PermaLink Doing a wedding isn't all that hard.03/30/2008 09:10 PM
I'd like to know who thought up the idea that planning and executing a wedding is supposed to be so damn hard and take so much time and money.  I am midway through my second wedding and it's actually gotten easier, if only because now I know even better which people to ignore.

I can confirm that I was the person who coined the phrase "bridal-industrial complex."

For the record, I also coined the word "oldfartistic."

But in a direct tribute to Ike, in his last speech before he left office in 1961, I came up with "bridal-industrial complex" as a way to describe the tight knot of bridal shops, printers, jewelers, advertisers, "planners" and all manner of other people who just love to line up and tell you all about how you should have a wedding and really don't give a green shit about what you actually want. Unless it makes them more money to actually listen to you.

Many years ago I began work on Commando Weddings, which describes a lot of thoughts behind how to have the wedding you want and not the wedding you're supposed to want. I've never actually finished it, because I keep learning new things. Now, nearly fourteen years after I started planning my first wedding, it's amusing to go back and read that site again and recall just how much of it is still applicable.

Nora and I went out and picked some rings yesterday. Last night we picked out blank wedding invitations (and put all our printer firepower to work). Today, we went out and she found a dress. Sometime in the next week or so, I'll get in touch with the baker who did a cake for me in 1995, and see if he's up to doing it again. A baker, mind you -- a big guy covered in flour. Not a "wedding cake consultant." Somebody who prices cakes "each" and not by the number of humans who might eat it.

So almost everything is in place. We have a church. We have a place for a reception. We have a DJ (me). We have clothes, food, rings, and guests. We have an officiant. Shortly, we'll do the marriage license thing.

And that's that. Everything we need. And nothing we don't want.

I have to admit that there are a number of things I still need to talk Nora out of... she still has way too many things in her head that come under the category of "this is what you're supposed to do," and since I've lived most of my life not really giving a shit about what people thought I should do and concentrated on what I know I needed to do, there will still be some adjusting, I guess. We "should" invite the entire congregation at the church to the wedding, for example. I have no idea why, and I have never seen or even heard of this being done, and cannot for the life of me see why this should be necessary. Sure, few people are likely to sacrifice a perfectly good Saturday in May to come to our wedding, but the thing is, if even one total stranger is there and I have to spend time socializing with them, knowing I will likely never do so again, that's one too many for me.

So, some more adjustment.

Nora is also one of those people who wants to send out invitations to people knowing they probably won't be able to or won't choose to attend. I think that's kinda raw... it comes off like we're hitting them up for gifts but not their presence. I'd much rather have people there (we have enough stuff in this house already, thanks). As a result, nobody is on my list who I don't really want to have present, even though I know one of them probably won't be able to make it because travel is extremely painful for her. But I'd do whatever it takes for her to be there if she wanted to be.

Yet more adjustment.

Nora has someone I never remember meeting signed up to sing a solo at the service. I have no idea who she is or whether she can even sing. But Nora already asked her to sing, without asking me if that was a good thing or even whether I wanted anyone to sing. Unilateral action is not a good thing in planning a wedding. This is not "Nora's day." It's our collective day. Or, at least, one of them.

Where are my wrenches?

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2. David Clark04/02/2008 04:06:16 AM
Homepage: http://www.clarkphotos.co.uk


Hi Turtle
I'm the pro photographer bill made the link to:
I find your viewpoint interesting!
On your point 4 I don';t bother with programmers - I just have a near infinite number of monkeys with old dells - They'll write a heap of crap, but there might be some good code in there!
If you think a photographer just takes photos - I hope everything that you want to happen happens. Good photographers ensure that things run to time, get the guests "out of your face" and my customers always thanks me for helping their day day go well. Well, almost. One I photographed on Saturday was crap - as the couple hadn't given me idea of what they wanted, or lists of groups of freinds etc. That made me mad - and I have written to all the couples who are on my books that have yet to send details or else.
I am well aware that there are a huge amount of viewpoints - and no one is wrong (or right) . If you've asked a friend to take particular groups, tell them to be insistant - otherwise in weeks, months or years to come you don't regret missing out photos or your nearest and dearest!




3. Turtle04/01/2008 01:47:48 AM
Homepage: http://www.weightlessdog.com/shell.nsf


Another seven weeks.




4. Glen03/31/2008 10:58:22 PM
Homepage: http://thesalmonfarm.org


I say, if she will put up with all your rules and do it your way, marry her ... QUICK !




5. Turtle03/31/2008 01:52:42 PM
Homepage: http://www.weightlessdog.com/shell.nsf


Actually, if this was 2002, I'd probably get a "professional" photographer, but it's now 2008 and I will not be doing so. Several reasons:

1. I want control over the images, and I don't want to argue about it.
2. I disliked almost all the formal posed images from my 1995 wedding and the only ones I did like were the unposed shots she got.
3. It's one less person to deal with and corral when needed
4. Everyone I know owns a good, often great, digital camera, and I'm more than happy to cull out the random crap image for the bulk of them that will be pretty good.
5. I've never known a photographer who wasn't in the way at some point, and if it's a relative instead of a pro, I feel empowered to tell them to move their ass.
6. There is NOOOOOOOOOO... rule six!
7. Nae poofters!

Right. That concludes the readin' of the rules.




6. Wild Bill03/31/2008 04:50:15 AM
Homepage: http://www.billbuchan.com


Two suggestions:

Really, Get a pro-photographer. For some really nice pictures, not the point and squirt shit that most people get out of their cameras. Check out { Link } (Yes I know, he's in the UK and cant come, but you'll get the idea).

Scrap the gift list, and just say 'Look, donate money to cover the service and give us a really good honeymoon.' Friends of mine did that and basically did a round-the-world on first class.

Youve' got a house full of shit - you dont need more..


Oh - and congratulations!

---* Bill




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