A Weddingless Marriage

A Weddingless Marriage

GUESS faux fur coat // Nike ID Presto runners // Ever New Rose Saddle Bag // TOMS men’s Memphis sunglasses // Jenny Bird x Indigo necklace // Everlane cashmere sweater 

A weddingless marriage is my latest neologism thanks to everyone and their mother getting engaged over the holidays (I mean that with love). Most people my age (thirty-something, no savings account, a dog and a line of credit) are beginning to look at weddings and marriages as mutually exclusive – and I’m one of them – to our parents’ chagrin. I mean, most of us, unless you’ve got your panties on backwards, already live with our significant other. Why would you blow upwards of one hundred thousand dollars in one night just to wake up beside the same fart face the next morning?

It’s a valid argument. And most of the newly engaged people I’ve chatted with share the same nuptial paradigm. A wedding really is not the smartest use of your hard-earned money (or credit). Not to mention, when a banquet hall, florist, photographer and priest hear the word “wedding” they automatically add another zero to all their fees. It’s true. If I ever decide to take the three dollars I make from my collaborations, after taxes, pet insurance and maxi pads, and set fire to it, aka throw myself a wedding, you best believe I’m going to be booking everyone for a “board meeting” instead and pocket my savings.

But seriously, have you done the math? I called up my dream wedding venue (I like to be informed), which isn’t even a traditional wedding venue, and for 40 people I’m already looking at $30K. And that’s not even including my dress. I mean, even if I had thirty thousand dollars of disposable income to spend, I would much rather put it towards my child’s college fund or re-invest in my business, or put it towards a downpayment on a house, RRSPs, TFSA, a Kelly Bag – I can go on if you’d like.

Point is, I don’t want a wedding. I want a marriage. And that’s what most people who are getting engaged at the ripe age of thirty want (with a few exceptions of mommy-and-daddy-write-the-cheque situations) and even still, if my parents offered I would be like sure, gimme that money and I will take it to get myself out of debt, buy charcuterie every Friday and ride Uber around the city guilt-free, thank you very much. The fuck do I need Palettera invitations for?

Of course there are those of you who will say you can always do a wedding on the cheap. Ha! On the cheap. I’m sorry, have we met before?

All I want is what I already have, legally. I also want to change my name to Mrs. Liang because this Laboni, Lamboni, Jabroni, Jaboni shit is driving me up the wall. (Stay tuned for a collection of all the misspellings of my last name). Life is hard enough to make it work with student loans to pay, the latest iPhone to buy, manicures and mortgages. It seems stupid, almost unthinkable, that a young couple would opt to throw themselves a wedding given the current state of affairs – at the end of the day and as selfish as it sounds, weddings don’t hold the same value for us as they used to.

Sure, it’s nice. It’s romantic. A memory to last the ages especially when you gave the best bomboniere and had an open bar. And I think eventually I would love to throw a little celebration to honour our love and life together, but not now. And I don’t want to wait until I can afford a ring and a wedding to be married. So, I propose (he he) a new breed of conjugal bliss. The weddingless marriage.

Because you can’t count on making it all back in the busta.

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    • Justine Iaboni
      January 19, 2016 / 9:31 am

      Thanks girl! And thanks for leaving a comment :) xo J

  1. Taryn
    January 19, 2016 / 2:05 pm

    Amen! I totally agree :)

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 19, 2016 / 2:58 pm

      HEY!!!! Happy New Year, girl! Thanks for stopping by and so glad you agree :) xoxo J

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 20, 2016 / 9:42 am

      Aw thanks babe! Thanks for stoppin by and leaving a comment! XOXO J

  2. Sadie
    January 20, 2016 / 9:41 am

    100% agree. I was at a party the other night and met an engaged couple who explained to me the reason they weren’t buying a house and were still both living at home was because they were spending “all the money on the wedding”. I was flabbergasted to say the least. Looking great as always!

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 20, 2016 / 9:44 am

      OMG. That sounds crazy. I mean, they might make some money back in the “gifts” ie busta if they are italian, greek or chinese lol but I wouldn’t want to depend on that. I’d be opening those envelopes with a pit in my stomach. It’s like tally it up! Oh shit, we’re still in debt $20K. I would listen to whatever your mom has to say on the subject. She’s my hero.

