Your 20s: The Wedding(s) Years

bride groomWhen friends get married, everything is (mostly) beautiful. Happy times. But we all suffer financially. Or, at least, most people in my generation suffer financially.

I once dated a man who was invited to eight weddings in one year, half of which he was a groomsman for. Eight wedding gifts, four bachelor parties, one outfit. I think he skipped out on all of the weddings that he was not asked to be part of. So four (guessing; he’s cheap), four, and one.

Try being a girl going to eight weddings in one year, being bridesmaid for half, yet being close enough to the rest of the brides that you are part of each engagement party, bridal shower, and bachelorette party. You are supposed to get a gift for each occasion, and then one for the wedding, too. There are often plane tickets and hotel rooms to consider. As a bridesmaid, there is the gown, the tailoring, the shoes—a different outfit for each bridesmaid stint and worn only once. It is much, much more expensive to be a girl with a lot of close girlfriends.

Hopefully, everyone can come to my wedding, because IF I ever get married, and that is a huge IF, I plan on getting married at 38. I mean, it will be small, but everyone will know at least a year in advance and won’t have crazy financial commitments by then because a) they’ll be established in their careers, b) their children will have been born, and c) they will crave getting out of their ruts and seeing old friends. Positively, they will welcome this type of escape. I plan on an extravagant yet simply elegant and carefree destination wedding that will essentially be one big party for the few invited.

I would hate to think that any of the lavish weddings I’ve attended will end in divorce, but…50% of marriages do. The term “starter marriage” was coined for a reason. When I see divorced friends, especially divorced-at-25 friends, I have to wonder, what is the point of marrying now? We can go back to school, build our careers, freeze our eggs, travel to the world, and love as many people as possible while we still have the energy.

Then, there does come a natural, individual time, outside of “expected time,” when each of us wants to settle down. And luckily, at that point, your partner in crime is ready to dive in with you.

In related news, Long Engagements

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