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the wedding crusher
why would anyone want to make their living planning these things?
by mike julianelle

Has the whole world gone wedding crazy? Sure seems like it. Everywhere I turn, something wedding-related slams into my face.

I'm sure it's partially because I have my own upcoming nuptials on my mind, but that can't be the only reason.

My fiance has about 57 episodes of wedding-themed reality shows on our DVR, leaving scant room for my NFL Films Dan Marino special or the Matthew Perry feel-good teacher flick I haven't been able to get to yet ("The Ron Clark Story"). I hear it's a real heartwarmer, and unlike Stand and Deliver there's no math, and even less EJO! Her titles range from "Whose Wedding Is It Anyway?", "Married Away," "This Won't Last 6 Months," "Bridezillas," and, my personal favorite, "God Help Me, I've Made An Enormous Mistake."

Just recently Ashton Kutcher unleashed "Punk'd: Wedding Style!" on us, even stealing the title from Wedding Crashers (just like this column). There was also a short-lived network TV show, this one fictional, about a family of wedding planners co-starring the least famous cast member from Meet The Parents. I never watched it but I've never been more sure about something sucking, except maybe Paris Hilton.

Where did all these shows come from? Do this many people really care enough about weddings to watch countless hours of programming based on someone else's? Honestly, I couldn't have cared less about weddings until it came time for me to plan one, and even now I am often accused of not caring enough. The fact is, I'm not a woman, so wedding-planning and dishwashing and doing-what-I'm-told don't come naturally to me. Sorry, baby; it's genetics.

Besides, I've been too busy caring about the honeymoon to deal with that other stuff. Planning the vacation of a lifetime has somehow been even more of a pain in the ass than the wedding! Greece or Hawaii? Belize or Mexico? Should we do a mini-moon just after the wedding and save the big bash for the dead of winter? Is Niagara Falls a viable option? My parents did it 40 years ago for like three dollars and a dinner roll. What with all the money we're dumping on our ceremony and reception, that might not be a bad idea.

The worst part about this process isn't even making all the necessary decisions, it's narrowing down all the damn options. From the venue to the flowers to the honeymoon destination, from the type of tux to the entrees to the save the dates and from the groomsmen to the officiant all the way down to the bride (for reals: you're no lock, toots. You best keep your inner Bridezilla at bay). Screw all the details, the reason this shit is hard is because there are too many choices. There should be two options for everything: indoors/outdoors, priest/justice of the peace, chicken/fish, etc. Do me a favor and narrow it down a bit, especially since I don't care about anything except that she shows and no one gets into a brawl.

The ideal solution to all this madness? Ditch the fancy dinner and fancy dress and fancy guests and hightail it out west for a quickie wedding. Even without the savings -- which would be substantial -- the reduction in stress alone would be worth it. If it's good enough for her first husband, it should be good enough for her last, right?

Sure, maybe Mom and Dad wouldn't too happy about it, but let's be honest, my parents' happiness left the building about the time I was on my fifth temp job and started bashing Jesus every chance I got. And hers? Let's just say the song her dad chose for their father-daughter dance gives me nightmares and is a pretty safe indication that he'd have no problem not giving her away, period.

The fact of the matter is, this wedding isn't about anyone but us. And by "us" I mean her. And I'm not saying that to be funny or to act like I don't care about the wedding. I'm not acting: I REALLY DON'T CARE ABOUT THE WEDDING.

But I care about the marriage. And if the first step to having a happy one is making sure our wedding is everything she's spent her entire life dreaming about, well, sorry babe, but you're shit outta luck.

Because it's gonna be even better.

And by "even better" I mean "a total boozefest."


Let's get real here. You don't want to know about me. You want to know about "me".

more about mike julianelle


the sting of wishful thinking
tune in, turn on, cop-out
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
published: 1.18.02

getting a blown job
a cautionary tale
by mike julianelle
topic: humor
published: 2.6.08


sandra thompson
5.9.07 @ 7:08a

We've always known that's how you guys feel, but we don't care either, we want the big deal, and all you guys have to remember is: "If she's happy, I'm happy." And vice versa, doncha know. We know more ways to make you unhappy than have been dreamed of, Horatio! Most of the time we don't even consciously do these things. It's instinctive. It's in the DNA. It's not even LEARNED! Our mothers never said a word about any of it, we just watched her work our fathers. "Yes, dear, right away, dear, whatever you say, dear," is just about all the dialogue you need to learn. I double dawg guarantee you'll have a happy marriage if you think of her as "she who must be obeyed." All marriages are enormous mistakes, but some of them actually work out well for everybody. I am very happy for you, congratulations and good night and good luck.

tracey kelley
5.9.07 @ 9:31a

I wanted to elope.

rob julianelle
5.9.07 @ 9:33a

I'm confused. So you weren't kidding, you are actually getting married?