  3. Cindy
    January 21, 2016 / 7:06 pm

    You know what kills me? Those who take out loans to pay for the affair (yup! some people do). I’ve been married almost 5 years and feel good about knowing that we do not owe a dime today for throwing some crazy, lavish affair that ended faster than you could say “Mazoltov”. I love your weddingless marriage concept — now, I challenge you to show the people what that looks like once he puts a ring on it;). Love and light!

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 22, 2016 / 2:28 pm

      Oh I can’t even believe people would take a loan to throw a wedding, how awful. Ya, we gotta figure all of this out over the next year or so. Otherwise I’m gonna turn into a pumpkin!!! hehehe nice seeing you here, Cindy. XOXO J

  4. January 22, 2016 / 4:36 pm

    Great post! We had a big wedding (at the insistence of my Italian inlaws who paid for most of it), that was SO not us AND not a day goes by that we don’t wish we had all that $$ for the hefty down payment you need to buy even a shoebox in this city of ours. Sigh. I even need braces again from all the jaw-clenching that preceded the big day. When all was said and done, it was fun to be surrounded by friends and family there to celebrate us but not worth the $$. Just say no!

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 24, 2016 / 1:09 pm

      LOL My goodness that sounds like a nightmare. You poor thing. I know I will instantly regret doing something that isn’t true to me. (But if it were to be true to me it would be luxe beyond hahaha so failing that I’m gonna keep it small and simple). Thanks for stopping by! Hope all is well :)

  5. Kristina (@kristinavirginia)
    January 25, 2016 / 12:22 pm

    I got married 7 months ago, and I can see your point! Our wedding day was amazing, and in the end I’m very glad we did it instead of eloping, but the cost is certainly not for everyone! We didn’t even come CLOSE to recouping the cost from gifts. I think if a couple doesn’t have the money to do it, it definitely makes more sense for that couple to put it towards a house or kids or debt.

    PS. I took on my husbands English last name, and it has been pure bliss to not have to hear people try to pronounce my Eastern European maiden name!!

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 26, 2016 / 9:44 am

      Congratulations on your nuptials! Yes – I definitely agree that if you go in spending thinking you’re going to recoup in gifts, that is a huge oversight. Even if I DID have the money to throw a wedding, I really don’t know if I would. All that money just gone, disappeared, in one night. Unless I was Jay-Z and Bey rich, I just can’t justify dropping something like 50 thousand dollars for one day’s event that doesn’t really help anyone or solve the world’s problems. I think I would feel guilty for a long time afterward. And that’s no way to live.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion. Love to hear it! Happy Tuesday! xoxo J

  6. January 29, 2016 / 11:02 pm

    I am so into this piece. Your love is not validated by the grandness of your wedding. If at all. Shared on Facebook. I hope it goes viral. From one 30 something to another I think this is responsible and honest!

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 30, 2016 / 10:30 am

      Aw thanks so much, girl! LOL I hope it goes viral, too. Some of my friends are like – WTF, no wedding???? Are you sure????? But if I have to be brutally honest, it’s just not on my list of things to blow money on right now.
      Thanks for sharing your opinion and for reading! xoxoxo J

    • July 19, 2016 / 5:33 am

      Taking the oviervew, this post hits the spot

  7. Justine
    January 30, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    Maybe it’s because we share the same name (I maintain that the name Justine means putting up with so many typos and mispronunciations that one needs a little rebellion in her blood) but I couldn’t agree more (as I edit my own wedding invitations). We are doing a untraditional, smaller, “Italian” wedding. No church, a much smaller guest list, and breaking with many traditions…A first look, no bridal shower, 2 female witnesses and no wedding party, getting ready at MY OWN HOUSE in MY BEDROOM, a gold dress, no accordion playing senior, etc. However, we aren’t paying for it (and I happily maintain I would never pay for this with my own money) and will have money left over to do with what we like…honeymoon, changes to the house we just moved into. I feel for our generation where so much pressure is placed on “the have to-do’s” because “it’s what we do” crap. “What will people think if my daughter doesn’t get married in a church she never attends?” The horror.

    But so much comes from seeing what others are doing and this culture of Missing Out. You know what? Behind that beautiful photo, of some long-lost high school acquaintance you only follow because of some misguided nicety, is the mother-in-law who made her life hell or the maid of honour who was MIA. We need to stop doing things for others. “No” is not rude. “No” is ownership. “No” is happiness. “No” is freedom from keeping up with some mythical fantasy. Fuck saying “Yes”. Say NO! with enthusiasm and we’d all be less stressed and much happier.

