Is your wedding really yours?

Marriage is something the majority of us are familiar with. Perhaps you’re married yourself, like many folks are; maybe you’re engaged and you’re planning a wedding; maybe you’ve been involved in a wedding party.

As we know, with marriage comes a wedding, which we recognize as a celebration of the happy couple. What we may not recognize, however, is whether or not the wedding itself is what the couple wanted.

I was talking with someone I know the other day about marriage. This particular person was explaining to me how they has 23 people at their wedding, most of the guests being family, and further that they don’t sport their engagement or wedding ring. They commented on how they had their wedding the way they wanted as opposed to what society dictates when it comes to weddings, and their words really resonated with me.

Think about it. When we think about weddings, we likely contemplate key components of the ceremony. The cake cutting, the mother/son and/or father/daughter dance, the couples first dance, the bouquet toss … the list goes on. And while these wedding elements are celebrated and appreciated by many, I question whether or not they’re necessary, and further, whether or not a couple willingly or unwillingly incorporates these elements into their own ceremony.

Weddings have included these components for so long that we perceive them to be normal. If we were to attend a wedding that didn’t have these typical elements, we may find it odd. But if a couple doesn’t necessarily wish to continue to perpetuate social constructions when it comes to their wedding, why should they?

Prior to chatting with the person I mentioned earlier, I hadn’t ever considered how heavily weddings are influenced by society. If you wish to have a traditional wedding, go for it. If you don’t, then don’t. At the end of the day, it’s your wedding. Period.

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