“I think a lot of people who feel as though they desperately want to be married oftentimes simply desperately want to have a wedding.” Elizabeth Gilbert
When I was a little girl I did not dream of my own wedding, probably because as a family we never attended any. My two wedding experiences were getting up early to watch the Royal Wedding on a hot July day in 1981. I thought Diana was resplendent and beautiful, but I quickly got bored by the long procession. A few months later I tuned in for another wedding- Luke and Laura of General Hospital. I remember rushing home from school, setting myself up with a snack and plopping down on the couch. The Luke and Laura wedding episode was watched by 30 million viewers and remains the highest-rated hour in American soap opera history.
The wedding industry is big business. The average spent on a wedding dress is $1,357 USD and the average cost of a wedding is $31,213 USD according to The Knot, a US-based wedding planning site. As an adult I have had the honor of being part of dozens of weddings, both as a coordinator and as a caterer and I have grown to love weddings. However, the things I love about weddings are nothing you could buy. One of my most memorable ‘wedding moments’ was a mother- of- the bride unsure if she would make a speech. I could see she was nervous but wanted to. I told her ‘you will never regret saying a few words at your daughters wedding.’ She got up and spoke elegantly from the heart. Afterwards she gave me a hug and thanked me.
I also love the vows. With destination weddings the oficiant is often a family friend, lending a more intimate tone to the event. Recently during a ceremony the oficiant asked everyone to raise their hands to the sky and send positive energy to the beautiful couple- it could have been a hokey eye-rolling moment, but it wasn’t. I raised my hands too and I could feel the love and support between this couple and their friends and family who had come a long way to share this moment with them. I always enjoy hearing how couples met and bearing witness to such an important life event.
In this issue our writers explore weddings. Ironically the most cynical among them, about the unimportance of weddings, are those who have been married the longest.
Weddings are beautiful and special, but never because of the flowers, the dress or the staged Instagram photos. They are beautiful because they celebrate two people choosing each other. The joining of families and the promise of a future that has yet to unfold.
So don’t dream about a Princess Diana or Luke and Laura extravaganza… dream about marriage; Sunday mornings with your husband or wife, travel, ways you can spend a lifetime showing the other person just how much you love them.