Well so I went to a wedding of a good friend of mine this weekend and had a blast. It was a gorgeous day, the ceremony was beautiful (not too long), and the reception afterwards was fun. I spent time catching up with friends and meeting some nice new people. Yup, I drank free booze and macked on the chicks, although unfortunately everyone was married or in serious LTR’s. Not a target rich environment, as they say.
This is not a field report from a wedding. I read a couple of interesting posts on marriage the next day and I felt moved to write about the marriage process and my perspective on weddings. The first post was Holly Hoffman’s here about 7 year marriage contracts, which I thought was an interesting idea. Her post is a response to something Adam Gilbert wrote here where he weighs the pros and cons of marriage. Be sure to scan the comments, his readers got fired up.
Marriage and Sex
First off, I want to say that YES I would get married, and I like to think that one day that is gonna happen. I’d get married for two big reasons:
1. An amazing emotional/spiritual/physical connection with my partner.
2. Bringing two families together. This is actually a big deal for me and I think it’s undervalued a lot of times when folks debate the pro and cons of marriage. I think that a marriage is as much about uniting families as it is about uniting a couple.
The legal and tax benefits mean nothing to me. I would probably do a pre-nuptial agreement.
I do believe in a life partnership, although the parameters I look for in a marriage are on the radical end of things. I believe in open relationships and I believe that even if you’re married, you should allow for safe and structured sexual relations with other partners. My main reasons for this are sexual variety and maintaining a finely tuned sex drive. I don’t want to argue about how my wife can/should fulfill all my fantasies in this space, but I do want to say that I’ve embraced my sexual nature, and that my sex drive is integral to my creativity and overall life motivation (read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill for some interesting thoughts on this). I would likely be looking, fantasizing, and even attempting to sleep with other women if I wasn’t in an open relationship…which basically means I can’t get married unless it is, because I’m a proponent of total honesty. I believe I’m capable of compartmentalizing my need for sexual variety from my love for my partner, although I won’t know for sure until I’m actually in the relationship. Hey, don’t act shocked. There are plenty of swingers and happily married johns who would agree with me. Naturally, my wife would have the same benefit. Ideally, she would be bi and we could just have threesomes all the time.
I wouldn’t rule out a totally monogamous marriage either. My perspective is always evolving and I never know how I’ll feel until I get to that point.
Why I Hate Weddings: $$$
The big problem I have with weddings are the friggin sky-high costs associated with the entire process, from the engagement ring to the honeymoon. Is everyone aware what an average wedding costs? We’re talking $28k here, and some of them go past the $50k mark. My wedding from Saturday was in the low-20′s, and I’ve attended one that went over $40k. Fuck me, are you serious? A wedding ceremony might last 30 minutes and the reception goes for four hours or so and we’re spending twenty-eight large on what amounts to a ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing ? That’s insane. Let’s blow $5k instead and invest the rest of it or use it as a down payment on a house.
Here’s a great little website where you can get wedding cost averages in your zip code.
Hey, if you’re loaded and want to blow that kind of change on a wedding, more power to you, but for the most part I think it’s absurd. We need to stop spending so much money on these things and get back to the roots of what a wedding is: a ceremony of the uniting of two people and a party afterwards. For me, my ideal is to get married on the beach and throw a bash at the beach house afterwards. Then me and the wifey could fly to Costa or somewhere and really enjoy ourselves.
If you’re interested in reading a great blog post about the high cost of weddings and how to plan for them, try this one at the iwillteachyoutoberich blog. Also scan the comments for real life wedding stories and associated costs.
Lastly, I have to throw this quote out there from a commenter of the above blog:
The point isn’t to have the cheapest wedding possible. The point is to not think of your wedding as something that happens on another plane of reality from the rest of your life, and plan for it like you’d plan for any other major expense.
What’s the most expensive wedding you’ve been to? What’s your ideal wedding? Would you be open to having sex with partners outside your marriage?