My ma is attending a wedding this weekend for my cousin on her side, and at the end of the month, a paternal cousin is to be married. I will unfortunately miss both weddings, the latter making me most sad as I’ve been fairly close to that cousin. But the occasions have been making me ponder nuptials, and having been through one myself, I’ve got some thoughts on another, should I ever get the opportunity (which I doubt I will).
I will present my ideas as “Thoughts on “whatever” ” and in a heteronormative way. This is because I am heterosexual, and most familiar with the “classic” Western wedding. But weddings are becoming, and rightfully so, so much more what you make them with whomever you decide to marry and that is a Good Thing. Weddings shouldn’t be blind tradition. They should be a union of what makes you collectively you. To hence:
Thoughts on The Ring and Rings: maybe Tolkien has soured me on rings, but I don’t like the idea of giving my future bride an engagement ring. It seems to be little more than a Western bride price, dowry, or guarantor of the marriage. If my future bride cannot “reserve” herself for me without me spending a bunch of money on what is probably an overpriced conflict diamond or cheap synthetic, then she isn’t the one for me. Furthermore, why do we need wedding bands? I don’t understand jewelry as a symbol of love. Make it hurt, and I’m being serious here, get matching tattoos. They don’t come off, can’t get lost, cost a bit depending on what you get, and are a forever memory literally etched into your flesh. Now, having been through a divorce, this scares me because “what if, round two” but if you are unwilling to get tattooed, you probably aren’t willing to go through the long haul and tough it out when it really, really hurts either. Let’s just say I still can’t imagine my ex getting a tat, for any reason. If I’m wrong, she can send me photographic proof.
Thoughts on Sex/Wearing White (Purity): This is so wrapped up in draconian ideas of sexual ethics and shoddy economics that I don’t really want a bride wrapped in a white facade. I don’t believe in saving sex for marriage, and since I’ve already been married and had sex (spoiler! also, sorry ma, but well, we all know it happened at least once) what am I to do? Maybe my future next Mrs. Martin (also a point to be discussed) will be a virgin when we get married, but I kinda hope not. I mean, if we are getting married, have the tattoos, what is there to wait on? Sex just isn’t that important to me as a symbol of anything, or an act to be preserved, so what is the point of wearing white to pretend she is somehow “pure”? Especially if she is going to have sex that night, or soon thereafter anyway, does she then lose that purity or something? I don’t believe it transfers to the husband or anything, so again, point being? Be colorful! Again, be you and if you like white, go for it, but I’d like my bride in scarlet, or bright yellow, or something bright and happy. White is boring.
Thoughts on The Isle: So, it goes like this: the groom waits up at the front of wherever, the bride walks up toward him, arm in arm with her father, who hands her off, and after whatever, the bride and groom walk down the isle together. NO. This is clearly, and explicitly in traditional services, the father giving the woman to the man and the man accepting her and taking her with him. NO. The implication here is she is property, bought with the ring, and duly delivered and accepted and transferred. NO. In my wedding, if I get one again, we will enter from the sides, as equals, and go forward together and come back down together as a unit never again to be separated.
Thoughts on The Name: Afterwards it goes “I present to you Mr and Mrs Groom’s Name Only” NO. Is the man the only thing that matters in western society and weddings?? (Really, the answer still is yes, but to hell with that. This is the 21st century. We need to act like it.) I have a friend who took his wife’s name, but that is just inverting the binary. Wipe it out altogether. Get a new name. Or hyphenate (though who goes first?). Or, shockingly, keep your own name. Or something, but I really don’t like the wife surrendering her identity into that of her husband’s for the rest of her life. The woman is important all by herself and that desperately needs to be honored.
Thoughts on The Church: Even the religious these days are eschewing the steeple for the seashore, or prairie, or wherever. I’m not getting married in a church because the church does not rule over my marriage, and, well, I’d rather be married somewhere in nature, not necessarily in a building. If it’s raining, we get wet. I’m open to negotiation on this point, but I have strong preferences.
Thoughts on a Few Other Things: Invite who you want to be there, not who you are related to or feel obligated to invite. I get there are lots of politics here, but it’s your day, do what makes you happy. Have a fun cake and eat it. I don’t want it mashed in my face because I am not two anymore. I won’t mash it in her face either because she’s not two. Also, she worked damn hard on that makeup (probably) and I don’t want to ruin it with icing and sugar. Do what else has meaning for the two of you, and not what is “traditional”. Don’t spend money on glitzy things for the wedding, the party, or the wedding party. It’s just a wasted expense. Decorate in a fun, not expensive, way. If you want to do something meaningful for meaningful people, do that. I had a birthday cake at my first wedding because it was my grandmother’s birthday and I wanted to honor her at the occasion, and I’m glad I did. Having a birthday party at my wedding was probably the most “me” thing about that wedding. (And it wasn’t about me at all, my idea of perfect.)
And that’s all I have to say about that. For now. Thanks for listening.