Let's face it, the $5 million Chelsea Clinton wedding is just the latest example of something that's become all too evident: Weddings have gotten way outa control.
About two-and-a-half million weddings are held in this country every year and August, September and October have become three of the hottest months for nuptials. In fact many surveys now say that August, not June, is the biggest month for weddings. You may have noticed that weddings aren’t what they used to be. They’re bigger. They’re more elaborate. And like most movies nowadays they seem to go on and on. With $72 billion spent annually on U. S. weddings each year the wedding industry is a big business. And more and more the wedding itself is a destination. In recent years the number of destination weddings has tripled. With more than 40 percent of marriages ending in divorce it’s seems that attending the wedding is nearly as much of a commitment as the marriage itself. This is certainly the case when it comes to celebrity weddings. The wedding of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Anniston cost a million dollars and the marriage survived for a mere 60 months – about the length of a typical car loan. But we’ve forgotten all that. Now we’re too busy aping Chelsea's lavish wedding that features a reception for 300 on a huge, country estate with the wedding cake along costing $11,000.
Hey, I’ve got nothing against love and I think marriage is a great institution. I’m such a true believer that I’ve been married to the same woman for the better part of my life. But I think weddings have gotten out of control. They’ve turned into a long, tedious ordeal.
Once upon a time a guy simply proposed to a gal, held his breath and waiting for her to say “yes.” Now the proposal itself has become a huge event. It has to be different. It has to be dramatic. It has to be memorable. And that’s only the beginning. Typically a costly year of planning, parties and non-stop stress follows accompanied by a near-hysterical chorus of family and friends commenting on everything from the sidelines.
It’s gotten so bad that there are now thousands of sites on the Internet to help people cope with wedding stress. You can even learn self-hypnosis to deal with the anxiety of an approaching wedding.
But I have a better idea: scale down the plans; keep wedding hucksters at bay; tell the relatives to butt out; ease envious friends out of the way; get in touch with your instincts and follow your heart.
Or, as St. Augustine once said: “Love, and do as you please.”