Weddings: Do we need to document everything?


Once upon a time, people got married in front of their family and friends, inviting them along to witness the event as they were supported by a best man and bridesmaid or matron of honour, and maybe if they were feeling particularly fancy there would be a flower girl and a ring bearer added to the mix.

Before the wedding day, the aforementioned bridesmaid or matron of honour would host a kitchen tea so some other pre-wedding afternoon shin-dig, where a select group of friends and family would gather to offer inexpensive gifts and play some ever-so-slightly corny games.

A stag do and maybe also a hen do (both usually sensibly held the weekend before the nuptials to allow time for hangovers to ease).

When the wedding finally happened, the happy couple would receive assorted useful gifts: perhaps sheets, a cake mixer, some special occasion wine glasses, three or four toasters. They would perform an awkward first dance to their favourite soppy song, cut the cake, and the best man wouldn’t be too forthcoming on embarrassing details during his speech.. 

All that was left to do once the big day was over, was to write some thank you cards and get on with married life.

Oh my, how things have changed.

Now we document everything with photo shoots, from proposals to wedding invite font previews, ring reveals with special manicures to dress shopping. It’s unrelenting and exhausting before the big day even arrives. 

The happy couple no longer want gifts: they want cold, hard cash. This often involves a weird wishing well scenario imported from American weddings, where guests are asked to put cash in an envelope and drop it in a wishing well. Seriously people, if you can’t afford the wedding, try downsizing.

On the day, we get photos galore, a cast of thousands for the wedding party (well, OK, maybe not thousands; but no one is happy with just a bridesmaid and best man any more, it seems the norm is at least three add-ons for both bride and groom), and hideously choreographed dance routines.

Why can’t people just have a normal wedding any more? What’s next? A videographer to give us a blow-by-blow account of the wedding night. Oooh, that sounds a bit, um, pornographic, doesn’t it?

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