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Groom with bride in background.
Bridezilla. Cinderella. Princess. Wedding culture tells us that weddings are little girls' fantasies, carried out by women who still dream. Men? They're almost irrelevant. As a wedding industry professional said in a recent New York Times trend piece on (gasp!) men participating in wedding gown shopping:
“I have been in this industry for multiple years,” she said, “and the wedding day has always been the bride’s day. And it has traditionally been all of the women from both families who participate in the planning process, and really the groom is arm candy on the day of the wedding. If the groom has traditionally had a say in the process, it has only been about the tuxedo styles.”
Another way of approaching this general idea shows up in a Huffington Post piece currently making the rounds in my Facebook feed. In the guise of arguing "let's ban weddings and, while we're at it, baby showers, too," Valerie Alexander reserves her strongest criticism not for the wedding industry that pushes people to spend too much, but for women. Or, as she very intentionally puts it, "girls."
I swear, weddings are the leading cause of divorce. If some girl wasn't fulfilling her childhood fantasy of being a princess, holding court in the perfect gown with the perfect hair and perfect flowers, on a day dedicated solely to celebrating her ability to land a man, how much more effort would she put into finding the right mate, since the reward for doing so would be a lifetime together, rather than a coronation? [...]

Celebrations are a huge, important part of life, but the worst mistake a girl can make is to enter into a lifetime commitment just to get a party. The husband and the baby are around long after all the guests go home, so you'd better be ready for that part of it. Here's a tip: if you're demanding an engagement ring for Christmas, chances are you aren't ready to be married (and he certainly isn't).

Ouch, right? And unfair to the point of borderline misogyny, as we'll discuss below the fold.

As much as the wedding industry tells us, ad nauseam, that indeed the perfect gown and perfect hair and perfect flowers are "every girl's dream," it's been my experience in recent years that men as much as women are invested in their weddings and are pushing for big weddings. That idea has no place in the culture, so you won't hear much about it. And it's certainly the case that the entire wedding industry conspires to keep men out of the process (see the first quote in this piece, for a reminder).

But if you think men aren't interested in the whole process, consider another big recent wedding trend: the big deal proposal. We're talking flash mob proposal after flash mob proposal, not to mention all the other forms of public proposal or YouTubed, wannabe viral (or actually viral) proposal that have been such a big thing in over the last few years. Shoot, proposal planning consultants are now a thing. The fact that the proposal, the part of the official wedding process that men have the most control over, is becoming a bigger and bigger event sure suggests that men are not the eye-rolling, detached, "whatever she wants" passengers of lore.

Consider also that, as of a few years ago, teenage boys had more positive views of marriage than teenage girls, and, while boys had long wanted to marry later than girls, that gap was closing rapidly as girls gained educational and occupational opportunities. So to the extent that girls/women do want to get married early, data suggests it's correlated with not feeling like they have better choices—even as they're overall less enthusiastic about marriage than boys. (Reasonably enough, since a host of other data shows that marriage is good for men and less so for women.)

In this context, isn't it a little hasty to pin all the blame for pressure to put a ring on it and over-the-top weddings on women? In fact, there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that men often push the women they're marrying toward more neotraditional weddings. A Practical Wedding's Rachel Wilkerson writes:

I had told him before we were engaged that I didn’t have any interest in a traditional wedding, nor did I have the funds to pay for said traditional wedding, so I just wanted to go to city hall with close family and friends. He said that he was totally on board with that, but…well, there was always some kind of a “but” during these conversations. He told me repeatedly that he didn’t care about the details of our wedding, that I was free to do whatever I wanted…and yet, time and again, I’d casually mention my thoughts on something (usually something practical in favor of something WIC-sanctioned) and he’d make the face, somehow managing to look both devastated and disgusted at the same time. But when I’d ask him to tell me what was on his mind, he couldn’t tell me what he wanted or why he wanted it…he wouldn’t even admit to having an opinion.
I've heard any number of stories along those lines, online and in person. I've lived a couple of them. In a culture where men are written almost entirely out of the dominant narrative on weddings, presumed not to care a bit but just indulge their crazed brides, it sure looks like, from teen years to proposal to wedding, they actually do care. Pretending men don't care and aren't involved in wedding pressures and plans is definitely unfair to women, who face a massive amount of nastiness and stereotyping of the "girls enter into a lifetime commitment just to get a party" kind Valerie Alexander engages in. Weddings as they are commonly practiced in the United States today are involved, detail-filled, expensive affairs, and that is work. It's work that lands on women, who are then blamed for excess and frustration as they try to execute things that are, often as not, desired as much or more by others as by themselves (not just grooms—friends and family can and do act as enforcers of neo-traditional wedding culture). But beyond that, if men care, it's unfair to erase them from the story and lock them out of substantive participation in their own weddings.

So let's stop letting men be written out of wedding stories. For their sake, for women's sake, and for the sake of tempering the ridiculously gendered stories we tell about getting married.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Still love the stories of Trekkies/Browncoats... (32+ / 0-)

    who got married in costume.  The logic being if they're going to be spending THAT much money on a costume, they should be able to wear it multiple times.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:05:53 PM PST

  •  Sorry...I think Valerie Alexander pretty much (26+ / 0-)

    nails it.

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:07:02 PM PST

  •  I'm not so sure about banning weddings, but we (55+ / 0-)

    women who give wedding/bridal showers should most definitely stop that stuff. Instead, we should "shower" household gifts and young women when they leave their parents' homes and set up their first apartments. It should be a celebration of independence, not prizes for "catching a man."

    "Portion of the adolescent prisoners in solitary on Rikers Island who have been diagnosed with a mental illness: 7/10." Tell someone.

    by RJDixon74135 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:14:59 PM PST

  •  Although our wedding involved equal planning, (17+ / 0-)

    it happens to be my personal observation that every other hetero wedding I've attended or participated in has been dominated by the bride's decisions and desires.  In each case, the groom would simply shut down and essentially "accept" that one person was running the show.

    I always found it frustrating and wondered (in some cases) if it said less about their respective relationships than about some generally accepted, culturally granted posture they were inheriting without consciously realizing such.  

    To be honest, the men in many of these situations didn't express much caring about most of wedding details - which raised my hackles, considering I'm the kind of male who enjoys, for example, interior decorating, shoe shopping, party planning, etc. and it strikes me that you'd naturally form some basic interest in the planning for any form of celebratory event that involves you.  I actively helped my spouse-to-be search out and decide upon her wedding dress, provide feedback on footwear choices, etc. - it wasn't a chore, guys.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:16:16 PM PST

    •  the fun part is having people there that you love. (10+ / 0-)

      many of us find the other stuff to be details that just get in the way.

    •  Decisions or responsibilities? (21+ / 0-)

      As a woman who was married twice, I would say that even if the "bride" wants to avoid decisions in both traditional and non-traditional weddings, or if those decisions are taken from her, she will be nonetheless stuck with the responsibilities.

      My first wedding was traditional only because my parents insisted on it being that way, and I wanted to keep peace with them.  

      Far from making any decisions I was, frankly, lucky that I didn't care. If I had my way, I would have had a few friends and relatives, a simple secular ceremony, some appetizers and drinks, and dancing.  But that was not to be.

      I learned early on that I would have no say. Of a guest list of 200, I could invite only 10 people. Everyone else was invited by parents. I had no say in the food, the band, the church, the reception venue, etc. My mother even insisted that I couldn't wear a dress that wasn't bought in a bridal store--we compromised on a bridesmaid's dress in the color white. And even though I was a feminist, the priest my parents picked for the ceremony (even though I was no longer a practicing Catholic) insisted on including sexist Bible verses and injunctions to obey, over my objections.

      P.S.  I was not a teenager at the time.  I was 23 years old and a graduate student, making my own money and living away from home.

      My husband-to-be had the same lack of interest that I did.  However, he was the one who had no responsibilities except for picking up his tux.  He got to party, while I was the one who had to write out the invitations, sooth ruffled feathers, intervene in fights between hubby to be and his parents, was dragged around to make nice with people I'd never met before, made sure people got picked up at and driven to the airport,  etc.

      Brides and weddings?  I'd trade places with the groom who had nothing to do but pick his tuxedo, fight with his parents  and party any day!

      As I write all of this down, it's almost embarrassing.  I wonder how I could have let myself be sucked into such a horrible situation.  But I also know that once you start down that road with people who need to get their own way, there's not much you can do about it.

      Parents-zilla, anyone?

      Fox's Brian Kilmeade on Starbucks' decision to ban guns in stores: "Real simple - if you have a gun, go to Dunkin Donuts."

      by NCJan on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:21:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have to assume the parents wrote the check(s) (8+ / 0-)

        My folks wrote the check for my first wedding. Pretty much as you described. For the 2nd, we wrote the check. His folks did pick up the bar tab for the reception. For the 3rd - We went to the local chapel. My folks sent a really nice floral arrangement and his folks had dinner with us and paid.

        3rd times the charm! heehee

        Married at 17 - stupid
        Married at 21 - still stupid
        Married at 35 - much better. ;)

        if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

        by mrsgoo on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:00:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Then why did you allow any of this? (6+ / 0-)

        If you didn't want the 3 ring circus, the dress, the priest, the church???  You were an independent adult.

        Don't understand.

        40 years ago, I didn't want that sexist crap when hubby and I decided to get married.  Neither of us were religious.  My parents didn't care; his were glott catholic.

        I refused the sexist crap.  Wanted to elope.  No church.  He did not want to be married at the courthouse, so we compromised (with each other--the foundation of our 40 yr marriage).

        Got married on our own terms, Unitarian church chapel (not main church); wrote our own vows, my parents and siblings attended, his boycotted (they were/are shits, aka the most "Christian of Christians"), we paid for the minister, went to dinner--just us-- that night, had a hotel room (brought our 3 cats with us), best wedding ever, and even have a great anniversary event to remember--it was the night of Nixon's Saturday night massacre.

        What is important is the marriage/relationship.  Not all this crazy over-commercialized crap.

        I don't understand as women have gotten more rights why these crazy princess/3-ring circus weddings that bankrupt or cost more than the gross national product of a 3rd world nation.

        The generation after us has gone bat-shit crazy and if our nieces and nephews are any indication (with their stupid narcissistic wedding facebook pages and registries and "stories of our proposal websites") none of these weddings have lasted longer than 15 months.

        Makes absolutely no sense.

        Just say NO!

        You act like you are completely passive and unable to run your own life.

        •  Right on, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, gagme

          it seems easier to just skip the medieval ritual than to bitch and whine about how sexist it is.  

          If you like parties, then throw a fucking party, but don't saddle everyone with the superstitious accoutrements of a wedding.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:06:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  You are right (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          badscience, wader

          Life happens. You learn.  Disapproval of parents either cows you or you overcome. In this case I thought I was choosing my battles and as I said for one day it didn't seem worth the fight.

          I survived. It's all good.

          Fox's Brian Kilmeade on Starbucks' decision to ban guns in stores: "Real simple - if you have a gun, go to Dunkin Donuts."

          by NCJan on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 03:27:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Parents wield a lot of power. (5+ / 0-)

          It amazes me that this needs to be said.

          Entire industries exist to clean up the mess that parents make of their children :-) I know that is both simplistic and inaccurate, but particularly at this time of year when families come together to fight, I would think most people would acknowledge how powerful family dynamics can be, and how toxic they often are.  

