The Institution

You can always tell when you hit that age where everybody you know gets married. If you’re one with a large group of BFFs you will most likely have several weddings a summer, where some are lucky and may have only one or two. I would be lying if I didn’t enjoy each party I attend and spend some time comparing. This wedding had the best food, while that one had an amazing cocktail hour – and then there was the one with the fireworks.

It’s at these events that I find myself fielding the barrage of “when are you guys getting married” or “don’t you want to start having a family?” I’ve spent the last decade in a very happy and fulfilled relationship that has needed nothing more than what we currently have. Without fail, every occasion I attend I get the same questions and have to school everybody on why I’m not married. While I have no ill will towards weddings, I have become cynical about the institution that is marriage.

Recently I had a friend come to me about issues due to a wedding. Her friend was getting married and the planning had started. Now there is nothing but questions from friends and family about when my friend would finally do the deed and make it “legal”. This is what makes me upset about the modern weddings that I keep attending and I’m seeing this evolution happen. Couple’s going crazy to make sure that the party is perfect, each detail is resplendent. If the doves don’t fly away in a perfect heart-shaped pattern, then why is there even a wedding! I’m just as guilty as the next guy but this is what we’ve come to expect attending each gala.

However I’ve worked these events and I’ve seen what the bride and groom go through. You ask them if they remember their wedding. What did the food taste like? Do you remember talking to Cousin Phil and your uncle Will? I bet you’ll remember this night for the rest of your life! Often there will be no memory of the meal or of the music that they so meticulously chosen. No recollection of having anything to drink. Or the opposite and the most stand out moment was being sick all over the bridal suite bathroom.

This is the first reason why I will not have a wedding. There is an expectation that your life starts when you get married and if you don’t start it off with the right party then you’re royally fucked! That’s how people can judge how truly committed to each other, right. But that’s simply not true. The truth is that your life starts the moment you realize that you’ve found that person that you cannot be without. From that moment your life begins and a wedding should simply be a stepping stone on that path you take together. A stone that you can look back on and celebrate while you keep building this path on your journey together.

The second reason I will not get married is because I am not religious. I used to go to church and I understand the need for a ceremony if you are religious. I can respect in your belief and need to fulfill a commitment ceremony in the eyes of your god. I don’t believe, thus I will not partake in a right that in my mind has no room in what I believe.

Lastly – love. Let’s get back to my friend, who is going through a tough time with her bride/friend. She was already having nightmares about having to face the inquisitors and come up with a reason why the nuptials haven’t happened.  I remember those days where I’d try and explain why it is I don’t need a wedding. Then they’d laugh and ask my date, who would promptly agree and chime in about how she doesn’t ever want to get married and is happy with our relationship. Then I’ll hear, “eventually”, “you’ll change your mind when you want kids” and “but what happens if you guys break up?” and that’s the real stinger. Yes I actually got someone ask me that question and that was the moment that I took off the kid gloves and started being bold about why I don’t get married. In fact this is more or less the tirade that I ended up spewing.

I don’t believe in weddings or diamonds or any of this bullshit – to me, what matters is what goes on in here (me ticker) not some ceremony. I am already married in here (me ticker again) and in here (me noggin) and I know that my “wife” feels the same way. We talk about it and we both value each other more than any ceremony could ever show. We’ve actually seen marriages fall apart and have been to second weddings, so you can’t tell me marriage is what will keep us together. We do that for each other and that’s why I will probably never get married. And I say probably because if I need to work in the states it will make my application process easier.

Obviously my wife is American, but the point here is that we need to start understanding that our world is changing and we’re going to lose sight of what’s truly important in life. Don’t be caught up in the beast that weddings have evolved into, be caught up in each other. Don’t spend your money on a day you may not even remember, spend it on a trip – hell you can bring along someone special (parents, family, friends) so that you can celebrate together. And if you need to have a wedding, don’t make others feel like they’re not truly fulfilled until they’re married. That’s just being stupid!