Please Tell Me the Money from this Photo Went to Charity

This shall be brief.  Hopefully.

I am disgusted, as much with myself as anyone.  Like a sheep, I clicked on a link about bridal trends which led me to an article about Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake’s marriage wedding.

Per usual, I was led to an article about an opulent, no-expense-spared celebrity  wedding.  Each detail was lovingly picked to represent the uniqueness of both Jessica and Justin as a couple and as human beings.  Naturally, people of their creative talent and stature require a wedding that is as tasteful and unique as it is lavish.  Their china should not be ordinary china.

You can tell they’re madly in love by the three feet between them! (Photo Credit: Huffington Post)

I’ll be honest.  I’ve long had an issue with our culture’s endless quest to be special.  We’ve come to believe that we’re all such snowflakes that even our coffee should be unique.  And it that requires paying $6 for it at Starbucks, then dammit we fork over $6.

It’s ridiculous and contrived.  Yes, we are all different, but so is every puddle of vomit.

Nowhere is this more apparent than at a modern wedding, which borders on a circus.  In an effort to boost the economy as much as possible, couples are encouraged to spare no expense.  Professional dance lessons, Vera Wang wedding dresses, and all sorts of things they can’t really afford because, “You only get married once.”  Coughs politely.

My husband and I married ten years ago, and we’ve been to a LOT of weddings over the years.  Most of them blur together regardless of how much money was spent.  You can’t tell from looking at the pictures whose dress cost $400 and whose dress cost $8000.  What you can tell from looking at pictures is which smiles are fake and which smiles are real.

I remember planning my own wedding.  At times it seemed like way too many details, but luckily, my husband’s requests were simple.  He wanted an open bar, good food, and good music.  As it turns out, he was right.  Ten years later, all people tell us was how much fun they had.  I doubt they remember much else, although one friend still raves about the cake.  It was a very tasty cake; cake tends to be high on my list of priorities.

I’m actually surprised that, given the current economic climate, people aren’t scaling down their weddings.  However, as long as dolts like me continue to read and watch stories about weddings, shows like “Say Yes to the Dress” will stay on television.  The wedding industry will continue to thrive, and pictures like this will grace your local newsstand.

I’m not even going to speculate on the opulent no-expense-spared Biel-Timberlake divorce…  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the deli to buy a cup of coffee.  Medium, regular.

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41 Responses to Please Tell Me the Money from this Photo Went to Charity

  1. Susan says:

    Reading this and looking at the People cover, reminded me of the tight cheek-to-cheek smiley cover from Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. And that went pretty well… You have to realize too that this is probably two individual photos photoshopped together, which makes the space greater than 3 feet. Enjoy your coffee :)

  2. Fresh Daily Bread says:

    Fabulous commentary! (and I agree completely…)

  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. I can’t imagine forking over thousands and thousands of dollars for a wedding (or millions in the case of celebrities). My husband and I were broke when we married, so we took out a $2000 loan to pay for our wedding. It covered all but the reception, which my husband’s parents hosted for us in their backyard using catered food (sandwiches and such). It was nothing fancy, but 24 years later, people still tell me how much they enjoyed the reception. Perhaps the years have sweetened their memories, but I still take it. :)

    • I know. It’s insane. We tried not to go over the top. We picked and chose what we were willing to spend money on, but our wedding still cost more than our first car. (It was a pretty practical car though.) And some weddings cost more than a HOUSE, even a really really really nice house.

      • Carrie Rubin says:

        To be fair, I suppose my $2000 wedding would equate to about $10,000 now. :)

        • That’s a better question for my husband. I don’t know the rate of inflation, but you’re probably right. I’ve never asked anyone who married in the late eighties what they paid. I know my eye doctor claimed to buy his house in the late seventies, and that they gave him ten sheets of paper at closing. What a different time.

  4. I couldn’t agree with you more. I remember my girlfriend getting married and her parents put a second mortgage on their home for $20,000…..and they divorced two years later. Hope people realize it is not the glitz and glamour that matters at a wedding. Wish them the best….but let’s just see how long this lasts.

  5. Love this! You can throw around cash all you want, but you can’t buy a real genuine connection between a couple. My favorite weddings have always been the ones that make me think, “I want what they have someday.”

  6. its a bit of a conundrum isnt it? i always think that when there is suck pomp around a wedding it totally takes away from the main point, which is supposed to be love? Dont sell your wedding photos!

    • I know it’s big business for magazines, but honestly… Celebrities who keep the money from their photos just disgust me. They absolutely do NOT need it. And this photo weirded me out because it’s so clearly about wedding pictures as just another form of entertainment. There’s nothing real about it, certainly nothing to imply they care about having an actual marriage.

