My fiancé and I (along with my mom who is in town visiting) went to the Oregon Garden on Saturday. The trip was part sight-seeing and part scouting expedition for potential wedding reception venues. Saturday was Earth Day so we were able to attend an Earth Day fair of sorts with eco-themed booths of many descriptions while we were there.
One of the booths was giving away bookmarks that read “simple is the new wealthy.” I took one eagerly because that is the attitude I strive to maintain. I tell my fiancé often that I want the things in our life to be simple, tasteful and high-quality but never extravagant, self-indulgent or wasteful.
It was with this aesthetic in mind that I chose the engagement ring with which he proposed to me. It is small, beautiful (I think) and tasteful but certainly not self-indulgent or extravagant (by American standards, at least.) Whether it were visually appealing to me or not, I would love the ring because it represents our engagement but it so happens that I also find the ring lovely and attractive per se.
In the four days that I’ve been wearing it, though, I’ve noticed something: being around women with more expensive and eye-catching rings kindles in me a sense of rivalry and competition. I feel the need to justify my ring choice and insist to those around me that, yes, I did choose the ring, yes, I do like it, and so on.
Happily, I’m then quickly able to stifle these thoughts and remind myself of how satisfied I am with my ring and how I genuinely don’t want something larger.
It is easy, though, to feel inadequate and goaded to consume and compete.
Looking at wedding blogs and Pinterest, I can already feel the temptation to make our wedding more: bigger, fancier, showier. I can see how the “wedding-industrial complex” encourages spending and striving to out-do whomever it is we compare ourselves against.
I’m trying to remember though (and my fiancé helpfully shares this opinion) that simple is better. I sincerely do not desire to spend large amounts of money on goods and services which will last only as long as our wedding day.
I don’t want to fool myself into thinking that our wedding is so singular and special that no expense can be spared.
I agree with the bookmark: simple is the new wealthy but I think simple is also the new healthy and the new wise.
Here’s hoping our wedding will be simple and sweet and that we come out of it with our health, wealth and wisdom intact.