My friend is a complete idiot — which is a much worse insult than it may first appear since it’s being given by a guy who views drinking beer and watching TV as a worthy goal to strive for each and every day. I wish I could say it isn’t so, but I have always been one to call a spade a spade. He isn’t a bad guy. He just decided to swallow hook, line and sinker the financial disaster known as “the bride can’t be wrong and no expense spared” when it comes to her wedding day.
I am single, but I do hope to get married one day when I meet the perfect beer drinking woman. I must admit to being jealous of my friends that never seem to have a problem finding girlfriends, and all of them seem to be getting hitched these days. Even though my record with women gives a pretty reliable forecast that a wedding is not likely in my near future, I can confidently say (especially after drinking a few beers while writing this) that any woman who insists on having an extravagant wedding, and is unwilling to compromise on the wedding budget, is a flashing neon warning sign saying that you should be running for the hills with both hands over your wallet.
I could see that my friend was in trouble as soon as I showed up for the wedding rehearsal dinner to find the bride wearing a princess tiara and fancy pre-wedding dress (I didn’t even know that pre-wedding dresses existed). They served prime rib and lobster, and the rehearsal dinner was far fancier than most wedding receptions I had ever attended. Everything about the wedding made it clear that no amount of money was spared. It’s not often that a beer guy uses “gorgeous” as part of his vocabulary, but that is the only way to describe their wedding. They had gone to great lengths to make sure that everything was perfect. It was so impressive that it’s a wedding that will be hard to forget even after consuming large amounts of expensive free alcohol at the open bar.
When I finally had the chance to talk to my friend, the real damage came out. Each family had agreed to pay $10,000 each toward the wedding for a $20,000 wedding that would have left the newlyweds debt free. The bride, not satisfied with what $20,000 could buy, planned out a $45,000 wedding leaving the bride and groom with a $25,000 wedding loan to begin their happy lives together. That’s the beginning of a decent down payment on a house (or enough to get a hell of a lot of top quality beer). The couple did an excellent job of showing off and impressing all their friends and family with the taste and quality they believe they deserve, but can’t afford.
It is a sad day when a beer drinking couch potato can see better through his blurred vision that over-indulgent weddings rank up there with unplanned pregnancies as one of the top ways to ensure that you remain penniless than his more accomplished friends with good jobs. A princess complex wedding is just as damaging as years of trying to keep up with the Joneses, conveniently compacted into a single day to magnify the mistake. If you are going to start married life tens of thousands of dollars in debt, money (and lack thereof) is going to be a pretty contentious issue which will quickly place a large dose of reality on that fantasy of eternal wedding bliss, especially when it comes after a wedding where money was never an issue.
Upon further reflection after writing this blog post, maybe I have highly under rated the single, beer drinking lifestyle.