Weddings should be low-key, humble events that reflect the seriousness and what-the-hell-let’s-do-this nature of what you’re embarking on — plus a dash of humor about the incredibly high stakes. But apparently no one got that memo, as evidenced by the fact that people are still dropping an average of $26,000 and spending an entire year to plan these damn things.
Not, however, Emily Hardman and Rob Reading, who because they took a mere week to plan their wedding and spent only $4,500 on it, are pioneers, rogues and heroes in dismantling the wedding industrial complex.
Hardman and Reading spent all of 26 hours planning their wedding over the course of about a week, according to The New York Times. The total cost for everything was $4,500. The ring was a $8.88 rollback special piece of shit from Walmart. They invited guests by text message.
Anyone who has read a single bridezilla or groomzilla story surely knows by now that weddings are responsible for manic, bizarre behavior that can only be explained as temporary mental illness — why otherwise level-headed people morph into members of the aristocracy in the run-up to their wedding day should be studied by science. This madness is driven by a combination of societal and familial pressure, the desire to be one-day famous and the primal urge to appear much richer than you actually are. What we need is a return to the basics — to the no-frills, no-bullshit attitude that this thing is probably not gonna last but what the hell at least let’s get a good DJ and get really really hammered.
That can be had for $4,500 and about 26 hours of your time. If nothing else can convince you that it’s simply not worth the effort, money, arguments, or bullshit to spend more time or money on a wedding, this should: a study that found that the more you drop on the party, the more likely you are to split. And the researchers took it way farther than Hardeman and Reading, suggesting that the ideal amount of money to spend is actually only about $1,000. Can you imagine?
A few caveats: Yes, this is easier said than done. And we have to call a little bit of bullshit on Hardman: She somehow “pulled strings” to secure an MC and performers a week in advance, which means it probably helps to have some connected friends. Also, her mom spent 8 hours sewing a skirt for her wedding outfit, so some of that work just fell on another lady. Also, booking a venue — in this case, a church you’re already a member of — is probably the biggest issue for most people, in terms of both cost and availability.
What is still remarkable and totally laudable, though, is the attitude here. Hardeman wrote in her own take on the wedding that if people can plan funerals in a week, they ought to be able to do the same for a wedding. She went with the easiest and cheapest option at every turn, taking the piss out of the very preciousness that makes wedding people seem seem so horrible. That is because Hardeman finds weddings to be “unnecessarily burdensome,” and that is because she is a brilliant person.
One last note: While all this was going on, Hardeman’s now-husband apparently kept asking what he needed to do. Hardeman had done it all, so he managed to get away with not doing anything — classic dude wedding participation. We’ll give him a pass, though, since he had the good sense and taste to pick the chillest bride ever. We should all be so lucky.