I remember when I first became enchanted with the idea of weddings. I was probably five or six at the time and received a wedding themed paper doll book as a gift. I can recall being fascinated by this fictional brides life as she planned her wedding day from her trousseau, the arrival of wedding gifts and how she was going to deal with getting two toasters, to the groom who, to a young girl, seemed like a handsome prince. At the back of the book was a cardboard version of her to press out and her paper wardrobe including a frothy, full skirted wedding dress and veil that could be tabbed to her body. A young girls fantasy at it’s best.
Fast forward to this past weekend.
I was blessed to be witness to my nieces own special wedding day. As in my childhood fantasies, there was the beautiful blushing bride in her frothy wedding dress and veil, many gifts, pretty attendants, strong, able ushers and groomsmen and of course the handsome prince of a groom. A real life fantasy played out in a wonderful, elegantly decorated hall set in the woods at the edge of a lake.
It was there, surrounded by family and friends, that Andrea and Kelly committed to each other for life with open hearts and love bursting out for all to see.
As I drifted off to sleep at the end of this amazing day back in my hotel room, I went over in my mind the events of the day and I came to realize that a wedding is not just for the bride and groom to pledge their commitment of love to each other but it is also an opportunity for other married couples to silently re-affirm their own vows. It is a chance to be reminded of why you chose your own life partner again and to absorb some of the hope filled love that is so present on such a wonderful day. It’s kind of like a mini commitment recharge.
A wedding is also an affirmation of the strength of love created in the family bond. I’m sure that the parents of the newlyweds felt not only love and pride for their children but their own relationships received confirmation of the proof of their own love and commitment to each other and of the power and endurance of that bond.
On a special day like a wedding the bride and groom are surrounded with love and support from friends and family. The energy that is put forth creates the start of a new foundation in which the couple can build from but also, their commitment is like a thread that wraps itself around the already established family bonds, making them even stronger still. Two families are now forever joined.
Before this wedding my curious mind wondered why humanity created the tradition of marriage in the first place. Even though I myself am happily married, I wondered why a ceremony was created to forever join a man and women together. It has been a few years since I had been invited to a wedding and as society has become more open, people just living together has become more excepted.
After witnessing the marriage ceremony again, I realize that to make a solemn promise to another in front of the people that matter the most in life to you is a gutsy thing and is not only a promise to your beloved but a measure of your honour as a person. When you reach the stage, as I have, where you have been married for many years, raised a family and built a life with someone in love and faith then you really understand what a weighty commitment a marriage ceremony really is and why almost all cultures through out history created some sort of traditional commemoration to mark the binding of two people.
As for the newlyweds, it is my hope and prayer that you love no other as much as you love each other and that many years from now you will be as blessed as your parents were to be witness to your own children’s wedding day so the thread of love and commitment can wrap around the family bond once more.