Ponder this:

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Weddings

Brides in 1957 and 1958, it seems, all wore off-the-shoulder gowns, bodices fitted, skirts full. Princesses with Miss America smiles, entering to Wagner, exiting to Mendelssohn, they were photographed posed on the altar, the trains of their gowns fanned in swirling display around their invisible feet, none of their attendants more beautiful than they. Or they were photographed with their proud but decidedly second-fiddle grooms as they prepared to enter the black limousine that would sweep them off to their wedding receptions where strict protocol of the order of dances (first dance, mother/son, father/daughter) and eloquent toasts made a marker of the day.

I did not have that kind of wedding.  We were married in a church and I wore a knee-length cream-colored dress. No Lohengrin, no Mendelssohn, no father's arm guiding me down the aisle. My groom and I spoke traditional Protestant vows and the five of us in attendance dined afterward, but there was very little regal formality about the day. I'm not sure if I felt less married than if I had had the whole dog-and-pony show. I might have. I'll never know.

I recently attended a wedding. The Bridal Chorus began to play and the bride, gowned in voluminous cream satin, began hesitation-stepping across the lawn. As she reached the back row of standing guests, she stopped, closed her eyes, shook her head, sneering in dismissal. The music stopped. A moment passed during which the thought swept over us all that she was about to call off the wedding.

"I'm Too Sexy" began to play, she gave a large nod of smiling satisfaction, and sashayed to the arbor altar.
The cleric was the groom's brother, who'd received his ordination online.
The bride's sentimentally tearful personalized vow closed with, "...and you're the sexiest bitch I've ever known."  Before the groom delivered his vow, he observed, "that dress is gonna look beautiful on the floor."

Some people might have been scandalized; I was bemused.
This latest wedding was about the same number of degrees less formal than mine, as mine was from those fairytale weddings.
Was it more fun?  Is a wedding supposed to be fun?
In the end none of that matters.
The Day does not a marriage make.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Our wedding was much like yours, with no regrets. My husband says the more expensive the wedding, the shorter the marriage.

Wanda said...

I'm a little too sentimental for that type of wedding, mine was much like yours, only it was at my parent's home. Forty six years later, after 3 children and 9 grandchildren...I have no regrets of our wedding day!

Barb said...

Well, June, that was an interesting "ceremony." I think commitment is what counts - You and I both know that it is work. Hopefully, after the passion fades a bit, they'll still have some glue to hold them together. I'm speaking with 43 years under my belt!

Love today's quote!

GooseBreeder said...

I've had two, first the white do all the 'right' things.Wrong person.
Second time in black velvet, daughter as bridesmaid,Registry Office but a grand day full of meaning and significance for a relationship meant to last despite all hardship, illness, accident etc.Yes it's about committment.As they say the sex may not last and you need someone you can talk to into old age should you be lucky enough to live that long.
The young love to scandalise but it's so tactless,tacky and maybe they'll regret it later.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

That kind of wedding seems to me like a tatoo. Funny, scandalous, revolutionary, making a statement, courting celebrity, thumbing one's nose at tradition, BUT after the day is over you are stuck with the tacky memories just like you are stuck with the tacky tatoo.

Lord Wellbourne said...

Touche', Bonnie!! That's why my tattoo can be easily, discreetly, concealed. Quite right. A tacky parody of a wedding lives forever--even though I admire their chutzpah.