I love this question posed by Rebecca Mead during her journey into the wide, wide wedding world.
Here's an excerpt from her book, One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding:
"What is a wedding for? This sounds like a question to which there ought to be an obvious answer, but when I posed it to a group of soon-to-be brides and recently married women with whom I met near the outset of my research for this book--the question came perhaps an hour, and a bottle of wine or two, into a very lively conversation--the room fell momentarily silent, and then everyone broke into slightly embarrassed laughter..." (219).
"The embarrassed laughter with which this question was greeted suggested that the question hadn't come up very much during these brides' own encounters with the wedding industry. They had become accustomed to thinking about the event in terms of floral decisions or styles of photography, with the larger purpose of the wedding a distraction from the more pressing questions of logistics; and they had hardly been encouraged to speculate more broadly upon the significance of a wedding by an industry that sought to ensure their total immersion in the business of brides. There was no column on the wedding-planning spreadsheet, no entry on the bridal checklist, for meaning" (221).
It's an inspiring question. It's a daunting question. It's an important question.
Here's my humble attempt at answering that question for myself:
What is a wedding for? First and foremost, a wedding is about marriage. And marriage is about love. And love is about compassion, passion, patience, and support.
A wedding is an opportunity to formalize love into commitment. It's a public declaration. It's intentional. It's a chance to say, "I love you and I will do my best to love you the way you deserve to be loved, now and for years to come."
For me, it's an occasion to bring together families of choice and families of origin to witness the commitment, to build new connections, and to share the joy. It's an occasion to celebrate, enjoy each other's company, and strengthen relationships.
And, as the lights dim and the cars pull away, I hope everyone present will leave with the inspiration to live better and love better.
What are your own ideas about what a wedding is for?
Image borrowed (with permission) from cakies. I love this image because it's not from her wedding. It's from her birthday a few days ago. It shows that love is in the everyday.