I have a lot to say on this subject so I will be breaking it up into multiple parts
A few years ago, a friend was upset with me when I was not able to attend her wedding. She was so upset that she stopped speaking with me and eventually told me that she had decided to give up on our friendship. She felt that I showed her that our friendship didn’t matter to me when I decided to not attend her wedding, as this was supposed to be “the best day of her life.”
I was surprised to hear that because:
I do not share that same opinion
I didn’t know it would be such a big deal, and
I wasn’t expecting such a drastic response
I didn’t realize that a friendship could be terminated over not attending a wedding, so this got me thinking – is your wedding day really supposed to be the best day of your life? Why do so many people, particularly women, have this belief? And what are my views on it?
Where I am from, which is probably like most places in the US, having a lavish, over the top wedding has become a show of status and wealth. I feel like people are trying to outdo each other and there is something about it that doesn’t sit well with me.
The number of destination weddings requiring you to travel to fancy far off places, spend a lot of money, and take days off of work for something that isn’t of your choosing just baffles me.
You’re asking me to use my vacation days and extra hard earned money to go to a place that I didn’t choose, and do a bunch of events and activities that I didn’t agree to do, for you? We are all adults now and I choose to do what I want.
None of it feels authentic to me and to be extremely honest, it feels like a meaningless display of pretense. What are people trying to prove? This is a special event for you and your husband-to-be and your close families to celebrate your love for each other, why are you asking people to travel across the world to a place where you don’t even live to do this?
Another element of this that makes me uncomfortable is when you put a lot of pressure on an event to live up to something huge - aka the best day of your life.
I have had multiple experiences in my life where I have big expectations for a certain day or event, and then it just doesn’t measure up and I am left feeling really disappointed.
For me these were things like: graduation, getting into and attending my dream school (Stanford) – this was a huge let down, getting into the sorority I wanted, my first job after college, or having sex, none of these things ended up being that great and they left me feeling low, so I shifted my perspective.
I have realized that things that I don’t make a big deal about, but instead simply enjoy and appreciate the moment, end up being some of my best days. Like: meeting a new friend, going on a hike with them and then having a lovely glass of wine and conversation. Or a normal day that ends up being amazing because you slept well, wake up feeling good, have a delicious cup of coffee, go on a nice walk and read a good book - I have chosen to enjoy savoring the simple things.
To me, these big events are so done up and seem to be a bigger source of stress and anxiety than enjoyment, and I guess I don’t put that day or even romantic relationships on as huge a pedestal as it seems that most other women do.
In Part II I am going to dive into the history of marriages/wedding ceremonies and explore the feminist perspective on these topics.. Stay tuned!