I recently had a first in my life. I crashed a wedding party. Even though I felt slightly awkward, I believe things happen for a reason, so I relaxed and enjoyed it.
I thought about the changes in weddings over the decades. At the seemingly adult age of 19, I married in the 60s and made my own Jackie Kennedy influenced wedding dress and all five orange and yellow bridesmaids dresses. The church had restrictions on the time, the music, and the vows—I didn’t want to say obey, but I lost. There was also the dreaded reception line where the bride and groom greeted each guest with handshakes and introduced them to their new in-laws. Since I’ve never been great at instant name recall, that tradition was more stressful than the vows.
Back then, a wedding reception included an overly large wedding cake made by a local woman, colored cream cheese mints made from rubber molds in the shape of roses, and mixed nuts. There was no head table, champagne toasts, food, or music. Friends opened gifts at a gift table while guests viewed what everyone gave the happy couple. I remember not getting one money gift, but 18 casserole dishes with lids, and I’m probably still using wedding bedsheets to protect plants against the first frost.
The two most significant differences in weddings between then and now include the fun everyone has, including the bride and groom, and fathers’ involvement. My dad had five girls to “marry-off,” and I feared he wouldn’t even show up at the church. Thankfully, sporting a suit and tie, he walked me down the aisle, for which I was happy, but that was it. He then grew invisible.
At the recent wedding reception I crashed, my tears bubbled up immediately when the happy couple entered the reception room. They laughed, held hands, and were outwardly excited to be Mr. & Mrs. My tears continued when the father spoke. From his heart and a tiny note pad, he told stories about his once little girl and her journey to “I Do.” He welcomed his new son-in-law into the family and praised their strong Christian faith. I hoped someone recorded every word. It was priceless.
One thing that struck me as consistent with weddings over the years was the value of friends and family gathered to celebrate the beginning of a new marriage. Different than holidays, weddings have one focus—two people in love. They likely have little idea of what is ahead of them, but maybe that is the magic in the festive, well-planned traditions. Congratulations to all our 2020 brides and grooms.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Powered by WPeMatico