My parents and I got married 50 years apart.
At their big anniversary party, Mom and Dad were surrounded by silver-haired friends from near and far who were also celebrating similar milestones. Going through old photo albums, anecdotes spilled out from one person to the next, creating a cascade of memories that gave me a sense of simpler, more wholesome times. As I scrambled between dress fittings, vendor appointments, nutrition and personal training sessions, I paused: will it all be worth it in the end? Will all this scramble add or take away from our memories in 50 years? Why didn’t we follow my parents’ lead and host a simple, backyard affair like so many of their generation?
Weddings have always been cause for celebration – for good reason – but it seems like things have been spiraling out of control in the last 50 years. My parents spent less than $700 on their entire shindig, which included jewelry, Pa’s suit, Ma’s dress, flowers, a Wuollet Bakery cake, and wedding night motel in Wisconsin en route to their North Shore honeymoon cabin. Today, couples spend upwards of $25,000 on their wedding (we certainly did). In fact, the wedding industry is a $40 BILLION empire…just to have friends and family witness a signed marriage license.
However…three years into my marriage, I have no regrets. It truly was the coolest day of my entire life. But, I’d like to have some of that money back! (just kidding, honey.)