I’m a romantic.
(Sure, that fact is complicated by the reality that I also tend towards cynicism, so I somehow manage to hold two semi-contradictory world viewpoints, but that’s neither here nor there.)
I am a romantic, and I love weddings.
The thing is, I’ve only ever been to one kind of wedding: Christian. So when I think about weddings, I expect not only flowers and white dresses and tears all around, but also 1 Corinthians 13 and a monologue on the Biblical importance and sanctity of marriage. It’s simply what I’m used to.
That wasn’t what this wedding was. It was beautiful–an outdoor ceremony that ended mere moments before the growing thunderstorm broke, personalized vows, a Celtic hand-binding ceremony–and nowhere in it was any mention of God or the sanctity of marriage or anything like that. It was simple and secular and heartfelt and joyful. The couple had been together for eight years, and while they were teased mercilessly for taking so long together, the air was thick with celebration. People danced and drank and ate and were generally delighted.
For some people, tradition is everything. For others, every spare moment that can be directed at furthering one’s identity is acted upon. Wedding ceremonies, as they often mark one of the most important moments of one’s life, are events where such different views are highlighted. And now I think that I can say I’ve seen both sides of that coin–and both are good.
When I get married, I probably will be married in a church, and you probably will hear some sermon on the sanctity and importance of marriage. But that would be a reflection of myself–my personality, my values, my aesthetic.
Just because something isn’t what you expected doesn’t mean it isn’t good. And while this most recent wedding wasn’t what I expected, it beautifully reflected the couple, gave them a chance to pledge, before others, to stay together and love each other until death, and was an opportunity for us to celebrate with them.
And it was good.