Million-dollar weddings are cheap

Kirjoittaja on New Yorkissa varttunut ja Helsingissä naisistunut copywriter.

Dear Lissu,

It’s summertime and love is in the air. And this morning my mailwoman Charlene didn’t just bring the usual bills and IKEA catalogue, she also delivered a little message from Cupid himself. A young (ok, their in their forties, but to me that’s young) couple I know is getting married. Mazel tov, that’s wonderful news! The bride and groom are both from New York. So are most of their families and friends. The wedding, however, is on the Isle of Capri. Beautiful. And reasonable. I figure it shouldn’t cost much more than $5,000 or  $6,000 for the weekend. Plus the gift, of course.

It used to be that when two people fell in love and got married, they got toasters, irons, Tiffany bowls, pots and pans. What the hell do you do get for a couple who has been living together for over 15 years, has plenty of money and sure as hell doesn’t need a toaster! Now they ”register”.  They want things like or special scissors to cut grapes. Are you kidding – special scissors for grapes! Buy a bunch of grapes and pull off what you want. And I’ve seen people ask for money for a limousine to get to the airport so they can fly off on their honeymoon. Isn’t that why God made taxis?

New York weddings are notoriously over the top affairs. I’ve been to many 500-guest, black-tie weddings for couples everyone knows damn well are going to be in divorce court before their linen anniversary. They’re perfect parties. Orchestrated down to the very last detail. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether you’re at a wedding or the 8 p.m. performance of The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. And how much money do you have to shell out to celebrate your nuptials with 500 of your closest friends? My guess is many people don’t get much change from a million dollar bill.

I truly believe that if you are lucky enough to have a million dollars to spend on a party, you should take $925,000 of that money and do something good with it. Donate it to kids in need or cancer research or whatever the hell you happen to really care about. You’ll still have more money than many people make in a year to throw a party.

I’ve never been to a Finnish wedding, but from what you’ve told me they’re usually pretty different. Usually it’s a bride and a groom (or bride and bride, groom and groom), their friends and families. There’s food, drink (emphasis on drink) and, most importantly, fun. And that’s how it should be. A marriage is a celebration of love, not how much money you have. And a celebration of love should be just that. That’s worth more than anything.

Love, Mom