I posted my first essay two days ago on Facebook and, unsurprisingly, it generated a bit of discussion, especially since it doubled as my, “Hey, people I don’t talk to very often, I’m getting married!” announcement. Mostly, though, the discussion ended up centering around ways to save money.
I better make something clear. This is not going to be any sort of “plan your big day on a budget!” guide. While I’ll surely discuss some of that, with a few exceptions, if I’m saving money somewhere, it’s probably because my tastes aren’t what the Wedding Industrial Complex would like me to have. My non-“bridal” wedding dress, centerpieces and general lack of overwrought decor are three examples of me saving. Our food, booze and photographer are examples of me not.
Basically, for items where there’s booze (duh), skill or special meaning for me, my fiance and/or our guests involved, I don’t mind paying full price. What I have a problem with is the WIC dictating to me what’s going to make my day great or not. Like, have you ever seen a WIC-generated checklist? It’s astoundingly stupid.
Sure, there are some line items no one planning any sort of event can ignore: venue rental cost, catering cost, decor costs… I’ll even concede wardrobe costs (although I advise future brides to step away from bridal shops for a whole set of reasons I’ll go into in an upcoming post). Whatever the case, you can’t walk down the aisle naked, well, unless that’s your theme, in which case…have fun? But a dress budget is one thing. According to the WIC any good bride should also plan to shell out for a bridal slip, bridal lingerie, bridal hosiery, bridal gloves, a garter, your “going-away” outfit and, of course, your honeymoon wardrobe. (Which you won’t be going on because you just spent all your fucking money on your “honeymoon wardrobe” and your “going-away” outfit, whatever the hell that means.)
Then, of course, there’s the decor. Want to keep things simple? You’re a terrible bride! According to the WIC, your flowers alone should be broken up into nine categories. Yes, NINE CATEGORIES, which includes (this is hard for me to even type), a “throw-away bouquet.” Jesus Christ…
Want some more? Get a load of the WIC’s stationery list. Besides invitations, you need announcements, map/direction cards, reply cards, ceremony cards, save the date cards, a calligrapher (God forbid you use your own handwriting!), a newspaper announcement (because it’s 1962?), rehearsal dinner invitations, wedding programs, bridesmaid luncheon invitations, bachelor party invitations (because nothing gets a group of dudes more amped up for strippers than letterpress on linen paper!), and more. Yes, MORE. That’s a goddamn partial list of paper requirements for the very best brides.
I’m thinking of hand-cutting a stencil and spray-painting my invites. Shame on me.