I wonder sometimes about weddings. Brian and I got married five years ago and it was very important to me, but if I look at it intellectually, I start to wonder. Why do we need to put on pretty clothes, get up in front of a group of people, have a big party in order to make a commitment to another person? I suppose most girls and young women have expectations of a fairy tale, of feeling like a princess, of living happily ever after. But why? Yes, the weddings are often lovely, but they don't represent the real commitment, do they? The real commitment exists in the private promises that a couple make to one another, in fighting and making up, in sharing the mundane details of their daily life. A fancy dress and some signatures on a piece of paper seem so much less important than all that.
I say those things, but every time I go to a wedding I change my mind. Over the weekend, one of my very closest friends in college, although one I've grown apart from and not spent much time with in recent years, was marrying the woman who has been his love and partner for the past eight years. After eight years, one would think that maybe the wedding itself wasn't so significant--at least not if you went by my theory. But as they went through a ritual that millions of other people have experienced, I understood its importance. It was a beautiful. It was meaningful. It was an honor to witness it. I cried through the ceremony, and had a grand time at the reception. It was wonderful to see Mica and Lara, and all their friends and family, so happy. We were all celebrating their love, their commitment to each other, and their hope for happily ever after. Seeing them exchange vows and rings, watching them dance and laugh together, I understood the importance of the wedding ceremony. I still believe that the real commitment comes from their private promises and sharing their day-to-day life, but the ceremony was important for them, for their families, for all of us.
I wish them all the best. At this moment, I can't think of two people who deserve to live happily ever after together more.