Monday, January 14, 2008

The Racket

I swear on a stack of bibles I'd never heard of "engagement pictures" in my life. Not ever. Not once. But it seems that that's part and parcel of getting married. It's like not buying an engagement ring. "What? Y'all ain't got engagement pictures? What the fuck...?" I'd never heard of 'em, but it's "necessary". I guess all these pictures are for when I have Alzheimer's and can't remember why I'm sleeping next to this strange woman. Currently I'm not at the stage that a wistful pic of my shoe as I'm waiting at the alter is worth $2,000 bucks. Maybe I'm just not a romantic.

Photographers are just the tip of the iceberg. The jewelry industry, caterers, bakers, rental halls, etc., are all in this shit up to their necks. If you wanna prove you love somebody, you fucking better be prepared to go broke. If I want a funky ass 3 tier cake for my own consumption, it'll run me about 1/8 the cost of a "wedding" cake. If I wanted to rent a hall for a retirement party, it would cost me less than half than a wedding reception. And these bastards want to include a "cake cutting" charge. I wonder if I could get a deal if I called it a "bachelor retirement party"?

Just like the jewelers who made my life a living hell from September to December of 2007, I'm being not so subtly accused by everybody in the wedding business of being less committed if I want to live like a human being and actually possess currency after my nuptials. The thing is these same muthafuckas got a lot of women brainwashed.

If a cat goes into a lot of debt to make this one day perfect, he's doing your FAMILY an injustice. By family I mean, you and him AFTER the wedding. That debt he incurs in y'all debt, regardless of how you look at it. Even if he pays for it himself, that's less income the family as a whole has to save or spend. But people who don't know you, don't necessarily like you, or look out for your best interests get into your ear and spit shit about the necessity of platinum weaved tablecloths to demonstrate your undying love for one another.

You can call me cheap if you want to, I really don't give a fuck. I think it's about two people committing to each other for life. If y'all think all that other shit really matters in the big scheme of things, maybe you need to look at your values.

Be Easy,


Blah Blah Blah said...

The only reason I even say this is because TAD deserves to have what she's always dreamed about...for her first wedding.

@ TAD: Do it big and make it everything you've been dreaming about since you were a little girl.

Z, you and I have been there done that. Looking back on it now...$2500 for a wedding cake is fucking ridiculous considering I have no recollection of eating it even though I have a picture with cake and icing smeared all over my fucking mouth. Close to $4000 for my wedding dress that 1. I can never wear anywhere 2. Is like 6 sizes too small now 3. and now when I look at it...I wonder what the hell was all that ruffly shit for.

I'd suggest all the money you'd put towards a huge wedding...go towards a down payment on a house...umm, when y'all finally decide where to live.

10 months of stress boils down to 10 minutes of sitting of family, bridesmaids/grroms men walking in, ring bearer and bride processional...and 10 minutes of reciting the marriage vows. The ur out the door and heading to pictures/reception and then forgetting every minute between processionl into reception hall, saying hello, first dance and then leaving for...honeymoon.

Maybe I'm just not romantic.

Better you than me my friend...better you than me.


A.u.n.t. Jackie said...

don't fall for the engagement pictures...I've never in my life heard of such foolery. Now I've heard of engagement parties, and announcing engagements, but never have I head of taking pictures.

My parents are paying for my wedding, just like they paid for my sisters. I never even considered paying for it myself...well considering I've no weddings planned in the near future I guess that's a moot point.

Have fun going into debt, it's the American way isn't it!?

That Girl Tam said...


I'm glad my mom paid for my wedding...lawd knows @ age 25 we didn't have an extra $20K sittin around. I'm with Aunt Jackie...engagement pics? Sounds stupid. I say go to your local 1-hour photo and get something simple if it's THAT serious!

There's nothing wrong with a rented dress (I only paid $300 to barrow it) and shaving down the guest list a little...although we had 300 people...

Lemme wasn't MY money, so you know I didn't really care. Just don't get ripped off over some shit like...engagement pictures! HHAHA...

Knockout Zed said...

My whole argument is that the entire enterprise is a racket. I know a fistful of people that have gotten married and divorced while still paying for a opulent wedding. Money, of course, played a big part in the break-up, as is the case with most young couples. Since I'm not so young anymore, and it's not really worth the fight, I'll do what I can to make this thing come together. But what I won't do is allow old maids and profiteers steal my joy.


Nexgrl said...

Let me start by saying that I have never been married, or had to plan a wedding. I believe in shopping around and trying to find the best bargain for your dollars. Just a suggestion.

Miz JJ said...

Finances are a joint responsibility in my opinion. The debt will belong to both of you once you are married. This entire post reminds me of why I want to elope. Just run away and come back to announce that I am married. Maybe have a reception afterwards.

Anonymous said...

