My greatest gripe pertains to when the couple already lives together. They may even co-own property and have one or more children together. The nature and dynamic of their relationship will not be changing whatsoever. For these couples, having a social, showers, and a big wedding is nothing more than a thinly veiled scheme to obtain cash and gifts from as many people as possible.
Often couples who already live together may attempt to defend their upcoming wedding by saying “yeah, but we’re going before God now, to get Him to give a thumbs-up to our relationship,” which of course is a total fallacy in several ways. For instance, if they truly believe in such supernatural/religious nonsense, then they shouldn’t have been living together before marriage (living “in sin”) in the first place. Then the wedding, and in particular the shower, becomes nothing more than a blatant scheme for common-law and cohabitating couples to obtain cash and gifts
The secondary motive is for the bride to have an immodest extravaganza, a very public spectacle to satisfy her inherent histrionic needs. Please, spare us, as Facebook should be your outlet for teenage-girl-style narcissism and attention-seeking, so just keep it there! This is an especially pointless spectacle when the couple already lives together… she’s just bored with the relationship and needs a new outlet, that being self-serving wedding planning. And soon after The Big Day, she’ll be bored again.
You’re probably now thinking “hey Troll, what is your opinion on weddings where it is the second wedding (or more) for the happy couple?” Well, those are just as unappealing. I recall going to a wedding for a young couple, making the requested “presentation” (AKA a cash gift), and then less than two years later the couple was divorced. Fast forward a few years later, and she gets married again. Predictably for this second wedding, she hit up all the same friends and relatives, asked them to buy (and asked them to help in selling) social tickets, had more wedding showers, and then of course asked for a “presentation” or an expensive gift at that second wedding. Haven’t we done this before? How crass! Why should we have to fork over more time and money, because you got married too young, and inevitably you and your spouse matured into different people with different interests and values, grew apart, and poof it’s over? That whole story was so damn predicable, wasn’t it?! Fine, you made a common mistake for a person in their early to mid-20s, but you’re still tacky for approaching those same friends and relatives with your hands open like Oliver Twist asking ‘please sir, I want some more.’
In Manitoba, it is often taken one step further when compounded by a ‘wedding social’ (if you’re a non-Manitoban reading, you may have been wondering what this ‘social’ is that I have been mentioning… a ‘social’ is a common, for-profit, party which is held prior to the wedding to make The Big Day far more ostentatious than the couple could reasonably afford. You’re expected to buy a ticket to get in, and then you can purchase from a limited selection of spirits or tasteless generic beer, and shout across the table to your friends over deafeningly loud 80s and 90s pop that a ‘DJ’ is playing from his laptop. You are also expected to purchase many silent auction tickets. As the evening winds down, your enduring this ghastly party is rewarded with room-temperature cold cuts, with bread and mustard (yup, the highlight is that you get to make your own sandwich!). Other local blogs have written about these unseemly parties, if you’re still curious check out Winnipeg O’ My Heart and Love Me, Love My Winnipeg.
Socials are not just for weddings either. Inappropriate socials I’ve seen unapologetically promoted include ‘we need money to take a dream vacation’ and ‘I need money to pay for extensive fines so I can get my driver’s license back.’ But without a doubt, if you feel you must make your friends and family have to endure such a dreadful experience, don’t be so crude and have a social if you’re already cohabitating or have put them through one previously with an earlier marriage.
My suggestion for couples already living together or who had previous marriages would be to have an extremely small gathering if you feel you must get married. Invite (without pressure) only your closest friends and relatives, probably no more than 10 each from the bride and groom. Sign the certificate, make a brief two to three minute speech, and have lunch at a restaurant (and you, the happy couple, should pick up the bill) or a BBQ in your backyard. Don’t burden your guests with having to burn up a whole day as a few hours in the afternoon would suffice, and most definitely insist on no “presentation” or gifts. If you hold certain supernatural beliefs then your god most definitely thinks of you as a sinner, so might as well leave that nonsense out of it entirely.
And don’t hold a social, under any circumstances, ever! It’s just gives the impression of a blatantly self-serving scheme to pay for a wedding that you can’t afford.
The Midtown Troll