Should We Ban Weddings and Baby Showers?

Pamela Chan/

If you’re looking to get married in British Columbia, there is a wide range of options for wedding locations and vendors.  Depending on what your budget is, you could go for a natural and simple affair or really splash out. The same can be said when you start a family.  You can find every imaginable organically correct and/or bespoke baby item in BC.  Or you could keep things simple and connect with families who are also living an “off the grid” lifestyle while still “on the grid”.  It’s worth pointing all of this out because you just might see the following piece trending on your social media account homepages.

Let’s Ban Weddings And, While We’re At It, Baby Showers Too

There’s nothing noticeably incorrect about the points the author makes.  Although I do wonder about highlighting baby showers held by teenagers when the vast majority of new mothers are pushing age 30 and beyond.

It’s easy to see these types of stories, nod your head and say “Yes! Things have really gotten out of hand”, but is that true?  We know that the trending stories online – often mentioned on the nightly news – do not necessarily reflect what’s happening in the average household.

Photo by Erich Saide Photography, taken in front of Holy Rosary Cathedral.
The church service was the most important part of our wedding.

Most of my cohort were married before they were 30. My “cohort” includes close friends, friends and cousins.  Most of these men and women have advanced degrees and most (20 years, more or less) later are still married.  Those who have divorced are not moping around.  Some have not married yet.  A few have decided they will never get married.  Those who got divorced have embraced new lifestyles, are happy and live fulfilling lives.

Since I was living a continent away from most of my friends and relatives when they got married, I only had a chance to go to three weddings of my closest friends. They were spectacular, memorable, gorgeous and creative events. I always say that life events like weddings are a great opportunity for friends and family to come together, dress up, eat and dine well and have loads of fun.  You can do this in a wedding with a couple hundred invitees or with less than a hundred guests.

Celebrations are a huge, important part of life, but the worst mistake a girl can make is to enter into a lifetime commitment just to get a party. (Huffington Post piece – see link above.) Do you know anyone like this?  I’m sure they exist, but I’ve never known one.  I couldn’t even use age as an excuse as many of my friends got married in their 20s. A wedding is a celebration, a reunion and a send-off wrapped up into one event.   It goes without saying that you shouldn’t rush into getting married but that’s an issue that should be decided before you start planning an event.  Any type of celebration – graduation, milestone birthday etc. – can elicit the same type of support and enthusiasm.

There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the idea of weddings and everyone approaches them differently.  When I got married (at age 35+) I set off to visit one bridal store in New Westminster. I determined that I WOULD find my dress there.  I tried on five and I was done. My dress cost about 1/3 of the average dress cost.  My flowers, cake and wedding day coordination were organized by a talented professional who owns a wholesale flower shop.   My wedding ring was made by a local jeweler in West Vancouver.  Our wedding cost a good chunk of change but it also wasn’t extravagently expensive.  It was a beautiful and memorable day. Some of the people who were with us on that day are no longer with us, as they have passed away.  Why would I want to eliminate such a memorable day from my life?

My mother-in-law hosted a Red Egg and Ginger dinner with family and friends
when our twins were young babies.  At this event lucky money and gifts are given to the family.
Most family members will meet the babies for the first time.

When our twins were born, I didn’t have a baby shower. Or I should say nobody hosted a baby shower for me.  However friends and family were very generous and supportive as they passed on new and second hand items to our twins.  When my eldest niece was expected, I hosted a baby shower in her honour.  I arranged the details at a distance from Japan and Barbados before I blew into Vancouver.  There was a fabulous cake and beautiful flowers.  The size of the guest list was small but it was a sweet event.   A baby shower celebrates the arrival of a new person and supports the parents emotionally and financially.  Why would you want to ban such an event?

I realize articles on larger blog style news magazines have snappy titles that are meant to attract attention and promote viral sharing.  Here in BC we are taking on weddings and baby showers in meaningful, discreet and sometimes splashy ways.   Let’s celebrate the idea of celebrations and family and friends coming together to support each other.

Isn’t that an idea worth sharing “virally”?

How about you? What have your experiences been like?  You can comment about this posting using the comment function below or on the Facebook page. Your contribution matters so don’t be shy!

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