Lately i’ve been to a lot of weddings. I LOVE weddings! Who doesn’t? Normally surrounded by tons of friends or family, delicious food, even better dessert, and a bit of a party! Well that’s how the guests see it anyway…
I can’t speak for a “bride” having never been one myself and not experienced what the day is like for her. I’ve been lucky to have been a bridesmaid twice in my life, but have ALWAYS (being the hopeless romantic i am) payed very close attention to the bride and groom. Her face as she walks down the aisle, HIS face when he sees her the very first time that day – normally looking quite different from what she does in every day life. The way they dance, look at each other, etc. And it always interests me the way couples choose to present themselves, and their relationship to the world on their wedding day. Fun? Serious? Romantic? Traditional? It surprises me when one of the most fun and outgoing couples have quite a serious wedding.
The one thing, i must say, i hate about weddings (besides being seated at the “single’s” table) is how they can be different, but easily end up all looking the same? I find it strange that even though every couple is different, and original, there seem to be wedding “trends” “etiquette” and “norms”. God forbid the bride doesn’t have a garter, or the best man doesn’t say a speech, or the tablecloths are anything other than a shade of white. This once made sense to me, when i was 4 and all i saw was a girl in a very princessy dress and a tiara on her head. I thought “wow! she looks like a princess, i bet it’s the puffy dress!” Now that i’m older (wiser is debatable) i think that whole “Princess” vibe is more about how you feel and less about how you look.
Some people don’t believe in it, and think it’s merely a “piece of paper and a ring …” But if someone close to you has gotten married, i think we can agree that it’s far too emotional an event to argue that there’s not something bigger and deeper going on.
It’s one day, that changes your life forever whether it happens or not. To a couple, it’s the thing that matters most, and people will tell them that. But a single girl gets told it doesn’t matter at all. It’s either everything, or nothing. Single girls aren’t expected to focus on it, and married people are warned not to stop focusing on it. If you’re single you forget what it’s like to be in a relationship, but the minute you enter into one, you’ve forgotten what it’s like to be single.
I don’t necessarily “hate” going to a wedding by myself. What i hate is that, normally at a wedding, all a single girl hears is “are you here with someone?”, “shame” and “so when will you get married”. None of which you can answer without getting sympathy- eyes… followed by “you’re not getting younger” when they’ve been cheeky enough to ask your age.
The single girls have to advertise themselves by having to gather in the centre of the dance floor and fight over a bouquet as if it’s the last male on the planet, and gets forced to dance with the one guy that has two left feet and about as much rhythm as a piece of wedding cake.
At this point, please keep in mind that i’m still the same person from the first paragraph that loves weddings. Because even if the chicken dance isn’t really my idea of choreography, and i’ve done the Macarena too many times for my liking, somehow the joy and the love of the event cancels out the undignified dances and embarrassing traditions. So you catch the bouquet with a smile, bite your tongue when the “two left feet” guy stands on your toes for the 10th time and answer all the relationship questions without holding a grudge, because there’s something about a wedding, something about this “important” but “not important” day that stays beautiful, with just a touch of magic.
So by now i’m used to going to weddings (and movies and ….) by myself. I don’t know who i’m going to marry, don’t even know for sure if i WILL get married. But i do know this … when i do, i don’t want it to be caught up in tradition. I want it to be real, and honest, and expressive of us as a couple, because i know that the more it is, the more beautiful and magical it will be, even for the single girls.