  • Make sure you have a little something for every one of your guests when they leave the reception.

That’s just few things I could think of off the top of my head. But here’s my question? Who’s supposed to pay for all this stuff? Even when you DIY it gets expensive. Would we like to be able to provide those fun, extra things? Sure we would, but it can’t happen, at least not now.

So having a daughter that’s planning a wedding and a husband who may be facing another lay off makes it very difficult to face those who think we should have had all this money saved for this joyous occasion.

We’ve been a one income family since getting married 18 years ago. With rising taxes and insurance and car troubles and house repairs etc. there just wasn’t any way we could save enough money to meet the expectations that Pinterest has put on us parents. *Just so you know, my daughter doesn’t expect all those things and she completely understands our predicament.*

I know that we are going to make this work one way or another. I just hope that when it’s all said and done, no one remembers that the plates were plastic or the napkins were paper. My hope is that they remember a joyous union between two young people in love.


  1. Keep it simple and within budget. Who cares what others are doing? You know how much we spent for our wedding? $150. And no, I'm not missing any zeros. We went to a justice of the peace and had the ceremony in one of the county buildings. And what we didn't spend on a fancy ceremony, we spent as down payment on a house and building our life together. I know that our case is rather extreme, but just one example that you can have a long and happy life together without spending yourself to the poor-house for a wedding and reception.

    BTW, Janice in Texas (gypsy farm girl) makes beautiful burlap rose bouquets/boutonnieres for weddings. https://www.etsy.com/shop/GypsyFarmGirl She's got a lot of wedding photos on her blog that show how you can keep it all simple (including the guys in the wedding party wearing blue jeans).

  2. Our society today has put more focus on the "wedding" while they neglect focusing on the "marriage", the covenant of two people's lives until death do them part.

  3. I'm certain that some of the reason she doesn't feel she "needs" any of this stuff lies in how she was raised. When we teach our kids early on they don't need everything under the sun, nor do they deserve it, they get a better picture of reality. Simplicity is definitely better in most cases anyways, LOL!

    I'm sure her wedding will be beautiful and the bride, even more so. You better plan on sharing lots and lots of pictures when the big day comes. You know we'll all expect it! :)

  4. There sure is a huge pressure "out there" to perform..but we don't HAVE to agree to it. We CAN be ok about keeping things in perspective and focusing on what's REALLY important but still making it relevant and special. I try to remember to embrace the individual-ness that each human has to offer and try to focus on being unique and making choices based on that as opposed to what "the going trend" is. {{hugs}}

  5. Oh dear.. Been there done that.. ha ha...
    Seeing that my daughter just got married in November, I can totally relate.. though we were able to do without a wedding cordinator, it wasn't horribly expensive - there are ways to get around it.. and in the end.. like you said.. you want them to have a beautiful day and even more importantly a joyous union.
    If I can help in ANY way.. please feel free to email me.
    I actually had some stuff discounted or donated if I blogged about it.. so make sure you use that ;-)

  6. Simple is perfect! I've been to a few weddings in the last few years and none of them used coordinators. Most had lots of friends/family volunteering their time/services/supplies to make the day special but not expensive. And some of them have just been cake or dessert receptions in the afternoon - no full meal needed.

    As for hubs and I, we sort of eloped - family knew we were getting married and we told them where we were going. I had a dress and bouquet and hubs had a suit. We got married outdoors near Tahoe with a Minister from a local church there and a photographer that we hired. No regrets over 21 years later!

    Big the-wedding-will-be-beautiful-no-matter-what-because-of-the-couple-getting-married size hugs to you! Love you friend!


I really appreciate the time you take to leave a comment. Thank you!

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin