The subject of weddings has been on my mind a lot lately – probably because we just had one in our family and I’ve been involved in a bit of the drama that it inevitably brings.
I can’t say that I particularly enjoyed my wedding. In fact, I will come right out and say that I didn’t enjoy my wedding.
It was definitely not about me and it simply didn’t reflect who I am – or rather who I was at the time. I was also about 4 months pg and so there were hormones and fatigue and everything else involved.
I did make a STUNNINGLY beautiful bride (if I must say so myself) and I was so skinny, it’s unbelievable. Beautiful, perfect skin. Not a single wrinkle or pimple. Perfect hair. Perfect make-up. A dashing man. The world at our feet.
I enjoy small and intimate and meaningful. My wedding was definitely not small and intimate and I was so overwhelmed by everything and by all these people that I kind of missed out on meaningful. I even asked my DH at the reception if we could leave now because I was starting to get annoyed with all the guests wanting to kiss me and all the smiling (one can only do so-much fake smiling and face-gym) and photos and flashing cameras and all the people and and and. That was at about 6pm when the reception just started. Shame, I remember him being very sympathetic – but we simply couldn’t leave – it would have been rude.
I personally feel that often, too much is made of the actual wedding day and that couples forget that the marriage only starts the next day. Many of them forget this because all that is on their minds is this one day and the flowers and food and and and.
I think that I may be biased about this. Really, I have found marriage to be incredibly hard. WAY harder than getting through my wedding day.
What I DO love about weddings is the fact that it is ALL ABOUT INTENTIONS AND THE DECLARATIONS THEREOF. You are declaring to your partner that you will ALWAYS be there, no matter what. You are declaring it publicly and making your intention known to whoever is around to witness it. I think it’s BEAUTIFUL and honestly, a very bold and BRAVE thing to do.
I must admit that I grin to myself a little when I watch the bridal couple – especially at the point when they say vows and make these promises to one another. They have stars in their eyes. They are so in love. They often don’t have kids yet. And they truly believe that things will be perfect from that point onwards.
I grin to myself and I wonder if they know that this is possibly the best and the easiest that it will ever be. That this is quite possibly the best that they or their spouse will ever look. If they must only know that at some point, the fantasy will become reality and that they are going to have to pay bills, deal with A LOT of adversity, have kids and deal with this, that and the other. If they must only know the MAGNITUDE of this commitment that they are making.
I believe that sometimes, couples lose sight of the HUGE commitment that they are making. And mark my words, it is a MASSIVE commitment.
Seriously. One person until you one of you die. No matter what.
Whether you or they are healthy or sick – even though chances are that you haven’t ever needed to deal with someone else’s bodily fluids.
Whether you are wealthy or poor - even though chances are that you’ve never had to deal with an unemployed spouse AND having to cover all the bills. Or you’ve never had to deal with someone who simply can’t work with money.
In good times and in bad times – need I say more? Bad times can be anything from addiction to depression to infidelity to uncertainty to problems with interfering in-laws. Really, the list is endless and I can do an entire blog post on this.
Until death ends your union – forever can be a VERY long time, especially if there is a lot more poorer than richer and especially if the bad times seem to go on and on and on and on.
I do think sometimes that the vows need to be re-looked at, because at the end of the day, this is the real world.
Please do not misunderstand me. I’m not knocking down the institution of marriage. I honestly believe that it’s a BEAUTIFUL thing, even though it is damn hard work. And as I said earlier, I do understand that weddings are all about intention and declaring your intentions before God and before the masses
However, I am occasionally skeptical about marriage – or could I possibly be skeptical about people? I don’t know – I guess it’s something to think about and I DO think that about 90% of the time there is WAY TOO MUCH focus on just this one day i.e the lead-up to the marriage.
And no, I am not saying that it is wrong to “go big or go home” if that’s your thing. I’m merely saying that sometimes one needs to look beyond the ONE DAY, and that when a couple is so caught up in the details of the ONE DAY, they can lose sight of what’s ahead.
I do think that there many, many people who do not realise how big this thing called marriage is. Because if they did, then there wouldn’t be such a high divorce rate.
My very first job was for a firm of attorneys. Divorce was our biggest money spinner. Not maintenance, DIVORCE. And interestingly enough, our smallest money spinner was pre-nups. AT the time (I’m talking nearly 10 years ago) in the Western Cape alone there were 4000 divorces a year – just in the Southern Divorce Court. That’s not counting divorces that take place in the High Court. I shudder to think what that figure could be by now.
So this is what I would say to someone who wants to get married:
Get a pre-nup. I cannot stress this enough. One just NEVER knows what the future holds and for all you know, your partner could become a substance abuser or something in a few years.
Marriage i.e. the thing that starts the day after the wedding is not easy but it’s wonderfully fulfilling if both parties are in it.
It’s best to understand EXACTLY how BIG this thing called lifelong commitment and marriage is. Preferably BEFORE you walk down the aisle.
You may think on your wedding day (when you are staring into your partners eyes) that you can’t possibly love this person more or that you’ve reached the pinacle of your love. Trust me, you haven’t. Your love will grow and grow and grow. And it’s BEAUTIFUL.
If you have ANY doubt in your mind, even just 1% of doubt. Then DON’T DO IT.
What are your thoughts on weddings vs marriage?
Do you think that sometimes too much is made of the actual day and that couples lose sight of what’s to come?
Do you think that couples actually realise the magnitude of what they are promising one another?
What advice would you give someone who wants to get married and is caught up in the fairy tale part of it?