Recently, it seems as if “Ring by Spring” has become a reality in my life. A close friend of mine just got married this past weekend, and I have two more weddings to attend before the end of July. In light of this, I’ve begun to think about how weddings are changing as our culture modernizes.
Weddings nowadays have started to become very individualized, as people try to find new and different ways to celebrate their special days.
There are giant weddings at gorgeous venues that are extremely extravagant, small simple weddings with only family and close friends, destination weddings and some people who even decide to skip the wedding hoopla, go to the courthouse, get a marriage license and celebrate with a reception later on. Is this new variety of unstructured weddings a good change for our culture, or are we losing one of the most sacred traditions we share with family and friends?
When deciding on the size of a wedding, I think many people feel pressured to have a relatively large guest list. They don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by not inviting them and they’re not sure who it’s safe to leave out. They feel obligated to invite all of their family, no matter how distant.
Cousins, second cousins, third cousins twice removed, everyone must receive an expensive invitation that the couple spent hours sifting through engagement photos for. Which leads us to one of the biggest problems with weddings: Money.
First of all, you’re going to be spending a lot of money on the wedding already because of the cost of a venue, catering, photography, flowers, etc. Adding people into this equation only makes it more expensive, and starting the married life in debt is not the way you want to go. In addition, it’s hard to make sure you get to see everyone and spend a moment with them, which just adds stress to your plate of expensive catered food.
Instead of this craziness, I believe that small weddings are the way to go. They’re intimate, cheap and 20 years down the road, you won’t regret paying for someone’s food that you haven’t talked to since the wedding. One way to do this while making sure that no one’s feelings are hurt is to have a destination wedding.
When you do this, you can invite as many people as you want to, but it’s likely that only your close family and friends will pay for a ticket to come to the wedding. Plus, if you have a destination wedding, you have the opportunity to have the sand between your toes while you get married, instead of uncomfortable heels, and how amazing is that?
In addition to the size of weddings changing, the scene that weddings take place in has also changed, as many of them are not in churches anymore.The majority of weddings are outside these days, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I feel as if having the privilege to get married outside, or wherever one wants to get married, is a beautiful thing that helps show the couple’s personality.
One couple might want to get married in a forest, trees surrounding them and sounds of crickets in the background, while another couple might want to get married traditionally in a church. What’s wrong with having options?
Overall, I don’t think that we are ruining the sanctity of weddings in our culture. Sure, maybe the courthouse weddings aren’t the most glamourous, but I think that, all in all, if the couple is happy and happy to be together, that’s all that matters.
It’s a big step to commit to someone for the rest of your life, but I also think it’s a special thing that should happen in a way that reflects your love and the love of the person you’re choosing to spend your life with. Whether that’s on a beach, in a backyard or at an altar, a wedding is a commitment and a cause for celebration.