I grew up in a big Filipino (mostly Catholic) family. And over the years, I have both witnessed and have been a part of countless traditional weddings. These affairs are grand, beautiful, AND expensive! I enjoy seeing my relatives and close friends tie the knot. Their wedding dresses are spectacular, the flowers extravagant, the food always amazing, and the party is always bumping! But I think the ceremony is the most beautiful part – I always love looking at the groom’s face as the bride walks down the aisle. His face has that amazed, nervous, but anticipating look. It’s heart warming. Weddings are profound – but I don’t think they’re for me.
Before you start gasping, stomping your foot in disagreement, and feeling bad for my mum, let me explain what I meant. First, I am not disparaging the institution of marriage. One day, I wouldn’t mind wearing a wedding band and worrying about someone else’s cholesterol levels. What I meant was that I don’t have the need or the desire (honestly) to have the big party, and the giant white dress, or the sea of white hydrangeas. These are all lovely and girls (and boys) who want those things are fine to want those things; but we should accept that not everyone does.
Over the years, this business of weddings have created such a distraction from what is truly meaningful. If you’ve ever found yourself in a wedding expo, you would know what I mean. We have made way too much money on love. Society’s materialistic exploits have distracted us from what is truly meaningful. Marriage is both a privilege and right, but nowadays we sometimes forget its profound meaning, and instead we focus on seating arrangements, getting a great DJ, getting peonies the colour of eggshells (shit’s white!). Brides are stressed, grooms are exasperated, the whole family is in chaos, and thousands of dollars go out the door.
Weddings it seems have been fused to marriage. And I guess maybe a wedding gives recognition of the gravitas of the act of getting married. “Hey buddy, everyone is here to see you tie the knot and these roses are $5 each so don’t fuck it up!” Obviously, that doesn’t work for everybody but I guess that’s the general idea. I think that a big party is not necessary to make a commitment, nor to feel secure in your relationship.
I think I want marriage to fit easily in my life – to be natural. For me, the business of weddings is meant to be a distraction, a break from our daily lives. Marriage shouldn’t.
Ultimately, I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting a wedding either. So long as you remember in the midst of your whirlwind of a day what it’s really all about.
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