Your Wedding Day: A Microcosm of Life in Every Regard
I grew up in a very rigid (although not because of my parents, but the church environment that we were a part of) church community for most of my formative years. I may be immoral in several ways, but marriage is sacred to me. Even in some past relationships and encounters, where the women were separated, and “all but divorced legally, soon…” there is serious trepidation, because 1) the sanctity in which I hold the marriage covenant and what it symbolizes and 2) I wouldn’t want to be cheated on, although I have been a few times. However, there is no reason to set such a cycle in motion on your end, regardless of who cheats on you.
Side Note: Notice I said marriage earlier, not the wedding ceremony.
A wedding ceremony, like any other event in life, involving fallible beings who are capable of small windows of “perfection”, cannot be treated as anything different in life. You want to see it go off with a hitch, putting your best foot forward, with a great presentation and overall good-feeling outcome. But as is the case with may things that we seek out to do in life, things don’t always go as planned. Furthermore, the way we thought was “best” was usurped by a few hitches and last second changes, unforeseen errors or circumstances that actually made the event even more memorable than we ever thought it would have been with our original plans. That is the beauty of this life. When we think our plans are great, they go awry, and actually end up better than expected. Sometimes the converse is true. All we can do is plan for the best and make the most of where the chips fall.
However, there is an increasing sentiment that more is made of planning a perfect wedding ceremony, while very little planning, preparation and audibles (sorry, still in football mode after Sunday Night Football) are in place when curveballs are thrown (in MLB baseball playoff mode also, sorry) our way. If you cannot adjust, learn how to compromise, and sacrifice when necessary, your marriage is not going to stand the test of time; no matter how greatly your wedding ceremony may come off.
Nevertheless, what is with the idea that a ceremony — however momentous — cannot have flaws or hiccups, when everything else in life has this possibility? Besides, as someone who has been part of a wedding party (from best man to groosman to usher) in over two dozen wedding parties — and in 17 ALONE from 2003-2008, I do know that sometimes the unexpected hiccups often make for (sometimes) pleasant and more memorable ceremonies. What will it matter either way, if planning and preparation for the events of daily life with another person in tow? Life is life, and nothing changes in this regard when you are married versus when you are single. If you are horrible with time management, conflict resolution and knowing when to sacrifice, you are not magically going to learn when you are married, especially if it is not already a habit when single.
I have lived long enough now to have seen a great number of marriages that were on the rocks before the wedding ceremony, and run their courses. Back when I was in my early 20s, I was always optimistic and hoping for the best for some of these people, despite red flags. And while I always wish everyone the best, you can almost tell that some marriages are not going to last without drastic changes from one or both. It is a painful, helpless feeling; particularly when it is a loved one or good friend (which has happened to me). I am partly glad that I did not find a woman worth marrying in my early 20s, because I would have been caught up in the hype of the wedding and would have — at best — only planned for certain things upcoming in the marriage on the fly. I have gained wisdom that will serve me well going forward.
My wish is that people would seriously place less emphasis on the extravagance of a one day event, when you have anywhere from 30 to 3,000 to 5,000 days to live as one.
I am not saying blow off ceremonies. Ceremonies should occur (although there is nothing wrong with running down to the court, or having a simple, less-elaborate gathering at a park, beach or on a relative’s lawn, with potluck-style “catering” from relatives and friends). If you are just getting by when single, (or if you’re shacked up before marriage — no judgment here), then why start out in tens of thousands of debt over one day and a week-long honeymoon… when you could end up repaying the debt in the form of student loans or a mortgage, only to breed ground for potentially marriage-destroying fights over finances? I’ve seen this far too much and it is painful to watch, when it is almost always largely preventable.