A Russian man faked his own death in order to propose to his girlfriend. Alexey Bykov hired a filmmaker, makeup artists and stuntmen to create elaborate car-crash scene, then arranged to meet his girlfriend, Irena Kolokov, at the site. When she arrived, she saw him lying on the ground, covered in blood amidst a scene of mangled cars, ambulances and smoke.
Bykov planned an elaborate hoax to show his girlfriend what life would be without him. After being told by the paramedic that he was dead, Kolokov broke down in tears. At that moment Bykov popped up and proposed.
A couple in Turkey, Cengizhan Celik and Candan Canik, exchanged wedding vows via Twitter. Their officiant prompted them to say “I do” with a tweet. They responded by tweeting the Turkish word “Evet,” or “Yes,” on their iPads.
A recent study found that almost 6 percent of wedding proposals are made over the phone.
These marriage-related stories seem odd. At least one is possibly insane.
If any of these people came to me for advice, I would advise against these courses of action.
But here’s the thing:
I also find these people much more interesting and far less offensive than the degree of snobbery that I see and hear in regards to weddings today.
Which is worse?
Any of the people described above or the woman who receives a wedding invitation from a friend and then phones a mutual friend in order to discuss how cheap, tacky or poorly designed the invitation is.
Which is worse?
Any of the people described above or the recently married couple who complains to friends or family members about the inexpensive, poorly chosen or unwanted wedding gift that another friend or family member has given?
This happens. A lot.
Which is worse?
Any of the people described above or the person who criticizes a friend or family member (often behind their back) for failing to adhere to all of the marital traditions and customs of their religion or culture.
This happens. All the time.
I once ministered a pagan wedding in which the guests were required to remove their shoes and the bride was required to cut her finger with a ceremonial dagger prior to the exchange of vows in order to consecrate the ground upon which she would be married.
I once worked as a DJ at a wedding where only Celtic music could be played. The bride and groom drank from dragon-encrusted goblets and asked me to teach their guests something called The Mummer’s Dance.
I once worked as a DJ at a wedding that was delayed for almost two hours because the police dog that the bride and groom wanted included in the ceremony was delayed due to a possible drug shipment at the airport, and they refused to get married without him.
I once worked as a DJ at a backyard wedding that included a Slip ‘N Slide (used by both the bride and groom) and a hotdog cart.
After 16 years in the wedding industry as a DJ and minister, I have hundred of stories like this that I could tell. In each of these less-than-ordinary instance, I would much prefer to spend time with these kinds of people rather than the brides and grooms obsessed with ensuring that their wedding looks expensive or just like their friend’s wedding or better than their friend’s wedding or as close as possible to the celebrity wedding that they read about in People magazine a year ago.
Slicing your index finger open with a ceremonial dagger in order to drip blood on the ground is surprising to say the least, but I am always more surprised (and disgusted) by the woman who criticizes her friend’s choice of wedding gown or the man who complains about the quality of the top-shelf liquor at the reception or the bridesmaid who makes the bride’s life difficult by complaining about the dress that she’s been asked to wear.
In the wedding industry, there is nothing worse than pretentiousness, snobbery, overt opulence and the petty, hyper-critical, judgmental attitudes of people who find it impossible to imagine why anyone would ever get married in a way that is different than their own wedding day.