Weddings suck. Everything about them, surrounding them and having to do with them is really quite inane. Although I am sure I will take a lot of crap for writing this which may or may not result in a dissolution of a certain matrimony which required such an event, I am going to do it anyway. Honey I am so sorry in advance. Having put up with one wedding I pray I never have to do it again.
Marriage bliss begins with the ludicrous purchase of an overpriced rock from a fancy store that is every bit the opposite of the war torn country that forced slave labor to dig in the mud from whence said rock came. Of course this tradition dates all the way back to the 20th century when Dabeers decided it needed to suck blood out of every poor sucker in the western world (figurative blood) as well as every poor sucker in Africa (actual blood). In Utah where the couple is typically more or less right out of high school this purchase will help them to start their future off right by placing them in significant debt from the start of their marriage. Really what better way is there to say, "I love you" than 456 easy payments of just $120 each.
After the purchase a very pretty, very small hard chunk of carbon there is the next step - engagement. Preparing for the wedding involves figuring out how to spend a lot of money on dresses that will be worn once and mediocre food that costs more than the GDP of several developing nations. It is during this time that the groom should spend his time working 10 jobs to reduce the payments to just 345. Doing so will give him a good reason to stay out of the bride's way during the wedding planning phase. Under no circumstance should the groom give any input during the phase. Doing so will only result in life long memories of bad the groom is at making style related decisions. This one time shock is the reason married men can no longer pick out ties. Before marriage the man was able to dress himself with sufficient style to attract a mate. The wedding planning phase is meant to destroy any confidence he had for choosing anything:
Bride (with mother): "Should we do the eggshell cream or antique beige doilies under the center pieces?" Groom (who was thinking about sex and doesn't actually care) : "Um.... how about the antique beige?": Bride (sobbing to mother): "Jill had that at her wedding. How could he so insensitive?" Groom: "Will you dress me from now on?"
The UN actually classifies preparation for a wedding on the list of known methods of torture right next to water boarding and tazers: Captive: "I will never tell you the location of our secret rebel base" Officer: "You leave me no other choice. You will be forced to make wedding preparations until you choose to cooperate." Captive: "It's on Dantoine"
The average cost of a wedding here in Utah is $12,500. The average cost nationwide is $25,000. (Thanks to the Deseret News for the numbers). Has anyone considered skipping this part, flying to Hawaii and having a private but fun wedding? For the LDS faithful there is a temple there, and for every one else the beaches are great. Said event would cost $3,000-4,000 and would take care of the honeymoon which would still leave between $8,000 and $20,000 for something a little more useful like say a down payment on a house.
The actual wedding planning and debate about where all this money is to be wasted is probably the number one leading cause of mothers never talking to their daughters again. This planning is, I believe, why the mother in law gets such a bad rap. The mother in law becomes so sick of the planning and watching money go up in flames that she moves into a state that requires someone to 'never be forgiven'. That person cannot be the daughter. They may never speak again but she is blood so it becomes the groom who by virtue of wanting to take the daughter's virtue is the sole cause of this damned wedding.
Of course there remains the day of the wedding. This is the most joyful day in the Bride's life and the longest wait the groom will ever endure. Those of you who follow a strict moral code know exactly what I am talking about. The wait is exacerbated by the fact that you are forced (in Utah anyway) to stand in a line and socialize with people you know are only there because they want your parents to come to their kids wedding reception. They typically bring a gift of towels or something they received at their wedding back in the 1970s (anyone else end up with the hideous frog salt and pepper shakers?).
Of course the purpose of all of this is not to celebrate. It's not to provide an enjoyable experience for the bride and groom. So why spend all the cash?
The reason is a simple but well guarded secret. The enormous cash outlay is an investment in the marriage. After you have forced a young couple through all of this there is no way they will get divorced because who in their right mind would want to go through it all again?