          •  Thanks for the support (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            badscience, wader

            It's somewhat sad to find people who like to blame the victims of emotional abuse on a progressive website.

            It's also interesting that a person whose own parents let her do what she wanted feels free to judge others.

            As I said, I got over it.  And in a way I'm very lucky, because I was blessed with an empathy that many don't get in this life.

            Fox's Brian Kilmeade on Starbucks' decision to ban guns in stores: "Real simple - if you have a gun, go to Dunkin Donuts."

            by NCJan on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 06:35:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Parents don't "LET" or "MAKE" you do something (0+ / 0-)

              unless you are 2, 12, maybe even 16.

              Not when you are over 21, self-supporting and live on your own.

              My husband did not capitulate to his parents' emotional blackmail.

              Being a progressive does not mean you leave logic, common sense, and responsibility for your own actions  behind -- quite the opposite.  That is the repugnants' slur against us, not reality.

              A "victim" is not someone who allows him/herself to partake of a $30,000 orgy of commercialism they claim they really did not want.

              •  And Happy Holidays to you too n/t (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Fox's Brian Kilmeade on Starbucks' decision to ban guns in stores: "Real simple - if you have a gun, go to Dunkin Donuts."

                by NCJan on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 12:58:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  $2,000 was more like it (0+ / 0-)

                I don't know what class you are from, but where I came from $30,000 was what you spent on a house, not a wedding.  

                If you don't understand toxic relationships and physically and emotionally abusive parents and their effect on even adult children, I can't help you with this one.

                I do know that if a battered woman finds it hard to leave the relationship, I don't sneer at her and tell her she's illogical and childish.

                If a person from an oppressed minority tells me that they have been bruised and beaten down by racism, I don't tell them to grow up and get over it.

                After many years of trying to disentangle myself from toxic parental relationships characterized by physical and emotional abuse, I have finally found not only peace but understanding.

                If you refuse to have understanding or kindness or sympathy, that's on your plate.  As I said, I got over it.

                I do wish you peace in the New Year.

                Fox's Brian Kilmeade on Starbucks' decision to ban guns in stores: "Real simple - if you have a gun, go to Dunkin Donuts."

                by NCJan on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 01:25:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  And to get away from the personal (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                An interesting book came out a few years ago.  The thesis was that weddings in the 20th century, with the advent of feminism, had evolved from being events that showcased the wealth of the father of the bride to events that showcased the success of the women themselves who were getting married.

                I came from a small, enclosed, Italian American community.  Back in the 1970s, when I was first married, the view was still prevalent that if a woman eloped she was insulting her father by not allowing him to show that he could afford to provide a party to the community on the occasion of his daughter's marriage.

                No matter how much I disliked the idea of how my parents wanted to celebrate my marriage, I did not have the heart to insult my father by undermining his standing in the community.  

                Things are complicated, you know?

                Fox's Brian Kilmeade on Starbucks' decision to ban guns in stores: "Real simple - if you have a gun, go to Dunkin Donuts."

                by NCJan on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 01:49:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Nixon and weddings (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NCJan, wader, gagme

          We brides of a certain age use Watergate events to mark our anniversaries. I got married just a few days after Tricia Nixon did and on our very first anniversary, those guys got arrested in the Watergate hotel (or complex or whatever it was). Also, since it was the hippy days and we were young and poor, I didn't get an engagement ring. My husband-to-be gave me a bicycle instead, and we peddled off on our honeymoon.

        •  Don't, because if you do, it lasts and lasts. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          An old guy's observation might be worth considering. Looking back at both family and those I knew when younger—and I lost touch with them thirty or more years ago—and now the family relationships of younger acquaintances on thing stands out with respect to this subject.

          If you let parental desire to "show off" or turn you into their surrogate fantasy the unhealthy meddling has a tendency to last and last.

          In my own extended family, almost extinct now, I watched that happen in various branches. In my personal case, even though my parents were not particularly intrusive in general, they knew by late teens that their ability to control events was declining to zero. The result was a fairly good adult relationship that came on early and lasted for the most part of a long life. In some branches that was not the case, particularly in any matter even remotely related religion (weddings explicitly included), and I watched families my age and older still in a teen relationship with parents, sometimes with disastrous results.

          It is very sad to me to see people in their thirties wrestling still with whether to meet or not meet parental insistence on children's names and even worrying whether "mom and dad will approve if we get this new sofa" as one did. It is very sad to see almost middle aged adults unable to say "No, this holiday we are going to (fulfill some dream vacation or some such) instead of attend the 'family gathering'" as I've seen just in the last weeks.

          My kids? We have a general good time and sometimes a blast in such gatherings and they often opt out to have a blast on something else. We just get together another time. By the way, celebrating Thanksgiving the week before and just relaxing. We've decided more holidays are going to near by dates of convenience with individual or incidental get together chilling on the official dates.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 07:12:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  One way of avoiding arguments (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is to divide up  the things that need doing in a relationship, to the extent possible.

      This may not be the best way, or it may be a good way for some couples and not others.

      You like (and are presumably good at) the sort of wedding details you mention. I, on the other hand, am completely incompetent at them (and don't notice them much).

      People differ.

      •  A division of responsibility is reasonable (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and not all folks need to concern themselves 50/50, as my examples offered, I agree.

        If a groom feels better suited to a different aspect of the planning needs - food, hosting arrangements, communications, etc. - then, that would seem a good way to begin deciding who should lead different sub-efforts.

        Although I led the money management, hosting and entertainment needs for our wedding, my bride-to-be was often present and/or remained informed of my ideas so that decisions were not unexpected.  Similarly, her food, people management and other areas to lead had me either in tow or kept up-to-date so that I didn't make poor assumptions of who would arrive when, what types of food we should pay for, etc.

        Support for each other would seem a basic expectation for this type of event planning - a simple presence to offer feedback does not take skill, just consideration, IMHO.

        Sure, each couple should organize as works best for them - that could even lend to one taking on all the responsibilities, essentially.  But, the examples I saw seemed more a "default" positioning which indicated little conscious thinking of why each person took on those roles, I felt.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 12:04:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Annecdotes always reflect universal truths. (23+ / 0-)

    The Thomas Friedman school of Journalism.

    "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

    by JesseCW on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:17:14 PM PST

  •  Most of my friends and family (15+ / 0-)

    Wanted something low-key but nice, comfortable, sociable, and genuine.

    This whole narrative isn't just about misogyny, it's about modeling the accepted vision of a wedding on the worst behavior of the near-bourgeoisie.  

    Unless we're trying to be like them, we're not really getting married.

    •  Same here- low key, just a few friends and family (5+ / 0-)

      That was my wedding 45 years ago (OK, my mom really wanted me in white, I bowed to that pressure with a homemade middy dress and white pearl boots.) Both daughters did the same- small weddings, personalized (not commercialized) with their own vows written by them and their husbands, followed by a shared meal with family.  None of us has an engagement ring, but all three of us are still married.

      beam me up Scotty- there's no intelligent life down here

      by ladybug4you on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:29:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our bank account (25+ / 0-)

    loved our wedding.  The hub and I made all decisions together.  We decided to get married on Thanksgiving, since the family would already be assembled.  We got married at our home.  My dad the preacher-man officiated, my mom played the grand piano, my nephew took pictures and my sis was my matron of honor.

    The whole thing, including a kickass T-day dinner for the crowd?  Less than $500 bucks, including flowers and clothes.

    Did I mention that I really dislike being the center of attention?  :-)  A huge wedding would have terrified me.

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:20:41 PM PST

  •  Well, since we're talking anectodal evidence.... (22+ / 0-)

    I don't really like the Bridezilla meme and think it's pretty sexist, but it seems an overreaction to pretend that men care just as much about the weddings, in general. We all have our own anecdotes, but I've never really seen a man get in to the planning, and I have been driven up walls by women who can think about nothing but...

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:20:41 PM PST

  •  Blue jersey dad and I were married in my mom's (38+ / 0-)

    house. About 9 people attended, and the whole thing cost less than $200. We have been married for almost 38 years. The hippy part of me hates fancy ceremonies, and the Scottish part of me is too cheap to waste money on a wedding.

  •  Indeed, and let's stop pretending that (7+ / 0-)

    women aren't delighted to reciprocate by spending 10 straight hours watching football each Saturday and Sunday all Fall and well into the Winter.

    And let's dispel the myth that they shouldn't cheerfully be chipping in at least 50-50 for the beer and other healthy foodstuffs that accompany the ritual.

  •  Wedding Plans Almost Stopped My Wedding (26+ / 0-)

    My wife and I got married seven years ago tomorrow. We paid for the whole thing and did it as cheaply as possible because of that reason -- we're not made of money. The thing is that I'm a bit more frugal than my wife (all right, I'm cheap) and can think of a thousand other ways the money spent for that occasion could have been spent.

    Weddings are a scam to begin with but they've become something that rich people can do to their liking. The rest of us should just see it as the excessive bullshit that it is.

    The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

    by The Lone Apple on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:22:12 PM PST

    •  Happy early anniversary! (3+ / 0-)

      Best wishes for many more.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:31:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There is one benefit about waiting until you're middle-aged to get married for the first time. You make the decision with a lot more maturity.

        The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

        by The Lone Apple on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 03:00:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm with you on the "excessive bullshit" part (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Lone Apple

      and "weddings are a scam." Well, the wedding "industry" anyway.

      I can't tell you how many times I've wished we'd put a nice downpayment on a house instead of on tuxes/dresses/hall/caterer/cake/flowers/pictures etc.

      The honeymoon was ok. Actually, the three days at Disney were great, but the four days spent on a Bahamas cruise immediately after Hurricane Andrew were a waste of time and money.

      Someday we'll take another cruise and do it right this time. I've been telling myself that for 24 years now...

      Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.
      Keystone XL will raise gas prices!

      by Turbonerd on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 06:01:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Calamity Jean and I spent ~$500 on our... (20+ / 0-)

    ...reception (just family and a few coworkers), plus the fees for the license and Marriage Court. Nothing fancy for my wife, since this was her second marriage. We will have been married for 24 years this coming February 21st.

    We had contemplated getting married on Valentine's Day, but Calamity Jean researched a bit and discovered that was Marriage Court's busiest day. Now, Valentine's Day is my 1-week reminder for our anniversary.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:23:05 PM PST

  •  As I read this I'm remembering (8+ / 0-)

    at least one Ernest Hemingway short story about a man dumping his long-time wife and I'm also thinking about mythology rife in this culture wherein men walk out on marriages to be "free" and this is applauded as "manliness." (In the mirror-image myth, about the woman leaving the marriage for "freedom," the woman is always castigated for "irresponsibility.")

    A "real man" denigrates women, and this includes denigration of intimate, domestic relationships. So of course the wedding is all for "her."

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:24:02 PM PST

  •  If Momma aint happy, aint nobody happy. (23+ / 0-)

    That is a partial explanation why men largely opt out.  I've observed engaged couples talk about wedding plans and observed the guy being asked for his input.  Nothing outlandish, nothing typical guyish.  He is met, without fail, by eyerolls, mockery and patronizing (or should it be matronizing?) from the wedding planning Central Committee.

    Nah.  Better to stay the fuck out of way, show up on time, and don't lose the ring in the interim. Laura.

