Weddings these days are fraught with stress for engaged couples. Dealing with family expectations, full-time jobs and a wedding industry on the make are some of the unwelcome realities in the attempt to host a unique and memorable event for some 200 plus guests.
It’s enough to send any couple eloping and indeed many now do! For those who bravely (or foolishly) stick it out, the pressure can be immense – is it any wonder that the “Bridezilla” complex has become commonplace?
This trend to bigger and more lavish weddings has two negative consequences for couples. Firstly, it delays the marriage itself…for too many couples, limited funds have made their wedding a distant ambition; they genuinely desire to marry but the ever-growing mountain of wedding expectations make it a project requiring a full scale business plan to fund it. For others for whom funds are not the issue, the sheer enormity of the project requires several years of focused planning to organise it and they simply aren’t that motivated.
Secondly, it drives their limited ‘investment capacity’ (how they spend their time and money) in the wrong direction. Couples on average spend hundreds of hours and $28,000+ on ‘the big day’, but don’t even think of spending eight hours and a couple of hundred dollars on a pre-marriage course preparing them to spend a life-time together.
It’s not surprising therefore that couples are increasingly experiencing ‘post-wedding depression’. Sometimes this is simply the result of coming down from the prolonged adrenaline high required to sustain the marathon wedding planning. At other times, this depression follows the realisation that they have to rediscover why they were getting married in the first place; the wedding busyness has rendered them virtual strangers.
It takes a couple of uncommon self-confidence to buck the trend and prioritise their relationship over their wedding plans, but these are the couples who will ultimately be better equipped for the long haul.
Francine & Byron Pirola are the founders and principal authors of the SmartLoving series. They are passionate about living Catholic marriage to the full and helping couples reach their marital potential. They have been married since 1988 and have five children.
Their articles may be reproduced for non commercial purposes with appropriate acknowledgement and back links.