Friday, September 3, 2010

"Reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God"

I'm single, never married, so my opinions on this subject should probably be taken with at least one grain of salt. But as I have said previously, weddings have become obscenely expensive and far too much centered on the wonderful individuals tying the knot rather than the obligations before God ["and this congregation"] that they are assuming. [And all of this happening as the average duration of the commitment gets shorter.]

Andrew Brown in "What's wrong with weddings" explains one reason the ceremony should not necessarily be altered to suit the desires of the couple:
.... Most clergy...would much rather conduct funerals than weddings, because they are so much more honest occasions. But in fact the modern wedding, if it does anything, shortens marriages rather than cementing them.

Here's why. The modern wedding, with its stupendous cost (£20,000 on average) and duration, is really a celebration of the participants. They really are unique and precious snowflakes, just as they have suspected all along. In fact, they are each and both of them just the unique and precious people they would like to be. ....

Feeling unique and treasured and valued for yourself is exactly the point of being in love, and it's very nice. But it's not realistic. In particular, it's a disastrous attitude to bring to a wedding. ....

The great point about completely impersonal ceremonies, whose form is the same for everyone, whether these are religious or entirely civil, is that they remind us that the problems and difficulties of marriage are universal. They come from being human. They can't be dodged just by being our wonderful selves, even all dusted with unicorn sparkle.

On your wedding day you feel thoroughly special, and your guests will go along with this; so that is the moment when the ceremony should remind you that you're not all that. What you're doing isn't a step into fairyland. And if it does turn out to be the gateway to a new life, that is one that will have to be built over time and unglamorously with the unpromising materials of the old one. .... [more]
What's wrong with weddings | Andrew Brown | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk