I spent time with a couple of friends this weekend that will, within the next couple of years, likely be getting married and starting a family. They spent much of our time together talking about houses and children and wedding rings, which brought me to an interesting revelation.
I care not one whit about wedding rings. Dresses, either, but the ring was a big topic of discussion.
He’s planning on getting her a ring from Tiffany’s. It’s important that the diamond not be synthetic, because their love is real and the ring should be, too. Nor should the ring be less than about $1800, because their love is worth a symbol of at least that much monetary value. The ring is from Tiffany’s because their rings shine across the room, and that’s important.
I was so disappointed.
I know that this really boils down to my “people vs. stuff” issues — I care very little for “stuff” and even less for “stuff” that pretends to be symbolic. I have no need of a reminder of my love for my SO or my friends, because I already think of them often (even if I don’t email or call). I have no need of a public status symbol — no, you may not call me “Mrs.”, and I’ll tell you if your attentions are unwelcome (you can believe that!).
In fact, I realized that night, talking with WO, just how foreign all the trappings of traditional American weddings are to me. I didn’t know, for instance, that there are traditionally three rings: the engagement one with the rock, and the matching pair of his-and-her simple wedding bands.
I certainly had no idea they were so expensive. My friend will probably spend upwards of $3000 on her engagement ring, given what they were looking at in Tiffany’s.
That’s a lot of money. I still don’t quite — emotionally — understand what that money’s being spent on.
My thoughts on weddings are simple. Their purpose — to me — is to make public, to your “community” (with “community” being selectively picked, rather than everyone and their uncles you don’t want to offend) your vow to the person or people you’re marrying. Then you go celebrate that vow and everyone’s involvement in that, and trust that your friends/community will support you and yours when times get rough, just as you have and will for them.
That involves no broomsticks, no rings, no fancy dresses, nothing old or new or blue. Nothing but a nice room that will fit everyone, some well-picked words, a big-ass cake for everyone to share (tiered cheesecake, for instance), some punch (spiked or otherwise), and hot music of our choice for dancing. Just like almost any other celebration.
It’s a reason to come together and celebrate with those you love. How did we end up so wrapped up in rings and dresses and reading canned vows?