Sunday, July 27, 2008

Here comes the bride ... brought to you by Orkin


I can't quite put my finger on it - perhaps you can help me - but there was something vaguely distasteful about the recent story in our Greene County edition regarding a local couple who are seeking corporate sponsorship for their wedding. The story said Danielle King and her fiance, David Shrader, who plan to tie the knot next July 4, "quickly realized that having a big traditional wedding isn't cheap." Well, duh. King estimates the cost for their 300-guest nuptials at $20,000, and she hopes to offset some of that cost by finding a corporate sponsor for what she's calling the "All-American Wedding." The couple's first attempt didn't pan out, but they have a new listing on eBay.com. The minimum bid is $2,000, but if you don't want to miss out on this opportunity of a lifetime to help pay for the wedding of some people you don't even know, you can lock it in immediately for $10,000. The winning bidder, if there is one, can put its company logo on the couple's wedding invitations. Gee, that's super classy. Also, the sponsor will get a banner at the reception, two wedding invitations and a chance to dance with the bride. Be still, my heart. King, a teacher at Trinity High School, had this priceless quote in the story: "We are not just begging for money." Um, yes, you are. The story says that because King and Shrader come from large families, the wedding has to be large and, therefore, expensive. Again, wrong. Weddings are about two people making what, hopefully, is a lifelong commitment to one another. It's not about making sure Uncle Ed's cousin Stu is on the guest list. Is is really necessary to spend $20,000 on an event that is over in a matter of hours? If you have that kind of cash to spend, fine. But if you don't, wouldn't it make more sense to have a wedding you can afford, one that might leave you some money for the future? There are plenty of people who have been married for 50 years or more who had their ceremony performed by a justice of the peace or their pastor with just a few close friends and family members in attendance. It's what comes AFTER the wedding that counts. But this is the age of "I WANT IT! I WANT IT! I WANT IT!" ... and trying to find a sucker to help pay for it.

15 Comments:

Blogger Ellipses said...

My wife's family is HUNDREDS of people deep... All of them are "close" family...

Mine isn't that close, but I could probably swing 100 guests if I thought long and hard about it...

We paid for our own wedding, had 24 people there... and it was awesome. Best day of my life.

-ellipses

July 28, 2008 at 1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just one more symptom of the self-absorbtion in this country. Why wait for anything or deny yourself even your goofiest whim? You're right Brant -- Gimme Gimme Gimme.

Like I said, they should make it harder to get married and easier to get divorced. Hey ... Anyone want to sponsor my divorce?

July 28, 2008 at 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If their large families are so close and concerned, should they not understand that they can't be invited? Better yet, forgo the wedding gifts and ask the family to pay for the wedding.

You know, you can get a church for less than $500 -- free if you are a member. Why pay a caterer for chicken and rigatoni when damn near anyone's mom can make the stuff?

July 28, 2008 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

How great would it be if a divorce attorney won the auction and plastered his mug and logo on the back of the dress and tux? I don't ask for much God but if you could make that happen I would really appreciate it.

July 28, 2008 at 5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another Trinity teacher? Which school board member lobbied for this dope?

July 28, 2008 at 7:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Danielle, do you promise to love (just like Steve McGarrett loves to say "Book, 'em, Danno" on "Hawaii Five-O," now seen nightly at 8 p.m. on RTN), honor (just Richard Kimble honors his simple code of justice as he searches for the One-Armed Man in "The Fugitive" on RTN) and obey (just like Michael Douglas and Karl Malden obey the rules of justice in "The Streets of San Francisco," nightly on RTN) ...

July 29, 2008 at 8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole wedding-industrial complex pushes these notions that your "special day" can only be "special" if you spend money like a Texas oil baron and twist yourself into knots.

Y'know, another American ritual that's supposed to be "special" but has become insanely expensive is the prom.

At the high school I went to, spending on the prom was like the nuclear arms race -- thousands of dollars were spent in games of one-upmanship. The year after I graduated, one couple decided to skip renting a limo and rented a helicopter instead. It was crazy.

I never went because I never understood what was supposed to be so dang "special" about it and why it was something I was supposed to bankrupt myself over.

