My Bestfriend’s Wedding

My bestfriend’s married. Wait, let me say that again… Cory Is Married!

I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this marraige thing for the last few weeks but I’ve not come any closer to reaching any sort of enlightment about it.

What I’ve been trying to do is understand the significance of the day in relation to life in general. For instance, in the case of my bestfriend and his new bride – or myself and Maggie for that matter – they’ve lived together for quite a long time, and coming home from their wedding I’m curious if there is a different “feeling” between them. Same house to return to, same bed to sleep in, same jobs to go to, same dinner to cook and cats to feed. What changes?

Reading this, it might come across as cynical, and I don’t mean it to be at all. I generally have a pretty high regard for the institute of marriage and I’m not knocking it. I’m just starting to wonder if maybe the whole thing isn’t a bit over rated. Not the commitment between the people, or the security that the commitment brings – but rather the concept of the ceremony itself.

I think where things get muddled for me is that I’ve been thinking a lot about what my ceremony is going to look like. As Maggie and I both don’t want a big blazing wedding ceremony, and have been considering what might amount to eloping in Thailand. As such, I’ve started looking at what is important about a wedding ceremony and what isn’t.

Sadly, I’ve not come to any answers. In both our cultures weddings become this black hole of financial suckery and maybe I’m just too practical for my own good. I know that generally the theme of a wedding is to forget about the expense, especially in regards to the bride and giving her “her” day. Well, I really want it to be “our” day and if it stresses us out, makes me miserable, bankrupts us for a year, puts our lives on hold and scatters our plans (travel, etc.) … I dunno… I start wondering if there isn’t a compromise.

I mean, it’s not about the money, right? It’s not about how many flowers you have, how many people are there, what food to serve… etc. These are things that are tacked on to fluff up the day, but really this is about you staring deep into your beloved’s eyes and saying you will always be there for them, love them, comfort them, and take care of them.

My biggest worry is that those things, which to me are the only things, will get lost in the shuffle of the day. Perhaps they get uttered and maybe flit through the brain in a spare moment while posing for this photo, standing for that toast, giving a speach or making sure everyone’s having a good time and forming good memories about my “special day” – but they become sort of an after thought. An “oh yeah!” moment in the cacophany of meeting the wedding ceremony expectations.
I’ve started looking into what it will take to have a quiet ceremony with sand between my toes and the sound of an ocean as our procession’s music… and it’s complicated. The best part of having a ‘traditional’ wedding is that there are lots of people who can offer sound advice. Where to get cheaper flowers, how to bargain with the photographer, what food to serve, what venue to rent, how to seat people, etc.; but there’s not much help when it comes to doing something ‘different’.

There’s lots of information about taking all the stresses of above and transplanting them on a beach, but I’m having a difficult time taking the whole thing off the well-worn path and making it our own. We’ll see what happens.

Sorry for that tangent… and please don’t take it to mean anything about Cory and Les’ wedding – it was amazing and beautiful. Here are some photos from the wedding:

The happy couple

[1] The groom and his men (minus CJ). [2] The bride and her maids.

[1] Ah, there’s CJ – pondering. [2] Our to-the-photoshoot transportation.

[1] The scene stealing Rebecca – Cory’s niece. [2] Carol – Cory’s mom. [3] Rosaline and Richard – Cory’s stepmom and dad.

Cristy, Candace and CJ – my friends that start with ‘C’

5 Responses

  1. Your observations are not cynical, they are almost spot on. Just a few things….

    The ceremony, whatever it may be should be about you two. It’s rather archaic to think of it solely as “her” day. I’m a big believer in the ritual of it all. I think we as a human race have created rituals to mark various stages of life. They help signify something to the participants, including the guests. Think of a jewish bris shortly after birth, a Mexican quinceanera, or even a funeral. The rituals in all their simplicity and/or pomp are about more then just the main participants. They are a way for the friends and family to also enjoy/mark that passage in life. That being said, I believe a wedding is a ritual to celebrate the union of two people and two families. Without the support of family and friends it is harder for a marriage to succeed. Ever have that girlfriend your friends and family didn’t like?

    So what will be different after all of it? At first, nothing. But slowly, gradually, it’s different. Some people don’t want anything to change, but I think that’s lame. Everything must evolve to survive, including relationships. Evolution, good.

    Screw the flowers and garter crap if that’s not your thing. Plan a kick ass party that you actually WANT to attend and throw tradition to the wind. I went to a great wedding where there was no wedding cake or other traditional stuff, just two people declaring their love in front of close friends and family. Afterwards, we ate and drank heavily, danced, and instead of wedding cake, ate cheesecake, the couple’s favorite. It was awesome because it was exactly what they wanted.

    Think of it as planning a party you both want to attend. If money is short, then plan a kick ass budget party. Maybe your travel plans will be affected, so what??? I believe in moments in time. If you’re getting married, then enjoy this moment in time before it passes. Trips and vacations can be scheduled for different times, but weddings in whatever form they take, are brief moments. Whatever you do, celebrate and let the people who love you celebrate with you. You could serve beer and hot dogs while you and Maggie are dressed to t

  2. Just throw a few shrimps on the barbee and order a couple of kegs of soda! It’s good that you’re starting to see the wedding industry for what it is — a huge racket. I’m pretty cynical — when I think that my ex and I spent well over US$ 10,000 for a wedding, and our marriage collapsed after only five years. Especially since coming to China, I can appreciate that that’s a shitload of money. Of course, no one ever plans to have their marriage end in divorce, but when it does, the more beautiful the memories of a fancy wedding were, the more they taste like bile afterwards.

  3. Being home has been good for me to get some perspective on this. It’s let me feel out how people here might feel about coming. It certainly doesn’t look like everyone will come, but I think if the timing works my Dad and Stepmom are in and having them there would be awesome.

    I’ve still a long way to go sorting out exactly how we’re going to swing it – logistically, financially, etc. – but it’s starting to take shape, and that’s getting me giddy.

    @Thea: The hardest thing for me to do is kill a month’s worth of travel for a day’s worth of celebration. I understand the significance of the day and all that, but Maggie and I have been planning to trek through S.E. Asia and Southern China for quite some time. Getting married in Thailand is supposed to become a part of that – not the whole thing. I agree with you that it’s all about “moments in time”… but I’m talking about many moments being sacrificed for one moment. What I need to do is find a balance I’m happy with. That requires more planning… and apparently I’d much rather be responding to comments than planning my wedding… bah! haha.

    @Chris: I empathize (if not 100% relate to) your feelings… I’ve had a couple long-term relationships that went to shite and (though on a lesser scale I’m sure) I am familiar with that sense of “wasted-investment” … of course I don’t mean just financially, but just in thinking about the future together, planning that future, etc… then to have it pulled away… it sucks.

    Basically, in the end I’m entering this marriage with 100% certainty it will last (or I simply wouldn’t get married), I will give it my all and not skimp or reserve an emotion… if something changes and it “fails”… so be it. Can’t live life from the sidelines, right?

    If it’s any consolation… I’ve friends that paid much more than 10 Gs… but with a similar ending.

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