    "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)
    This message will self-destruct upon arrival in the NSA archives in Utah.

    by MTmofo on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:26:20 PM PST

  •  I co-planned my wedding with my wife. (13+ / 0-)

    (I am a man, it's fun to have to provide this info) We had to plan an out-of-state wedding on a thin budget... basically, it had to cost less than my winnings from a low-budget basic-cable game show.

    It was a great celebration, and made better by the fact that I was fully engaged in the planning and carrying-out of the plans. While I see what the writer is saying about who 'runs the show' for some folks' weddings, and I'm just glad that doesn't reflect how anything works in my life. These things- how we celebrate, what we pay for things, how we run our partnerships- are all choices, and we chose differently than the made-for-tv version.

    My budget-cutting plan: anyone showing up to a government worksite with Confederate images on their truck, gets paid in Confederate dollars.

    by El Sobrante on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:28:23 PM PST

    •  Ah.. There's a rub there (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      El Sobrante
      We had to plan an out-of-state wedding on a thin budget...
      Since you were paying for the wedding on a thin budget, you naturally had to be involved in all aspects of the wedding planning.

      Good show for you that you had fun with it.

      Are there no prisons? No workhouses?

      by meatballs on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 12:44:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a general rule (10+ / 0-)

    The strength of any marriage is inversely proportional to the amount spent on the wedding.

    TEA PARTIES: Something little girls do with their imaginary friends.
    (-6.75 -6.51)

    by flygrrl on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:31:08 PM PST

  •  My experiences agree with the cited author... (20+ / 0-)

    ...not the diarist.

    I'm sure that there are some guys out there who longed to plan their own weddings in great detail, or at least be equal partners in the process...but I can honestly say that I've never met such a guy.  Among I and my friends, the greatest involvement any of us desired was a voice in the choice of music.

    It also strikes me as a MAJOR leap to go from "more teenage boys want to get married" to assigning significant responsibility for "over-the-top weddings" to guys.  The plural of 'anecdote' is 'anecdotes,' not 'data.'

    I just don't see the "borderline misogyny"...

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:35:11 PM PST

    •  Well, "we" has so decreed. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "Go well through life"-Me (As far as I know)
      This message will self-destruct upon arrival in the NSA archives in Utah.

      by MTmofo on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:57:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not saying men want to be (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, Miira, RiveroftheWest

      equally responsible for planning. That's work. I'm saying they have strong feelings that women end up being expected to execute.

      •  I just don't agree (5+ / 0-)

        From my experience (not my own, but from many weddings of friends and family over the years) men are pretty much expected to either keep out of the process or basically be subservient to the brides family and friend's wishes. If you insist on anything, then you're a big jerk. Better to just keep your head down and your mouth shut. I would have to think that there are a hell of a lot more grooms that end up having a ceremony that they weren't really that into than there are brides in the same situation.

        Of course a lot of brides want their partners to be involved and to have real input, but that's up to her.

        As for the big proposal stuff, you pretty much have to do something creative these days. Movies and tv say so. It's just expected. That doesn't mean it has to be expensive, but you can't just get on a knee with a ring anymore, that would just be lame by societal standards. There are expectations, and these aren't driven by the men proposing per se.

        Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about. Mark Twain

        by Deathtongue on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 08:11:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Follow the money. (4+ / 0-)

        If hetero men represented a significant market for fairytale wedding fantasies, the prevailing narrative would've cleared a more comfortable space for them long ago. Ka-Ching and all that.

      •  I'm sure you can find some men who do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        But, after >35 years of adult manhood and interacting with men in the midwest, mountain west, and west coast, in my opinion those are the exception. A very small exception.  

        I think most American men recognize that, culturally, a wedding is for the bride and her parents -- especially her mom -- with his own parents (again, especially his mom) being of secondary importance. Most men (again, this is my experience) want the wedding to be a good memory for the bride and family, and are willing to go along with their plans as needed to help achieve that outcome.

        But strong feelings?  About a wedding?  I'm sorry, but that sounds almost comical to me. I'm sure such guys exist.  Just as you'll find guys that care about skin moisturizing or My Little Pony. But they're the exception, not the rule.  Again: in my opinion.

        Of course, I've only been through one wedding and marriage; lasting a little over 32 years so far.

        •  Ouch (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          undercovercalico, badscience

          I was pretty involved in my wedding plans and I regularly use moisturizer.  

          In my case, my wife and I were in our mid-30s, with laid back parents.  I didn't have "strong feelings" about most decorative details, but definitely wanted to have an equal say in food choices (and I owned choosing beer/wine fro the reception).  I handled hiring a string quartet and making ceremony music choices, and the photographer, since classical music and photography are major interests of mine and I honestly did care about them.

          Moisturizer, well, I had an early skin cancer scare and that motivated me to be fanatical about sunblock and then that led to using a basic moisturizer/anti-wrinkle on my face when I remember to.  People generally think I'm 10 or 15 years younger than I am and comment on my baby face.

          Now the kids these days who shave/wax all over and get pedicures or what have you, yeah, I don't get that either.

          •  Two birds! (0+ / 0-)

            As predicted, such people do exist.

            Sounds as if you had a pretty fancy shindig.  Our "reception" consisted of heading back to my parents-in-law's house after the preacher did what we paid him to and having grilled burgers and lemonade and iced tea in their backyard.  It was no mansion: rather, an older approximately 1,200-square foot ranch on a quarter-acre lot in a small town in the midwest.  

            Of course, our "honeymoon" consisted of loading all of my wife's possessions into a Chevy hatchback (no A/C!) with her 10-speed on the roof and drive/camping across the country to the west coast where I was going to graduate school. We did stay in a hotel the first night, but after that, it was my little two-person tent and sleeping bags. Not too bad a time except for the high winds and thunderstorm that one night at a campsite in the Big Horn National Forest near Buffalo, Wyoming. I learned how much it helps to have a decent tent.  Almost getting stuck the next day in the snow at Togwotee Pass between Dubois and Moran Junction also was interesting, given it was mid-June.

          •  Also -- a question (0+ / 0-)

            I can understand sun avoidance and using a sunscreen can reduce solar radiation-induced wrinkling. I've seen many a well-tanned 40-something woman whose face looks more like the wrinkles of a well-broken-in catcher's mitt than that of a youthful person.

            But are you suggesting that you've been led to believe moisturizers help prevent wrinkles?

    •  That's not even an anecdote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      (the survey of teenage  boys) it's data relating to a different subject. Grasping at straws to prove an "everything you know is wrong" point.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 07:17:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My son dared to express an opinion during his (16+ / 0-)

    wedding planning last summer.  He quickly learned what almost everyone knows, those expressions of interest in his opinions are not a willingness to do whatever it is he thought would be a good idea.  He told me the lesson was quick and pointed.  

  •  mine certainly fell along stereotypical lines. (8+ / 0-)

    I wanted a thing at city hall followed by a small party, she wanted the whole fucking to-do. we more or less agreed that she could do what she wanted but I would be uninvolved in the planning.

    worked reasonably well.

  •  I did at least 80% of the planning for my wedding. (2+ / 0-)

    Including taking my fiancee dress-shopping and making her hair stylist appointments!

    "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

    by nosleep4u on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:38:24 PM PST

  •  Well, there was no groom involved (15+ / 0-)

    in planning my wedding, but that's because it only involved two brides.

    The first time around, we felt the need to have the trappings, exactly because it wasn't legal and we wanted it to be seen as a "real" wedding.  Even so, it was in the low 4 digits:  the only big expenses were the space rental and the caterer.  No way was Packrat going to wear a gown, and I felt it would misrepresent our relationship if I did and she didn't.  (No problem with other people being into butch/femme, but i just ain't us.)  So, we both wore tuxes with skirts.

    When California legalized, we had a small ceremony with 12 people in a public park, had our sis-in-law officiate (she's a Church of Universal Life minister), signed the license, and took everyone out to breakfast.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:38:52 PM PST

  •  ? (9+ / 0-)

    I truly have NEVER known a groom who was in the least interested in the wedding planning.  

    With all the real issues women have to deal with, I don't think bad attitudes toward spoiled brides rises to the level of any kind of cause.

    "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

    by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:43:03 PM PST

    •  Hi, nice to meet you! (7+ / 0-)

      Now you've met a guy who was interested in his wedding.

      She did a lot of it, because she wanted to. But we made most of the major decisions as a couple. We wanted to get married on the beach, we picked the perfect location together.

      We all had a dinner at a nice restaurant instead of a traditional reception. Had a cookout in the park the day before instead of a rehearsal dinner or hiring a caterer. We did a lot of things ourselves. Planned it together.

      It's not just her day, it's our day. Our wedding was unique, tailored just for us, because we sidestepped the ridiculous wedding industry and did things our way. We put our heads together and made it happen on a budget. Our outdoor DIY wedding was a huge hit.  

      The average couple today spends 5 figures. That's insane! It's not just about "spoiled brides", men allow themselves to get shut out of the process. This tendency towards extravagance and bride-worshipping is indicative a dysfunctional wedding culture where half of marriages end in divorce.

      Shear is a very brittle failure mode. Other modes of material failure include warning signs like bowing or cracking. But Failure in Shear often occurs catastrophically, without warning.

      by Failure in Shear on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:45:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nice to meet you too! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        swampyankee, badscience

        Your wedding sounds great.  Maybe I should have suggested to my husband-to-be that he do a cookout - I'd have liked that - but I'm sure his mother would have been horrified.  She totally wanted to put on the groom's rehearsal dinner thing at a nice restaurant.

        My husband was very good humored about it and enjoyed the people; but I don't think it even occurred to him to get involved in any of the planning - not that there was that much of it.  

        In comparison to today's zillion dollar weddings, ours was pretty plain - a church, a few flowers, good friends, and a brief reception with cake and nuts in the church basement.

        The pictures are lovely.

        "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." - Will Rogers

        by Kentucky DeanDemocrat on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:55:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Our rehearsal dinner (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kentucky DeanDemocrat

          was at my in-laws' house; they had it nicely catered, and it was a lot more relaxing for them (especially with my mother-in-law in her wheelchair; back in 1991 accessibility was still an issue) and for my younger nieces and nephews (niece was 5, nephews were 7 and 8) than a stuffy restaurant would have been.

          There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

          by Cali Scribe on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:40:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Elopement consultant: potential market niche (9+ / 0-)

    There's a market for somebody who knows how to help lucky couples secretly:

    1. Reserve travel & lodging;

    2. Coordinate two employment/business leaves -- and any necessary childcare/eldercare;

    3. Design nice broadcast announcements -- w/assurances that nobody has been kidnapped -- other than by passion and romance;

    4. Schedule one or more receptions after the elopement, thereby preventing much of their resulting stress and fatigue from directly impacting the elopement/honeymoon itself.

  •  Married in Vegas (12+ / 0-)

    Not entirely on a whim. Had been together 10 years.

    We were across the street from Graceland Chapel. I pointed to it, she nodded, an hour and change later, man and wife.

    Not particularly romantic, but it didn't wipe us out, nor did the casino.


    by Johnny Wendell on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:44:26 PM PST

    •  I think thats fantastically romantic (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      white blitz, sunbro, happymisanthropy

      You guys didn't even have to discuss it, you were both just on the same wave length.

