During a rare moment of quiet, I finally got to my Sunday newspapers and I read this outlandish piece on how wedding invites can cause bankruptcy for the guests.
When I finished the piece, I really do believe this just sums up what is wrong with Western Europe – it really is all about me.
Now I know the papers like to big up the bridezilla stories and wedding tales of woe. But this really did take the biscuit. It had the usual – stag and hen parties in far flung places, not just in Europe (that is not enough) but places such as Vegas.
There was a chap who attended a wedding in Sri Lanka even though the bride had no connection to it. Allegedly, he set aside hopes of saving a deposit for a flat for this wedding but I have my doubts that there is anyone out there who would do this. Learn to say No. It is a full sentence.
Now you know how I do not like to be judgemental, but since when did weddings get so expensive for both bride and groom and those attending? I understand we all want to put on a good show, but seriously releasing doves is just not necessary.
I can hand on heart say historians will point to this phenomenon as another marker of the West’s decline. It seems to me that the cost of weddings has inflated just at the time when the actual importance or seriousness of the marriage has greatly diminished.
The truth is for many couples the wedding does not bring much day-to-day change. Most couples are already living together (no judgement – rent is a lot) obviously they have already ‘gotten to know each other’ if you know what I mean, heck the kids are probably flower girls for goodness sake. The bride might not even change her surname. So what does the wedding actually mark? Not much. Therefore we need to have a huge party to make up the difference.
Back it the ‘old days’ weddings counted. The couple were not living together and although they may have ‘gotten to know each other’ it was not official. Names changed, homes changed, you now have a crazy mother-in-law to handle. It was a big deal.
Everyone knew that enough change was coming – a huge party was not necessary. In sum as you might not know whom the hell you were waking up to come honeymoon time, so it was best to keep your wits about you.
It also occurs to me that these big weddings are also conducted by people who, in a few years time, complain that either they cannot afford children or they cannot afford the childcare. Really? Perhaps you should not have had your stag and hen party in Ibiza followed by a honeymoon in Brazil!
It cannot be repeated enough: European fertility rates are in decline – in free fall from Germany (conservative) to Denmark (uber liberal). Only the immigrants keep the show on the road. Yet it is deemed necessary to have the extravagant wedding. Priorities people, priorities.