Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Importance of Weddings: Marriage in the Eye of a Single Lady

Ah, spring. We all know what this means. First of all, the spring semester is almost over, meaning no more jogging for this sophomore (I can't even make it for 5 minutes, y'all)! More importantly... well, equally important, it's almost wedding season!


I don't know about you, but I just love myself a good ole love story. What's a cuter way to display affection than by having a wedding ceremony? You may have other emotions about weddings. Maybe you were a bridesmaid for one too many bridezillas. Maybe you were a flower girl in every wedding you went to. Maybe you've never been invited to one. Maybe your time as a newlywed has already ended, and whether it went well or not, your wedding is over. Maybe you just don't like to sit through people's nuptials. Understood.

Well, I happen to love weddings. I am my mom's wedding buddy-- for the past year, my mom and I have been the only ones in our family to attend most of the weddings we've been invited to. Of course, there's my twenty-year-old sister, but you know how young adults are-- all of their friends are getting hitched, so they're being invited and put into bridal parties left and right.

In my group of friends, we're very diverse. There's the athletes, that one friend with the great body or hair, the princess(ish), the ginger, the bookworm, the geek, and so on. I wouldn't exactly call myself the princess, but I am into really girly things, whereas the rest of my friends are like, "Meh. If we love each other, that's all that matters. Who needs an extravagant wedding?"

You can just imagine my response to that. I am the woman with the wedding, cake, bridal shower, and bachelorette party Pinterest boards. I am the woman who has a neatly organized wedding binder. I am the woman who also posts ideas onto her Tumblr blog (which is now called, Moves Like Jaeger... get the Attack on Titan reference?). I am the woman who runs a business that thrives off weddings. I am the woman who spends biology wondering whether it's best to have purple bridesmaids dresses or yellow ones (hence why in second quarter, I got a B. But no need to fear! I'm back to an A, because I'm classy like that. I've learned to wait until Language Arts to allow myself to daydream). I am Wedding Woman.

Let's be honest-- weddings are kind of important. But why? Why do people spend $20,000 on one day?

I can't answer the budget question, but... I can say why I think weddings are important.

I just attended a wedding today, and the vows were just amazing. The bride and groom had chosen to use traditional vows, with a passage from Ruth in addition. Let me be honest-- I have never read the biblical book, Ruth. I've read and re-read Song of Solomon multiple times, but nope, not Ruth. I think I'll read it tonight, though. In bold lettering are the vows they added on from Ruth 1:16-17:

(16)But Ruth said, "Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. (17) "Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me."

The context of these two verses take place when Ruth is talking to Naomi, her mother-in-law. However, I love this in a marriage context, and I think it shows what marriage is about... to me, at least. But what would I know? I've only been to maybe six or seven weddings, all except for two taking place while I was a little girl.

Where you go, I will go.

This part of the passage shows that marriage is when you follow each other everywhere. I mean, not like being a stalker, but like being there for one another. The example I am going to use is a military marriage. Introducing, my mom and dad. My parents got married right before my mother's senior year of college, which she probably would have spent at Ohio State University if she hadn't gotten married. My father had just enlisted in the Air Force, and ever so conveniently, was stationed in Okinawa, Japan (I know... why couldn't I have been born already? I could have been raised by Sailor Moon). And as the years went on, they moved to Utah, and back to Japan, and back to Utah. Like all couples, they faced trials. But they stuck together. He was stationed somewhere that was kind of new? She went with him. She had something important come up? He went with her. Marriage is about facing new experiences together.

My God, Your God.

Now, I'm not saying non-Christian marriages can't last, but here is my opinion: the most important, or one of the most important things about marriage is not being unequally yolked. To fully support each other, let's be honest, it's kind of important to have similar beliefs. I'm not saying your beliefs have to completely mirror each other-- maybe the bride doesn't believe in stem cell research, but the groom does. That won't lead to divorce. But, I know of many marriages that began unequally yolked-- a Christian and an atheist, a Jew and a Catholic. Okay, so I could only name two. The point is still rather strong. Say there's a couple that has some kids, which one of the members of the marriage likes to bring to church and raise the Christian way, whereas the father, while he doesn't mind them attending, doesn't go. This causes great confusion among the children as to why their parents have completely different influences on their lives. Plus, with different religions comes different traditions and unhappy in-laws and the inability to truly be equally yolked. Marriage is about growing spiritually together.

If anything but death parts you and me...

This is where the "'Til death do us part" vow comes in. This is the beautiful part about marriage. A married couple sticks together through thick and thin. It's commitment at its finest. Marriage is about learning to be a team. So often there will be fights and disagreements, and there will be trials that seem impossible to pull through. But, the beautiful thing about being married is knowing someone will be with you every step of the way. It's about never letting anything, anything come between the two of you. It's about not staying mad at each other for too long. Marriage is about being together for the long haul.

Another thought...

Before the ceremony today, the officiator began by stating something about man not being meant to live alone (man, it wasn't even my wedding and it's a blur already). I'm not saying that if you're an independent woman who doesn't need no man it means you're "alone," but ultimately, that is what marriage is. Marriage is about standing side-by-side.

Why weddings? Why not just a court house ceremony?

In conclusion, as much as it hurts for me to write this, I guess a wedding doesn't have to be a perfect, elegant ceremony. Unless you're like me, and you want every hour of the day to be scrapbook worthy. Specifically, held in a grand library downtown somewhere with baby's breath lining the aisles, baby's breath bouquets for the bridesmaids, at least four flower girls, at least four bridesmaids wearing purple or red (decided against yellow), "I See The Light" or "The Moon Represents My Heart" playing during the processional, and "A Whole New World" as our first dance. Believe me, there's more info where that came from (reference: Hope's wedding binder).

At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you're married to the one you love. Like they say, it's a celebration, not a performance. This is definitely NOT something I'd admit in public. At the end of the day, what matters? Does it matter that the photographer took too long? Does it matter that it was cold out? What matters is that you're married for, hopefully, forever. Weddings are a celebration of marriage, and marriage is a beautiful thing. So why not make the best of it?

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