    •  Married in Reno (3+ / 0-)

      My husband wanted to get married and it didn't matter to me. We'd been together a while and were buying a house. He wanted to be married before we signed up to that. We were heading to Lake Tahoe to go skiing and arrived a day early in Reno and got married. Stayed the extra night in a casino there really cheap and met up with friends the next day and continued on with the ski trip. One of our friends was early and made the wedding and that was about it. We've been married 19 years and even he admits the paper didn't end up making any difference.

      We weren't romantic for the moment but for the long haul we're there for each other. That's what matters.

      I don't begrudge people who make a fuss but it wasn't ever anything I wanted to do and was really opposed to spending money we needed for other things on something like that. I've never regretted it.

      •  The paper difference (4+ / 0-)

        You  own the house, together.  One of you will discover the difference that paper makes when the other is gone.  It makes things easier, one of the powerful legal arguments for marriage equality.

        “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

        by ActivistGuy on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 08:44:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wish I'd held out for the wedding first (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Maybe she wouldn't have been able to walk away with my $35k down payment and me not able to take over the mortgage.  Come the crash, the very next year, and those two things meant loss of house, loss of creditworthiness, loss of $35,000 cash, loss of retirement....

          trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

          by chmood on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:00:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  If I ever was in the spot (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        for a second wedding, I'd probably go with Reno -- less glitzy than Vegas, and nice and close to Lake Tahoe for a honeymoon. Not that I'm dumping Mr. Scribe any time soon, mind you...

        There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

        by Cali Scribe on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:43:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Married in the husband's hometown. He paid. (7+ / 0-)

    Open bar but no other frills. 26 years and counting. Oh yeah, my daughters both graduated from private universities, no parental paid for weddings in their futures.

    "A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow

    by temptxan on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:48:47 PM PST

  •  What about the mother of the bride? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I think she cared more about it than either of us. We pretty much didn't have a problem with what ever she wanted.

    The one thing my husband seemed to care about was dancing. He thought we should have a formal dance and wanted to get lessons. I was surprised. He seemed to think it was expected of us so I don't know how much he felt pressured, but the pressure certainly didn't come from me. Also it was enjoyable. I think he took it as a challenge and part of the right of passage. Maybe it was a way to prove his manhood.

  •  Mrs. Bollox and I eloped (9+ / 0-)

    Neither of us could stand the idea of a traditional wedding.

    And have never regretted it.

    Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man; we shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as shall never be put out.

    by Bollox Ref on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:53:25 PM PST

  •  For logistical reasons (6+ / 0-)

    I was a bit more involved in the wedding planning than the typical (or stereotypical I guess) male groom, but that largely involved scouting venues and what not (I'd moved west for grad school and my now-wife followed a few months later, but we needed to organize things in the meanwhile).  That being said, even this level of involvement generally received reactions from others (family, friends, fellow grad students) the equivalent of what you would expect if you had two heads.  The general reaction from others to my involvement seemed to be in the area of "she's letting you do what?!?!" And this was from men and women.  Having been to numerous weddings from friends, colleagues, family members, etc. I can pretty much say (based on my anecdotal experience) that my involvement in the whole process was not typical

    Sorry Laura, I usually agree with and am inspired by your diaries, but I think you've missed the mark  here. Sometimes, stereotypes are true to reality and not every expression of gender based commentary is worthy of outrage. This seems like one of those times.

    •  Same here (0+ / 0-)

      I was pretty significantly involved.  A few things I was more or less in charge of, like music and photography (both big loves of mine) and alcohol choices for the reception (er, another love of mine, I guess).  A few things were strictly hers, like the dress and flower arrangements.  Most things were split pretty evenly and mutually.

      Like pdkesq, my friends and coworkers found that extremely unusual -- to the point that some wondered if I was sure she wanted my that involved.  They were astonished that I not only knew what china and flatware we'd registered for, but that I was the one that originally picked them!  

  •  one of my favorite things about my new job- (8+ / 0-)

    All of the weddings!

    I work in city hall now, and the architect was Cass Gilbert. Two years ago a 17 million dollar renovation was completed. Breathtakingly beautiful building. Marble floor to ceiling.

    Lots of couples get married right outside my office. I've had two bad marriages, but I still love weddings! At the end of my first week at the new job, I witnessed two honest to god babies get married- they might not have even been out of high school. They were adorable. I was their impromptu wedding photographer.

    They wore matching mint green shirts- his a dress shirt, hers a t shirt.

    I never saw them before in my life, but I cried at their wedding.

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 05:59:45 PM PST

  •  Upper Middle Class Problems. (9+ / 0-)

    Really, who are these people who are blowing fat stacks of cash on one party?  I had other much more important things to spend money on - like a down-payment on a house.

    $500 ring that she loves

    Justice of the Peace

    Done.  15 years and going strong.

    Economic Left/Right: -7.38
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -8.00
    Two steps to the right of Trotsky.

    by jvance on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:03:18 PM PST

  •  Well, my niece got married last year, in a real (7+ / 0-)

    big fancy elaborate wedding, and this year my brother is closing his business because  he's broke.
    Just sayin'.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:06:54 PM PST

    •  My Dad filed for bankruptcy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Less than year after my sister's wedding. And needed me to return the wedding cash he gave me for my wedding two years earlier to pay for her reception.

      Fire burn and cauldron bubble, bendy straws or my fee is double - via Twitter about half-term governor Sarah Palin

      by alrdouglas on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 10:09:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I got married 12 years ago (5+ / 0-)

    My entire wedding- reception, dress, flowers, food, music, photographer- cost $5200.

    We got married in a Knights of Columbus Hall that included catering for 180 people- $2500.

    I made my dress.

    The flowers were silk- bought at the local crafts store.  Centerpieces were mums- 4 for $15.00.

    My husband had wanted to just have a backyard BBQ but the 'family (both sides) begged for a reception.

    On the cheap, people are still talking about how much fun they had at my wedding.

    My kids did the same- one just went down to city hall and had a backyard party that turned into a block party.  The other got married at dawn on a beach.  We then had brunch at a local eatery.

    The focus should be on the marriage, not the wedding.

    For what most couples spend today, that could be the down payment on a house.

    Oh- ps- we honeymooned at Disney World- only we stayed in Kissimee.  Twenty bucks a night.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:16:16 PM PST

  •  Been married 2x (divorced 2x, too...) (9+ / 0-)

    and I can say that I was pretty "invested" in the planning for both.  Helped #1 pick out her gown, got the venues, picked the preacher, etc.  Tag-teamed with #2, as well -- both times were cooperative ventures, and MY goal was for HER to have her day.

    That's enough.  I've signed up for it often enough, done enough ceremonies.  There WON'T be a THIRD.  Gabrielle Union could DUMP Dwayne, come running for me, and ask me in the middle of a glorious hummer. . .no.

    An interesting little anecdote from work a couple months ago:

    A co-worker was talking about upcoming wedding; she was going "casual", civil ceremony in comfy clothes, minimum witnesses.  Another co-worker basically SCOLDED her for not going for the dress, the royal treatment, all the trappings.  I simply asked:

    "Are you grown?"  (Yes.)
    "Are you the one getting married?" (Yes.)
    "Are you paying for it?" (Yes.)
    "Then do whatever YOU want."  (She did.)

    The other co-worker didn't speak to me for a month. (Like I cared.)

  •  As an unmarried guy (5+ / 0-)

    when I get to the point of getting married, I feel I'll be rather unconcerned with the wedding and reception itself.

    What I will want to take part in, however, is where the hell I go on the honeymoon! ;)

    So I think it's a personal thing.  Some men will want to be involved, others, not so much.

  •  Hear Hear! (5+ / 0-)

    This is only one part of the whole fabric, but yes.

    Then maybe we can move on to recognizing that child care, parental leave, etc, are not "women's issues".

    You want to know when the final crack will bring the glass ceiling down? When men don't have to explain why they are stay-at-home dads, or why they are taking leave to handle the kids, etc, etc.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:28:31 PM PST

  •  call me a misogynist (9+ / 0-)

    as no doubt someone will, but no I don't think men are nearly as into weddings as women are.

    Yes they are sometimes into the proposal but society expects them to take the lead there.  Once the proposal is done, most men I know would rather get married either in a very small ceremony or the justice of the peace of just elope.

    There is nothing misogynist about that borderline or otherwise.  It's in the grand scheme of things a tiny, meaningless difference between the average man and woman with plenty of exceptions out there both ways.

  •  That's the Stanford Quadrangle in the photo. (5+ / 0-)

    Either it's just a staged photo, or the couple was married in Stanford Memorial Chapel.

    Your pedant moment for the day....

    "Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions." - Thomas Jefferson

    by rfall on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:36:54 PM PST

  •  Diamond expectation (8+ / 0-)

    One of the things that struck me was how strong the pressure to get a big diamond is.  

    My wife is not a fan of diamonds, she prefers colored stones.  We went with a custom-made, non-diamond ring.  It's a several carat precious stone solitare, traditional in shape, and it was by no means cheap, though about 1/4 the price a diamond of the same weight.  In short, pretty damn typical engagement ring except the chemical composition of the crystal.

    And everyone I knew, I mean EVERYONE thought I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life by not giving her a diamond.  

    For example, an old high school friend and a coworker's wife each, separately, pulled me aside for what were more like "interventions" than friendly chats.   They were both sure my wife was only trying to be nice by saying the ring didn't have to be diamond, and they both feared I was about to gravely disapoint her and possibly cause the end our relationship.

    What really amazed me was when a group of coworkers at lunch all told me I should IGNORE what my fiancee wanted.  They said that even if she was sincere, her oddball preference wasn't important -- what really mattered was that our friends and professional colleagues would see that she didn't get standard issue diamond and then figure that I was a cheapskate or a hippy or something.  

    My wife loves the ring.  

    •  Diamonds lack personality and are overrated (8+ / 0-)

      Many gems are far more interesting, having greater individuality and character.

      Few people reflect on the fact that this insane fixation on diamonds is a fairly recent phenomenon, only a few generations old. Basically, it reflects a hugely successful international advertising campaign by DeBeers.

      “The meaning of life is to find it.”

      by ArcticStones on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:42:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (4+ / 0-)

        Exactly on the recency -- from what I understand sapphires and rubies were even more common (for those who could afford a real gemstone) than diamond up until the Depression or so.

        I should mention that the biggest pushback on the diamond issue I got was from married men.  Once you've put down five or ten grand for transparent coal yourself, you have every interest -- psychological as well as financial -- in perpetuating the idea that diamond is the only choice.   De Beers doesn't even need to do any work to keep it going.

        •  yup. until about two generations ago, an heirloom (0+ / 0-)

          was more common. "Traditional" one might even say.

          The the hugely successful marketing campaign from DeBeers took over the engagement ring scene.

          Now the "expected" ring is "supposed" to cost 2-3 months' salary. wtf?

          By the way - I got my wife a gold bracelet, which is a traditional engagement gift in some parts of Mexico (her BFF is from Mexico City). She loved it. All sorts of symbolism in that piece: I "got" how important her relationship with her Mexican sister is; three colors of gold for her life/my life/our life together; different from everyone she ever knew (except her sister). Told everyone about it. Without exception, they all asked when I was going to buy her a diamond.

          Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.
          Keystone XL will raise gas prices!

          by Turbonerd on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 06:43:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great story (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I hadn't known that about Mexico, good for you.

