Saying No to the Dress

Wedding DressI have been writing songs for the first time in my life, and one that has struck a surprising chord with listeners is called, “Wedding Dress.” It is about a woman who gives her wedding dress away on her 50th anniversary because she and her husband know that, “It’s not the dress, that’s the most important part.”

I wrote “Wedding Dress” in response to two things that were going on in my life.

My husband and I celebrated our 25th-anniversary last year and my daughters were somewhat addicted to “Say Yes to the Dress” on reality TV. I watched the program with them a few times (it was doing a marathon of shows!) and was appalled to see young women and their mothers making such emotional and costly decisions. They were spending thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars on a gown that would likely see the light of day just once. I could only assume that this was just the tip of the financial iceberg and that the bride’s family was investing heavily in this event on every front.

It was a wonderful opportunity to talk with my girls about the reality of weddings. The reality is, that although you want a memorable and enjoyable time for both you and your guests…it isn’t really about the day.

It’s about the marriage.

Face it; the most gorgeous, expensive wedding in the world will not create a lasting marriage. The people getting married do that, and their focus should be on that long-term relationship, rather than the extremely ephemeral event. To start that process off right, they should discuss their expectations before getting married at all. If they are not on the same page in values, visions of their future and the things they expect from each other in everything from fidelity to finances…they are off to a rocky start from the beginning.

The other thing they should discuss is their (or their parents’) budget when it comes to a wedding, and how much they truly want to spend. After all, you don’t want your family’s longest lasting memory of your wedding to be the credit card bills!

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