Weddings everywhere are pretty similar, is the observation I have to make after watching a Baptist wedding. I thought an “American” wedding was a half-hour thing…but no, the ceremony today started 20 minutes late, went on for about 2 hours, and was preceded and succeeded by “rehearsal dinner”, “Pre-wedding brunch”, post-wedding reception, and there will be a “day after” brunch at the bride’s place…can you see any difference? Everyone was milling around, making tremendous amounts of noise as they circulated and conversed; only at the ceremony was everyone seated and perfectly quiet (that is one part I would like to integrate into our chaotic weddings!). The rituals were chosen to be meaningful…there were poetry and prose readings, and I was especially moved by an Apache wedding message that is given to the newlyweds of the tribe. The preacher spoke very movingly, and quoted the lovely poem of Yeats which ends, “Tread softly, for you tread upon my dreams.” For the few minutes when the vows were said, I became the bride’s mother once again, and it was my daughter getting married…the beauty of the long-known words still made my eyes moist.
The bridegroom, in the seven years that I have known him, has grown from a callow youth to a confident and mature young man. And when he brought his then-girlfriend to my daughter’s wedding in 2005, I was struck by the quality of sweetness that I instantly felt in her. So it felt good to see them getting together!
Of course some things were different…it was funny to have a sit-down dinner where we had to get up, go downstairs, get the food and then come back to the table (each table seated about 10 people and we had to go table by table)…and during the reception, suddenly the Yacht Club people decided to lower the heating; I thought it was me, and went downstairs to the cloakroom to get my coat and found several others there, saying it was too cold for them, too! Luckily someone spoke to someone else and the heating was turned up again…even that, though, reminded me of the many snafus that happen in our weddings!
I think that a wedding, anywhere in the world, is a covenant between two people (I firmly believe that marriages need not be only between opposite sexes)..and is a beautiful thing to behold as it starts, with hope and happiness.