            While ours isn't an heirloom, it is ours.  The band is a semi-custom design, and out of an unusual metal (palladium, looks and wears just like platinum but is 1/2 the cost).  And I personally chose the stone.  Ordered four at once from a gem dealer with a good return policy -- now that was a nerve-wracking wait for the FedEx guy! -- and then kept the one I liked best for the setting.

            I also went slightly uncommon for my wedding band, titanium.  As I tell people, it represents what I hope for in my marriage:  indestructable and inexpensive.

    •  No diamond and no gold (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      undercovercalico, Turbonerd

      We got married in 1974 and made a conscious decision to forgo the diamond and the gold rings as part of the boycott of South African goods during apartheid. We couldn't find a jeweler who could guarantee the source of the gold. Instead, we found a local silversmith who crafted us a pair of matching rings. It helped that we were old enough to resist outside pressures.

    •  Good for you. The diamond market is very (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      manipulated and it is ridiculous to spend that much money when you know you are being screwed.  A friend's son just got engaged and his fiancé got a 2 Karat rock, his mother was appalled that he spent that much money on a ring.  She felt it was impractical but her new daughter in law is typical of her generation and expected a big ring.  

    •  This whole wedding thing is just bizarre to me. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have a gold band. No engagement ring. No stones. I hate that crap. My partner has a gold band he never wears because it gets in his way. So it has been in a drawer for all but 1 month of our marriage. Nobody ever told me what I should or should not do. I guess a lifetime of being opinionated and outspoken has its small benefits :-)

  •  I have an idea (5+ / 0-)

    how about letting each couple figure out how they want to do things and leave it at that.  My first wedding was entirely planned by my siblings, strangely, since we weren't local and they were.  The second was a collaborative effort, since my wife and I collaborate on a lot, especially creative things.

    I am a little amused by the idea that it is misogynistic to either not let women have a say, because it is disempowering, or to let women have the entire say, since having the authority is so much work.  

  •  Who's pretending? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gagme, Kayakbiker, Zek J Evets
     it's been my experience in recent years that men as much as women are invested in their weddings and are pushing for big weddings.
    My experience says the exact opposite.
       My last friend who got married told me that he was "a ken doll".

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 06:59:22 PM PST

  •  My girlfriend of nine years and I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have no intention of getting married.   The cost for the wedding can also be used for more fruitful purposes.  Also, the idea of a virginal woman (symbolized by the white dress) being handed over by her father (i.e. giving her away) to her husband, effectively as property, is just absolutely nauseating to us.  I know that this will offend those who are tradition minded, but so be it.  Thankfully we have family that are quite accepting of our decision.

    Younger people, especially non-religious ones, are reconsidering marriage.  Many are coming to the conclusion that marriage is largely a traditional and religious institution, and it's no longer required.  

    "The Republican Party is at a crossroads. It must decide whether it wants to be the party of Lincoln or the party of apartheid." -Ted Kennedy The teabaggers have chosen to be the party of racism and apartheid.

    by TeaBaggersAreRacists on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:01:42 PM PST

  •  Let's see, I'll just get historical: (5+ / 0-)

    I was really into my wedding. I lined up a videographer then (this was 1983 and videoing was pretty new with clumsy, large equipment). I went and got the booze lined up. (Two friends of ours became the bartenders.) I designed our wedding announcement. My wife and I were pretty much together in everything else and ran around equally putting it all together in the house where we met, a large old mansion that we were renting with another couple then. We paid for everything ourselves, then suggested to everybody tactfully that cash donations would be nice instead of stuff we weren't going to use. (We made all the money back that we had spent.) We had a fantastic wedding, one of the best days of my life, with about 100 people whooping it up. Our large dining room was a big dance floor and we partied till the wee hours. My nephew was the DJ.

    My niece's husband and my wife's first husband were photographers! (In addition to the videographer). Two women whom I'd dated were there with their husbands. A real "family" event with nobody excluded.

    A real nice note: it was a potluck buffet with all Italian food that was a huge hit with everybody. So a real cut-rate, cooperative wedding that worked for everybody.

    Thanks for letting me get personal and nostalgic.  

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:02:57 PM PST

  •  Not seeing this in Ohio, TBH (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArcticStones, white blitz

    Of course, if there is an emerging trend, it might not have gotten here yet.  Hopefully, by the time I get married, grooms will be the default wedding planners, and my bride and I, per my wishes, will marry on the courthouse steps and go straight to the honeymoon!

  •  the important question: (4+ / 0-)

    which is more important, your wedding or your marriage?

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:10:01 PM PST

  •  I didn't have to submit to this humiliation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, Turbonerd

    Because my wife already had a big wedding from prior marriage.  Thank dog it wasn't me.  These wedding rituals are about the family not the couple anyway.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:18:33 PM PST

  •  How exactly pointing out the obvious is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    white blitz, Susan G in MN, MJB

    misogyny? Wedding industry is a relatively recent thing while elaborate weddings (for people who could afford them) have been around for a while.

  •  My wife and I eloped. Best decision we ever made! (9+ / 0-)

    Weddings are the WORST!

  •  In our case, it was tough precisely because (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, schnecke21

    as a male with a strong creative and sentimental streak, I did want to have input, but as a female, my wife felt that I was overstepping my bounds a bit—it was supposed to be her day and her process. The same went (and still goes, to this day) for home decor and "nesting." It's "her" domain, not mine. I get "the rest of the world" by virtue of my "male privilege." We have had more than a little difficulty over the fact that I'd like some input into the space and way in which I live(d), both immediately after the wedding, and afterward. In the end, I've given up. Better to have a marriage.

    Something similar happened with my sister, both times. She felt that male privilege gave men access to the rest of the world, and that to allow men to have input into the proposal/wedding/post-wedding domestic realm ensured that men had control over everything, outside the home and in it, inside the relationship and beyond it.

    I think calling "misogyny" oversimplifies things a bit.

    -9.63, 0.00
    "Liberty" is deaf, dumb, and useless without life itself.

    by nobody at all on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:21:49 PM PST

    •  That seems like an acquiescence to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gagme, white blitz

      male privilege, in  a way. By enforcing these gender roles, it's maintaining the status quo, rather than confronting the areas where men are dominant. As a man, I would rather give up some privilege so that both men and women have more freedom to live their lives the way they want.

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 08:06:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Two remarks (0+ / 0-)

    Wedding showers and baby showers in our family (that is, my siblings and their descendants) seem to be about 50/50 girls-only or all-on-board, and even the former often seem to have a number of family men there.

    And when I married, my wife and I discussed and were in complete agreement about the details--which of course didn't seem to matter to her father, who mostly did things the way he wanted!

  •  I did most of the wedding planning (0+ / 0-)

    for both my wedding days, each case with the wife's full appreciation for not having everything dumped on her.  In neither case was juggling a host of details and scheduling a particularly strong suit of my beloved, and both appreciated being presented with an already-digested selection of options to agree upon.  
        Hey, they were busy, and I had the time... plus, I liked performance art.

  •  $1100 for 75 guests. (3+ / 0-)

    That covered all the food and drink, maid service after the reception at a friend's home, and feeding fifteen guests who joined us on the honeymoon at our cottage.
    I arranged all the food, and played in my own wedding band (except when a pal sat in for me during the first dance).
    So it was the wedding day for 75, plus two more days for 15. All for $1100!
    Best party ever. All the dogs came, too.

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:48:11 PM PST

  •  Oy. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I actually have no idea how much our wedding cost. My parents insisted on a wedding, and from engagement to "we do," everything was a tug-of-war to keep it small and relaxed.

    We succeeded, somewhat. In the intervening years we have learned to laugh over the Great Battle of the Shrimp Platter.  

  •  I don't really know anything about this, but (0+ / 0-)

    it seems to me the proposal isn't always part of the wedding process itself, but could a part of the marriage process.

    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

    by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 07:55:45 PM PST

  •  Masculine and feminine rolls have changed a (0+ / 0-)

    lot in recent years. I remember when my father, grandfather and their contemporaries were getting older- into their 40's- 60's. They looked, dressed, and acted like old men. They had hair coming out of their ears and nose, hairy backs with their shirts off. Now that my brothers and I are into our 40's and 50's we try to take care of ourselves so we can still feel good about ourselves. Plenty of men I know are into personal grooming and even shave and wax their backs and bodies- unheard of shit 30 yrs. ago. We were also probably single longer than our parents and may have had to pick furniture, window treatments and colors for apartments or houses, and know our way around a kitchen- all way before we were settling down to get married.  Men are more in touch with their feminine side because we didn't all get married at 18- we know how to pick just the right pink for the nursery too.

    The price of anything is the amount of life we are willing to exchange for it.

    by theslinger on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 08:05:00 PM PST

    •  What's the average age of dailykos participants? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wa ma

      Isn't it about 50?

      Maybe the comments in this diary represent
      older views about gender roles.

      Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

      by Kayakbiker on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:17:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I feel so below average. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I've always been fairly dubious about those 'quantserv' statistics, and the people who answer the polls.  I'd like to see some statistics on just the people who are 'active' Kossacks, who post at least a comment a week or so, because so many of the actual comments and diaries seem to break against the supposed site statistics.  I think DK has tons of older, white, well-off males who read but do not post, and are willing to do some of the polls, since they don't require logging in.

  •  C'mon it's not so complicated. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    undercovercalico, gagme

    If you are getting married, that means you're an adult. So act like one. Take charge, and make responsible, considerate decisions.  

    For example it's customary for bridesmaids to pay for their dresses, so when we were married 25 years ago we selected moderately priced dresses that would be useful parts of the bridesmaids' wardrobe after. Then we used the flowers (which we were paying for) to make the dresses look much more formal. That was my idea, "even though" I am a mere man. In fact I selected the dresses myself, with the aid of the bridesmaids, a mid-length cocktail dresses in pink silk jacquard with a rose petal pattern.  This is not rocket science, gentlemen.  A woman on these occasions wants to look dignified and handsome.

    I also did most of the work in determining the seating plan, selected the caterer, approved the menu, and chose the wedding cake (a carrot sheet cake with cream cheese frosting from Rosie's Bakery in Inman Square, Cambridge).  I had to do a lot of the work because my fiancee was sewing her own wedding dress, which came out spectacularly well. The angel on top of our Christmas tree is a doll in a dress made from silk jacquard scraps from the wedding dress project.

    We are DIY type people. Except for the band, we avoided the whole wedding-industrial complex, which saved us a bundle of money and gave us more control over the event.

    The notion that you will awe your guests with your spectacular and unique wedding is hopeless. You will never make your wedding day more special to your guests than their own.  The very thing that makes a wedding special is that it is such a commonplace milestone in so many peoples' lives. Trying to outdo other peoples' weddings not only undermines this shared bond, it's vulgar.

    I've lost my faith in nihilism

    by grumpynerd on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 08:22:19 PM PST

    •  Really. (0+ / 0-)

      "I also did most of the work in determining the seating plan, selected the caterer, approved the menu, and chose the wedding cake (a carrot sheet cake with cream cheese frosting from Rosie's Bakery in Inman Square, Cambridge). "

      What guy wants to do that.

      You can't be serious.

