My sister rescheduled her wedding date after I booked my flight *Drats!* In her email, she had mentioned that they’re not ‘quite ready’ for early September, so they reschedule it to November instead *I love you sis, but why the last minute notice?* It’s not free to reschedule a flight, unfortunately. I know when she said ‘not quite ready’ it has nothing to do with emotional preparation; more financial-related. Which lead me to this next question [not only to my sister but for everybody], “If you really can’t afford a big wedding, why insist?”

In my humble opinion, irrationally forcing onself to have a big wedding is unhelathy. Might ended up with big debts. Big debts leads to depression. Depression hurts. Trust me, it does. Besides, I think it’s better to use the money to pay for a down payment for a new house. A recent national survey by KB Home found that 92 percent of American adults say that if they were about to get married and were also in the market for a new home, they would rather use the money towards a home versus using it for their dream wedding. Related to that, Business Wire reported that with the average wedding approaching $30,000 in the U.S., many couples today are opting for a lifetime of entertaining guests in their own home over a few hours with 200 friends in a rented ballroom.

Back to the big question of the day: “Why big wedding? What’s so important about it?” Some reasonings I’ve heard so far:

  • It’s a special day that [hopefully] happens once in your life. Usually this comes from the bride/groom’s perspective. It’s the oldest and lamest excuse. Just be realistic, with the divorce rate up to 60 percent, people then got remarried. Are you going to spend all of your money every time you get married? Don’t think so. Thus, marriage is not the only special day in your life; there’s the birth day(s) of your child(ren), first day of school, graduation, etc.
  • Peer/society pressure. Just because your high school best friend had a big wedding, doesn’t mean you have to. They can afford it, you can’t… don’t push it. You don’t have to return a favor to other people who had invited you to their weddings. Barely remember their last names? Then why bother. Funny enough, in a big wedding, more than half the guests are the parents’. Business associates, other members of the country club, fellow bingo attenders, an so on. People our parents who actually don’t really know, actually. Same stories go to our far relatives. Like in my own big Harahap family. I remember my aunt’s wedding being so huge because everybody in the village of North Sumatra were invited *sarcastic* Seriously, as my mom explained to me vaguely, “Oh, that’s grandma’s cousin’s uncle’s third wife.”
  • The opportunity to see friends and relatives you have not seen for decades. The busy and stressful life in diaspora does not leave us enough time to visit family and friends especially if they live far away from us. But well planned and advertised well in advance wedding will give family members and friends a long overdue chance to meet in a very comfortable and festive setting to catch up with old times and strengthen relative bonds and friendship. This excuse is similar to the previous one, but this sounds more convincing.
  • Show off. If you are fabuously rich and feel like wasting money on a big wedding, it is your right. Besides, it’s not like there are a lot of homeless parentless children in the other side of the world who would appreciate your donation.
  • Tradition. In some culture, a big wedding is a must. Traditional weddings are very interesting to attend if you’re not lucky enough to have. Hawaiian, Indian, Greek, Saudi Arabian, Armenian, Korean, Javanese (Indonesian), they’re all very festive. To keep a tradition going, it’s a noble cause. Just don’t ended up on a debt-collector’s list.

Am I missing any other excuse(s)?