Even if you don’t read the glossy magazines which feature the exclusive photos of the latest celebrity wedding, most of us have heard about Jordan’s pink horse drawn carriage and the Italian location chosen by Wayne and Colleen Rooney as the back drop to their big day. In fact, it sometimes seems difficult to escape the finer details of the latest celebrity wedding, from which fashion guru designed the dress to which chef was hired to create the canapés. We’ve heard it all, from crystal encrusted wedding slippers to diamond studded favours and beyond. Most of us absorb these details with a mixture of intrigue and amusement but what many of us may not have noticed is the way in which this particular part of so-called ‘celebrity culture’ is permeating real life.
How many times have you heard a couple declare that they ‘can’t afford to get married’ or that they are saving up for the perfect day. Far be it from me to criticise this, but it does seem that over the last fifteen years or so, the focus has shifted from ‘marriage’ to ‘wedding’ as an element of competition between prospective brides has crept in. It sometimes seems that the gown and the vol au vents are more important than the groom and the vows. This is at a time when the divorce rate has peaked and while this attitude is in no way entirely responsible for divorce statistics, it does have an impact. Those planning the most perfect twelve hours of their lives are not always giving enough thought to next fifty years and in this way, fairy tale weddings, whilst beautiful, fun and exciting, are no doubt threatening marriage. We are seeing more marriages ending within their first few years than ever before and many would say that this is one of the principal reasons.
In addition to this, of course, many of those desperate to commit to marriage are holding off while they try, in difficult economic times, to put aside enough cash to give themselves the kind of big day everyone has now come to expect. Many couples feel pressured by these expectations. The average wedding now costs around £25,000, enough for a deposit on a house. This means that many of these couples don’t end up getting married at all, as they don’t feel they can justify this kind of expenditure on one day of their life and at the same time don’t want to put on a ‘poor show’ so, again, the institution of marriage is threatened by the concept of ‘the fairy tale wedding.’ A day which used to be about coming together, commitment and celebration is now about crystals, cars and most of all…..cost.
I guess the best advice then, is to by all means enjoy the planning and preparation but just remember to try to think ‘marriage’ rather than ‘wedding’.
As a family law solicitor, I don’t just help when things go wrong for people who may not have planned the “marriage” but I can also help with protection, such as pre-nuptial agreements, if you have indeed planned the “marriage”. If you need some expert legal advice, please contact Venisha Shah on 029 2000 3916 or firstname.lastname@example.org