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‘The Wedding’

February 28, 2013

It’s coming up to march now, and so people will be starting to get their wedding invitations for the summer, and brides and grooms everywhere will be counting down the days until they get to marry the love of their life. But, the wedding is something very different to the marriage, for many people, it seems to have expectations on what is done and traditional, how much money is spent, where it is held, and often, who it is with.

I love weddings, being married myself I thoroughly enjoyed my own wedding, the day itself was fantastic, the planning, I didn’t enjoy so much, it was stressful as tradition and my ideas clashed, and as family members told me what they wanted instead of thinking about my thoughts for the day. So, I thought I would write a bit about weddings, about what they mean to people now, and the issues young people often have when planning the big event.

wedding

The first thing on the minds of a couple is often where to get married, church or civil ceremony. There are so many places to have a civil ceremony now that doesn’t just have to be a registry office, it can be a hotel or even a castle and this suits most people who don’t have a religious affiliation. For those who are Christian (I will admit my ignorance here to most other religious wedding ceremonies and will focus on the Christian one because it is what I know), the decision is an easy one, the local church. But, what about those who are kind of religious, or where one of the couple are religious, or where a parent is religious, or those who simply want to get married in a church because it looks pretty. I sympathise with those making a tricky decision to please parents or not by getting married in a church, and for those who are religious and get married in a church, I say go for it. I’m not so sure about using the religious institution for some pretty photos though, and feel those people might be wise to choose another pretty location. This demonstrates the changing view of weddings, first that it is not about the concept of getting married, instead it has to be a pretty and perfect location, and second, that more and more people are opting out of getting married in a church.

This brings me on to the next topic on marriages, the big white wedding. Often, girls grow up with a dream of how their wedding will be, the dress, the flowers, the cake and the bridesmaids. But, of course, nothing is perfect, and often compromises will have to be made, much to the annoyance of the bride. While planning my own wedding, and watching others plan theirs, I have noticed how for some women, it is more about the day than it is about the meaning of the day. For me, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with my husband, I wanted a nice day, but we both agreed that we wanted to have fun (and eat cake), and that was the main priority. I also find that weddings can be a way of showing off to people the amount of money spent, or ‘my wedding is better than yours’. People are simply missing the point, which is probably why the divorce rate is at a record high. Marriage is simply a piece of paper, and doesn’t stop either party cheating or leaving.

One thing that bugs me most about weddings is the family. I wanted my family to know about my wedding plans and enjoy the day, and of course I value their opinions, but, when less immediate family members pretty much told me what to do, I took offence and had to try and talk them down. So, I say, keep family members involved, of course more so if they are paying, but this is the day of the bride and groom, they shouldn’t have to spend their day pleasing everyone else. The wedding is about celebrating the commitment the couple are making to each other with their family and friends, and it should be remembered as that, not as, who told who to do this and that should have been done another way.

As I have mentioned, a wide variety of weddings can be had, you can even get married at a football club, which brings me on to the controversial topic of gay marriage. I would like to mention, shout if I could, that I am in complete support of gay marriage, in a church, temple, hotel, registry office, or wherever weddings can take place, no need to discriminate. For me, if one person loves another person so much that they want to spend the rest of their lives together, then let them! This is what I want this blog post to be about, that marriage is something everyone has the right to have, and therefore, everyone has the right to celebrate this with their wedding.

The wedding is a changing thing, and will change again in the future I am sure, it is something we should embrace, but with care. I don’t think the wedding should be something that is separate from the marriage, which seems to be occurring. It shouldn’t be taken for granted, or be a show of how much money can be spent in one day, it should be about love, family and commitment.

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