      If Conservatism was so great you would think they could find a sane person to represent it. Since the only people who represent it seem to be insane. I'm waiting for the day conservatism is labeled a mental illness

      by SharksBreath on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:12:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  pfft. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I worked weddings for over a decade, in fine dining and five star hotels, and I promise you -- many, many men do all this and more. MANY.

        Men also, as event staff, bake and decorate the cakes, build gorgeous bridal buffets and arrange the flowers.

        Not all men have your narrow minded attitude about the male role in life. (Thank god!)

        Check out my progressive tshirts & gear: or my hand-drawn reproduction of Rachel's Excelsior Poster from Friends available on cards, stickers, curtains etc.

        by Eileen B on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 03:47:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Food matters! (0+ / 0-)

        While I was quite happy that we didn't have assigned seating and so I didn't have to deal with that, you wonder what man wants to be involved with the menu?!?

        Dude, do you want to eat crappy food at your own wedding?  Have a cake flavor that you don't like?   I mean, I can see not caring about the table decorations, but there was no way we were going to put out a few thousand bucks and not have stuff on the buffet that tasted good.  Especially since our venue let you take leftover food home.  We ended up eating for nearly a week after the wedding on our leftovers (instead of a honeymoon, we had to move right afterwards, so not having to cook was great).

      •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eileen B
        What guy wants to do that.
        A secure one?

        I've lost my faith in nihilism

        by grumpynerd on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 06:35:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'm getting married in 4 weeks (4+ / 0-)

    and I've been equally as involved in every aspect of planning the wedding as my fiance.  The idea that the groom isn't involved is long outdated.

    •  Your rare and it's not outdated. (0+ / 0-)

      Girls have been given a steady stream of myths and men in shining armor before they can read a book.

      FYI. Just don't be the guy who plans the date on the day of a big sporting event.

      Your male friends who aren't into planning their wedding will hate you.

      If Conservatism was so great you would think they could find a sane person to represent it. Since the only people who represent it seem to be insane. I'm waiting for the day conservatism is labeled a mental illness

      by SharksBreath on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:16:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  check back with us in four weeks (0+ / 0-)

      it's not so much your fiancée, but her family - and yours.

      I will be the first to congratulate you if the two of you can enforce that kind of egalitarianism on your relations during the ceremony and reception.

      Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.
      Keystone XL will raise gas prices!

      by Turbonerd on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 06:47:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Really dumb diary and (0+ / 0-)

    I'll leave it at that.

  •  Weddings? Blech. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, undercovercalico

    Marriage?  One of the worst experiences of my life.  Glad its over and never again.

  •  I've never met a guy who wanted a big, huge (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sunbro, undercovercalico

    wedding.  Getting married, yes.

    Giant spectacle to do it... no.

  •  Can't stand most of them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They are usually tasteless ventures in which the bride's family expects to profit by taking in more in gifts than they lay out in expenses. That is why the hors-deouvres are better than the meal and the band is a three-piece demolition squad from "Wayne's World."

  •  I have officiated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilywascal, Eileen B

    at 200 plus weddings most them involving  a man and a women.   Same sex weddings were about a dozen and only two were men.

    The men were involved in planning the ceremony and the reception too.  Can't think of more then a dozen which were strictly for the bride.  Maybe those are the weddings that use wedding coordinators which I think are from hell.  

    It is true most of the men would have preferred a simpler ceremony but once the big deal wedding was agreed to they were active participants.

  •  The Big Day - relic of the Bad Old Days. (0+ / 0-)

    My theory is that the ultra-hyper-specific planning of every tiny detail of a WIC-approved wedding all stems from the days in which her wedding day was the ONLY day in a woman's entire life that was hers and hers alone to command, down to every tiny detail. The day before the wedding she was her father's property; the moment she was wed, she was her husband's property. (Look at the custom of the father "giving away the bride" to the groom - why not hand over her pink slip as long as we're being Traditional about it?)

    Thank God we live in an age where women can make and manage their own money, live their own lives, can vote, and make adult decisions without the patronizing "protection" of coverture. Women can control every day of their lives if they wish - they don't need to make a once-in-a-lifetime production out of it unless they want to and they have the wherewithal.

    Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

    by gardnerhill on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 08:49:38 PM PST

  •  Those who have seen me around here (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilywascal, undercovercalico

    know that me getting married didn't look very much like any of this.  It didn't matter so much to her, being her third marriage (there's since been a fourth marriage and divorce, she's a serial marrier.)  Our wedding was totally DIY, the reception was at the local bar where we were the core of the house band, all sorts of pot luck from friends and family.  Her dress was black leather.  Lots of local musicians came and jammed.  The party went on for hours after we left.  I'd say I did maybe 60-70% of the planning and prep work.

    “Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” ― Paulo Freire

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 08:52:59 PM PST

  •  My rule of thumb is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The bigger the wedding, the shorter the marriage.

    Thankfully, that's not always true, but it seemed to be for a while.

  •  If I get married to my girlfriend (3+ / 0-)

    (who has been hinting about it for a long time but I have been reluctant to dive in), it'll be to an Elvis-impersonator in Vegas and it will cost less than a thousand dollars total.

    If I have thousands of dollars in the bank at that time, I will invest it in a home or towards retirement. I will not blow the money on a wedding.

    At our age, none of the people in our families will chip in. The costs would be up to us, and I'd rather spend that money to make her happy over time, not blow it in a foolish, all-at-once way.

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:30:13 PM PST

  •  Nevermind who's to blame (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    weddings are a superstitious medieval ritual that has no place in an advanced civilization.  The very basis of the wedding ritual is misogynist:  the woman's father "gives" her to a man like livestock.  Then there's the charade of the virgin bride giving her virginity to the sexually virile and experienced man.  

    Churches have at least cleansed the wedding oaths of virulent misogyny, but even so they are rather silly given their meaninglessness.  And they should be meaningless, otherwise women and some men are forced to stay in abusive marriages.

    What a fucking useless ritual.  We need a movement to end that medieval nonsense.  Once people discover that couples can form committed relationships and bear children without the false trappings of marriage, they will never go back to the empty ritual.  

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:01:46 PM PST

    •  Sure, a lot of the trappings are outdated (3+ / 0-)

      but there's something to be said for standing up and making a public commitment so that you know that folks have your back. One of the key parts of the Episcopal wedding ceremony is, after the initial Declaration of Consent (essentially a modern version of the old betrothal rite), the officiant turns to the gathered friends and relatives and asks:

      Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?
      to which the assemblage answers, very enthusiastically:
      We will!
      And of course, there are legal benefits that come along with marriage, which is why so many people have been fighting for marriage equality. Certainly you can form committed relationships and bear children without marriage...but if something happens to you, what happens to that loved one and those children? Plus, it's a protection for that loved one and children against the day when s/he may not be so loved and there needs to be an equitable way of dividing the assets, otherwise you could have one partner just take off and take everything leaving the other out on the street.

      There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

      by Cali Scribe on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 10:59:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So a couple needs witnesses (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        I give in to sin

        all over town to shame them into honoring their commitment to each other?  How romantic.  Judging by the divorce rate, we need much bigger weddings to have enough witnesses to cast a sufficiently large shame net.

        Good point about the legal benefits to marriage.  I disagree with those benefits in principle, but as long as they exist there's reason to get married legally.  It's still no excuse for the superstitious ritual in which the father leads his daughter like a cow on a leash before a robed wizard at the pulpit and gifts her to the groom.  

        I especially love the part where the wizard asks if anyone protests the marriage, and nobody ever says peep.  BULLSHIT!  There's always a few at every wedding who believe they're witnessing a train wreck in slow motion.  Cultural norms forbid saying so publicly.  So stop fucking asking if anyone wants to say so!  That exactly the sort of playacting that renders weddings meaningless farces.

        "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

        by Subterranean on Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 11:38:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If it's so misogynistic... (0+ / 0-)

      Then why do women LOVE getting married and having the ritual and the big party?

      They love that shit.  

      They don't see themselves as livestock being bartered between men.  They know they've entered into a marriage contract that, in many cases, comes with certain financial assurances.

      Lets be honest about it.  Women have it pretty damn good when it comes to marriage, entering them and leaving them.  

      Prospects are good.  

      Lets not pretend that it's some kind of misogynistic affront.  That's laughable.

      Dissolving the concept of marriage, if anything, would be terrible for women.    

      Are there no prisons? No workhouses?

      by meatballs on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 01:03:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is illogical (0+ / 0-)

      Humans have always and will always mark special occasions with a ceremony. What that ceremony invokes, regardless of where the custom comes from, only has the meaning that you invest into it. To say that all ceremonies always reflect the misogyny you posit here assumes a universal adoption of that meaning among people that marry. Which is silly. To move further past that point, the notion that women think of themselves being given away as property is indeed unromantic to many in the modern day. How fortunate that so many perceive the ceremony and invest it with a meaning different from what you posit. Given that, you're taking a false position of superiority by maintaining that the ceremony still holds the same weight of its original meaning. This is false, and your subsequent conclusions are false.

      by DAISHI on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 03:08:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Got married 20 years ago (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wa ma, undercovercalico

    and I was just as involved in our wedding plans as my wife was.

    The same could be said of all of my friends, most of whom got married around that same time.

    I understand that there are "bridezillas" and all - but honestly, haven't seen many of them.

    OH  - and my one piece of advice to marrying couples - weddings are wonderful, marriages count

  •  The Goal of Most Men in Weddings (3+ / 0-)

    Is to make the bride happy.  Of course we share in the happiness of the event, but the wedding celebration is mostly for the bride.  We get that.  

    So please, there's no need to drag us deep into the planning process so the whole thing seems less like a princess coronation.  We love our wives and have no problem letting them have their moment to hold court and live out their girly princess fantasy.  There's nothing really wrong with that.

    I, for one, would like to believe that women get married knowing full well that it still is meant to be a lifelong commitment and don't do it just for the party.  Keeping a marriage together for the duration takes work from both husband and wife.  We are more egalitarian in society than ever and the happiness of each partner is equally important and must be regarded as such in order for it to last.  

    On the wedding day, wifey gets to have her special day when she looks beautiful in her dress and all her friends are kissing her ass while being jealous of her.  She only gets the opportunity to have that once, so why not let her have it?  Can it be a little immature and selfish for ladies to seek out that moment?  Sure.  However, I don't see the big harm in it.

    Later on down the line hubby is going to ask for certain special things that he wants.  Easier to get those things from a happy wife who feels appreciated and is more likely to reciprocate.  At least that's the idea.  Give and take.

    Are there no prisons? No workhouses?

    by meatballs on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 12:40:45 AM PST

  •  I think the article was misconstrued. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It appears the snippet extracted from the article was directed at a certain audience--immature young ladies, hence the "girls." In that context, what is provided is sound advice.

    I think most of us know or have known young women like this, just as most of us have known young women that are anxious to have children at a young age, who afterwards discover that they weren't quite ready for that leap, and the reality doesn't live up to the fantasy. Seen this way, their is nothing misogynist about it. In fact, if you read the article, what is provided is on the whole some very good advice for young women, from a feminist perspective. It is a women giving advice to other women, giving them the benefit of her experience. It does also address society's role in the problem, but the article doesn't concern itself with the topic here because that wasn't its focus.

    I agree with most of this diary, I'm just not sure the right vehicle was chosen with which to convey the message.

