Duffer... What’s the deal with wedding ceremonies?

Rod Perry
May 07, 2019
By Rod Perry
May 7, 2019 – Ask most people what type of mail they dread receiving and they’ll agree it’s bills. You shuffle through the stack of envelopes pulled from the mailbox and those with the transparent windows are the ones that elicit that woeful sigh, letting you know it’s time to pay up again.

For me, bills aren’t the pieces of mail I dread most. If the envelope is addressed to me in calligraphy, that’s my cue to panic because I know exactly what’s inside. It’s going to be a wedding invitation.

I’ve never been a big fan of weddings. I dislike almost everything about them. I’m not opposed to marriage, but rather the pomp and circumstance associated with the marriage ritual, not to mention all the fuss…and the expense!

I believe in marriage. I’ve just never been able to get my head around the need for an elaborate ceremony and long drawn out reception afterwards.

I’ve been to my fair share of weddings over the years. My own was cheap. We were married in a civil ceremony with a couple of witnesses. There were no tuxedoes, no wedding gown, no hall rental, no alcohol to purchase, no lavish meal and no fancy cake. We saved thousands.

I simply don’t get why young couples would want to put themselves deep in debt for something that is nothing more than just a big show.

At one of the last weddings I attended, I gave the young couple a 50 per cent chance of remaining married after their first two years. He was 21. She was 19. The marriage lasted 10 months.

My wife and I attended their buck and doe a few months beforehand, shelling out more money than we cared to to take part in a bunch of nonsensical games to help build up their wedding fund. I told my other half at the time, “What are we doing? This marriage is going to dissolve in less than two years. They’re too young, and she’s much too immature.”

The honeymoon apparently lasted about four months, and their remaining six months together was reportedly hell. So we spent untold hundreds on the buck and doe, their wedding gift, bridal shower, etc., and for what?

There comes a time during the wedding ceremony when the minister asks the attendees to speak out if they see reason why the couple shouldn’t wed. That’s the moment you have to bite your tongue even though you understand full well that speaking out would have been the right thing to do. Eventually, though, the last word would have been mine: “I told you so.”

Why can’t weddings be similar in nature to becoming a licensed driver? If you want to marry your longtime sweetheart, you obtain the necessary licence, you exchange vows with your betrothed in the presence of someone legally certified to perform the wedding, and then you share the good news with family and friends.

I’ve watched (not by choice, but because someone else in the room had possession of the remote control) some of those reality shows on television in which couples spend anywhere between $30,000 and $100,000 on their weddings. It’s obscene.

It’s all for what – the means to sift through an album of photographs years later and reflect, “Yeah, that was the day we put the shovel in the ground to dig a financial hole for ourselves that we’re still trying to climb out of. But look at how happy we were.”

The bride spends thousands on a gown she’ll never wear again. It’s insanity when you think about it.

Then there’s the reception that often hinges on weird. The MC announces that the bride and groom will share a kiss only if all the guests from the same table stand and sing a song with the word “love” in it. Can anything be more nauseating? But it gets worse. As the hours pass, it comes time for the groom to remove his bride’s garter. The ritual usually has the bride seated in a chair while the groom sticks his head under her dress and removes the garter from her thigh using only his teeth. Things get a little R-rated as the night wears on. But with everyone half in the bag by this time, I suppose no one even cares anymore.

About 50 per cent of the weddings I’ve attended in my lifetime have eventually ended in divorce and have lasted anywhere from 10 months to 20 years. About half of those doomed marriages didn’t make it past five years. I feel the need to take a long shower when I learn about all the fizzled unions whose ceremonies I attended.

Instead of fancying these invitation envelopes up with calligraphy, why not just save time and stamp a skull and crossbones on them instead?

Rod Perry, aka Duffer, is a Niagara-based freelance writer.

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