Weddings: What’s the fuss?
Time has an unwelcoming habit of sucking the joy out of activities we once loved. Taking tequila shots, staying out late, dating Caucasian Republicans — all past times I used to thoroughly enjoy.
For some, the excitement of attending a wedding also gradually withers away. The allure of an open bar, gathering with old friends, and synchronistically jiving to the verses of Otis Day’s “Shout” are eventually mitigated by existential anxiety, banal speeches, and un-needed logistical stress.
The wedding guest wonders, is it worth attending this function at all?
But even the growing cynic within me hopes our outlook on this sacred ceremony is never camped in the same realm of our youthful indiscretions.
For a wedding is an opportunity to properly reflect on life and feel the love surrounding us that is rarely appreciated.
Attending intimate celebratory gatherings with a familiar group of people naturally leads us to pontificate about where they stand in life. Unsurprisingly, weddings are no exception.
For singles, you’re forced to field the inevitable questions about why you currently lack a partner. Though well intentioned, it’s hard not to take it as: Do you know how incomplete of a human being you are right now? Where did you mess up in life? Why is your ‘happily ever after’ game so weak?
For those in a committed relationship, you’re bound to ask yourself: Will our blissful union be this blissful? Will our potential sacred covenant be as sacred? Are we also going to provide appetizers only sufficient for the palate of a tiny baby?
Married couples often wonder — Was our holy matrimony as holy? Was our day of joy as joyous? Why did we also provide appetizers that were only sufficient for the palate of a tiny baby?
While this type of reflection can be cumbersome, it provides immense value. We can all agree that society would be better off if everyone, regardless of their relationship status, gave additional thought as to why they should or should not seek out a lifelong partnership. For better or worse, weddings are a backdrop to flesh out one’s relationship qualms and examine what degree of romantic commitment they genuinely desire.
And yes, the speeches will be dreadful. For public speaking is a developed skill and sophisticated craft that very few have mastered. But even to an oratory snob like myself, that’s what makes these attempts of eloquence touching. Very rarely do individuals step out of their comfort zone and engage in an activity to express their affection for a close companion. Specifically, for men, there are very few avenues that are acceptable to display their appreciation of a bond with another male. In a time where we justifiably fear how unempathetic our world is becoming, it behooves us to embrace these few moments of public kinship.
For those of you who consider carving out time for weddings a burden, here are a few points to consider. First, you’re no busier than anyone else. Second, we’ve all previously exhausted time and energy on endeavors that were far more stressful and much less enjoyable (i.e. dating Caucasian Republicans). Finally, there is a profound honor to being invited to one’s special day that must not be overlooked.
I’ve been a part of over twenty weddings in a variety of roles (minister, groomsman, a plus one to annoy one’s racist grandma) and have a firsthand account of how difficult it is to organize a wedding ceremony of any size.
Amidst the arduous tasks of dealing with vendors, appeasing family requests, and creating a seating chart so squabbling siblings Cersei and Tyrion don’t sit next each other (due to a feud stemming from a previous wedding) the couple reached out to you to be part of their special day.
If you are in frequent contact with that couple, let that be a reminder that the valuable time you spent with them has been appreciated. If substantial time has passed between your last interaction and the time of the invitation, know that your presence has been a sizeable influence in their journey on this earth.
So, when the next wedding invitation comes, do I suggest that one should ignore the highly probable slaughtering of the art of oratory, the uncomfortable cognitive conundrums that will ensue, the eventual habit of examining the opportunity cost of attending this event?
Do I recommend that one instead appreciate the opportunity to witness genuine affection, sincere gratitude, and the epic intertwining of two beautiful human beings?