Not the Knot

6 Months to Go! read the subject line of the most recent email from theknot.com. Other email subject lines in the 30 or so that litter my inbox every week include things like: 20 Pretty Ways to Wear Your Hair, Create Your Ultimate Registry with GiftRegistry360.com and 9 Things Your Bridesmaids Want You To Know. Those emails went directly into the trash. My hair is too short to do anything with, I hate the idea of obligatory presents and I am not having any bridesmaids at my wedding. I don’t have time for any of this nonsense. I’m trying to plan a wedding.

I signed up for theknot.com shortly after I got engaged.

At first, all seemed promising. While registering for the site, I was asked a series of questions including the wedding date and specifics about my preferred wedding style, colors and theme.

There was a section called “my planner” where I could type in my budget to get an idea of how much I would be spending on various aspects of the wedding.

There was another great section with lists of wedding venues I could browse through to see what was available.

And that’s where the help ended and the harassment began.

Along with the daily emails packed to the brim with suggestions I would never consider, I started receiving letters in the mail from local DJs and photographers.

The wedding isn’t even going to be local.

As of September 1, the knot says that I am overdue on 40 tasks if I want to realistically make a March 2012 wedding date. That freaked me out until I went on the website and learned of the nature of these tasks. It mentioned things such as make a list of family wedding customs, book your honeymoon and research wedding insurance. The site also managed to state that I was overdue on picking out my DJ in three different ways.

And it was such a pain to find a wedding venue on the site that I just relied on my handy friend google.com to come up with something realistic.

The few venues I visited, chosen from a list of ones marked with two money symbols ($$) on the knot website, per my request, seemed to think that two money symbols was just a suggestion.

The cheapest package at one place was $140 a head with five hours of champagne flowing and enough interactive stations (?) during the cocktail hour to fill people up before the sit-down dinner. And the vendor shoved the idea of a fairy tale wedding so far down my throat that I never would’ve been hungry for a food tasting to sample the menu.

Other venues required that I use their florists, photographers and caterers to complete this one magical night. What this means is that even if I cut out all of the bells and whistles they think every bride wants at her wedding reception, I still break the bank making the place look nicer than the bingo hall at the senior center it actually is.

If there is one thing that I have taken away from this wedding season, it is that the world’s idea of a wedding has gone too far. It has been reduced to one big money-making scam. And theknot.com is the Disney vacation planner of weddings with a one-way trip to a magical world that robs you blind.

I say, stop the nonsense and get right down to the point. A wedding is nothing more than a celebration of two lives coming together. It’s supposed to be a fun celebration (key word fun).

This idea is something I have learned to slowly ease others into. I tell my family about my plan for a leisurely affair and their faces turn sour because it is not the fairy tale wedding they imagine I should have. Sorry mom, you will not have the opportunity to weep during our first dance like Erica Kane in every episode of All My Children because I will be having too much fun for a precious moment. And my husband and I will have enough money left over to go to the Metallica concert next year. That, to me, is what marriage is all about.

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About JadedBride

Amy Kraft is a print and radio journalist based in New York. Her work has appeared in publications including Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, The Week, Psychology Today, and Distillations, a podcast out of the Chemical Heritage Foundation. She is currently working on a book of humor essays. View all posts by JadedBride

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