Monthly Archives: May 2014

Brides Rethinking Extravagant Weddings

Many brides- to-be are beginning to function in the real world, trading extravagant credit card weddings for an event they can actually afford. These savvy brides are beginning to run their numbers , rearrange priorities and ask questions that really matter.

For example, wouldn’t $30,000 pay off the graduate school loans? Do I really need 200 wedding guests? If a wedding lunch costs half of a wedding dinner, do we really need moonlight? The iPod is paid for;  do we really need the DJ’s banter in between dance numbers? Perhaps most important, should my parents really be cutting into their retirement savings to pay for my wedding?

Finally, a glimmer of reason is emerging. Couples are moving up wedding dates for year-end tax breaks and substantial savings on health insurance premiums. Some are combining plans to marry with a year-end vacation.

And then there’s the ultimate voice of reason – the bride who realizes that the cost of her wedding day could be the down payment on a house. She is smart enough to say “The wedding is one day. The house is going to last a lot longer than that”.

Unfortunately, with two million weddings annually in the U.S. the $160 billion wedding industry isn’t tightening its belt just yet. Let’s give it a few more years of savvy brides.

Is Marriage About Sex and Stuff?

Oh, it’s so unromantic.
A study at the University of Michigan School of Public Health found that 27 percent of men and 14 percent of women undergraduates were willing to trade favors or gifts for sex. And although they weren’t hard up for resources, the students surveyed “recognized the value of this socioeconomic currency system.”

The study, led by Dr. Daniel Kruger and published in the prestigious journal Evolutionary Psychology concluded that  “perhaps the ‘romance’ in romantic relationships facilitates stability by avoiding the recognition of exchanges”.

Could it really be all about sex and favors and stuff? Have we sugarcoated the barter system to fool ourselves about why we choose a particular mate? Does this subconscious equivalency meter rule our choice for marriage partner? Is romantic love no more than an alibi for instinctual behavior lodged deep in our reptilian brain?

Apparently, a partner who provides more resources — wealth, shelter, home repairs — is seen as more attractive and stands to reap more sexual rewards. Could the handyman with the fully loaded tool belt be the human equivalent of the male bower bird ?

“Call it crass, sexist or gender stereotyping all you want, but there are thousands of years of biological programming at work here”, says Dr. Chris Fariello, director of the Institute for Sex Therapy at the Council for Relationships. He and other scientists believe that regardless of our motivation, we’re hardwired to use our bodies as a bargaining chip.

Plain and simple, a partner who provides more resources — wealth, shelter, home repairs — is seen as more attractive and stands to reap more sexual rewards.
“I don’t get anybody in my office who says, ‘My husband sits on the couch all day and eats bonbons, and I want to have sex with him all the time.”

What could Home Depot do with that!