My niece stated this week that when she gets married, she believes she will get married at the courthouse and then throw a party for the friends to save the expense.
I pointed out that this is more the way it should be. There is no reason you cannot have a simple wedding for a reasonable price without having to go to the courthouse.
The traditions of marriage are slowly being left behind. The lines are blurred when it comes to what you should or shouldn’t do.
I watch young couples throw away money on limos for one hour, expensive dresses that cost $3k or more, catered meals that could have been fixed for less than $100 to feed everyone and that is not counting the stress of having everything perfect.
I am more of a simple person. There are things I wish I would have done differently about my wedding, but in the end, I am glad it was the way it was. $500  was quite a lot for everything, I thought….but included most everything we needed.
Why do we spend so much on weddings and later people don’t have money to buy their first home? What if instead, we shared with our guests that we kept things simple to save for a down payment on our first home? We spent time in marriage counseling and skipped the traditional bachelor  and bachelorette parties?
I cannot count how many weddings I have gone to lately where the bride and groom spent so much time taking pictures of themselves, and their guests waited for 1-2 hours for them to show up. 30 minutes, I understand, but I thought a wedding was a chance to celebrate with family and friends…not take pictures of just the two of you? I understand, you want a few…but take a few and take a few with your guests and then spend time on being ready for a marriage.
I read an article about wedding gifts and it was talking about traditionally the gifts are $50-250 when you attend a wedding. I am not sure what part of the world they were from, but either they make a lot of money, don’t attend a lot of weddings or have almost no friends as that would be a good way to go broke around here. The tradition of giving gifts at a wedding or shower, to help the bride and groom to set up their household is a long loved tradition.
I feel it is taken over now by the greed of our society. Many people live together before marriage and already have households set up. Gift cards, money and other things are asked for without shame. The sentiment is often “Make sure you make a registry as you never know what you will get otherwise.”
Grandma’s quilt she handmade is not a gift many young bride’s would treasure anymore. Instead, they might complain it doesn’t match the decor they had planned, they can’t exchange it and looks a little dated.
What have we come to? Where is the joy of wanting to plan a special gift for a special couple, when you feel if you don’t give enough cash, choose of the over $50 gifts on their registry or just come to celebrate with them and bring a card….as that is truly all you have, is not good enough?
We seem to have lost the meaning of marriage. It is all in the pomp of decorations, fancy dresses, hair styles and we forget about the life after the ceremony. We focus on the honeymoon and forget to count on our fingers the days that will encompass, instead of the years of marriage.
If I had a person that I knew would be along side me, to encourage me daily in marriage. I wouldn’t care if they didn’t bring a gift. It would matter more that they would be there for me as I traveled this new journey.
I always have appreciated seeing the practical gifts given at Amish weddings. They are certainly not traditional!
You may get a Circular saw or a set of clothespins in a clothes pin apron. The gifts may be wrapped in towels with washcloths pinned to it. Cookbooks, aprons, hand made items are common.
When we married, we did receive money, which we bought many things I still use until now, 16.5 years later. We also got many gifts that I appreciated greatly…like bedsheets, bulk food, and potholders.
I just want to encourage you, when you attend a wedding, how can you be there for this couple? Can you come alongside them in the years to come? Will your gift be something they may remember?
Gift receivers ..make sure you give a thank you card, no matter the size of the gift. You don’t know what it cost them to give that gift.

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  1. Victoria

    Such a good blog post, Martha!
    We went to a wedding this past weekend, and tho we didn’t go to the reception, I had a similar “what has happened???” to ppl moment. The bride and groom spent weeks in marriage counseling and a part of their vows at the alter included being fruitful and multiplying. When it was time for them to leave, I mentioned to them that I couldn’t wait for them to have a baby (motioning towards my 8mo old) The bride gave me this horrid look and declared they weren’t having children- at least not for a long, long time. Wait? Didn’t their vows (that they said together before God and the congregation) express how beautiful children are and how they are the blessing of a marriage union? They agreed and as soon as they stepped foot out of church, they were back into the world with their thinking.
    Long winded story short, it reminds me so much of what you said in ur post about how the lines have blurred and this is no longer a family celebration, but a magazine cover shoot. :( I hope words of reminders truly do remind ppl what this is all about.

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