UPDATE: Thanks to Glenn for linking. Boy, the phrase "vicarious Tantric sexplay" sure encourages a lot of click-through! The author of that phrase, Lindsay Beyerstein, stops by the comments here and writes:
Thanks for the link, Ann. I did get a bit overexcited. About etiquette, of all things.Yes, "Their Day." This is my day, this is your day, this is our day. Should we not be sick of that banal phrase, which is used to fog over and justify anything the couple decides to inflict on everyone else, from ugly but expensive bridesmaids' dresses on down?
I wish there were fewer long, boring, conventionally extravagant weddings. But that goes for everyone, not just weddings after cohabitation.
The real problem is that our culture encourages couples to set aside the norms of hospitality because it's Their Day. This norm encourages people to add a lot of extraneous self-indulgent stuff because they see the guests as a captive audience.
I think it's really sad when the bridal industrial complex turns what should be a fun occasion into an onerous display of conspicuous consumption.
ANOTHER UPDATE, written March 25, 2007: I've been getting some traffic to this post today and was rereading it. Checking the first link, I got to an error page at Pandagon. A little search there got me a workable URL, and I reread the post, which is by Amanda Marcotte (whom I'd never heard of at the time). The second paragraph is written by me, though it is not now set off either by quotation marks or a block and indent.