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A millennial takes on marriage

What people say to you when you marry young

By: Kristin Eck
Copy Editor

There are some definite pitfalls that are related to getting married young. The most obnoxious being what people think they have a right to say to you leading up to and after your wedding. If I’m honest, I never thought I would marry young or even marry while I was still in college.

Furthermore, I never thought my wedding would end up being more for my family than for me and my husband.

That’s the realization I had about four months into wedding planning. I can honestly say that if we hadn’t already been knee deep in the process we would have eloped.

It was my husband who kept reminding me that weddings aren’t just for the bride and groom. It’s a time for the people you love, family and friends, to come together and celebrate something that transcends the superficiality of existence.

At least, this is the approach we took. We wanted to throw a party for the special people in our lives and I’d say we were very successful. Regardless, that doesn’t mean the process wasn’t thoroughly tedious and obnoxious.

Weddings are tied up in age-old social conventions, traditions and gender roles and other people are not afraid to share their opinions on these issues. It’s no surprise that older people tend to think they know what’s best in these kinds of situations, and while I respect that, I found much of the advice to be completely irrelevant.

I think the first instance was when my grandma told me that men don’t have a mind for things like wedding planning. She encouraged me not to bother him about colors, venues and flower choice.

Grandma, I thought to myself, would you not ask your best friend for help on one of the biggest days of your life? More importantly, a day that the both of you are sharing? Of course, times are much different than they were in her day. But let’s get this straight, my husband’s critical thinking ability doesn’t vanish when confronted with the “domestic trivialities of life.”

The second question that really took a few years off my life: are you two waiting to go on a honeymoon until later, I hear a lot of people your age do that? First of all, unless you’re willing to help pay for a honeymoon, it’s not really any of your business.

Secondly, this question is just downright rude, especially when it’s directed at two young people. It implies that you can’t afford a honeymoon because you’re either too young to have savings for that or you don’t have savings because you’re marrying too quickly.

This leads me into my third grievance: my age. Countless times I heard people tell me that I’m marrying too young. There’s no way I could possibly know what I want or who I am because my brain isn’t fully developed yet, right? Wrong. Certain experiences can shape a person from a very young age.

At some point during my childhood, I got a good look at the world and figured out what I wanted from it. More importantly, when I grew up I saw what I wanted and put a ring on it.

While my age is enough for some people to share their unwanted opinions, my education was another concern. Some people would ask me if I planned to take a year or two off school. This one made me laugh. When did your relationship status begin dictating your enrollment status?

School, college and classes are all just like having a full time job. Which, if I’m correct, is something normal, adult, married people do every day in lots of places. I planned my wedding while I was enrolled in school full-time. If I can plan my wedding and go to school, I think I can be married and stay in school.

This list could go on for a lifetime, and it probably will. But I’ve come to realize that most of these issues deal with negative misconceptions towards millennials. Millennials work hard, they pay their bills, they go on honeymoons and they pay off their student loans. They marry if they want to, who they want and when they want. Most importantly, millennials are redefining marriage for the first time in decades and I’m honored to be a part of the movement.

Contact the author at keck14@wou.edu