A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I decided we would get married next year right after our tenth anniversary. We have talked about weddings from time to time but never picked a date, and a lot of it had to do with my reluctance to plan anything. I knew once we committed to the date it meant a lot of work for me and a lot of eye-rolling on my part. Hi, I’m Emily, I’m getting married, and I hate the wedding industry.
I should say right away that if your dream is a romantic proposal and a white wedding with a Cinderella theme, I’m happy for you. I hope it happens and you get everything you want and live happily ever after, the end. But that has never been my dream. I am not into weddings, brides, or huge white ball gowns. And marriage proposals gross me out. But that’s just me, and, if it offends you when someone talks about how she doesn’t like that stuff, perhaps you could go look at The Knot for awhile instead of reading on.
Anyway, as I said, I am grossed out by marriage proposals. First, the getting on one knee bugs me. What’s going on there? Is he begging? There’s also an attitude where the woman in the relationship is waiting for a proposal. I’ve heard it many times: “I’m just waiting for him to ask me!” What year is this? It’s one thing if everyone is a virgin and/or on “The Duggars” reality show; I mean, I guess they have to get married (apparently they can’t even kiss until marriage) and probably the guy has to propose or the Duggar Dad might shoot him. But for most people it seems archaic. Have a conversation about your future, and, if you’re dying for a proposal because of tradition or religion, why not make that clear in a non-nagging, non-whiny way? Like a grownup who is adult enough to get married.
We skipped a proposal and just decided to get married. We told our families and friends, and then I changed our status to ENGAGED on Facebook, which was akin to opening the flood gates. I really think there should be a status that says GETTING MARRIED. I see these as two different and distinct things. I don’t have a ring. We aren’t having a “long engagement.” We are getting married because we chose to do that as two people who have been together for a long time.
People asked if we had picked a date and I wanted to shout, “YES, that’s the whole point.” We’ve lived together for over six years, but people lost their shit when they heard we were having a WEDDING. I am very touched and happy that they are happy for us, but I honestly don’t get the level of HYSTERIA and screaming that we encountered. Happy screaming, but still. Slow your roll, people. I’m 38. I’m not a virgin.
So, we’re getting married and, even though I’m not into weddings, I now have to plan one. I started some wedding Pinterest boards and began to find things that were truly terrifying. Save the Dates that say, HE ASKED, SHE SAID YES (Gross. The worst one I saw said: “He asked, she said ‘about damn time!’” Wow, nice.), Miss America style sashes that say THE FUTURE MRS. ____ (Ew. I guess they’re for a bridal shower or bachelorette party, but still. Ew.). Also there’s a whole line of camouflage formal wear for the Duck Dynasty bride (ok, that I actually found pretty funny). Anyway, it’s an endless parade of things I have no interest in.
And I can’t help it, I feel like the whole wedding industry in general is all about tricking people (specifically women) into believing there are all these things they HAVE TO HAVE. I mean, look at a typical wedding checklist — I can’t even count how many items there are, let alone how many are unnecessary. I need a Xanax to get through the whole list. And even then, I still don’t understand a lot of it.
Like, why are the attendants for the groom called GROOMSMEN and the attendants for the bride called BRIDESMAIDS. Maids? Really? The groom gets MEN and the bride gets MAIDS. Why not “Groom’s butlers” or “bride’s women”? The more I think about weddings and things like that, the more I am left scratching my head. It’s all so sexist and creepy, and yet here I am planning a wedding.
And these days, we could have ANY KIND of wedding we wanted. There are so many resources for unique weddings now. Zombie wedding? Sure! Minecraft wedding? Why not! Crazy, over-the-top Lord of the Rings wedding? For many millions of dollars, yep! But our wedding will be small (around 70 people) and in my dad’s backyard. There is no theme, no extravagant decorations or garter toss. I will probably walk myself down the aisle. No one is giving me away. I’m not changing my name. I will not be wearing a white dress; I’ll be wearing a color, and I’ll look a million times better than I ever would in an ivory gown. And I’ll feel like myself, not a trumped up princess version of myself in a dress I’m uncomfortable in.
Even though there are obviously things about weddings I have a problem with, I don’t have any issue with MARRIAGE. Especially now that so many more people in love can get married in so many more places. I have had some issue with the idea of being a wife, but, since we already feel married in a lot of ways (we share a home and pets and our lives), I like the idea of being a LEGAL family now.
I think our wedding day will be a very happy day. After ten years we’re getting married, and I can’t wait to have all our favorite people in one place — people who love us and want to celebrate with us. Soon, I’ll start sending out Save the Dates, and I’m pretty excited about that, too. They’re very simple ones, in case you’re wondering. Of course, if you’re interested, I can always tell you where to find some “Lord of the Rings” Save the Dates.
Emily Morris is a lifelong New Englander who eats too much cheese and drinks too much coffee but regrets neither. She loves Mark Ruffalo, Scottish accents, and the beach. She hates turtlenecks, the Kardashians, and her neighbor with the leaf blower. She is a currently a nanny, but her 2014 resolution has been to do more writing. She lives with her drummer boyfriend, two dogs, and one cat in Boston. You can find her wasting time live-tweeting award shows on Twitter.