A celebration of financial burden is…a wedding!
It’s only fair to say that once a couple announces an engagement or proposal that a wedding is soon to follow. In most cases, couples will begin to plan their religious ceremonies followed by the wedding day.
But of course, not everyone has a wedding, nor do they splurge on the extravagance that comes along when planning a wedding. I was definitely one of those people who didn’t bother to place myself in a financial burden the first year of my marriage. They say that the first couple of years starts off great. But as bills and responsibilities start to come in, that’s when the reality of marriage sets in.
Here Comes the Bride…
I knew that a wedding would have been the cherry on top of a financial burden that I was not willing to take on. I knew that, personally, my marriage to my husband was more important than throwing a wedding to entertain people I didn’t know. We all know that our parents are the ones who are actually having the wedding; we are just the toppers to the cake.
At the age of 19, I was married and a full-time college student. College is expensive to begin with, and the added stress from college does not help any situation. Now, some may wonder why I rushed to get married, and regardless of my reason or choice, I knew my husband was going to be “the one.” So whether I got married at 19, or waited until I was 25, it wouldn’t have made a difference. That is just my opinion and everyone is entitled to their own.
So when we announced that we were going to get married and received the blessing from both families, it was only fair to say that people expected a wedding to follow. And for a short period of time, a wedding was in the works. We ventured off with our moms to seek a venue and of course, figure out the pricing for each visited location. Although everyone — including my husband — was all excited to throw a wedding, I continued to find myself more and more opposed to the idea.
When you go to visit a venue and get the 411 on pricing, availability, the minimum amount of guests required in order to use their facility, the numbers start to add up! Did I really want to throw a party to entertain people who I felt were just going to talk crap about it? If I was to throw a wedding, the guests would say we went overboard, splurged, and what a shame to spend that kind of money when people in the world are starving.
Or perhaps they would have said how little we spent and what a cheap couple we were. You’re damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. And I would rather have no wedding than to deal with people and their irrelevant comments on my wedding day. All this, of course, was just the surface level of why I didn’t want a wedding. But let me take you a bit deeper into my thoughts.
A Deeper Dive
I come from two different cultural backgrounds. I am half-Circassian and half-Palestinian, so to plan a wedding that would incorporate both cultures seemed like a challenge. If I had decided to have a wedding, it would have been most definitely multicultural, being that both my Circassian and Palestinian sides are important to me. They both define who I am.
Having said that, the traditions and cultures are very different from one another. Now, within the Circassian community, I never really felt a part of it. I did not really associate a lot with the Circassian community because I was part Arab. And with my Palestinian side, I did not have much interaction with them or the culture as most of my family was overseas. So, for me, there was not much interaction and experience with either side. Regardless of my cultural distances, I would still have wanted to incorporate both traditional forms of celebration.
Although I did not have a wedding because it didn’t make sense to, I do reminisce and think about what my wedding dress would have looked like. I think about where my wedding would have been, what the decorations, flowers, and centerpieces would have looked like. I wonder about the amount of guests I would have invited, as well as the wedding entrance my husband and I would have gone through to get to our guests.
All those thoughts still flood through my mind after seven years of marriage. Do I regret not having a wedding? Absolutely not! Would I have reconsidered having a wedding if I knew it would not have placed a financial hardship during the first year of my marriage? Maybe so. But everything happens for a reason.
Sadly, I see way too many failed marriages occur the first few years, and most of the time it is due to financial stress and hardships. That was what I did not want to happen with my marriage. And although both families were not keen, or happy about the idea of my husband and I opting out of having a wedding, the decision, at the end of the day, came down to us.
When it all comes down to it, if I did have a wedding, I think I would have preferred it to be small and intimate, yet eventful and full of entertainment.
Would I have walked out with my husband the “modern” Circassian way, accompanied by men in traditional attire with their swords out, or have a bunch of Palestinian dabkeh dancers and drummers lead the way in an upbeat entrance? Perhaps. Perhaps I would have done both! I most definitely would have wanted tons of entertainment, whether it be a live band, a belly dancer, dabkeh dancers, or the Circassian men and women putting on a show for us with the traditional dance. You know, people would be really intrigued to watch the Circassian men and women dance together. Such powerful yet delicate choreography that truly tells a story. Meanwhile, the Palestinian side would have been…LIT! I am telling you, the wedding would have been interestingly entertaining.
Weddings are meant to be celebrated for the couple and a form of memories to have as you and your spouse grow old together. Although I did not have a wedding, everyday feels like a celebration being married to my husband. And although weddings are fun to attend, in my opinion, it isn’t fun to plan and pay for them! So with that being said, I hold no regrets on not having a wedding.
Perhaps if God blesses me with a daughter, her wedding day should be the one I would have wanted for myself but 100 times better. Because at the end of the day, the choice will be hers.