rachel milim
5.9.07 @ 9:54a

I haven't been reading for long, but I think this is your best column yet! I totally agree with everything you've just said. And yes, I am a woman. So stop being so sexist about the whole wedding planning ordeal. Some women hate it just as much as you do. GREAT READ!

cynthia santiglia
5.9.07 @ 9:54a

<< The fact is, I'm not a woman, so wedding-planning and dishwashing and doing-what-I'm-told don't come naturally to me. Sorry, baby; it's genetics.>>

I guess this is supposed to be somehow irreverent and funny?!
Someone wants to marry you?
You should be thanking your lucky stars kid. And, methinks you protest too much with this whole 'planning the wedding' column and its list of woes. I think there's a good chance you're likin' it a little TOO much for comfort-and this is your purge.

mike julianelle
5.9.07 @ 9:58a

Wow. Must be that time of the month for Cynthia.

jael mchenry
5.9.07 @ 10:21a

Well, you know men. Too busy belching and farting and forgetting anniversaries to do any of the real work.

I don't know why they have so many wedding-themed shows on TV -- especially since most of them don't really do well. I'm pretty sure "Big Day" was cancelled, and that "Wedding Bell(e?)s" thing. The proliferation is mostly in basic cable "reality", and let's not forget, basic cable also has a lot of shows about pets and ghosts and Hitler.

The honeymoon is not more of a pain in the ass than the wedding. It still has to be planned, but at least you don't need a minute-by-minute schedule for it.

mike julianelle
5.9.07 @ 10:26a

Obviously, as I say in the column, part of the wedding deluge is just me being attuned to it. But it still seems like every tv show from sitcoms to reality to dramas and every movie, even Spider-man 3, has marriage on the brain. It's become it's own industry now, from engagement rings to wedding planners to the knot.com.

It's nuts!

jael mchenry
5.9.07 @ 10:34a

TV shows and movies often having something about weddings or marriage in them is not really the same thing as the wedding industry being out of control (which it is). That's like saying there's a hamburger deluge because so many TV shows and movies have hamburgers in them.

brian anderson
5.9.07 @ 10:36a

Besides, the wedding-as-climax has been with us for a while. That's how you can tell the comedies from the tragedies in Shakespeare.

mike julianelle
5.9.07 @ 10:39a

Right, that's more a function of my own perspective. But all the different wedding reality shows, and there are at least 5 of them, are a decent indication of how popular and lucrative the wedding industry has become.

heather millen
5.9.07 @ 11:18a

I think five is aiming low. There are definitely plenty more. I remember in college, a bunch of my friends were addicted to "The Wedding Story." At the time, weddings were the furthest thing from my mind and I just didn't get it. Now planning a wedding, I find it interesting. But come September 17th, I can't imagine giving a crap.

That's like theknot. It can be a great resource. I think a lot of people get addicted and spend a lot more time on it than I do. Believe it or not, there are brides there that linger around for a good year+ after the wedding. Of course, they're great resources now!


alex b
5.9.07 @ 7:24p

The wedding industry does seem like a Machine belching out veils, gourmet menus, and video packages. Expensively.

I think I'd like to elope, too.

robert melos
5.9.07 @ 10:57p

Man, Bridezilla rules! Nothing beats watching a sane and rational woman turn into a psychotic shrew, giving a glimpse of what life will be like after a few years a marriage. It's one of my favorite shows, next to Mad Money.

ken mohnkern
5.10.07 @ 10:38a

At the wedding of one of KR's cousins, her uncle pulled us aside and said, "If you kids ever get married, elope. We're all tired of this." And we seriously thought about it. But instead we just didn't invite that uncle to our wedding.

mike julianelle
5.10.07 @ 10:41a

A friend of mine's parents-in-law gave him and his wife a check and said, use it for what you want. So they are doing what they can to keep the wedding lowkey and using the rest for savings/house, etc. I think that's a great way to do things.

tim lockwood
5.10.07 @ 8:23p

Oy vey, the memories you dredged up. At the end of the day, as long as the license is properly filled out and signed and everything is legal, that's all that will matter.

One piece of wisdom that will serve you well in both the wedding and the marriage - things will go wrong, no matter how much planning you do. Learn to improvise your reactions while masking your surprise, so it looks to everyone else like you meant to do that.

reem al-omari
5.11.07 @ 3:49a

The more I travel, the more I realize what a waste of money big weddings are. Why spend all your money on a wedding, when you might be able to see most of Europe for the same money? Some people spend that much on a wedding! Ridiculous!

alex b
5.11.07 @ 3:03p

A friend of mine didn't back out of getting married because she, her family, and his family had sunk close to $60,000 on their wedding (and is in a general state of "meh"). My best friend likewise told me his wedding was in the neighborhood of $25,000.

I really want to elope.

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