Brides and Barbie Dolls
Hilary Price, a wonderful cartoonist, has a drawing in which a man is kneeling in front of a woman, holding an open jewelry box with an engagement ring. He is saying, “Let’s assume each other’s debt. Trade in our independence for security and societal approval and celebrate with an event that will have cost overruns in the thousands.”
I’ve been accused of being cynical, a spoil sport who doesn’t believe in romance. Someone who wants to take the romance out of weddings. Not so. I want something much more important. I want to put the intimacy back in.
What’s so romantic about starting married life with thousands of dollars in debt due to wedding bills paid for with credit cards? It’s not romantic when bride and groom are still paying off the bride’s perfect wedding as they prepare for the arrival of baby.
It’s not the groom who amasses the cost overruns. All he wants is to get out of there and get on to the honeymoon. But the bride has believed from the time she played Barbie’s Fantasy Wedding that a ‘perfect’ wedding guarantees ‘happily ever after’.
Sometimes that works; more often it doesn’t. How much more loving and mature would this couple be if they traded in romantic thinking about wedding costs for a financially intimate look at what they can really afford?