Maybe this is an unpopular opinion. Maybe this is because I’m not a fan of posed photography unless it’s silly or satirical. Or, maybe, and most likely, it’s because I am an unromantic humbuggy.
But, I just…I can’t get on board with engagement photos.
The older I get, the more friends I see tie the knot, spending so much money of things like calligraphy, mini cupcakes, “vintage” photo frames, and lights. All those teeny tiny little romantical strings of light. And it’s all mega beautiful, and also beaucoup bucks.
I think everyone should have whatever wedding their little princess heart desires, but the realist in me can’t ignore the exorbitant cost of all the pretty things. Are engagement photos really a necessity? What do you guys think? Do you at least agree with have to do away with the white top and jeans combo at the beach look?
Let’s have a discussion in the comments.
Because it’s fun to look at happy couples on their wedding day, BuzzFeed compiled an album of 60 wedding photos from the 1960s. The dresses! The hair! The glasses! It’s all so sweet and retro. If you feel like taking a stroll down someone else’s memory lane, have a look at this and be prepared to smile.
Recently, while wandering aimlessly around the Internet, I had a brief stirring of curiosity about how many times any one person had ever been married. I, all of a sudden, needed to put a name and number behind the world record for most marriages in a lifetime. Within a few seconds and a couple keystrokes, I had my answer (God bless technology, right?): twenty-nine times.
It’s 2014 (practically) and yet it’s still uncommon and even unusual for a woman to propose marriage to a man. I’m still not sure why so many traditions have changed over time, and yet this one remains mostly unchanged. I admit, I don’t think I would have the courage to propose, because I’d be terrified of being turned down and/or of somehow offending the guy. Not that I would ever be with a man who would be offended by me proposing to him, instead of him to me. But still, it’s such a common thing — really, a given — that the guy is the one who proposes. So when a girlfriend proposes, it gets some attention. Which is kind of ridiculous, but it’s like there’s this silent, “Eh, that’s how it is” that we abide by.
But a woman named Lacey was all, “nope” and decided to be the one to propose. She wrote about how she did it on Offbeat Bride. She made a pillow fort. Here’s an excerpt of her plans:
I turned the blanket fort into a scavenger hunt, complete with instructions and pictures copied from the “Pillows and Blankets” episode of Community, where they built a giant blanket fort called New Fluffytown. I had several steps, with the last step leading to an enclave under a desk, where I had written a letter explaining that I was sorry I had let him get stressed about such a simple four word question — especially a question that in my eyes had only one answer. It then told him to open the box behind it, which contained his ring (handmade ebony wood ring, same as mine), and a card that asked him to marry me.
It’s so sweet, and I hate myself for thinking it’s so brave of her — it’s brave for men to ask the question, too.
This time of year finds many a Facebook newsfeed filled with picture after picture of engagement rings and romantic proposal stories. It’s enough to make you feel warm and fuzzy all over — or make you fearful that you’ll never experience the same thing as all those people who are lucky in love. So how are you supposed to deal with these conflicting emotions? This post at HuffPost Women helps you look at the fear of never getting engaged from a more self-reflective angle.
I have this little book of wedding tips from the 1950′s — 1957, to be exact. I’ve never been married or even close so I’ve never read it, and I assumed it would be your cliché 1950′s advice like, “look presentable for him” and “don’t go to bed angry.” But actually, there’s some surprisingly “modern” stuff in here.
For example, the introduction comes with a list of questions for the bride-to-be to ask herself. Questions like:
The home and its furnishings is a little 1950′s. Couples didn’t typically live together before getting married, so moving in together and getting furniture and such was a big deal. It still is, it’s why couples still have wedding registries, although it loses some effect when the couple has been living together for a while — you guys already have a blender and a cast iron skillet, stop trying to get me to give you new ones. But that’s not important right now. There’s an entire section later in the book about what the bride needs to ask for: “you’ll need 6 sheets, 1 mattress cover, 3 pillowcases (per pillow)…1 pair of summer blankets, and one of winter ones, and 1 bedspread.” And that’s just the bedding.
I don’t understand wedding diets.
By which I mean, brides going on dieting frenzies for their weddings. At first, I understood why someone would want to lose “x” number of pounds before “the big day”, as they say. You’re going to be photographed a lot, so why not look your best?
But that’s when I realized, you’re going to be photographed a lot, so why would you want to look back at photos of that day and see someone you don’t recognize? I wouldn’t want to look back at my wedding and think, “Damn, that’s the thinnest I’ve ever looked” and feel depressed.
Engagement rings are facing a new trend, and it has nothing to do with stones or settings (or sandwiches). NY Mag‘s The Cut is reporting that more women are buying their own engagement rings. Some are splitting the costs with their fiancés.
