Whatever happened to the quiet wedding? 115



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Please tell me that it still happens? I need to know the world is not completely mad. Not all opting for the full blown 700 hundred guests, and a five course meal; How about a ‘garden wedding’ with simple finger food and cake made by Auntie Doris?

I read with disbelief of the weddings costing 30 or 50 thousand, and those are not the really expensive ones, there are more costly examples quoted. Some seem to go out of their way to outdo the ‘Big Fat Greek Wedding’ and in the UK Gypsy Weddings are horrible examples and overindulgence of every type. For instance, the little girls and the wedding party have to wear huge dresses, the weight of them is physically harmful; they can hardly walk at all. The money spent is enormously over the top too. The irony of that is they then spend their days cleaning the glossy caravan.

Some of the most ‘overblown’ weddings resulted in a very short relationship, and it almost seems the more they paid the less time they had together. I know every parent would like to give their child a great day to remember, but does it have to make bankruptcy the result?

I have been to some beautiful weddings with fine food and delightful settings and I always enjoy them, but I have also enjoyed the simple ones with just a plain meal, sunshine, and happy faces. Money does not guarantee perfection. Spending 100 thousand does not mean happiness is guaranteed.

Our own wedding was a very hastily planned affair, we had just heard we could go to New Zealand to accept a job, my husband to be was going to a company to start in a new art studio. We had only known each other six months so my parents had very little time to do any saving; I was only 19 and a nurse earning very little. We had a dressmaker make me a dress from a photo in a magazine. I chose heavy silk material from a shop in Bristol, and I remember the dress cost 10 pounds to be made, this was 1959. I felt like a princess: I did my curly hair in a French pleat to look elegant, carried a simple white bible, the bridesmaids’ dresses were made by my mother-in-law to be. I bought baskets from the Blind Society and filled them with mimosa and small spring flowers, and the reception was at a local pub. We had sandwiches and trifle, all very simple. Our honeymoon was two days travelling on Dartmoor, in mid winter. That was before our five week cruise to New Zealand of course. But we still thought we were lucky, and we are together 56 years later.

So the young couples who seem to think it is important to have staggering tier of 200 cup cakes or a cake like a castle, then serve gourmet food for their wedding breakfast, my advice is ‘wind it back’. Think simple, save your dollars, by all means look as pretty as you can, make sure there is enough good food and a drink for the toast. But please remember it’s about the people and love, not money.

Jacqui Lee

Jacqui Lee is 75 and now retired but the last ten years or so have been some of her busiest. She worked at a hospital, where she took several Certificated courses, she cleaned a school, helped to run two conventions, wrote short stories, started painting, and in fact is never bored even now, "I honestly feel we are lucky to still be upright and breathing, and my motto is, Remember yesterday, dream of tomorrow, but live today. I love fun, clothes, food and friends."

  1. Yes, it does still happen … my nephew was married at the weekend with just a few close family in a woodland chapel …. then they toasted his late father at a beach near where his ashes had been spread and then had a meal at a nearby restaurant.

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  2. Yes, I totally agree. Weddings have become extravaganzas – whether people can afford them or not. One couple I know were separated before they’d finished paying for the wedding! Madness.

  3. Yes….ours was a garden wedding…fairy lights and candles in the garden….as we didn’t want presents, guests were asked to bring a plate of finger food for sharing and some alcohol….we laid on some food and alcohol too….it was an amazing wedding….guests had no problem with brings food….they thought it was brilliant.

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  4. It’s astonishing that people pay a fortune for a wedding. Society needs to relook at the history of the wedding . Do the extravagant weddings of the famous have to influence everyone?

  5. My son married 3 times. The first two were huge affairs with the brides looking like toilet paper dolls. The third was the best – a party in their own back yard – also the happiest and still is. Children’s birthday parties come into this too – parents vie with each other to go bigger and “better” ,presents are $40 plus and they have to be “entertained” – they no longer know how to have fun themselves.It is very sad .

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  6. I have wondered the same thing when some peole pay the equivalent of a house deposit for their wedding.

  7. I know…..my sister and I think about how we used to do it in the past whenever there is a family wedding.
    Its all gone completely over-the-top. So many companies and businesses have sprung up to enjoy this economic explosion. Wedding planners? Good grief!

  8. Both my weddings were basic home made jobs. First one in 1970 cost us $300 and I made my dress.
    Second one in 1995 cost $1000 and my dress was from Vinnies.

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