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 31, 2016 / 1:00 pm

      Bravo! Ugh. I love it when there are people out there who feel passionately about these things and have true FIRE. Your comment totally made my day.

      I think the older I get, the wiser I get and the more I realize that if you just do what works for YOU, happiness ensues. I for sure want to be sensitive of other people’s feelings and opinions but at the end of the day, I would hope that if someone REALLY loves me and respects me, they’ll let me make up my own mind about my life. I find so many people want to “preach” and tell you how you should be living, and what you should be doing. I would only take advice like that from someone who I wanted to be exactly like (so yeah, unless Victoria Beckham is telling me what I should be doing with my life, I’m not listening). I would never put my own paradigms on someone else, and yeah, I might think others to be crazy if they don’t see eye-to-eye with me. But at the end of the day I’ve learned to just let it be. Worry about your own shit.

      Not my circus, not my monkeys.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, Justine. Hope your wedding is a blast! xoxo J

  8. Liana S
    January 30, 2016 / 5:48 pm

    I love this post. Our close friends got married recently at city hall and we acted as their witnesses. There were 5 of us altogether. We went out for a low key dinner afterwards. It was beautiful and romantic and cost the same amount as any other regular night in the city would. It was absolutely perfect.

    • Justine Iaboni
      January 31, 2016 / 12:53 pm

      omgosh that sounds so ideal! but my parents would kill me if i didn’t invite them haha. I like it though. So romantic.

      Thanks so much for stopping by xoxoxo J

  9. February 4, 2016 / 2:34 pm

    I think the concept of “hoping to recoup the costs from friends and family” is insane. Back in the day, people gave gifts to help the couple start on their lives as they didn’t live together. Now I shell out a couple hundred bucks/wedding because couples ask for $$ to help send friends on lavish honeymoons, or other items for their “honey fund.”Sheesh. I love to celebrate love, but the whole gift giving game has gone WAY too far.

    • Justine Iaboni
      February 5, 2016 / 8:16 am

      I know! I always look at it like paying for my meal when I give money (that’s why I get pissed when the food is subpar and the alcohol is cheap) because it is clearly a cash grab. If I’m going to be giving you a $400 cash gift, at least give me a glass of champagne, not sparkling wine. Idk does that sound bratty? And yes, then you see the couple blowing it all in the Maldives while I forgo manis and pedis for two months to recoup MY losses. Cash gift! You know you need to gross $800 to give a $400 cash gift, right. I think that’s part of the reason people throw weddings, to get even with all their married friends.

      • February 5, 2016 / 8:24 am

        Totally agree – and that’s all in addition to the engagement party/shower/jet-setting bachelorette which you are expected to attend. Sigh. Pass the champagne.

        • Justine Iaboni
          February 5, 2016 / 9:14 am

          hahaha cheers, sister.

      • Amanda
        February 5, 2016 / 2:54 pm

        So let me get this straight – you think weddings are a big waste of money, but you get mad when the food and drink is “cheap”? How about if that’s what the couple could afford? And you should never give a gift that you can’t afford either. Your arguments are quite flawed.

        • Justine Iaboni
          February 5, 2016 / 6:13 pm

          Hey Amanda! Thanks for your comment. I don’t think weddings are a big waste of money, for everyone. Just for me personally I would want to have really good food and amazing drinks and since I can’t afford that, I would rather not go into debt to do something I can’t afford. As for the gift giving, I’m pretty sure if you give anything less than $200 – whether you can afford it or not – in Italian customs, you look like you’re being cheap. And yes, there are people that do think of a wedding as a cash grab. Sure, some couples can’t afford a crazy wedding but still want a wedding nonetheless. That’s ok, too. I’m just voicing what I would do in my own experience. Hope that helps clarify some of the confusion! xoxo J

  10. Sam
    February 5, 2016 / 4:09 pm

    Wouldn’t it of made more sense to pair this article with photos of you and your boyfriend? I feel like it could have made the effect of the article greater.

    • Justine Iaboni
      February 5, 2016 / 6:14 pm

      If I could get him to pose with me!!!! I usually write an article and do separate “outfit” pictures that don’t have anything to do with the copy. Just my style :) Thanks for stopping by. xoxo J

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