We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Like Hallmark holidays, and Bar and Bat Mitvahs, people feel forced/obligated by convention to waste perfectly good and hard-earned money for a couple of hours, or too many hours, of forced merriment with overly-loud obnoxious music.
The party predators are out there, like sharks.
On the other hand, throwing a $60,000 wedding is one way to pay back, in one event, all of those past invitations from people which you have accumulated. So there's that. But would the kids just prefer the cash?
The same people who overspend for weddings or funerals (or quinceaneros, or bar mitzvahs, or proms) will live for the day in deciding on granite countertops and new cars and designer shoes. As long as they don't expect me to loan them money or pay for their appendectomy or redeem their student loans, I'm OK with it.
There's a lot to be said for throwing the biggest bash you can afford and engaging in full-throated celebration. Just figure out what "afford" means. What are you willing to trade for it?
Wife and I added up what it would cost for average wedding we could afford, saved it up, went to a Justice of the Peace, gave her $20.00 and used the money we saved for down payment on our home. Worked out great.
When my niece got married, she wanted a big wedding. Her parents informed her that as their marriage took place at the house of one set of parents, she and her prospective spouse could pay for the wedding themselves. Which they did. They had 150+ people in for the wedding. I don't know how what it cost, but it was a grand affair.
When you add up childhood friends, college friends, and family, it is easy to get to 150 guests.
I am failing to get out of a wedding right now. Apparently, I can't even get out of the co-ed wedding shower. Men used to be safe from such. And that doesn't even deal with the trauma of getting a text telling me to set aside the date for a co-ed family shower. I texted back that such a thing was wildly inappropriate, more horrifying than the gang showers in the high school gym.
The REAL problem is that there is such focus on the wedding that one forgets it is just the preliminary to the real deal: the marriage. At all "real" weddings, the focus is on the ceremony, the vows made, the promises given, and the hope that these vows and promises will be fulfilled in a long and happy life together. The rest of the day is just added extras and - with a bit of luck - is a good party which all attendees enjoy.
Though the occasional gaffe doesn't hurt - it add to the flavour. Still remember my sister - heading up the aisle in front of me - turning to our father and saying "Don't tailgate.".
I would speculate that there isn't a straight male in the country that gives a shit about the wedding. The wedding night, yes but the actual wedding and everything surrounding it, no! The wedding is the wet dream of the mother and daughter to freely create and distribute excessive drama and fairy tale princess attitude. It is a reason to play dress up and then prance around to oohs and aahs. I have been in the wedding party, I have been the best man and I have been the groom. I could have quite happily missed each of these events and as it turns out I should have missed one of them. A wedding is the traditional equal to dying your hair pink so people will notice you.
My youngest daughter had to have a big, lakeshore wedding, complete with geese, costumed bridesmaids, arbors - the works. Being the last one to marry, we went along with it and mortgaged the farm, so to speak. The groom was her grade/high school sweetheart of eight or ten years, practically one of the family. After two years of marriage, he decided alcoholic was better, they divorced, and he committed suicide a couple of years later. She then met the chef at a restaurant she and her girlfriends used, dated him a couple of months, married him in our living room with one of her sisters in attendance, and it's lasted more than 20 years. He's a model son-in-law. Go figure.