Saturday, October 25, 2008

Knot Into Weddings

I've done a lot of thinking about weddings lately. I know this is something women are supposed to think about, but it's not a normal activity for me. I recently shot my first wedding and had another today, and while adore photography, I don't think I'll be setting up a side business in weddings.

Why? Well for one thing, it's nerve racking, extremely tiring and time consuming. (I know, that was three things) After being a wedding photographer I wonder why anyone would ever get married twice. The first one is tiring enough! I also wonder if wedding planners or photographers who've attended hundreds of weddings choose the courthouse or small ceremonies when they tie the knot, because 1. It's too much like work or 2. They've realize the huge, hairy deal that we've made weddings isn't worth it.

That's certainly how I feel at this point. I may change my mind in the future, but the principle of spending so much money and time on an event that is so momentary is kind of repulsive to me. At the same time, it's extremely self-centered. I'm not saying this to criticize my friends who've had big, beautiful weddings, but because I don't know if my values are the same.

It seems to me that it shouldn't be so expensive to start out a new married life when you certainly won't have that much money to fall back on post marriage. I wonder if the big wedding idea is another one of life's myths. I might just start a myth series on here. The myths I refer to are include Prince charming myths, the disposable myth, stuff myth, etc.

The problem with myths, like the big-weddings myth, is that we're trained from infancy what they should look and be like. It is not often that we question myths because of the tradition and the herd mentality of humans. But I digress. Suffice it to say, I'm not sure what to think about weddings. I'm in the inquisitive stage. Thanks for reading. Let me know what you think, especially if you're married!

The photo is from the McClure wedding I shot the first weekend in Oct. I've been editing the photos this weekend, and I really like this one.


Shelly Mc said...

Oh S.J. I'm right there with you!! I'm knot into weddings either. I'll go if it's a close friend, but for the most part, I'm not one to make a big deal about weddings. I'm all for small weddings with just those closest to me.

Menefee said...

I'm tired of spending money on weddings, going to weddings, being in weddings, it makes me want to scream and pull my hair out. I think a big wedding is great if you can afford it, and not go into debt because of it, but I think the wiser approach is a mid-size wedding, with some of the glamour of a big wedding, but without the crazy "in for a penny, in for a pound" people often use to justify things like a live band, and lobster for everyone.

Sarah-Jane said...

@shelly mc Agreed on the small wedding mentality. Thanks for the comment!

Sarah-Jane said...

@menefee There's much more to my dislike of the wedding myth than money. It's the tradition mentality that hands you a to-do list of what makes a good wedding. I swear it's written by enterprising wholesalers. The myriad components that make the day so stressful have even invented a new profession, wedding coordinators. All this and more just to say I love this person and want to be with them the rest of my life, amen.

It could be a simple as that, a prayer together in front of witnesses and a few signatures. It's tradition that has convinced us we need the extra trappings to make it a wedding, it's not religious dogma.

Like Christmas, Easter and Valentine's Day, weddings have been overrun with commercialization which makes them more about stuff than love. (Just as Christmas is more about stuff than Jesus.)

And again it's extremely self centered to believe we deserve all the stuff when we 1. Can't afford it 2. Shouldn't waste money on it and 3. Feel like it plays some major part in making a wedding a wedding.

That is all.

Kairamon said...

Though big weddings have never been something to happen around me, I completely agree that wasteful spending is not the right way to celebrate a bond like marriage. I think Myth is the right word to describe that weird picture of an ideal that seems to be peoples minds.