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Wedding or marriage: What are we prioritising?

16 May 2018 FAMILY

By: Natasha Archary


Ask any woman about her dream wedding and she’ll probably be able to give you a blow by blow account of every minute detail, right down to the number of fairy-lights. It’s no secret women dream about this perfect day for a long time.


In a previous article we shed light on the increase in divorce stats in the country. The fallacy of a fairytale forever is often what lures people into the thinking that marriages are meant to last.


Often we are so focused on the perfect wedding day that we lost sight of the bigger picture. What happens after the big day?


Most couples save for years in order to throw a lavish do. But let’s be honest, weddings are just a status flash, for family and friends to see just how “well off” you are. Some take out loans and end up paying it back until well after the first year anniversary. You could instead put that money towards your first home but no, you want to eternalise the day and want to spare no expenses. Has anyone ever asked you, “What does marriage mean to you?”


This question when posed to many women and men who are about to tie the knot, is often met with absolute uncertainity and vague responses.


“I want a wife who can cook.”

“A husband should always take care of his family’s needs.”

“I want companionship.” (Get a dog!)


What does marriage mean in 2018? Does it mean coming home to a warm meal? Clean house. Security. Company. What?


According to the Psychology Today definition, “marriage is the process by which two people make their relationship public, official and permanent. It is the joining of two people in a bond that putatively lasts until death, but in practice is increasingly cut by divorce.”


We’re so determined to have the perfect wedding day that nothing else matters. Marriage isn’t viewed as a sacred bond anymore. It’s become just another relationship with an expiry date. Perhaps if we invested as much into our marriages as we did in our weddings and honoured the vows as much as we idolise our wedding pictures, things would be different.


The average cost of a wedding in South Africa is roughly between R70k and R150k. Throw in a designer wedding dress, shoes and matching bridesmaids’ accessories and this figure is likely to snowball into a much larger sum. People get sucked into the emotional side of it all, and don’t have an honest enough conversation with their future spouse about finances.

“Can we afford this? No? Okay so let’s cut costs.”


Instead, in a bid to impress the future in-laws and the girl you gave a diamond ring to, you bite your tongue and decide you’re willing to do whatever it takes to make her happy. Well, then if it were at all possible to buy happiness, we would all be living THE life now wouldn’t we?


It’s time we were honest enough to admit that no one cares about marriage. We prioritise the wedding day, not giving any further thought to the days, months, years that follow. We’re not willing to have the real conversations about how there will be difficult days and unforeseen circumstances. Moments you’ll need to sacrifice together or selflessly. Health scares and financial trouble.


Are you marrying someone who will help get you through those days? Or are you marrying someone who can throw money at a problem and hope it goes away?

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