Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Weddings vs. Marriage: A comparison

I have been reading a lot about weddings, but lately, mostly about marriage. As I have said repeatedly, I am no expert. I haven't been married for one moment, let alone 62+ years (like my grandparents!) but from everything that I have gathered about weddings, and separately about marriages, I think one important thing springs out:

Wedding and marriages are not synonymous.

(Which should be obvious. I know. But the thing is, once you get engaged, there is so much to-do about what your dress is like, what kind of reception you are having, what color your flowers will be, and so little about what this means - for the rest. of. your. life).

I was reading an article the other day that said (I'm paraphrasing) that weddings are to bamboo trees, what marriages are to the jungle. Weddings are like seashells, what marriage is to the ocean.

In other words, they are related, sure, connected even. But different. Oh, so different.

As someone who is actively planning my wedding, this is an important thing for me to focus on. My family and I are spending real money, lots of money, on one day. One. (Obviously we're cognizant of what we are doing, not spending more then we can afford, yadda yadda, but the fact is, I'd give up the wedding if I had to. In the grand scheme of things, it is not that important).

I'd give up my wedding, but I wouldn't give up my groom.

(See the distinction?)

The flowers, the dress, the DJ... none of this has any bearing on the kind of marriage that I will have. People with grand, amazing, fairytale weddings don't necessarily have grand, amazing, fairytale marriages. Just because you have the wedding, doesn't mean you'll have the marriage. One is not dependent on the other.

To me, marriage is about the commitment. I am committing to you, for today, for tomorrow, for every today and for every tomorrow. The long haul. It's about love (or it should be) but it's also about choice. Fidelity. Loyalty. Commitment.

Weddings are about a celebration of that commitment. (Look, I know it's also about a sacrament, and I mean no disrespect to that. But when you think "weddings!" or someone says "I love weddings" they really mean what comes after, the party). Good food, strong drink, fun music.

So to sum it up? I am so looking forward to next May 28th. But more then that, I am looking forward to May 29th, and May 30th, and every day from then on. I can't wait for my wedding to Scott, but I am more excited about being married to him.

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