Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hands up who else hates weddings

I have to go to Chicago for a wedding next month and I'm not terribly happy about it.  I'm not fond of weddings as a general principle (I love this 'Weddings are Stupid' post from Violent Acres) and they send my family up to eleven.  But all the crazy family dramas and astonishingly bad dancing aside, leaving 12 1/2 year old Cody in kennels for 3 days is what has me down.  Last time we left an old dog in a kennel he nearly died from getting sick from being stressed out and we were in Scotland visiting Jonny's dad (who was dying) so there was nothing we could do except beg a friend to take him which he did and thankfully the dog ended up being fine once he got home.  All the dogs have always been fine at the kennels, we board them with our vet and they've never had a problem but I worry with Cody being so old.  I'm sure he'll be fine, I'm just neurotic after what happened with the other dog.  If it wasn't for my grandmother Jonny would stay home with them but she really wanted him to be there and he hasn't been back with me for 2 years so he's going for her sake.  We had a couple of people willing to look after him but just my luck they're also out of town that weekend.

Was also sort of depressed when I took a look at the gift registry.  First of all I think it's bad manners to invite someone to a party and expect them to give you a gift.  Violent Acres agrees with me on this point as well.  Especially given the economy and my sparse, erratic employment a nice thing would have been a note in my invitation telling me please don't worry about a gift, we're happy just to have you (the trip is already costing around $1200 for 3 days).  Instead I was treated to a special insert telling me all the places the couple was registered at.  I don't know, maybe this is common practice these days but I couldn't believe the expensive gifts they had signed up for.  What does a 24 year old even want with a $350 Waterford crystal vase?  And why do they think a guest at their wedding should pony up that kind of money for it?  Some of the other items included a $500 Blue Ray system, a $1000 digital camera, a $900 bed frame and an $1800 table.  I don't mean to pick on my cousin, maybe this is common practice these days but I would be horrified at the thought of asking for such expensive gifts even from my family members.  Sure there were plenty of affordable things on the list and I suppose most people will go for those but wow I wouldn't even spend that kind of money on that stuff for myself let alone expect someone else to.  Maybe there's something else going on here, some other sort of weird cultural thing that I'm missing, like hopefully they're not really expecting that they're entitled to such gifts, maybe just sort of dreaming out loud.

In the end I opted for a coffee maker and one of my own choosing, not the one off the registry.

For the record Jonny and I got up on a Thursday morning and got married at the Boulder Courthouse downtown.  Our only guests were a couple of friends of mine visiting from England.  We got up that morning and told them we happened to be getting married if they were interested in coming along.  I wore a $29 dress from Target and I think Jonny's suit may have come from a thrift store.  We went for drinks at a Scottish/Irish bar afterwards then we went hiking up at Rocky Mountain National Park.  We had 3 wedding gifts that were completely unsolicited but we loved them (a toaster oven, a beautiful hand made pottery casserole dish and a set of 2 wine glasses).  I think my grandmother gave us a check as well.  Twenty years of marriage later I think our wedding was awesome.


  1. Anonymous8:15 PM

    The older my dogs get, the fewer places I go -- I just don't want to board them. Luckily, I occasionally work for a petsitting service, and now if I had to leave, they could stay at home and my friend would see to them throughout the day or else they could just stay at her house. So I have this really nice arrangement, but do I go anywhere? A big, fat NO.

  2. If I didn't live in Ohio I would gladly watch your dogs. I have a trip planned in June and I'm already having panic attacks thinking about where to leave them. I'm convinced they pine for me the whole time I'm gone. Okay, maybe I pine for them. :) Good luck and all the best for your pups. Renee

  3. The expensive gifts on the registry thing is a bit ridiculous. When my husband and I got married, there's no way that we would have even thought of putting something over the $100 mark on the registry! I think it's a bit presumptuous to think that someone is willing to spend that kind of money on you just because you're getting married!!

  4. @Lindsay-I'm glad to hear this isn't common practice and that the world hasn't gone totally mad. I usually don't look at the registry so the whole idea of it is foreign to me and I was surprised to see so much expensive stuff listed.

    As for traveling the only place I ever go without the dogs is to Chicago to visit my grandmother who's in her 90's and my husband stays home with them. I traveled plenty when I was younger and I loved it then but now I find the hassle is mostly not worth the reward so I don't even want to go anywhere these days. There's plenty to do within a day's trip of home. I'm going to be one of those old people that never goes anywhere.

