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Re: [atheists-27] Weddings

From: Tom F.
Sent on: Sunday, September 1, 2013 7:13 PM

There are no hard and fast rules about this.  But my take is that the bride's family should pay for the wedding, insofar as they have the ability to do so.  If I were to marry a girl from a poor immigrant family, who are barely getting by, then  I might pay for most of it myself.  If I married someone from a wealthy high society family, then I'd certainly expect them to pay for a big ceremony.  Of course, if you're on your second or third marriage (or whatever the count is), you can't expect anything too lavish.  In other words, it all depends on the situation.

 

Tom


From: "Don Wharton" <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Sunday, September 1,[masked]:32:11 AM
Subject: Re: [atheists-27] Weddings

Thanks to all of you for confirming my non-traditional instincts.  I did a bit of research about what the "radicalism" meant in the political values survey.  Apparently a 1% score would represent passionate traditionalism.  With my 99.5% rating my normal thinking is so far outside of any traditional box that I need my friends to give me some grounding if I am going too far outside any cultural norms.  I love Chandler's, Robert's and Mathew's support for my non-traditional instincts on this.
 
Her family is obviously somewhat traditional.  They are religious without going to church and have very significant roots in Republican politics.  They decided on a non-religious venue and non-religious ceremony explicitly because of my passionate secularism.  I have been very cautious about talking about religion with them.  If they don't go to church they are far away from the hard case fundamentalism that is the greatest problem.   My fear is with such people is that a contentious debate could cause them to go back to church.  That is something that would make me quite unhappy.
 
My son and his new bride to be had an interesting conversation when they were first dating.  Jeffrey shares at least some of my displeasure with the traditional blizzard of Republican false claims.  Early in their relationship he said, "I just realized that I am dating a Republican."  Her reply, "That's nothing.  I'm dating an atheist." 
 
Each of them were relating across a cultural divide where the category of the other was viewed with some disfavor.  Obviously any residue of that disfavor is now long gone.
 
Don
 
 
 
From: Mathew Goldstein <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Saturday, August 31,[masked]:14 PM
Subject: Re: [atheists-27] Weddings

1. Erase some people from the invite list
2. Wedding day should be weekday, not Saturday.
3. Ceremony should end by afternoon, avoid the evening.
4. Play hardball with the caterer.  Simplify your hors d’oeuvres (or drop them completely) and main course. Drop the soup. Use the wedding cake for it’s intended purpose – dessert. You don’t need more than that.
5. Get a small cake.
6.  Its beer or wine.  No bar.
7. Inexpensive flowers only.
8.  Spend $500 or so to rent the wedding dress.

On Aug 31, 2013, at 7:30 PM, Robert W Ahrens <[address removed]> wrote:

I also have three girls.  Two of whom are married.

One was married in a traditional, Catholic wedding.   We told the couple, and the groom's family right up front that we could not afford such a wedding, and except for some things, the groom and his family (he was in his 30's) paid for it.  The wedding was beautiful, as such ceremonial things are, the Catholics sure know how to pitch a wedding.  The reception was a disaster, thanks to his meddling mother, who (among other things) insisted on a basket of Herbal Life products be placed by the door as a kind of Party Favor.  (::shudder::)

For the second, it was literally a family affair.  Completely non traditional with a traditional framework, the minister was UU and the couple wrote their own vows.  It took place in our backyard, many of the guests (the happy pair lived in Portland, OR and so did many of the guests) stayed either with us or in a nearby hotel (which we got a group rate for, and provided cool hand made breakfast baskets the hotel let us leave in the rooms).  Most of the guests helped with making the decorations, preparing the food, setting up the backyard for the affair and doing much of that preparation work.  We were doing better at this point, and paid for a lot of the food, rented the tables, chairs, dinner accoutrements and a caterer to prepare the food, wait and bartend.  The grooms family paid for a lot, too, including the "practice dinner" (our youngest provided a coupon for the restaurant that saved them over 20%) the cake, and I think her dress, among other things I can't remember.

