Sunday, February 3, 2008

Wedding Musings

This is a bit different from the kind of thing I usually post because it is very personal. This entry may prove to show you how truly neurotic I am, but nevertheless, here it is.

I am supposed to be planning a wedding. Make no mistake; I am excited to be married, especially because my fiancé is also my best friend and (earthly) confidant. However, the modern concept of the wedding ceremony is a difficult one for me to embrace (acceptance is unlikely to happen), and my alternative ideal is more difficult yet to convey to others.

In weddings of today, it is expected that the bride will strive to make her wedding the most perfect day she can, and will be a "princess for a day" (or, heaven forbid, fall prey to the "sexy bride" trend). Much to my chagrin, that image of the bride dominates the bridal magazines and websites. Ugh.

I have no desire to be a "princess" any day. First, I am not wooed by an illusory, romanticized Utopian fairyland. It seems cheap and delusional. Second, I am fully aware of being hugely imperfect, as well as of the imperfection of the world. Therefore, why would I try to expend excess energy on a futile attempt at a perfect day? Perfect days do not exist, therefore such a bride is merely setting herself up for dissappointment. Why not just try to make it pleasant and accomodating to guests who mean a huge deal to us, and save the energy for spending quality time with those people?

What excites me about the wedding ceremony and reception is sharing our union before God with people who are close to our hearts. It is not about us, and especially not about me (I may not come out of hiding if it were). It is about people gathering together to celebrate the union that God has brought together so that the couple can go forth and serve Him. Therefore, the focus of the wedding should be on God, not people. That is what I hope this wedding will be, not some cheap (though not monetarily) and frilly bride-centric day.

10 comments:

Abu Daoud said...

I think you can still have a special wedding day without giving into the illusory romanticized Utopian fairyland thing.

Overall it is an image of the union of Christ and his church. It is Holy Matrimony which is a sacrament (yes, I'm Anglican), which means that it is an outward sign of an inward grace.

Shun novelties. Don't do anything new or cool (like writing your own vows, ugh...). Celebrate Communion at your wedding. If you need a good idea of a traditional wedding check out the Book of Common Prayer.

Well, there's my two cents.

Sarah Scott said...

Thanks, Abu. Great thoughts!

It will no doubt be a very special day.

Daniel said...

For everything you have said your fiance will be pleased more than you know. Low maintenace= good. High maintenace/expensive and overdone weddings= not good.

Luke said...

You summed it up well. It seems like the holiness and joy of weddings often gets swallowed up in planning, paying for and struggling through the ceremony. My wife and I got married a year and half ago and fortunately, she has the same mindset as you do about the whole thing. Simplicity was key. Our goal was to honor God and celebrate with friends and family--not host some uncomfortable, overly-formal occasion.

My advice is delegate what you can, and just enjoy the celebration. It is amazing to start your lives together in the company of the people you love.

Tim said...

Sarah,

First, congrats! (Though perhaps I should be saying that to your fiance ...)

One aspect of the commercialization of weddings that has come to loom large in my consciousness is that weddings in the US have become enormously expensive. I don't profess to understand this, but there it is; you'd have no trouble spending $10K or more on a wedding if you weren't thoughtful. If you're in the planning stage, keep it simple, relatively brief (but not "brisk" -- it is a solemn occasion and therefore to be enjoyed without being rushed), and uncluttered. Fewer things means fewer things that could go wrong. Get some good pictures but don't spend a fortune getting them. Take Luke's advice and delegate what you can. Then enjoy it!

Sarah Scott said...

Thanks to Daniel, Luke, and Tim for the advice!

Our key words are simplicity and thriftiness. We'll see where that goes! We have until late July, but evidently that means we are extremely late in the game by most wedding vendor standards.

Luke said...

Nah, we planned ours in less than 4 months. They just make you think you need more time cause they want you to buy more stuff.

Marty "the fly" Rosenbloom said...

I once went to a wedding where we had a prayer meeting for 30 minutes and then the pastor gave a call for salvation and many people comitted their lives to Christ. That was truly a God honoring cermony: prayer and salvation.

Do you think you'll have a prayer meeting and altar call? I'd recommend it!

Jon said...

Sarah,

You are right: Your wedding is not about you. It is about all of your female relatives trying to make your wedding the one they always wanted. Just a warning. :)

As the groom, I had it easy at my wedding: I just stood there. Not so for the bride...Good luck!

No, seriously, enjoy it and remember that as long as you end up married at the end of the day, it was a good wedding!

Jon (Pardon my cynicism--my wedding was actually really great)

Sam C said...

Hear hear! Shun extravagance, IMHO, and go for humble, lowly attire. It's also an opportunity to invite unbelieving friends & family to hear a evangelistic sermon.