The NYTimes had an article this past weekend about Wedding Fatigue brought on by the inordinate amount of time and money one spends to attend (and gift) the ever increasing number of summer weddings.
Fortunately, Jews haven’t (yet) adopted all the pre and post rituals – I still don’t understand the purpose of a rehearsal dinner – but even the weddings themselves take time and many, many Sundays. I remember some friends of mine having months of Sundays filled with weddings, along with the occasional mid-week night wedding.
I can see how too many celebrations can become wearying for one person, but I don’t understand it when people complain about it especially when you put it in the proper context. In contrast to a wedding, another significant life-cycle event which brings out friends and family is one’s funeral. And at every funeral I’ve attended I’ve heard people who haven’t seen each other in years wish, “only by simchas, only by simchas.” So now when we do have the simchas, we complain that it’s too much?
I think it’s a serious problem when simchas become burdensome as chores. Yes they are a lot of work and a significant expense, but fundamentally, they still have to be simchas. Thankfully, all the weddings I’ve attended in recent years have been genuinely enjoyable mostly because the couples always understood what was really important in a wedding. Some were more formal, others more lavish, but the fundamental simcha was always an inspiring and noticeable constant.
I don’t know if this is a changing trend or if it’s just that I’ve been fortunate to have quality people in my social circles, but in either case I think the attitude adjustment would be most welcome.