  7. I hope she gets MySpace in the divorce.. Timberlake has done nothing to fix it since he bought it.

  8. I love how you describe us of all being snowflakes but that everyone’s vomit is different and unique too — great post –

  9. I’d never really thought about how unique each and every pile of vomit is before this post. Vomit on an $8,000 wedding dress? Now that’s something special. =)

  10. The Waiting says:

    Every time I read your blog, I love you more. I cannot agree with you more on the glorification of special. I get so tired of people using their wedding as an excuse to be flagrant douches. Most weddings like this don’t celebrate love and commitment at all. Instead, they celebrate these peoples’ complete narcissism.

    • Flagrant douches would be a good band name. And yes, people with HUGE I’m freaking Princess Diana weddings are usually douches.

      • We need to think up more band names so bad they’re good! Seriously.

        • YES. That would be an awesome post. We could totally be guest bloggers on each others blogs and stuff. I’m just learning about this junk.

          There was a DJ that did this contest where you had to tell if it was a real band name or fake. It was hard. Toad the Wet Sprocket? Slutty Librarian would be another good name. It was sort of my nickname at one public library I worked at. Long story.

    • Thanks Emily! Yeah, I’m often willing to let the million dollar wedding slide… but then I saw their wedding photo. And somehow I get the feeling their wedding had NOTHING to do with love and commitment.

  11. Why not spend gobs of money on a wedding? It’s such an investment! Unlike a house. That would be silly. Who would want to spend 200,000 on a house? Pfft. Or a car. Also stupid. No, let’s buy a dress that costs thousands and is worn once and eat cake and take lots of uncomfortable pictures!

    My husband and I had a pretty cheap wedding. The church had this wedding closet that provided a lot, and church members hosted a reception. I hardly knew them, but they liked my husband. My dress was actually a formal I bought at this little Hispanic lady’s shop. My veil cost more than the dress. We married on Dec 30, so we used Christmas decorations. Seriously. I know, I’m so damn classy I can hardly stand it.

    • We got married two months after my sister-in-law, and she had a VERY fancy wedding. So, we were mostly just going for not looking bad by comparison. Inevitably, I’m sure people compared them, but we tried to spend money on what mattered and save money on what doesn’t. My dress was $350 and I LOVED it. Just when I was about to give up and buy a white bridesmaid’s dress, I found it. Although it’s nice to have great pictures and great memories, most of the details don’t really matter. And the folks in the wedding industry will smile at you and try to charm you… while they dig every last cent out of your purse.

  12. On the plus side, they probably still paid less for their wedding than Kim Kardashian paid for hers. My wedding was more lavish than I wanted–I wanted to elope to Vegas. But Mr. Weebles was the one who wanted a real wedding, so that’s what we did. And it was nice, but in hindsight I cringe at how much money we spent for one day that I don’t even remember that vividly now.

    • I do think real weddings are really nice. My grandparents married with my grandfather on shore leave, and still managed to have a real wedding, but weddings have gotten out of control now. The costs, the entitlement, the hoopla… It’s like people are going insane with the power trip of being a bride. And I always wonder what would happen if a couple planned everything without saying it was for a wedding reception. Would the pricing be totally different?

  13. Pingback: “Be Yourself… unless, of course, its your wedding day…” « Garish

  14. We had a very small wedding, with a small budget. But we had the best time. All the guests told us it was the most fun they’d ever had at a wedding. I think if the love is there, then the positive vibe is there and that is enough. More important than how lavish a wedding is. (we spent most of our money on the honeymoon!) I agree most people fixate so much on the wedding that after it’s over, they realize they weren’t prepared for the actual marriage.

  15. Nina Badzin says:

    Seriously, you could not have said it better. Love the snowflake commentary. How true.

  16. El Guapo says:

    Yep.
    Our waiting was planned for fun over expense (and stress) too.

    As far as all the one upmanship, I always figured if you were cool, you were cool. If you needed a big neon sign to say you were, then you probably weren’t…

  17. sweetmother says:

    “yes we are all different, but so is every puddle of vomit…” ooooooohhhhhh, lawd. how i loved that. if you want to have a wedding that is truly yours, have a gay wedding. most of the extended relatives are too embarrassed to come, often including parents, so you can do whatever in the feck that you want. you’re also paying for it yourself, unless your parents are uber libs, so it makes for a night that not only the couple will be happy with. i’ve always had a good time at a gay wedding, the few of them i’ve attended. a few straight ones too… but, the gays, oh the wackiness and the booze… loool. xo

    • Yeah, that was my favorite line too. The “You are not a snowflake, every puddle of vomit is unique” rant has been coming for years…

      I love going to any wedding where you can tell the couple is mad about each other, although free booze never hurts… And as a parent, I honestly can’t imagine not going to my kid’s wedding. It’s just so so very wrong.

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