Monday, July 14, 2008


So I went to a wedding this weekend. I did not know the couple too well, but they are a very nice, all-American couple. They're both beautiful, privileged, smart, successful, and from well-to-do families with respectable jobs. Thus, it was the standard all-American wedding that every girl dreams of. Filled with tradition.

The wedding just made me think of these traditions and rituals that we do on weddings. They seem completely normal because we have learned that these are the customs of our culture. But wouldn't another culture wonder where the hell these customs came from? Some of them just seem so arbitrary, even though I can see how some of them would stem from something more meaningful.

Here's what I mean. These are examples of customs that confuse me with weddings:

-Where does the superstition come from that when the bride tosses the bouquet backwards, the recipient will be married next?

-Why does this recipient go through the removal of the garter ceremony? What does this even mean?

-Why do the bride and groom cut the cake holding hands? And then smash it in each other's face? (That seems to be a new tack-on)

-Why does the wedding party sit facing the rest of the guests in a narrow row?

-Why do the bride and groom have to kiss when people clank their forks against their glasses?

-Why is it bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding?

Other customs in a wedding, in my opinion, have some sort of explanation, whether it makes sense or not. This includes putting the ring on the fingers, the father of the bride walking her down the aisle, the groomsmen and bridesmaids standing in the straight line, the vows of the best man and maid of honor, etc.

I can't say I was shocked, but it was strange to listen to the bible readings and recitations at the Catholic church. Specific wording hinted at the fact that the chuch doesn't accept gay marriage. Something like "man in woman were created in God's image to be together," or something similar. Basically, they were created to be together and no other way. It's just strange. But I won't go into all of that... I don't need to vocalize that here in this setting. We all should believe what we want to believe as long as we don't discriminate or hurt other people in the process.

The wedding ceremony made me think of what I would like to do for my wedding. It's easy to put yourself in a situation when you're the outsider. I don't know how crazy I would be about doing a lot of these silly traditions. I'd rather do my own thing. Create it as I may, as I want. Why not? It's my day. I can make it be as I wish. Something to think about; something for the future...

Anyway, does anyone know the originations of these customs? What do we think of weddings?

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