Well, Zed I did it all. Engagement pictures, cake, and video. Hubby and I planned a yr and 1/2 for the big day. We knew that our marriage was going to last and with the help of our families we were able to pull it off. But that was us. You and TAD, have to do what's right for you. Yeah it's all a big racket, but it's nice to reflect on the day and know that it was a great and beautiful day and we got exactly what we want. So compromise on the things that both you and TAD want and omit the things that are necessary.

Knockout Zed said...

You know what I want? To be married. That's it, that's all. Everything else is to get other people paid.

Frankly, fuck THAT DAY. That day is a fucking drop of water in the ocean that makes up our lives. That day won't define us. That day won't make us last or fail. I'm the product of two people married for 40 years in a city hall ceremony.


aquababie said...

you can have a great wedding without blowing the bank. for the first marriage, i had a great wedding (in my opinion). everything was paid before the wedding. i'm with blah. put that money on a home. but that's just my opinion.

but i've been married before, so i've all the hooplah. now the bf has never been married, but you better believe we will not be blowing the bank on the nuptials.

just sit down between the two of you and decide what YALL want to do TOGETHER. yall will be fine.

Gemini Girl aka GG said...

if its her first marriage then let her decide everything...if not skip the expensive dress, cake, menu, photos...alladat..I'd rather have all that ina ring and in a house!
when i got married we paid for everything up front and with our own cash-together..if we didn't have it we didn't get it..even our rings..,nothing was charged.
u r right weddings are now businesses down to the ministers and the church..fuk em all and get married in your living in a grass skirt and mexican hat! LMAO!

Knockout Zed said...

But that's another thing that gets my goat, though. I swear to God, that ring shit is right at the top of my "bullshit" list. I have yet to meet a woman who'll co-sign on that shit. But if women had to buy a male equivalent that costs the same about of money for their dudes before they got married, I think that little tradition would change. My basic gripe is WE (our people) ARE LITERALLY SLAVES TO THE DIAMOND INDUSTRY, blood diamonds or not. But if you make that argument, once again, you're cheap. So I said "Fuck it", I'm got once again by "the machine".


Knockout Zed said...

And to continue my rant, this racket starts anew with children. If you want your children to succeed they gotta go to this preschool with these kids and be taught x y and z and pay the exorbitant rates that go with it. Utter bullshit, but we'll buy into it all. It's likely cheaper for one parent to stay the fuck home than it is to pay for childcare, but nobody heeds that shit.


Gemini Girl aka GG said...

well the ring is more like a promise..we were brought up the bigger the ring the bigger the promise well we know that shit doesn't make no damn sense nor does it make a man NOT cheat on his woman..but don't blame us...don't blame ain't our fault this shit happened WAY WAY WAY BACK lol...we can't help it ya'll dudes ain't come up with NUFFIN yet...what cha'll want??...a $2500 gift certificate to a strip club??? all expense trip to a superbowl?? what would be equivalent to a ring in your eyes ZED??? teehee *snicker, snicker*

1969 said...

It is all a racket.I agree. Hell, I'm in the Hotel Business so I know.

That being said....give Tad whatever her heart desires and what you can both realistically afford.

You don't have to go by the book.

Cocktails and hors d'oevres would be as much fun as a sit down dinner and lighter on the pocketbook. This is when all of the compromise starts.

Knockout Zed said...

The equivalent? Buy me a Rolex.

Everybody has a chance to change shit. That's a falsehood to believe otherwise. Somebody has to step up and say "This shit is stupid" and decline to participate. I don't blame TAD at all, she's not to blame. I do blame society at large who'd all have something to say if her dude didn't "come correct". That's the bullshit I mean.


ChezNiki said...

I KNEW you would find a way to be grumpy again! ((shaking head))

Engagement Picture Package?!?!

Ive been to several, deep-discount, homemade weddings... everything from invitations designed on the home computer by the groom's teenage son, to styrofoam plastic and momma n'em's food on sterno at the VFW. You dont wanna go that way.

Unless yall are going to elope and have a big party afterwards (been to one of those too), strike a happy medium between ghetto and glam.

One consumer tip: mentioning the word "wedding" bumps the price up several hundred dollars.

Need engagement pics? just get the standard package at Olin Mills
Booking the reception at a hotel? call it a "family reunion" or "frat business." (smile)
Book your honeymoon as a regular vacation for two, bring your own chocolates, champagne and fluffy robes (that what you get in the honeymoon suite anyway).
In addition to Sears or Macy's, register with HUD for the down payment on your first home together. (Ill send you the website)

But most importantly, remember, this is not your wedding! This is the wedding TAD's mother always wanted. Sit down and take it like a man!

Knockout Zed said...

OK, I'll take your suggestions, but I don't like it.

This is officially bullshit.


aquababie said...

yall start your own traditions. this is the opportunity to do things how you wanna do it.

i have nothing else to say, but i will pray for you :)

Aly Cat 121 said...

Next stop downtown city hall. and then "surprise" folks about already being married. Yeah some folks a trip. Start taking up donations and see if folks change they tune.

chele said...

