Preparing To Be A Help Meet: Part 5 – The Wedding

Preparing To Be A Help Meet: Part 5 – The Wedding April 23, 2015

WhenCowsKidsCollideby Mel cross posted from her blog When Cows And Kids Collide

Debi spends quite a bit of time asking Yetta questions about her wedding.  Since I find going over the details of a wedding of a person I don’t know dull, I’m just gonna pick out pertinent questions.

Q: Your flowers were great, too.  I liked the fall colors.  They must have cost a lot?

A: I have a story about the flowers.  When Kent and I first began to see each other we both started saving money for our wedding and our honeymoon.  Together we decided how much we would spend for each part of the wedding.

I like that Yetta and Kent decided the budget together.  Planning finances together as a pair is a crucial skill for spouses – and a skill that Debi is far to willing to skip by declaring that the man is the only voice that matters.

 We had decided to do very basic flowers; then God blessed us with the unexpected.  For several years I had been going to the nursing home to pick up and do the laundry for an old lady who had had a stroke.  When I knew I was going to be married, I called the old lady’s son to let him know my sister would be doing the laundry from now on.  The man said to me, “Yetta, I am a florist.  I have my own shop, and I would like to do the flowers for your wedding as a gift for what you have done for my mother.”  All those beautiful flowers were a gift.  He arranged everything.  The color and style was his choice.  After all, that’s what he does professionally, so I figured he would know best.

This story – as always – makes me feel conflicted.

Offering to provide flowers for Yetta’s wedding as a thank you was a generous and handsome gesture for the old woman’s son.

My conflict comes from the fact that the majority of good works don’t result in huge dividends.   No one who reads this book should expect a relative of someone they helped to offer to cover wedding expenses.

I also find Yetta’s willingness to let the florist choose the color and style….odd.

I liked picking out the flowers for our wedding.  I hope either that she didn’t care about the flowers or explained the basics of her preferences – fall colors; country style, or Asian inspired or whatever – and let him pick out the rest.

Since I am telling my story, I would like to tell all the girls reading this: if I were young and just getting started in a job, I would start right away to setting back ten percent of all I made for my future marriage.  I am glad I was able to save for a few months, but just think if I had saved for years!

I would hope that stay-at-home daughters who are working outside the home could sock away at least 10%.  I suspect, though, that minimum wage jobs or family businesses + huge families still at home means that many of these women are subsidizing their younger siblings food and clothing.

I really think young women need to know that it is not someone’s job to supply all their needs and pay for everything for their wedding.  If they come into the marriage like that, and they expect to be provided for as a daughter, they will come into marriage with that mentality.  They will have little to give, and will just be a taker.  Anyway, that ‘s my opinion.

There’s a strange lack of nuance in that paragraph.   I agree that no one is guaranteed or entitled to their parents – or their parents by way of TLC – will pay for their wedding.

On the flip side, many parents view paying for a daughter’s wedding as a honor.  My parents would have been hurt if my husband and I refused to let them pay for any part of the wedding.

Of course, I was raised to expect to support myself with a career.  Since Debi et al expect adult , unmarried women to remain servile to their parents’ wishes wants and desires, I think it is reasonable for the daughters to expect financial support for their weddings.

But then, I also think parents who require courtship have a duty to actively seek out partners for their daughters and should receive societal disapproval for failure to do so.  *cough* Duggars *cough*Botkin*cough*  You want the control; take the responsibilities that come with it.

Q: Are you sad you had to wait so long before the magic day?

A: It’s funny because I was happy being single.  Even as the years passed and everyone around me married, I still felt my life was blessed and full.  I stayed busy. I made myself useful to a  lot of people.  I didn’t stay at home moping.  Sure, I had days I was a little sad thinking I might not ever find My One True Love  and have children.  I think those down times are from the devil.  I am so glad I spent my life working, reaching out to others, and loving life.  I’ll pour that same fullness into my man.

People kept saying something like that to my husband since he made it 31 *gasp!* before he married.  Yetta was much more polite than I was.  I’d look at people and say “Well, he hadn’t met me yet….” and then stare at them until they went away.  If they didn’t change the subject, I’d add “So which of his previous girlfriends do you think he should have married?”

Ask an embarrassing question; get one in return.  😛

Q: Now for the moment of truth.  What has been the one practical that has been difficult on you as a new wife?

A: I wouldn’t say that it has been difficult on me, but it has been somewhat of a challenge having a meal on the table three times a day, or at least breakfast, then packing him a lunch and then a good meal in the evening.  A man likes his food, and I surely want to please my man.  It is easy to forget to plan a meal that includes laying out the basic foods (like meat to thaw) and then walk in the house at the last minute and wonder what to cook.  I have to make myself buy and plan ahead.

Debi, she’s been married for two weeks.  For most of us, that’s EASY. My answer would have been “um….writing thank you notes that don’t sound canned?  Is that a thing?  Learning how to load a dishwasher is kinda tricky, I guess, but so much easier than hand washing them.  Uh….yeah. ”

You had a taste of your future as Michael’s wife: sexual assault, emotional neglect and being treated as dumb servant in your first two weeks.

That’s NOT NORMAL.  You should have run away.


