I did not watch "The Wedding."
I didn't watch the last one, or the one before that.
At one point in my life, I'm sure I would have been glued to the TV. As a 10-year-old I knew Prince Charles was out my range, but Andrew and Edward were still possibilities. But that passed by the time I was 11.
I'm not anti-wedding, I just don't see any reason to watch a wedding that doesn't include people I know.
I may go back and listen to the gospel choir. I've been told that their "oo's" are what singers aspire to. I may read Rev. Michael Curry's sermon, if only to figure out what people found offensive about it.
I've seen the photos, I've seen the news clips. I've seen the cute kids. I've seen the dress. I know what happened with the wedding flowers. I've heard about the slippers at the reception, and beer-pong. I can catch it all in five different special presentations available through on-demand TV. I didn't need to watch it live, the reruns are fine, thank you.
Whenever there’s a wedding, there’s a lot of focus on the ceremony and the reception. I hope that the couple is also focusing on the marriage.
Because it’s the marriage that counts.
Weddings celebrate two people promising to love and care and stay with each other for a lifetime. Sometimes that promise works, sometimes it doesn’t, but on the day of the wedding, there is the expectation that the promise will be kept.
Weddings come in all sizes.
I’ve known people who invited hundreds of people to their wedding. The church is overflowing with flowers. There are long lines of bridesmaids and groomsmen. Every child is involved as a flower child or ring bearer. Chamber ensembles provide music. I hate to think of the expense (or debt) of these events. And we haven’t even mentioned the reception.
I’ve been to weddings with just the two witnesses present at the courthouse.
Mine was on the small side. About 20 people in a small chapel, flowers from the garden next door, simple dresses. Reception in the back yard of my parents’ house.
Interestingly, the Bible doesn't have many nice readings about weddings or marriage. Love yes, weddings and marriage no. And the love ones are generally focused on God and Christ rather than husband and wife.
Marriages in the Bible are frequently political or obligatory. Occasionally there is a marriage for love (Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachel, Ruth and Boaz), but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule. It’s hard to know just how much love had to do with most weddings mentioned in the Bible.
I've heard people of other cultures talk about arranged marriages. "We grew to love each other."
The years of living together, sharing a life, sharing children, getting to know each other, muddling through the hard times, enjoying the good times. Those are the things that make a marriage.
The wedding is the show.
If weddings come in many sizes, marriages come in one.
Some are definitely harder than others. Illnesses, injuries and personalities all add to the stress of a marriage. Some families have an overabundance of burdens to deal with. But the marriages survive. Couples adapt. They compromise. They learn to share their things and their thoughts. They learn to ignore the unimportant things, no matter how annoying they might be. And when they get through the hard times they enjoy the good times.
The marriage is hard work. The wedding was just the show.
I’ve been told Harry and Meghan had a wonderful, fairy-tale wedding. I hope they have the opportunity to build a strong marriage.
- Ann Iona Warner