You would think that after being married for 50 years, I would be getting accustomed to weddings. But, this summer has been special–a granddaughter, a nephew and daughter of a good friend are all getting (or have gotten) married.
There seem to have been a lot of weddings this year. I think some of it is due to COVID and the gathering restrictions related to it. Weddings planned for the past couple of years got delayed, and so this year, we are making up for lost time.
What is it about weddings that everyone seems to like? When partnerships or corporations are formed, no one has a party. But, when two people “tie the knot,” it becomes the big social event of the year. And, this happens in all cultures.
When I was in the Navy, I would see wedding processions and celebrations in places like Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines and even Vietnam. I have been told that weddings can become so big in India that a family’s total savings can be spent on it.
No matter what religion, ethnicity or even political persuasion–people get excited and enthused about a wedding. Even Republicans and Democrats can find common ground when it comes to a wedding.
I have come to the conclusion that weddings have universal, human approbation. They are looked forward to, anticipated and appreciated by the entire mass of common humanity. That, in itself, is something to celebrate.
Though the dating game has greatly changed since I was a kid, the wedding celebration seems to be as strong and traditional as ever. It is a time when friends and family set aside all other interests or priorities to celebrate a new union, the formation of a new family.
I also believe that many couples wait longer before getting married. As a result, friends and family expand, and so do the number of bridesmaids and groomsmen. (Think about 10 or 12 each in some cases.) The idea of a common dress code among participants still seems to be in vogue–of course, with no one out-shining the bride.
Legally, marriage is nothing more than a simple contract. It could be done (and sometimes is) by two people standing before a judge. But, let’s face it, what people really want is to have a big celebration that no one can ever forget. I think that must be a part of our DNA.
I grew up hearing about big Italian weddings. But, I have seen some big Swedish ones too. Can you imagine combining them? That’s what often happens in our town!
So, let’s celebrate something that is so meaningful, powerful and meant to be long-lasting. Mine happened over 50 years ago, and it still seems like yesterday.
I have been enjoying this summer of weddings!
Rolland Kidder is a Stow resident.
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