The Aftermath

cI couldn’t believe my eyes. I had to blink twice. I was watching a popular show on cable TV about a wedding. It was so lovely. The outdoor setting was gorgeous with grand views into the distance. The tables were set elegantly with flowers and candles and the bride was a vision in lacy white. (The groom wasn’t bad either.) The program was of the reality kind and showed the next day – the aftermath. It is supposed to be like the afterglow of a symphony. But no, it was not. There was litter everywhere. You would have needed a cordless vacuum (like this) to whisk it all away. Where did all this stuff come from anyway? The champagne and wine bottles I could understand, but the rest was a mystery to me.

In any case, it was a veritable pigsty. What a reversal of fortune! Once folded pristine white napkins were strewn on the ground stained with red lipstick and wine. Candy wrappers and cigarette butts were everywhere to be found, squished into submission. Some odds and ends entered the mix – a surprising olio of combs, lost earrings, hair bows, and a hankie or two. Okay, I said to myself. This is major work for the cleanup crew.

All of a sudden on my TV screen appeared the sleepy-eyed bride and groom, dressed in cutoffs and T-shirts with two friends in tow, similarly attired. What? I gasped. The voice over narration said that the couple paid for the wedding and could save money by doing the cleanup themselves. What! Are you serious?

Yes, this is fact. The story is true. The beautiful bride is a waitress at a local restaurant in West Hollywood, California and has limited funds. Remember the rule: the bride pays for the wedding! The reality show followed each “cast member,” a real person, through the comings and goings of ordinary life. This young woman just happened to have a wedding – great ratings for the show. People had been following her dating and subsequent engagement. Now it had all come to roost.

In any case, there they were scooping up junk and stuffing it into plastic bags which they tied with twine and tossed in a huge trash bin at the side of the resort that hosted the nuptials. Agh! Her elegance had all but been stripped away. She was still a pretty girl, no doubt of that, but it was sure a letdown after the wedding. Is this destined to be a new trend? I hope not. Is do-it-yourself clean up the new normal? I hope not.

The show ended with everyone changing clothes and hugs and the couple was off on their honeymoon. I’m not sure they mentioned the destination, but I do hope they didn’t negotiate a room discount for changing their own beds! Who wants to scrub tub while on holiday? I do hope the savings they earned after the wedding were applied to the honeymoon and that they could avoid manual labor of the worst kind.

The Perfect Day is After the Wedding

after wedding

You’ll hear all the time about how your wedding is the happiest day of your life. I hear people saying that all the time. When they’re asked about the happiest days of their lives, people will inevitably refer to their weddings if they’re married. Maybe some people might talk about the birth of their children if they have kids. I guess really young people might talk about the day they graduated high school or college or the day that they got their drivers’ licenses. All I can say is, I really hope your wedding isn’t going to be the best day of your life, because that may well say nothing positive about your life.

Your wedding is going to be a hassle. It’s probably the biggest day that you’re ever going to plan. How often do you hire caterers, priests, deejays, and wait staff and try to get them all in the same room together at some point? It feels like the setup for a bad joke, and that’s often the way that it is if the wedding doesn’t go well. In addition to all these different folks from really different industries, you have to get all of your friends and relatives in a room together too. That’s a lot of opportunities for crazy occurrences and mishaps.

Even if your wedding day goes completely smoothly, getting there is going to be the hard part. You may end up spending months in preparation for it, and then, it will be over in one day. It’s like a horse race, only there’s hopefully no gambling involved. Usually, by the time the day is actually almost there, you’re going to feel exhausted by the whole thing, and it will be just another time-consuming event to get out of the way.

The thing is, in many ways, that situation is even better. The fact that you’re going to be that relieved to get the wedding out of the way means that the day after the wedding is really going to be the happiest day of your life. You’re married to your beloved at last. The two of you have publicly declared your love for one another. You survived an encounter with all of your relatives and everyone else. Now, you can enjoy wedded bliss and the rest of the honeymoon. In addition to all of that, you can be relieved that the wedding is over and it only happens once.

This may sound like a negative take, but it’s more positive than it sounds. Do you really want the best part of your marriage to be the first day? That’s over before you know it. Really, the best part of your marriage doesn’t even have to be the second day. The best part of any marriage is going to be different for everyone. The thing is, knowing that your wedding doesn’t have to be the best day of your life should let you off the hook a little.

If you didn’t really enjoy your wedding all that much, it doesn’t mean that you did it wrong or that you’re doing it wrong. It also doesn’t mean that anything bad is going to happen to your marriage, or that your marriage is automatically going to get off on the wrong foot. Lots of happy marriages didn’t spring from happy weddings. There are also plenty of marriages in which it was pretty much all downhill from there after the wedding, and who wants that? Even if your wedding didn’t go well, your marriage can still be fantastic. You’ll have countless days to get that right, and only one day to get your wedding right.