I've had two great weddings. Followed by one annullment and one divorce.

The wedding isn't even for you and TAD ... it's for all the people who are getting rich and for all the people that will attend and eat and drink all day for free.


A.u.n.t. Jackie said...

I don't know if this is just old school tradition but I thought the bride's family paid for the wedding.

At least it's always been that way in my family and everyone else's wedding I've ever seen. Outside of my extreme poor and country Auntie who bought her first pair of shoes for her wedding day.

I thought the man buying the ring and the Bride's family handling expenses WAS the offset, as well as a bridal dowry so that the hubby could take good care of the woman.

I guess that's why I do favor Islamic tradition. Weddings are set up to support the couple. Roman Catholics just throw money at you, which is also nice.

I think my Aunt made over 15 grand off her wedding...

sorry this should probably be my own blog!

Knockout Zed said...

That tradition ain't tradition. The only tradition that remains is a muthafucka paying a 2.5 months of salary for a "symbol of love".


Mr.Slish said...

ITS BULLSHIT SON!!!!! I told my lady we're getting married in a public park Muthafuckas can gather round and hold hands...100-150 per plate for a negro who's only going to give 75 bucks or a gift worth that much. Fuck THAT!!! I say you cash out bruh...Spend the least and get the highest return...Find a nice hall 1969 can decorate and cook. Bloopty will bartend and i'll Dj FOR FREE!!!!


onefromphilly said...

ZED...just be happy!!!You're in love.
Weddings and children's education aren't the only racket, LIFE is a racket, it's just the way the game is played. Have the wedding that you two WANT, have the honeymoon that you two WANT (and that's yours to pay for too), and then have the life that you two WANT. You don't have to spend your life savings to have a nice wedding. ChezNiki had some good suggestions.
You live you'll pay for it, you die you don't owe nothing!

BlackLiterature said...

Someone commented on not doing the "ghetto" wedding with invites printed at home etc....

My 10 cents.

The people that LOVE you do not care if your invites cost 100 or 1000. They do not care if they eat chicken. They do not care if your reception is at the Ritz or the local Vetrans Hall. Your real friends do not need to be impressed. Real friends will be celebrating you and your bride -- not looking at the china or your choice in entrees.

The best wedding reception I ever attended was in the officiers club of a navy base. The food was catered but the bride's aunts brouht dishes to enhance the menu and it was a buffet. The place was full of family, real friends and a LOT of love.

Knockout Zed said...

Black Literature, you're the best ever! Slish and ONeFrom ain't so bad either.


ChezNiki said...

@BlackLit - True True. But I guess what I was trying to say is, if youre gonna do it, do it well.

Dont go deep into debt but also, dont have your people sitting on stained metal folding chairs at the Elks...

My half sister recently got married. They did City Hall (civil ceremony) followed by a big family dinner at a really good restaurant. Her wedding was almost free and there were no sterno cans involved, LOL!

LOL @ Slish - Where at? FDR?

@Zed - Deep Breaths, Man. This is a down-payment on the rest of your life. It will be a grip and a half, but it will be worth it! From your wedding day forward, the scales tip and TAD will be 'paying' more. Especially once yall start having all those Lil Tadeous' and Zedrinas. ((logging off to make more blankets))

proacTiff said...

If time permits, I say sell your sentiment, "Bachelor Retirement Party," and make the cool million to cover that made-for-WE-TV 'Platinum Wedding' your "family" is sure to be well into planning. . .

'Luck, bruh.

Shai said...

Simplicity and creativity. I love those two things and when or if I get married I want a simple and creative wedding. I don't want all that fairy tale crap they have shoved into females brains since they were little girls. LOL.

Plus, I am a non-conformist sometimes. I question why carry certain traditions just because.

Engagement pics? Just get folks with a digital. Hey what about Disco? LOL. And take some cute pics if she wants that.

I agree with Blah. Except I am romantic and want it simple, creative and as least expensive as possible.

My cousin had friends/family do her wedding, the photographer was our uncle, the wedding car my grandfather's luxury car, the cake made by her old co-worker who was a professional cakemaker(at a bargain), the DJ was my cousin's soon to be friend(he was pro too)and she had some freebie like hair\nails by good friends.

So make TAD happy just remind her of how she can have beauty with all the bucks. Personally,I would rather have a bad azz house and a nice wedding.


Shai said...

Why do folks want to claim someone's wedding? I don't get it.

If my daughter gets married it is her and her intended's wedding and no one else's. See that's where the problems really come letting everyone else in the mix as far as planning.

I say let the bride and groom have ALL the say and own their wedding.

The Second Sixty-Eight said...

Okay. You are cheap. I hope you take that as the compliment that it was meant to be.

The Second Sixty-Eight said...

Oh and I ain't never heard of no engagement pictures. You gotta wear a tux for those too?

And I guess mine was ghetto according to chezniki. Ah well. The didn't mind them metal chairs so much after they realized the bar was open and free...