I was at my parents house the other day and my mom was watching the TV show Four Weddings. In it, four brides-to-be attend each other’s weddings and judge it based on four categories: dress, venue, food and overall experience. Overall Experience: The woman who’s wedding is judged the highest receives a dream honeymoon for her and her new husband.
I’m not opposed to a reality show judging weddings, but this criteria is really bizarre. Anyone can do research of hire an event planner and be pretty flawless on these points, it just takes effort and money — I know, I used to be an event planner. So, in a sense, it’s kind of a contest about who already has the most money, and who is wise enough to listen to the advice of venue staff and industry experts. The actual bride would benefit by being a passive middle man between these people and the event, rather than competing herself.
In this sense, the show was missing what I think the real competition of getting married is about — the groom. Why isn’t there a groom category they judge each other on? That’s the most important part of getting married.
There are criteria that vary by woman’s preference — does he participate in the ceremony? Is he witty vs. goofy? Does he adhere to whatever standards of attraction the woman has?
But there are a vast and legitimate number of objective ways we could judge the groom–are his friends and family cool? Does he have a good job? How much does he care about his bride’s happiness? Does he know how to control his anger? Is he reasonable?
I had an acquaintance years ago who was 29 and extremely militant on his I’ll-never get-married-and-kids-are-dream-slayers philosophy. To him, his whole life was his and he really wanted to make it as a writer so getting married and/or having kids would be giving up the freedom he needed to do that. Then he met a girl and they started dating seriously. Right before he got engaged to her we went to lunch with another friend who asked him if kids were down the line since he’d changed his mind on the whole marriage thing.
He said no, obviously, he’d made up his own mind and although his soon-to-be fiancé wanted to change his mind, it would never happen. She also wanted to do premarital counseling, I guess, to make sure they were compatible but it was going to be uncomfortable and require too much work so he’d made the decision that they weren’t going to do that.
To me, this is a low quality, but common husband. He not only does not care about what you want, but he belittles you to the people in his life. This wasn’t just his secret acquaintance personality, he was a forthcoming person. She was just enamored by how funny and tall he was, I imagine, to care that at a very deep level he just does not give a shit about anyone else. This is a guy that you say no to, no matter how charming he is. Or, you allow yourself to get swept away and have a few good years followed by several miserable ones.
There’s no epidemic of people having shitty weddings (well, there is, but who cares?) But there is an epidemic of women marrying below them. This choice is what, if anything, people should judge you on — not your wedding venue.