I have been to many weddings. I have seen lots of weddings on TV. Now that I have to put together my own wedding, I cannot, for the life of me, remember what goes into a ceremony! You would think, for all the planning and building up we women do for this wedding thing, we would actually know what goes into one, but I’m pretty sure we just wait to hear, “You may now kiss the bride.” So I (embarrassingly enough) had to go and look up what would go into a ceremony structure.
After doing a little research I am more confused than ever. Religious people are lucky! The ceremony is pretty much planned for them, all they have to do is show up and make sure the priest/pastor/rabbi/etc knows their names. As neither of us are religious, things get a little hazy from there. There are of course the basic things. Such as “Do you take this woman…Do you take this man…” but even those are optional. If your ceremony isn’t within the church, you pretty much have the free reign to do whatever you want, which puts me back to square one…what do I want?
Well, having gone to many weddings, I do know one thing I want…a brief ceremony. I am not a patient person. I will probably be wanting to run down that aisle, grab him, kiss, and then off to eat and party! I also feel that it might be uncomfortable for guests to sit for long periods outside in the dead of August.
Which brings me to my number one tip: Think about where and when you are having the wedding when you consider the length. I know me giving tips on this is the blind leading the blind, but this just makes sense. If you are having your ceremony in a climate controlled building, guests will be more willing to sit through your second cousin’s specially prepared song, or that fifth reading you couldn’t do without. But if your guests are outside in any weather (cold or hot) you might want to keep it brief!
As to after that, I only have incomplete ideas, but of course they involve some DIY projects so I will definitely keep you informed!
Weddings may be beautiful now (and a multi-billon dollar industry), but their history is steeped in horrible tradition, it’s a wonder we still use most of them today. Did you know that women used to be stolen from their families by the intended groom and his best friends (best men, if you will)? The friends were brought along like a mini militia to fight of protesting family members. Being a woman back in the day was a horrible experience obviously. And once he has captured his prize, for the wedding ceremony, she is placed at his left so that he may use his right hand to fend off any attacks. I suppose even back then kidnapping and forced marriage was frowned upon.
If you weren’t the plundering kind, buying your bride was the more respectful thing to do. After all, she was still property. The word “wedd” is an Anglo-Saxon term that refers to bartering for your bride. So the root of the word “wedding” means “to gamble or wager.” I suppose even now that is appropriate considering how much we spend on weddings.
If being some man’s property wasn’t bad enough, women were often given to warring families or tribes as a peace-offering, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s happy about it, so the bride’s family has to sit on one side, and the groom’s on the other to make sure they didn’t kill each other. I think we should do away with this tradition…try this sign instead:
And of course no wedding is complete without the end kiss. This is actually a sweet tradition of Roman origin. The Romans felt that to seal a legally binding contract, there must be a kiss, so until the bride and groom kiss, the marriage is not legal. This is a much nicer form of “making it legal” than a piece of paper!
What wedding traditions are you keeping for your ceremony? I doubt your man is going to come steal you away from your parents during the night, but maybe you will stand to his left so he can fend off attacks from objecting parties! I love the traditional vows, but I think I’d also like us to write our own. I still want to walk down an aisle, but I don’t want family and friends to pick sides! And of course we are keeping the kissing tradition! Who wouldn’t?