07 September 2008

Favorite Moments from the Union

Yesterday I attended my only wedding this summer.  It was a beautiful Bellingham day.  The morning drew some clouds and some cooler winds but by the afternoon the blue had broken through the white and the sun was in full bloom.  A perfect afternoon for a wedding.  Every time I go to a wedding I am filled with paradoxical feelings: on the one hand, happiness for myself and the couple that I'm watching, on the other, a bit of cynicism (not at marriage but at the tradition of weddings).  So, in no uncertain order, I would like to list my favorite and least favorite moments of the wedding.

  • The kiss-there is nothing like it anywhere ever!  The first kiss as a married couple is a special moment and also symbolizes that the two are now one.
  • Uniqueness-each couple breaks from the norm in a few ways whether it is writing their own vows, using sand instead of the unity candle, having a slide show at the end, dumping change for comic relief during the ceremony, serving root beer floats at the reception,  being walked down the aisle by sisters and brothers instead of a father, walking down the aisle to some crazy fun music, or having fun programs and decorations.
  • Flowers-each person chooses flowers and flower arrangements that really reflect their style and their taste.  I like to see the colors and flower types that people choose.  Some are classic: roses and baby's breath (I know, hmmmm); some choose brightly colored dahlias and gerbera daisies and some choose an assortment of lilies.  Each color and flower choice says something about the person to me: daring, traditional, conservative, fun and festive, etc.
  • The setting:  I have had the privilege of attending weddings in a variety of different settings.  My favorites so far have been the home of the bride in Vancouver, WA.  We were seated at the tables for the wedding and then the time easily transitioned to the reception.  There was a beautiful valley for a backdrop and wonderful white tents to shield the late afternoon sun.  As the sun went down small white lights lit the tents for a wonderful evening.  The second favorite wedding I attended was in La Conner, WA.  The bride and groom held the wedding at an old farm and the grounds were planted with all kinds of wonderful smelling plants and lovely green atmosphere.
Least Favorite:
  • Perhaps this is where the cynicism kicks in but I don't necessarily like listening to the vows.  They seem so wrote.  I know, I know, I used the traditional vows myself but if I were to do it again, I'd write my own or do some research to use some poetry or something out of the ordinary.  When my step-sister got married they used traditional Scottish vows (her husband is from Scotland) and I really enjoyed hearing something out of the norm.
  • The waiting of the reception.  Again, I didn't avoid all of the traditional stuff but sometimes I think we do things because everyone else did them: the dance with the father, the speech by the sometimes not very eloquent best man and maid of honor and the throwing of the bouquet, etc.  It seems that the reception should reflect your style, your interests and your values.  Sometimes we seem to go through the motions and it can be quite boring.
  • Symmetry-plain and simple, we don't have to have the same number of bridesmaids as we do groomsmen and we don't have to have them all walk in hand in arm.  Sometimes I think we have a ridiculous number of these attendants (please!).  Choose your lifelong friends, your family and the people you feel like really help you in your life and support you.
Summary:  I suppose there is an element of what if....every time I go to a wedding.  What if I'd done it differently.  Well, I can't.  I am married and I can never have another wedding.  So, choose carefully what you think will reflect your style, your values and what you really want to participate in.  If you don't like a certain part of the wedding ceremony, avoid it.  If you always think something should have been a part of the ceremony, add it.  Just make it yours.  And if, like I do, you didn't think of all this ahead of time, you'll be posting on your blog 9 years later about what you might have done differently.  I'd never have chosen a different man, just a few different elements for the ceremony.

(P.S. Congratulations to Jason & Tina 9/6/08).

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