Image from When Cows and Kids Collide
Image from When Cows and Kids Collide

AntiPearl: The picture on the left is my husband, me, Oma and Opa (Nico’s grandparents).  We got married in late June because it worked for my teaching schedule.  Opa, when he heard about the date, teased me that the proper time of the year to get married was between November and January to avoid messing with the farming schedule.  He’d then look extremely sad and mention that he’d have to miss a day of chopping hay.  My “revenge”: His boutonniere is made of corn leaves, alfalfa flowers, and some ripe wheat so he’d have some farm crops with him all day.  What I didn’t realize is that having the bride pin the flowers on is a super-huge honor in the Netherlands; he was so proud and it’s one of my favorite memories.


Preparing To Be A Help Meet Review

Introduction | Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 |Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | 

Part 7 |  Part 8 | Part 9 | Part 10 | Part 11 | Part 12 | Part 13

Part 14 | Part 15 | Part 16 | Part 17 | Part 18 | Part 19Part 20

Part 21 | Part 22 | Part 23 | Part 24 | Part 25 |Part 26 | Part 27

Part 28 | Part 29 | Part 30 | Part 31 | Part 32 | Part 33 |Part 34

Part 35 | Part 36 | Part 37 | Part 38 | Part 39 | Part 40 | Part 41

Part 42 | Part 43 | Part 44 | Part 45 | Part 46 | Part 47 |Part 48

Part 49 | Part 50 | Part 51 | Part 52 | Part 53 | Part 54 |Part 55

Part 56 | Part 57 | Part 58 | Part 59 | Part 60 | Part 61 | Part 62

Part 63 | Part 64 | Part 65

Read everything by Mel!

Mel is a science teacher who works with at-risk teens and lives on a dairy farm with her husband. She’s a wise fount of knowledge about things involving living with a farmer and farming. She blogs at When Cows and Kids Collide


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  • Nea

    Planning finances together as a pair is a crucial skill for spouses … lest the new wife ask if they can afford something and her husband completely blow a gasket at the insult to his manhood.

    I also find Yetta’s willingness to let the florist choose the color and style….odd.
    I don’t. First, she was raised to be submissive. Second, $5 says that his generous gift included shifting stock that wasn’t selling.

    many parents view paying for a daughter’s wedding as a honor.
    Yeah, Yetta’s advice is good because savings are good to have, but it also assumes that the parents are going to drop-kick their daughter out the door with nothing to her name and that everyone she is speaking to accepts that as the way it is.

    You want the control; take the responsibilities that come with it.
    *high five* So true!

    it has been somewhat of a challenge having a meal on the table three
    times a day, or at least breakfast, then packing him a lunch and then a
    good meal in the evening

    Um, why? Seriously, I’m asking. Isn’t she supposed to have trained for this since the time she could be trusted not to burn herself on the stove?

  • Mel – what a great post. Stunning church.

    The short answer could be Michael was too cheap to pay for his numerous daughters’ weddings. The only way for him to come out looking heroic is for Debi to make everyone else wrong.

  • Saraquill

    So Yetta and her fiance were to pay for the entire weeding themselves, but they conveniently had others volunteer piles of time and resources? You’re contradicting yourself again, Debi.

  • jennabobenna

    1. Beautiful bride, beautiful family, beautiful church. Is that the same Oma and Opa with the hilarious story about Opa walking home after asking about his ride’s sister?

    2. My parents also expect to at least help pay for my wedding (if I ever get married) because they want to. Traditionally, that’s what would be expected of them, although now, more and more couples are paying for their own weddings. I’m just confused by Debi’s logic. Modern society = bad, traditional values = good, except when it doesn’t suit her, then it’s just “What I say goes!”

    3. I have hope for Yetta. She seems like a strong, independent woman by QF standards. She and her husband (something about the way people in this book say “my man” just gives me the heebie jeebies…) seem to have built a strong relationship prior to tying the knot and she has a good head on her shoulders. Here’s to hoping Debi doesn’t stamp out all of those good qualities.

  • Mel

    Thank you! Yup. It’s the same Opa. They’ve been happily married for over 60 years now – they left their home country; lived in Canada for 15+ years as resident aliens while trying to get into the USA; built a farm in the US and raised 4 kids together while learning English as adults. That’s why I find Debi’s doom and gloom stories rather ironic. Most couples have faced far harder external problems than Debi and managed to build happy lives together without having the wife become a doormat.

    In fact, Oma and my mother-in-law specifically told me that I needed to speak my mind in our marriage because the men in their family needed a good, sensible wife to keep them on track.

    I LIKE Yetta. I think she’s as close to a healthy adult woman as is found in this book. I enjoyed the chapter mainly because watching Debi try and twist Yetta into a wimpy, spineless, submissive girl…never really took.

  • Mel

    But that’s not the same at all! Just like women should work outside the house, live with the parents, but NEVER get a college degree – even though that degree is needed as a doorway to many traditionally “women’s” fields like nursing, teaching, and youth ministry. Heck, many administrative assistant positions now require at least an associates or a bachelors.

  • Gypsy Rose B

    Frankly I’m surprised Debi kept this part in the book. Yetta is responsible, independent and self sufficient. She doesn’t stress about things and seemed to have a pretty fun and cool wedding. Seems like someone I’d be friends with!

  • Maybe the challenge is doing that for *just* one person? Or one person and herself, since she probably DOES include herself on the list of people to feed.