It makes sense. Women are getting married later than ever before, and I believe it’s linked to the economy. A lot of young people are living with their parents well into their twenties. It’s a, to quote Danny from Mad Men, “A doggy dog world out there.”
Still, traditionalists lead the pack. Cut also reports that in a Today show poll, 54% of pollers (doesn’t specify whether it’s women only) would not split the costs of an engagement ring. 46% said they would.
This is one of the more embarrassing things I’m going to admit.
I blog about weddings a lot, but I do not want to get married anytime soon. I just like weddings. I like to party. I like the trends. I like the blogs. I like looking at dresses and looking at rings. I’m a wedding girl. These things happen. This is my wedding shame.
A few years ago, I was in the middle of wedding fever, and the only prescription was
more cowbell more wedding fodder. The blogs just weren’t enough. I needed something harder. I needed a magazine.
Shit was getting real.
But I didn’t actually want to pay for the magazine. I hadn’t completely lost my mind. So I searched the internet for “free wedding magazine subscription.” (I know, I know. I just, I know.) I found a lot of leads. Some were dead ends. Finally I found something. A new wedding magazine was offering to send the first issue, free. Zero payment.
But there was a catch. You needed to provide the date of your wedding, the location (just the city) and the name of the groom. Which is really fucking weird, why the hell do they need to know the name of the groom? What if you are the groom? What if you’re a lady marrying a lady? I still don’t get it. But whatever. I made up a date, put my city, and as for the groom…I glanced around my room, looking for inspiration, the way Robin Williams did to come up with the name Mrs. Doubtfire.
And then I saw it. My cat.
I’m just about 26, that age when you get invited to a lot of weddings. I’m at that age when older family members start poking you in the ribs and raising their eyebrows when the word wedding comes up, no matter the context. I’m at that age when people actually start discussing the concept of a “biological time clock,” as if it had any real relevance to you; and, yes, that topic generally leads to a discussion of your marital status.
And I’m all like, hold the phone! Does ANYONE realize that I am WAY TOO YOUNG to get MARRIED?
While I’ve come to expect evidence of new nuptials sprouting like weeds on my Facebook, the first thought that comes to mind when I see pictures of the ring is: bad idea. Hello?! Why are you getting married in your 20s? You’ve been out of college, what, 5 years? That means you’ve probably known this guy only about 3 of them. Honey pie, he’s practically a stranger. Unless you’ve been dating since college, which is sweet and all, but that means it’s likely you haven’t experienced dating enough to truly know what you want in a partner. This is a bad idea. Long inner monologue short: this might end in divorce.
And I think that is because my parents are divorced.
It’s generally a tradition for a bride to get her bridesmaids gifts, as a way of saying thank you. What isn’t traditional is giving the gift of tattoos. Especially “jailhouse” tattoos, like the kind I found on one of my favorite wedding blogs, East Side Bride. I can’t tell if this post is a joke or not — ESB loves taking a bite out of hipsters (the tagline for the site is, “an evil club of mean hipster brides”) so I really want to believe this is a spoof, but they included photos of the whole thing which makes me think it might be for real.
Basically, a bride got her bridal party together (and her officiant), and they gave each other tattoos. From East Side Bride:
I took my husband’s last name with riveting gusto and speed when we got married on Memorial Day this year. Within several hours of our small family wedding in New York City, I had updated all my social media profiles, created my new email, and generally transformed my old self into my new self. Rebecca Wiegand became Rebecca Coale.
Lightning quick as the transition seemed to all my friends and followers, the decision itself unfolded over several months and took a great deal of churning introspection on my part.
The assumption is that a woman takes her husband’s name because it is traditional. Because it is expected. Because it is the path of least resistance. And/Or because we are subjects of the patriarchy and in denial about “reality.”
But modern young women are underestimated. Nosy, prying people in our social circles and slapdash journalists in the media pick out slivers of our lives and deconstruct them with high-handed judgement or blow them up and out of proportion to make observational conclusions about “trends.” Show me the article that contemplates the full picture of our current lives, rather than some winnowed down (but supposedly representative!) aspect of who we are. Show me the feature that concludes, “You know what, young women are all different, and they are all confronting a variety of experiences, and yet they are being thoughtful and self-aware. They are making smart, meaningful decisions for themselves and they’re doing a good job.”
Prior to my wedding, I put real thought into what to do with my name. And I believe most women take such decisions seriously. We contemplate and balance the personal, emotional, political, and traditional. We forge a path for ourselves that is uniquely and purposefully our own. I don’t believe there is a “right” or “wrong” choice when it comes to changing your name with marriage. I believe it is a personal choice that belongs to each woman, each person.
In that spirit, here is why I decided to ditch Ms. Rebecca Wiegand become Mrs. Rebecca Coale.
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