I provided the video services and we all chipped in with various cameras for the photography.  Due to the collaborative nature of the affair, it was a smashing success.  Everybody had a blast and felt part of it all.

The youngest is still (yay!) single and likely to stay that way for a while, I hope.  She wants a beach wedding to go with her Florida residence.  THAT should be fun...

My experience is that weddings in the US today are a mirror image of the "princess bride" affair - we Americans are so egalitarian and anti-royalty, but all of us aspire to having a wedding that is the spitting image of the royal march down the center isle, white dress and all.

The wife and I had a simple, sectarian wedding in front of a German magistrate.  No church, no Gasthoff parade, which is an affair with an elaborate flower arrangement on the hood of the brides car in which she and her entourage take from bar to bar running up a tab, while he is running after her, paying for her bills as he goes! (a "quaint" german tradition.)  We've been married for 37 years, and the lack of a lot of hoopla never made a lot of difference to us.

I made an offer to the first two and I stand by that offer for the last one - I offered to use the money we would have used to help pay for the wedding to assist them in making a down payment for a house, or to start an investment fund for that purpose.  That, I think would make a lot of sense.  But both refused.  We'll see about #3.


On Aug 31, 2013, at 6:03 PM, friend of Smokey the Bear <[address removed]> wrote:

i am simply sharing facts here, Don:
these children are adults.
adults have responsibilities.

i raised my children to become responsible adults, and to know that their decisions might benefit from outside counseling.
if there is one whom they feel they want to spend the rest of their lives, that is their decision; however, if children become involved and the relationship becomes dysfunctional for whatever reason, that they should not be hampered by the "Cinderella effect" (he's the father of my child/ren; therefore, i must stay.), suck it up and admit they made a mistake and move on.

evolution suggests that people are not wired for one life long relationship.

chandler



On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 5:51 PM, chandler wiland <[address removed]> wrote:
full disclosure: i am bi-racial, bi-cultural, raised in a polytheistic home (dad was a Catholic altar boy, mom was Shinto and English as a second language).

so, i think outside of your box.
chandler


On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 5:46 PM, Don Wharton <[address removed]> wrote:
As the mother of three daughters I can imagine what have done or will go through in financing three of these extravaganzas.  You, of course, are quite correct that the groom and bride are intensely involved both in planning and conveying expectations.  Yes we are enabling it.  My question is what is being achieved?  If we want more evidence to support our cultural assumptions than theists, what excactly are we buying with these events.  Is the marriage going to be more solid over the long term?  Are the outcomes going to be better for the children?  Does anyone really have a clue?  Is it just tradition that continues with the momentum of history?
 
Don

From: friend of Smokey the Bear <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Saturday, August 31,[masked]:45 PM
Subject: Re: [atheists-27] Weddings

this is simply my opinion, which was solicited: 
     the decision of how much a parent must spend on a child's wedding is a parenting decision and not a decision to be made by children.
     conjecture:  the kids told the parents what they wanted to do; parents enabled it.
    

chandler
mother of three daughters


On Sat, Aug 31, 2013 at 4:03 PM, Don Wharton <[address removed]> wrote:
My son is getting married in September. The cost to the bride's family is the largest expense. The cost to my family is inching close to five figures. My guess is that with all the gifts that will be given the total may be in the neighborhood of $100,000. In recent months my son and his prospective bride paid for two different plane fares to destination weddings. These fancy weddings seem to be a cultural norm.
 
Am I crazy or does this seem to be a bit much to others on our group? Yes this is a special day for two wonderful young people. There is a quaint echo of the old potlatch tradition with some American Indian tribes, be extremely generous to other people in the feast that you host and the gifts that you give and whoever is more extravagant is deemed to be the winner and thus more worthy of prestige and status. ????
 
We are a group that questions more than other groups do. Should we be questioning this institution?  I will shortly leave to for a taste testing to select dishes that will be used for a "rehearsal dinner." 
People feel a need to practice these things to make sure that they are getting it right. So we will practice eating the various dishes to make sure that real practice hits just the right note.
 
Don




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