Why Do People Want to Have a Wedding?

Food for Thought @ Suki

I grew bored of listening to philosophical lectures. I browsed through a seemingly endless list of podcasts, wondering what I might enjoy listening. The top 100 didn’t look enticing. I randomly hopped from one podcast to another and came across one about wedding. I know nothing about it, and I’ve always wondered why people want to have it. I’ve never met anyone excited to attend one. Most people hate going to weddings, some are even resentful. Why would anyone want to host it knowing that most of their guests don’t want to be there? It seems sadistic.

The podcast explained that the amount of money you spend on a wedding inversely correlates to how long your marriage lasts. That makes intuitive sense; the more superficial you are, the bigger the wedding you want.

There were some interesting historical facts in this podcast, like in Medieval times, people declared themselves married, and that was the end of it. No church or city hall involved.

Unfortunately, it didn’t explain the psychology of wedding; why people want to have it. The typical answer I hear is that because you can be a star, the center of everyone’s attention for one day. It may be true, but you know they are paying attention to you only because you forced them to. You know it’s fake. The next day, you would be like everyone else again. It’s a moment of make-believe, like reenacting the acceptance speech for Academy Awards.

I heard that some poor families go through the whole motion of shopping at Walmart only to abandon the cart by the exit because they can’t afford to buy anything. They enjoy the ritual even though they know they can’t afford what they are putting in their carts.

I suppose this is one of the symptoms of our post-truth era. People no longer care to differentiate cause and effect. A cause for joy is the same as an effect of joy. William James said we don’t cry because we are sad; we are sad because we cry. Perhaps there is some truth to the reversal. If we make our lives look happy on Instagram, maybe we would become happier as a result. It would make sense if what we perceive as “inside” and “outside” are one and the same as in Möbius strip.