Nowadays it feels like everyone I’ve known since elementary school is getting married. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but just in the second half of 2007 three of my high school friends got engaged, my sister got married, and at least half a dozen people I knew in college have gotten engaged or married.

Is everyone getting married younger, or am I just getting old?!

Like I’ve mentioned before, my boyfriend and I have never talked about getting married. One thing we have agreed on though, weddings are expensive. Add the rings, and a decent honeymoon, and you’re looking at a significant dent in your finances. Of course, not all weddings have to be ridiculously expensive, but even a modest one will set you back several thousand dollars (based on what I’ve heard from others).

I used to think I wanted a big wedding. Not huge, but definitely the whole family, lots of friends, a lovely setting, an elegant dress, those cute mini-cakes for the guests that I used to see on the Oprah wedding shows(!!) and all that good stuff…now, I’m not so sure. Assuming I’d get married to my current boyfriend, neither of us like dancing and what do you do at a wedding other than eat, drink and dance? (I think it’d be tacky if the bride and groom just sat in the corner drinking! haha) Besides, do we really want to start a marriage in that kind of debt that would most likely be incurred to pull it off? (Even if it is just a few thousand.)

Ever since I got to the conclusion that — should I get married — I’d elope, I look at depictions of weddings in magazines in a completely different way. Everything is so commercialized. For example, I was given a tip that if you’re ever looking for a wedding photographer not to say you want it for a wedding….but an “event”. A friend did this and saved at least $1000….just on pictures!! They hear “wedding” and see dollar signs. It’s become such a monster of an industry, money-making opportunities at every corner…

And then there is the risk of people focusing so much on the details of their wedding, that they forget what it is that they’re doing. They lose touch with the fact that they’re getting married, not just having another party. Even I used to say “who cares about getting married, I just want the wedding!” I was joking, clearly (and this was when I was in middle school), but it’s scary to consider that some people might be serious when they say that.

Do you think marriage is seen today in the same way it was years ago? I’ve gotten somewhat cynical in the past few years. It feels like it has just become another area in which one must “keep up with the Jones'”, and it isn’t seen as such a huge deal anymore since you “can always get a divorce.”

Nowadays my idea of the perfect wedding goes more like this:

Me and my man go off to some exotic/secluded location (Hawaii, some other islands…or even Vegas!), just the two of us, and maybe our two closest friends. We get married in a very private ceremony, with minimal costs, and then we get back and surprise our families. I’m not sure how it’d be received by the families, (let alone what the boyfriend would think about this) but it sounds like a plan to me!