  5. Yeah, my nephew got arried last August and my other nephew the year before and there was nothing that expensive on either of their registries. In fact, I think there were items that were in the $5-$10 range up to about $200.00.
    In my (old fogey) opinion, if someone is travelling to come to my wedding, I would expect that to be enough of a present and not expect more.
    My husband and I rarely travel together anymore (weddings and family visits being the exception)unless we can bring the dogs along because I won't kennel my dogs and I don't know any petsitters personally. It's a real drag but the extreme anxiety I'd feel at leaving them somewhere they wouldn't be blissfully happy prevents us from taking the odd weekend away.
    I am planning a big trip later this year and I'm working on having an agility friend live at our house but she does a lot of trialing and so I'd have to plan the trip at a time that she wouldn't be trialing which is damn difficult nowadays.

  6. I think your wedding sounds perfect! Especially the hike at Rocky Mountain National forest.

  7. You guys must've been infants when you got married!!! ;p

    We had more dogs than people at our wedding. We didn't register, asked for no gifts and told people if they REALLY felt like they had to do something to donate to beardie or st bernard rescue. And it was perfect.

  8. I love weddings, actually. Sure, any family gathering is sure to have some drama on the side, but mostly it's about celebrating the hope and the love and the future and a lifetime commitment. I figure that one gets married only once (well--one would like that, maybe) and so sure you can put your fantasies into your registry. I might be guilty of encouraging that. When my sister got married, she said that they'd found only one set of china that they really liked but it was expensve, and one set they kinda liked that was less expensive, and I encouraged her to put down the one that they really liked because who knows, a dish here, a bowl there, and they can enjoy what they get.

    However, Ann Landers & Miss Manners & Taj MuttHall all think it is crass to wave the list in your guests' faces. I'm the first one to tell people who are talking about how to tell their guests where they're registered that they don't unless they're asked. We didn't have a registry when we got married and didn't ask anyone for anything, but everyone brought things anyway and we got some wonderfully creative things that I'd have never had if we'd channeled people's purchases, and many useful things that we're still using. Oh, yeah, lots of them have way outlasted the marriage which didn't quite make 20 years. I think if I ever got married again, I'd specify no gifts. But there's also a difference between starting out with almost nothing and being well established and not really needing anything.

    I hate the stupid conga line dances and refuse to participate. I like the waltzes & things, though.

    I love the ceremonies that have some personalization and creativity. Not so much the mind-numbing masses in some churches that go on and on about things that I don't believe in and therefore doubt that they have any bearing on marriages.

    We got married in my parents' back yard, I made my own dress, we bought stuff from the deli or asked friends to bring things. So we were halfway between you and some of the more typical weddings.

    As for boarding old dogs--I'd worry, too, just because I would, not because there's necessarily be any reason to, but if he's generally in good health and you have a good recommendation for a place, there are lots of dogs who come through boarding with no problem at all.

  9. Awesome Molly.

    I wouldn't mind weddings if they really were about celebrating the couple's love and future but unfortunately, in my family anyway, they're almost anything but. When my cousin's sister got married the angst and fighting and Bridezilla drama over planning the wedding lasted longer than the marriage itself, which lasted about 6 months. And then no one bothered to tell me the couple had got divorced, I found out by accident about 5 months after the fact. At least I wasn't foolish enough to send an anniversary present or card.

    When my aunt, the mother of these girls, got married in the 70's I was 13 and a bridesmaid and got dragged into the same overblown drama against my will (my aunt was living with me). The day before the wedding my grandmother started guilt inflicting me about not having bought a wedding gift for my aunt and honestly at 13 years old it never even occurred to me that I was obliged to buy my own wedding gift. And I was equally flummoxed about how I was supposed to afford such a thing. Anyway, weddings in my family have never been fun, joyous parties or at least not fun enough to balance out the stress that went into planning them.

  10. Anyone who reads ann landers/dear abbey regularly about the insanity surrounding weddings would be inclined to give them up forever, that's for sure.

  11. Ugh, I hate big weddings. Mark and I got married in the Quaker Meetinghouse on our college campus with a handful of friends present and close family (parents, grandparents). Then we went out to eat someplace nice. That was it! And I wouldn't do it any other way. One of our friends gave us a stunt kite as a gift, and someone else gave us a toaster. We were not registered anywhere.