Face it, Girl. You Want to Get Married

Dear Dategirl,I'm 27 and have been with my boyfriend for a year and a half. He's awesome, our sex life is amazing, our communication is stellar, and we love each other very much. We moved in together three months into the relationship, and all is well. As a skeptical daughter of divorced parents, I don't want to categorize my relationship according to archaic standards.That being said, the girly-girl in me longs to have some sort of celebration of the fact that we love one another. I'm not talking a white princess dress—not even a diamond. It feels self-indulgent, but damn it, I want to have a party for my friends and family to share the love.We have discussed this non-marriage a few times. I'm not ready for it in the near future, but eventually I would like to have some kind of ceremony. My man is receptive to the idea, but as a master of practicality and rationalism, I don't think he quite understands how much this would mean to me. Just because I don't want a white wedding doesn't mean I don't want to commemorate our love. As corny as it may be, ceremony is inherently human, and meeting him was one of the most joyous occurrences of my life. Any thoughts?—Gemma

You're overthinking this. You want to get married. You're slightly embarrassed that you're embracing an archaic tradition that didn't work out so well for your parents, and you're trying to come up with a different name for it. But the thing is, you want to get up in front of family and friends, announce your love, and pledge a commitment to each other. That's a wedding. And there's no shame in that—it doesn't mean you have to act like one of those lunatics on Bridezilla.I have similarly conflicted feelings about the institution, which is why when my Large Greek presented me with an antique ruby-and-diamond ring this past Christmas, I told him I needed some time to think about what it all meant. It's a scary thing, binding yourself to another human being for life.Being a good little neurotic, I called my therapist almost immediately. She asked what I was so afraid of—after all, we've been living together for years. Um, everything? And the fact that my gay pals aren't even allowed to have this brand of angst is another thing that troubles me. Hell, even that it's called the institution of marriage is frightening. It conjures up images of zombies in straitjackets, smelling of pee.But we're talking about you here. If you want your boyfriend to feel the same way you do about the day, that's probably not going to happen. But if he's committed to your relationship and wants to go ahead and do it just because it'll make you super-happy, that shows he's a keeper. Most men just don't have the wedding gene. The marriage part suits them fine, but a big day filled with lace and flowers? Most dudes could not possibly care less about such nonsense.I get that you don't want a cookie-cutter wedding with Jordan almonds and a giant white dress, and that's completely doable. What's the point of wasting—I mean spending—$27,852 on one day's festivities? Can you believe that's the average cost of a wedding in the U.S.? Yikes! Wouldn't you rather have a down payment for a house? Or a trip around the world? Twice?There's a world of resources out there for brides who refuse to be a cog in the Wedding Industrial Complex. Start with a copy of One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding by Rebecca Mead and figuring out what you don't want. Then check out Indiebride.com and Ariel Stallings' book Offbeat Bride, and figure out what you do want.dategirl@seattleweekly.com

 
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