    •  I read the article the same way. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ladybug53, undercovercalico

      My wife weekends as a wedding officiant and she's remarked many, many a time on how weddings tend to be much different for younger couples than those of us who have more wear on our tires. The giant wedding party, extensive guest list, opulent venue affairs . . . those seem to happen more, scratch that, almost exclusively with couples who are younger than their early to mid 20s.

      It may simply be a case that a person's priorities tend to change after they've had summers filled with weddings: a house, advanced schooling, or a car may begin to be viewed as a better allocation of resources.

      So with that non-articulated context as a backdrop, the use of "girls" isn't necessarily so much to belittle as it is to target a chronological age range.

  •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Proposal: "Want to get married?"

    Acceptance: "OK."

    Ring: wedding ring only, no engagement ring.

    Shower: None

    Wedding dress: on sale for $92

    One bridesmaid. Told her to wear whatever she wanted.

    Reception: 60 or so guests at a local restaurant.

    Entertainment: Friend of my father's played piano & everyone sang & danced. We left while the party was still going on.

    For years, until the day he died, every time I saw my husband's uncle he talked about what a great wedding it was.

    Still married, going on 41 years.

  •  I've occasionally wondered why the bride isn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    able to rent her gown. Thousands of dollars, and then it's preserved in hope that her daughter will one day wear it? A nice tradition, but how often does it really happen?

    I'm sure it's anathema, but a wedding dress should be available for rent, just like a tux is. Sao Oi sez, sez Oi.

    •  Because It's a Tailored Garment (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Wedding gowns (indeed, virtually all formal wear) are a feat of engineering. They create the illusion they do because they altered to fit the unique shape of the woman wearing them.  When they first ordered despite the sizing they do not fit and, indeed, a lot of brides on a budget who have bought a wedding gown find themselves in a bit of a pickle when they are told how much it is going to cost them to alter the garment to actually make them look like the photo they fell in love with!

      My now new daughter-in-law (my son got married yesterday, which is why this diary interested me so, at a wedding and reception I insisted upon, not them) looked beautiful yesterday--in the cheongsam that I made her since the one she could afford on her nonexistent budget (they are a poor, working class couple) looking.  That dress, an ankle length dress that to the naked eye is a very simple garment, took me no less than 20 hours of labor to design (no decent patterns available in-store or on the internet for this one LOL), sew, and alter for her. To adjust for difference in upper bust size, shoulder slope, waist-hip ratio, bicep width, you name it.)

      She looked beautiful.

      But no other woman in the world can wear that dress (not unless someone wants to take it all apart and alter it--again LOL.)

      •  Got it. Tx for the clarification. Although I'm not (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        sure then what the point of preserving the gown is, although the idea of just chucking it is unappealing.

        BTW, I think the sequence with Rhoda Morgenstern riding the subway in her wedding dress is one of the all-time great moments of TV.

        •  I Kept My Gown (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          For my daughters. Just in case they wanted it.  It's in the closet.  You never know, when they are kids.

          But as adult women, neither will probably use it. One is too tall so could never wear it out of the box unless the entire skirt is taken off and a new one put on even though we have similar sizing (she's 6 inches taller than me.) The other is exactly the opposite body type of me (she's extremely slender and petite, even though we are close in height) and she would never wear this type of garment anyway (she's not the off shoulder A-line type).

          We actually talked about the dress this week, my girls and I. I told them that I had no expectations, but that if neither wanted me to keep the dress, I was going to take it to Goodwill so that some other plus-size bride on a budget could at least save most of the cost (still would have to pay to have it altered, but $300 or so is a lot less than the original cost of the dress, let alone the $500 that I paid to have it altered.)  The one closest to me asked me not to. She loves the bodice, she says. And thus, when she's old enough to get married (IMO another 5 years at the earliest) she wants to consider incorporating it into something for herself.

          Other women keep their gowns for themselves.  I have 2 friends that renewed their vows at their 25th wedding anniversaries who actually were (with alterations of course; the body changes over that time in all of us) able to wear their original gowns.

          •  "the body changes over that time in all of us" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shanikka, Turbonerd

            Oh, don't it just. I got my first tux and suit while in college and I don't think I could fit my shadow into either one now.

          •  my wife knew going in that our girls wouldn't wear (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            her gown. She had personal experience to guide her on that decision: Her mother's wedding dress was preserved - but her mom is six inches shorter than she is.

            And my wife reasoned that even if it would fit, our girls would want their own dresses anyway. So she adapted the train as a christening gown. All three of our kids, and two godchildren, have used it. The bodice, with major alterations, was used for our two girls' First Communion dress.

            Knowing that the costs of the wedding were (and still are) a sore spot for me, my wife likes to point out that she's gotten the cost-per-use of that dress below $200. (Of course, that's 1989 dollars...)

            Reforms come from below. No man with four aces howls for a new deal.
            Keystone XL will raise gas prices!

            by Turbonerd on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 06:57:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  I rented mine (0+ / 0-)

      They tailored it to fit and cleaned it after I returned it. I never planned on having children, let alone daughters, and the likelihood that it would be worn again was quite slim. In 1991, I believe I spent about $150 to rent the dress, poofy slip, and veil. I bought the undergarments and shoes.

      Fire burn and cauldron bubble, bendy straws or my fee is double - via Twitter about half-term governor Sarah Palin

      by alrdouglas on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 12:16:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Eh. Everybody's different. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    undercovercalico, jayden

    I have absolutely no interest in blowing a bunch of money on a conspicuous consumption one day event.

    Making a long term relationship work is about putting in the day to day thought, year after year, not going up and swearing in front of a bunch of witnesses that you will.

    Actions, not words, over the lifetime of the relationship.

  •  I used to get sucked into being a flower girl (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    undercovercalico, jayden

    I have been to a bunch of big church weddings. I am unaware of any gigantic service that didn't involve the bride in hysterics, some kind of drunken fight between someone in the family, etc., and so on.

    So when it came my turn, I eloped. I would rather spend all that money on the honeymoon.

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 04:33:19 AM PST

  •  Heh, got married in July, and my outfit (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, undercovercalico

    cost more than 10x what my wife's outfit cost.

    Granted, I was wearing white-tie level Highland Garb (Montrose doublet, Victorian belted plaid, regimental horsehair sporran, custom knit castellated hose, etc). And granted, I will continue to wear this outfit several times a year for paid gigs.

    OTOH, my bride and a seamstress friend her made an Edwardian-style gown from an embroidered silk sari that she got half off because she bought it just before Diwali, and another half off because it had sat folded in a window and there was UV damage which prevented it from being used as a sari.

    Yeah, no Bridezillas here. I was a total Groomthra, though.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 04:52:12 AM PST

  •  I didn't buy into the wedding industry (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53, undercovercalico

    But I had a lovely wedding and reception.  I bought my gown on sale off the rack, was sponsored by my neighbor at his country club (much cheaper and much nicer than a regular wedding venue), did have a good band, just had carnations in a bud vase on the tables because flowers are a waste of money and my bouquet was made of silk flowers so I could keep it, bought a wedding ring at a discount jeweler for what my fiance could afford and I was thrilled with it, and my godmother had a little shower for me one afternoon in her home.  This was 33 years and two kids ago.  Still like each other.

    I had two luncheons when my daughters became bat mitzvahs.  I firmly resisted being talked into an over the top event and instead had a luncheon with good food, great DJ for the kids, and decorated the tables with balloons.  Everyone came back to our house for pizza in the evening.  I didn't get fancy with the invitations, party favors etc.  We had a great time.

    Instead of planning something akin to a Broadway musical, people should remember that this is a party to celebrate a life event.  It's just a party so it should be fun not a burden and should not send one into bankruptcy.  There is no such thing as perfect.

  •  Is Daily Kos broken? This diary has been at the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    broths, undercovercalico, Strummer

    top for 2 days now.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 05:17:34 AM PST

  •  I've been married more than 20+ years (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    undercovercalico, jayden

    My parents told me they would either pay for a big wedding or get us a really nice gift. My wife and I both wanted a formal wedding.  She had a lovely gown. I wore a suit.

    Planning? Well, we started out trying to plan it together, but we wound up letting my mom do most of it.

    The wedding was excellent and the marriage hasn't been bad either :-).

  •  In the Jewish ceremony (4+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    shanikka, cville townie, Brecht, BoiseBlue
    Hidden by:
    Zek J Evets

    there are both misogynistic and .... rather nicer elements

    Misogynisitic: The Hebrew for "husband" is (literally) "owner" (as is "husband" = "keeper") and the word for wife is "woman" (that is, there is no separate word for wife.

    On the other hand: The husband and wife each say "I make myself holy to you" which I think is rather nice.

  •  No fairytale horsesh*t for me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    undercovercalico, jayden

    I haven't even read the comments, but I had to say that I eloped for my wedding, got married at City Hall and then went out for pancakes, and that was my dream.

  •  I doubt I will marry again (0+ / 0-)

    but if I did it would be a trip to the courthouse and a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant.

    My wedding was small, my ex and I paid for it ourselves, and we still had a bit of drama because his Southern Baptist family was unhappy we opted to have our vows with a Judge for hire instead of a preacher. I told my then husband no religion at the wedding and he agreed.

    I do think many of the young women I work with if they are a representative sample act pretty entitled about their weddings, half of them just got college paid for by their parents and now they are hitting them up for a wedding. I have to say working with them can be boring as hell because all they talk about for the months leading up to the event is the event.

    The two best weddings I ever went to were on the high end and the low end. One friend got married while in university. They went to the courthouse and a week later we had a funky reception with musician friends playing and all the decorations done by artsy types and all the guests brought something for potluck, we had a blast. Another time my then boyfriend was friends with a wealthy young lady and we went to a full out Italian wedding with a seven course meal, endless wine, a giant dessert buffet and a great band it was also a blast.

    I was never one of those young women who planned her future wedding in her head, I had friends who had subscriptions to Bride magazine before they were even engaged. Honestly I find weddings boring.

  •  I will quit "pretending" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when I see glossy 300+ page Groom magazines at the supermarket checkout. Or even at the auto parts store checkout.

  •  Perhaps Because My Son Got Married Yesterday (8+ / 0-)

    I admit that I am sad, not about the diary (although I think that the author has overstated her case) but about the disparaging, dismissive comments over the concept of weddings, wedding receptions, and brides who want their "moment in the sun." Not everyone is motivated by blinginess, airs or irresponsibility, who chooses a wedding over what my son and his wife originally planned (tee shirts at the courthouse, because that's all they could afford.)

    My son's wedding was a gift: a gift I have him.  We had a very small gathering at a beautiful site with family, friends and lots of children (since the couple each bring their own kids to the marriage.) It was both traditional and nontraditional, complete with unity candles and jumping the broom. Our son's reception was very well catered with some very (IMO) nice wines and a scrumptious, picture perfect wedding cake.  Some things were done simply and on the cheap. Others, we told the children to pick what made them happy, within our budget of $10K.  $200/head.  (Here in the SF Bay Area, considering some of the quotes I got, we got off cheap LOL.)

    It was a glorious wedding.  With happy children running through the gardens.  A delightful jazz band. Lots of laughter, especially as the bride had started tying one on out of nerves when her hair was getting done and thus by 1/2 way through the reception she was tore up ROFL.  And very happy tears.

    For my son. My beautiful son who often struggles with feeling that he's not all that important to me and in the world since unlike my daughters, he's been a bit hardheaded, a bit angry, and made some choices that he's had to live with and still has to live with even now that he has turned his life around.

