I remember reading somewhere that most young couples claim they would have been happier with a smaller wedding and a larger down payment, but their parents wanted the fancy wedding, so what could they do?
Naturally, I was curious, and since I also like to get things done ahead of time, I brought this up at the Shabbos table one weekend. I figured we might as well hash it out now and maybe come to some compromises.
Well, we didn’t get very far.
The first thing I brought up was flowers. Flowers are nice. They’re decorative. But the basic version is very boring and I have my doubts that masses of orange roses and lilies really adds much. And why on earth would you want to plunk down half a fortune for those really nice driftwood-and-candle things for a seven-hour party that you’re mostly dancing at when – have we mentioned – there’s a down payment that could be made?
The parents were okay with a flowerless chupah – my sister had one (though there was no shortage of purple orchids in the rest of her wedding). And really these changes just take getting used to. “But you need centerpieces!” my mother protested. Sadly, no sibling had gone centerpieceless yet.
I suggested the centerpieces could be something simple and interesting, for example, a goldfish in a bowl. Or, if you want to get symbolic, two goldfish in a bowl. The idea pleased. I thought we were done. The centerpieces at my wedding would be goldfish in bowls.
Alas. Those parents. Before dessert the modest addition to my wedding gifts had been poured into accessories for the goldfish. A plain bowl was too boring. It ought to be decorated with colored marbles, and maybe have a plant or two stuck in for color. As I looked on in horror, my humble ten-cent fish were morphing into male bettas or even shubunkins, so I hastily announced that I’d changed my mind.
I decided we’ll stick with the flowers. Maybe we’ll go for silk. At that point I decided to let the subject rest.
But then NEF #16 told me that she is thinking of making her wedding a potluck. (She might be serious, too.) I mentioned that to the parentals and they were all over it. Just think – the smörgåsbord provided by the guests!
So, at this moment, I’m having a potluck wedding, but there will be flower centerpieces.