--Brad Hundt

July 29, 2008 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recall my prom -- from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next day, we were locked in our high school gymnasium. No one went home to change between prom and afterprom. My girlfriend's mother took us and picked us up. One guy did rent a top hat and tails, but some of us wore -- the horror -- suits rather than tuxes. Funny, but we didn't seem to think we were deprived. Of course this was in 1967.

July 29, 2008 at 10:30 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Brad and Anonymous,

How right you are about proms getting out of control. The one I attended also was in the high school gym, and we had a dandy time. Now, I see these kids renting five-star hotels, rolling up in (rented? Daddy's?) luxury vehicles and spending hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on designer gowns, etc. I don't know at what point we decided, as a culture, that excessive consumption equals fun, but it's become ridiculous. I don't expect these kids to forego the prom and instead donate the money they would have spent to a soup kitchen, but proms today, and weddings, just seem so socially unconscious. Note to Brad: I think the reason some guys don't mind shelling out the prom money is that they're hoping for some sort of "payoff" later in the evening. ;)

July 29, 2008 at 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, high school class rings are now about $250. My kid graduated two years ago and still hasn't worn his. Oh ... and you don't even have to have the school's name or year of graduation on them now. Design your own ring. Bling bling.

July 29, 2008 at 12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Class rings are another supposed "must-have" that I wisely took a pass on. It's not like I was completely alienated when I was in high school - I was involved in a lot of activities, got decent grades, etc. - but I was never a ring-wearer in the first place, and I figured it would look really stupid when I went away to college (remember how silly the college freshmen looked who were still wearing their high school letter jackets around campus?).

--Brad Hundt

July 29, 2008 at 1:16 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

We have stopped going to weddings, because of the reception part of the day. Without a doubt wedding receptions are the most horrible social event possible. In some cases, we have no idea why we were invited. In a recent case (which we turned down the invite), I have never seen/met the bride, and have not seen the groom in perhaps 15 years (a little boy then). My wife has a shirt-tail acquaintance with the groom's mother. Today, we received a "thank you" for the gift. The problem is the items in their note were not the ones we sent to them.

Receptions are just plain painful. Often, one gets stuck at a table with complete strangers. In most cases, they are completely different, and we have nothing in common.

Then the music starts. And, any attempt at a conversation is gone. Do those DJs have a volume knob on their equipment that is permanently set on "high?"

Often the food is bland, at best. It would be nothing I would order if I went to dinner.

Then there are those who use a wedding reception to inebriate themselves to the limit, and beyond. Why do so many people choose to make total fools of themselves at a wedding reception because of alcohol? I don't get it.

Then there are the introductions and the stupid dances. Often nobody wishes to dance, but feel obligated because the DJ holds them hostage with more stupid music. The circumstances make so many people look foolish and stupid.

If a young man and a young woman (actually, could be older too, ... so won't limit the age) spent more time preparing for marriage, and less time preparing for the wedding, our society would be much better off. The time and effort spent is so disproportional. Clearly, the large size, extravagance of the wedding has nothing to do with outcome of the marriage in a few years. The wedding becomes the focal point, not the marriage.

Did I say that I hate wedding receptions? If not, consider it stated clearly.

July 30, 2008 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Applause.

-ellipses...

July 30, 2008 at 8:36 PM  
Blogger Roger said...

Since, I'm listing peeves associated with weddings, I realize I forgot another big one. The schedule of the wedding at one time, and the reception a few hours later, destroys an entire day.

We skipped a May wedding this year because of this, and another one last Summer. The most recent case was a 2:30 wedding in Mt. Lebanon, and a 7:00 dinner reception at the Southpointe Hilton. Last year, the wedding was in Peters at 2:30, and the reception in Jefferson Hills at 6:30. The wedding ceremony usually lasts less than one hour. What are the guests expected to do for the long time between the two parts? This practice seems to be a disregard for other people's time to be guests at the event. I know some time is needed for pictures, but this extended period of time is way beyond reason.

July 31, 2008 at 5:51 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Roger,
I have been the "victim" of all the gripes you listed. When you're at a reception with a table full of friends, as some of us from the O-R were at the wedding of a colleague earlier this year, it makes for a great evening. But if you're only casually acquainted with the bride and/or groom and know no one else at the wedding, it can be like the Bataan death march. I can only imagine how many people, faced with a long gap between the wedding and reception, would choose to spend that time in a bar, thus getting stewed before the reception even begins. Could get ugly.

July 31, 2008 at 9:56 AM  

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