From The Paris Review:
As Kim Kardashian recently reminded us, marriage is no longer the inevitable result of a wedding; the ritual is easily divorced from the institution. This is a source of some comfort to the single person approaching thirty, bombarded by engagement announcements and Facebooked wedding photo albums. Just a few more years of this, you tell yourself, and people will start getting divorced. So this fall I was tickled to receive an invitation to a fake wedding in New Orleans. With all the phoniness announced up front, there was no need for jealousy (I’ll die alone!), anxiety (She’s making a terrible mistake!), or expensive gifts (But I can’t even afford health insurance!).
The fake wedding was organized by my younger sister and her friends, a group of artists, actors, filmmakers, and writers in their twenties. Most are from the East or West coasts, having migrated to New Orleans in search of low rent and the kind of fun that withers in a climate of high property values. Part of the lost generation that graduated from college just as the economy collapsed, they have not even attempted to pursue traditional careers. In this spirit, the wedding was organized on a shoestring budget, with homemade food and homemade dresses and a pay-as-you-go bar at the usual rock-bottom New Orleans prices. The organizers paid something out of pocket, but it wasn’t much. The fake wedding was, among other things, a reminder that ingenuity is still a valuable asset—that you can still get married on the cheap.