Do You Like Capitalism? Then, You Should Love Gay Marriage.08.24.10
Sure, it’s about love and being together forever and all that jazz, too. But, let’s be real: it’s a serious moneymaker.
I just went to a wedding of one of my best buddies out in Rochester, NY this past weekend and it was on the second leg of my cross-country flight that it really dawned on me just how much money I was spending on his wedding.
First, there’s the flight from LAX to ROC. It’s the summer and while Rochester is no resort town, it’s still on the other side of the continent. I brought my girlfriend along, so multiply that by two.
Then, there’s the hotel. We went cheap and stayed at a Microtel. But, since I was in the wedding, I arrived a couple days early to make sure I was there for all the festivities and the rehearsal dinner and everything else. So tack on a couple extra nights.
And there’s also the rental car, the gas for the rental car, eating out for several meals, bar tabs. You can see how it adds up. And that’s just for one guest and a plus-one.
I can’t even begin to compute how much the actual wedding cost — renting out the event center for the reception, the dress, the suit, the transportation, the hotels, the flowers, the two huge meals, the entertainment, the booze. And this wasn’t even an overly extravagant affair; it wasn’t tiny, but it wasn’t huge.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not complaining at all. I gladly would spend it all over again in an instant to be there with one of my best friends on his wedding day. It’s a unique, joyous occasion to celebrate love and the expansion of friends and family. It’s moving. It’s hilarious. It’s inappropriate. It’s something you don’t forget. You make all sorts of new memories while revisiting all of the old.
But, still. It costs everyone involved a small fortune. Receiving that welcomed honor of being in a wedding comes with its price tag. And while you can’t put a dollar amount on being able to sing and dance and laugh with friends that you only get to see maybe once a year if you’re lucky, you kind of can. The flight. The hotel. The car. The gas.
It all adds up.
And then it made me think about all of the different industries that I, along with my fellow weddingers, were helping sustain for this four-day excursion into upstate New York in August. The flight attendants, the fast-food-joint workers, the caterers, the chefs, the gas station clerks, the airlines, the DJs, the waiters and waitresses, the photographers, the flower arrangers, the chauffeurs, the hotel staffs. I’m sure I’m missing plenty more, but you get the idea.
Given the state of our economy, local businesses and big businesses alike could use the help. And even though times might be tight for everyone, it’s a lot easier to swallow some big expenditures when its in the name of something as happy and joyous as a wedding.
Let’s forget the obvious reasons to support marriage equality on an emotional level for the moment. Instead, think of it from the capitalist mentality. This is, after all, America, so might as well speak to the language of the land: the dollar.
If marriage is already reduced to being a thousand federal benefits anyway, what harm could it to do just talk about it like it is? A cash cow for multiple industries. What could be more American than that?