19 June 2012

On Marriage and Weddings

So, two of my friends got married recently. In order to attend it, we flew all the way to Los Angeles for a few days. Since we were rather close to both the bride and the groom, we did more than just attend the wedding. We were at the rehearsal the day before, and attended the rehearsal dinner as well. Thus, we met plenty of people from both sides of the family.

This series of events made me think of what I think about marriage. And after all this, I think that weddings are less more about celebrating one's love, but more like a party for the families.

So, am I against marriages? Technically, no. I don't mind getting married, but only if getting married will provide me more benefits legally, such as when it comes to income tax. I have come to the conclusion that two people do not need permission from a state, or a church, or any other social entity to love one another. Hence, my take on marriage is that it is a pragmatic move: I will only get married if it is more beneficial for both parties to do so.

Second, I am not sure I would like a wedding either. Based on what I have seen, a wedding is less for the couple, but more for the family. It's a party for the family. There are weird things that happen, like synchronized dancing, toasts, embarrassing anecdotes, and all that jazz. If I would get married, I think I am fine with a very low-key, small, visit to the judge kind of thing. Private, quiet, and shielded.

The thing is, weddings are steeped in tradition. And to some degree, the bride and groom are just puppets for the rest of the guests. They have to do this set of things that are expected of them, and the audience watches. But what's the point? I don't think I am comfortable with that.

So yeah, I am happy for both of my friends who got married, but I don't think that is my style.

(Chandeliers in the Austrian Room, from my Cathedral of Learning Series)


  1. Wasn't my style either, in fact we eloped and did the actual marriage to please the immigration services (the relationship was genuine though!). Never dreamed of a big white wedding, sounds like a waste of money to me. Plus I'm not into parties that much... and gathering friends and family from all over the world doesn't sound practical.

    It's cultural thing too I think. The wedding industry doesn't brainwash Europeans as much as Americans :-D

  2. Ah yes, in your case, I could see how getting married is beneficial. It makes living in a foreign country relatively easier, especially if your partner is a citizen. Hopefully, your family understood your eloping decision, as some parents insist on seeing their son or daughter getting married in a ceremony!