Dr. Greer says “the need to compete can get triggered here. They’ll want to have the biggest and the best, and they may feel a certain amount of envy for their peers’ wedding celebrations – ‘that was really great; I want to do that also.’ Age and maturity can sometimes play into this because there’s more of a sense of ‘groups’ – they’ll be talking and gossiping more than older couples, who will just want to go ahead and get married without any peer pressure influencing their decisions.”
Dr. Greer is right – intimate weddings tend to appeal to more mature couples, who are over trying to keep up with the Joneses, so to speak. They tend to have smaller wedding parties, fewer pre-wedding events, and carefully selected guest lists that only include the most important people in their lives.
I asked the doctor if brides and grooms today might be losing sight of WHY they’re getting married, and the whole point of having a wedding day.
“I wouldn’t say many have, but it is easy to get caught up in the wedding production and all the ingredients that go into that,” Dr. Greer says. “These can cloud the view of what it’s really all about: a day to celebrate your commitment, bond, and forever union. This can sometimes get eclipsed by the premiums people place on the wedding. I think the commercialization has definitely changed the dynamic of weddings. Big weddings are becoming more the norm, almost expected. Before, they were the exception.”
My experience with my clients has been somewhat different – I think more couples are having small destination weddings than ever before. Many brides and grooms tell me it’s because they can get away with inviting fewer guests to their wedding, and have more fun with the people they do invite, while keeping the costs down at the same time. Friends and extended family understand that destination weddings tend to be more intimate, so the couple creates a smaller guest list, with the intention of keeping their wedding weekend intimate, and nobody is disappointed.
Humungous weddings aren’t just expensive – they can be very, very stressful. All potential drama is amplified, and it can wreak havoc on the engaged couple’s relationship. Especially if one half of the couple (usually the bride) has become totally entrenched in a massive wedding planning effort that the other half of the couple has studiously avoided since day one.