    This wedding, for a couple who has nothing, has faced and will continue to face many financial and other challenges including some created by their own bad choices in life admittedly, yet who have decided after 4 years that they wanted to travel the road together) was my and the DAH's gift to them--to let them know that, yes, they too deserved a grand party in their honor.

    Weddings are fundamentally a community celebration--at least, that is the original intent, reflecting a fundamental truth about marriage IMO: No marriage succeeds without the community of family and friends surrounding it, who love the couple and want their happiness. As my husband, who officiated yesterday, pointed out, everyone who gets married has a "wedding". It doesn't really matter what type of wedding it is, I guess of some kind. They all get a piece of paper in the end signed by someone with legal authority.  Yet as the DAH said, that's not a marriage. A marriage is what comes afterward.  Every sane person has to agree on that.

    Yet considering how rolling the seas of marriage can be, it seems to me that knocking folks for wanting a party to celebrate in advance of the hard work, and knocking brides who are culturally trained to feel that their wedding is a moment so important that it has to be "perfect" (my daughter in law had only a couple of 'Zilla moments, and fortunately my psych degree recognized them for what they were--STRESS and fear; my son had at least 2 himself), is a bit elitist, and a bit unfair.

    But then again, maybe it's because of the happy tears I saw in that lovely couple's eyes yesterday, when they were applauded and celebrated, and hugged, over and over and over again as part of a fancy, albeit small, "wedding."

  •  omg who cares (0+ / 0-)

    why is this still the top fp story since sunday night?

  •  What's happened to the Front Page?? (0+ / 0-)

    No new diaries since last night?

  •  I had nothing at all to do with the planning of my (0+ / 0-)

    wedding, not even the tuxedo (other than to make sure it fit). I asked for there to be shrimp, and for a ride. And I know of few of my heterosexual friends who had a substantively different experience in terms of gender and the wedding planning. But, maybe it's different a generation later, I can accept that.

    More importantly, I really, really liked the article Laura linked to, the one that criticized weddings. It didn't criticize the brides so much as a culture that encouraged them to celebrate weddings and pregnancies (men don't have baby showers, let alone plan their own), rather than educational and career achievements. It, rightfully, saw these young women/girls as acting rationally within the culture they are living in. I saw it as a strongly feminist piece.

  •  Having had 2 stepdaughters (0+ / 0-)

    opt for destination weddings in 2 years....

    ObamaCare! Sign-up by phone: 1-800-318-2596

    by mwm341 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 06:43:30 AM PST

  •  I think of a Wedding as a microcosm (0+ / 0-)

    of the marriage, and (traditionally) the first big act that the couple are doing together.

    My wife hates when I say this, but at its core marriage is simply a legal contract between two people who decide to merge their assets together.

    First, wedding planning (like marriage) requires a lot of compromise. I feel bad for the grooms that stand back and do whatever their brides want, because that is probably the same behavior that will continue throughout the marriage. I know many husbands that are perfectly happy that way, and if it works then good for them.

    Secondly, like a marriage, there is so much crap that can go wrong during a wedding, and despite how much you plan/prepare, etc...there is bound to be something that doesn't go as intended. How the couple responds to those times are in many ways an example of how they will work together as a couple. Does the bride start crying and go off with her parents? Does the groom just shrug off his crying wife and go drinking with his groomsmen? The best weddings are the ones where you never realize that something bad happened.

  •  Sorry, not buying the misogyny angle either (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Zek J Evets

    What the articles get at is the wedding industry force feeding both women and men that the wedding day is the last good day of your life and must be perfect. So the Fashion mags/channels scream that the woman must demand MOAR MOAR MOAR because this is her self-expression of her LAST PERFECT DAY ON EARTH EVER and the man should get out of her way after he's humiliated them both in a Jumbotron proposal because someone on the TeeVee told that was how he had to do it or he was a WEENIE or something.

    And that = misogyny?  Nuh uh.  Not when it's the women in charge, which is what the articles point out. Where to place the blame properly?   Herd mentality, I should think; too many marrying folk letting media noise about "what all brides want"  be the default setting.  Nice to see all the nice folks telling their stories above who learned to ignore it.

    Also, with same-sex weddings becoming no bg deal, the "misogyny" meme ain't gonna work.  If one partner is all up in that about the ceremony, then a Zilla is gonna be a Zilla.  Blaming it all on TEH PATRIARCHY is all well and good but I have attended several gay marriages now and whatever else was in control, I can assure you TEH PATRIARCHY wasn't it.

    Besides, if weddings are all about TEH PATRIARCHY then we have fixed that so from now on women are in charge without the EVIL MENZ writing up the dowry agreements, coverture laws, entireties, etc. right?  Oh but wait, now we are told the groom is supposed to Man UP (TM) and insert himself in the planning process otherwise MISOGYNY.  But if he does that and starts deciderating things  he's infringing her self-expression and so it's TEH PATRIARCHY and MISOGYNY again.  No wonder his head hurts from all the conflicting noise. That digital girlfriend Dating Sim starts to look more appetizing.

    So under the current TLC-approved schema the worst thing he can do is sit there in hapless supplicating NiceGuy(TM)* mode saying "whatever you want honey" - which is far more annoying to everyone (and for good reason - everybody hates the NiceGuy (TM), and so should you).

    *Formerly known as "Sensitive New Age Guy" (SNAG).  Or more appropriate, GAG!  That's not me saying so - ask Jezebel, ask Gawker, ask Huff Po.

  •  Not quite traditional (0+ / 0-)

    My wife and I just did a Justice of the Peace thing. We figured, why spend a ton on an expensive wedding, and cause unnecessary stress? Having extra debt isn't the best way to start a marriage. :)

    We just celebrated our 7th anniversary this month... I told her that we can do a big wedding on the 10th year if she wants, but I think she'll pass. We did family parties/weddings at our respective households when we first married, and maybe we will do something like that again.

    Regarding the OP, I think men like marriage, but I think they are more likely to try to make it personal and unique, whereas females are more likely to want a "traditional" wedding, but I could be wrong.

    Sometimes, I wonder why I consider myself a Democrat. Before too long though, dumb Republicans saying dumb things come along to remind me.

    by LnGrrrR on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 08:02:59 AM PST

  •  Married twice but never a "wedding" /nt (0+ / 0-)
  •  Not a great diary... (0+ / 0-)

    Drawing purportedly objective conclusions from subjective anecdotes? Not a great place to start.

    But actually assigning significant responsibility for the misogyny of the wedding-industrial complex to men because they DON'T participate? Truly grasping at straws here...

    I could see the argument made for men who own bridal companies, caterers, wedding planners, etc., that push women to do big weddings on their own, but that wasn't the argument made here. Shameful, really, because there could've been a good conversation on how our society sees big, glitzy weddings as the desire, regardless of class, sometimes resulting in poorer people struggling to "keep up" despite the structural barriers in their way. Or we could've talked about the inherent sexism in most wedding reality TV, both towards women AND MEN.

    But to turn back to this diary, I find it incredibly ignorant and offensive that the diarist actually dumbed down the second paragraph block-quote paragraph into this phrase: "Ouch, right? And unfair to the point of borderline misogyny ..."

    What is unfair and misogynistic (borderline or otherwise) about that paragraph? I dare the diarist to explain, because the post itself fails spectacularly to do so, and instead flails around on itself discussing how terrible it is that men aren't more involved with weddings (and that that's the purportedly "real" problem) without even bothering to fact-check that the wedding industry IS BUILT to keep men out of being involved in weddings.

    Meanwhile, the block-quote paragraph describes a succinct and true statement about weddings and wedding culture in our society. A lot of women DO dream of big fancy weddings, or think they should have one because society says they should want one. A lot of women get caught up in the party rather than the marriage. These are things that are actually true and happen with disturbing frequency! And, key point, there is no misogyny in pointing out truth for the benefit of empowerment, even if the truth is uncomfortable or disturbing. I mean, we don't fail to point out the pay disparities women receive, or their lack of representation in government, or their few numbers in so-called "hard science" fields.

    Yet, instead of tackling this complex issue as it relates to institutional sexism... the diarist sidesteps into colloquial misandry and faux-Feminism, taking cheap shots at straw-men (literally) rather than the wedding-industrial complex itself. Again, shameful. And a waste of time.

    Honestly, the diarist would do better to learn from the second block-quote paragraph, rather than disparage itself so foolishly.

    That all said, in my experience and research, it is MEN who are changing the one-sided nature of weddings (hetero weddings, that is) by opening up to new ideas of self-defined masculinity where they CAN participate in (hetero) weddings on an equal level to their partners. And this is a trend which IS happening, yet, incredibly, the diarist again fails to see it.

    So, in the end, the premise failed, the conclusion failed, and the analysis was ignorant to the point of borderline bigotry.

    My suggestion? Start over and try again.

    "When facts are reported, they deny the value of evidence; when the evidence is produced, they declare it inconclusive." -- Augustine, in The City of God.

    by Zek J Evets on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 09:22:39 AM PST

  •  I only wanted a few things for my wedding (0+ / 0-)

    and I had them.

    All black tux (no flower or colour): check
    Imperial March entering-the-reception music: check
    Not paying for almost any of it: check

    Why the last one? Well, I would've been happy with no ceremony and just going to the courthouse with witnesses. She wanted a big day. I said I'd go along with it, but I wasn't paying for it.

    Worked out nicely.

  •  Truth: Most guys don't care about the wedding. (0+ / 0-)

    It really is a woman thing. Don't get me wrong; Guys care about the proposal. They care about the marriage itself.  They care about the commitment.  What they DON'T care about is whether your Uncle Phil is at the same reception table as your cousin Suzie, or whether the roses are white or red, or how many layers the cake has. In fact, the only aspect of the wedding the man cares about is how happy his bride will be.  This is actually pretty true. In fact, given their choice, most of my guy friends would choose eloping over a big wedding any day of the week.  This should be good news for women. We care about the important stuff much more than we care about the giant money-sucking wedding industry stuff. This diary is an utter mystery to me, and, honestly, it would never be written by a man.

    I speak on behalf of all my male friends when I say, please ladies, continue to write us off with respect to wedding details.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 12:27:18 PM PST

  •  My only interest in weddings now... (0+ / 0-) avoiding any more of them.

    I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

    by mojo11 on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 01:03:59 PM PST

  •  I guess it's a cultural thing (0+ / 0-)

    But in Asia, and maybe some European countries, weddings are a community event orchestrated (usually) by the parents and assorted elders & peers.

    In fact, until pretty recently (or still) the matches were made by parents and sometimes over the objections of the happy couple.

    Maybe what you are writing about reflects the stress of changing the traditional American wedding?

  •  My wife and I agreed (0+ / 0-)

    the best possible wedding for us was a small civil service with a few close friends and immediate family. The money we saved went towards a house.

    I don't understand why someone would go into debt, or spend their parents money on a huge fancy wedding. I didn't expect anything from my parents. They didn't owe me a thing, they had already given me enough. My wife felt the same about her parents.

    All the important things about being married come after the wedding, not during it. And I'm not talking about the honeymoon. Although that was pretty good, it wasn't the most important part.

    We are going on 33 years of being married. She hasn't smothered me with a pillow yet, I'm happy to say.

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