For the older generation, weddings were a modest affair – service in the local church with immediate family and friends, followed by a finger buffet in the village hall. Weddings used to be entirely focused on the coming together of two people in love and not about the where, when and how much. In today’s world, it’s a whole new ball game. Weddings have changed from an ‘occasion’ to an ‘event’ where people are now having to consider re-mortgaging their homes in order to afford one – the average cost of a UK wedding is now twenty one thousands pounds! (The Guardian online, 8th August 2010) Madness.
So what is expected at a wedding of today? Well, first there’s the bride’s dress – it’s got to be big, eye-catching and expensive, then there is the quirky venue, three course dinner (with plenty of wine flowing), gorgeous fresh flowers, fancy cars, massive cake, evening entertainment, evening buffet and of course, how can there be a wedding without a chocolate fountain? It is crazy and not surprising that men are now having to consider whether their pockets are deep enough before even proposing – what a romance killer.
So why has it become like this? Well, the answer is easy – money. Retailers have cottoned on to the fact that anything containing the word ‘wedding’ means that people will be willing to pay quite a lot more for it. Go to a bakers and buy a ‘fruit cake’ and it will set you back around twenty pounds, buy a ‘wedding cake’ and you are now talking six hundred pounds plus. In today’s society it’s ALL about the money. I also think that people are now using their weddings as a display of how much money they have – the bigger and fancier the wedding, the wealthier their families appear to be. I won’t deny that at my wedding, I wanted it to be as big as possible. I wanted my guests to go away and say, ‘wow, that wedding was amazing!’ It wasn’t just a celebration of our love, but a display of personal taste and style as well. We were only going to do it once, so figured why not push the boat out and make it into a day we would never forget – and it was.
So are weddings of today more special than the weddings of our parents? I think the answer is no. Yes, they may be on a larger scale, but the reason for them remains the same – for love – and that, I hope, will never change.