My mom and dad were married on July 4, 1951. That morning mom went shopping for blue shoes to match her wedding dress. She knew that stores in Regina closed at noon on Wednesdays back then, but she needed the shoes as the ceremony was scheduled for one o’clock that day. The store didn’t have her size, so she purchased ones that were the right colour but too big for her feet!
Before the ceremony, my dad, who had great sense of humour told mom, “If I had known how much the flowers were going to cost, I would have suggested we get married in the crocus season”.
The plan was for mom and dad to meet her sister, Amber and Amber’s boyfriend who would be witnesses at the office of the United Church Minister. Dad’s sister and her husband wanted to attend so that made a total of six people plus the minister in the room. After the vows they all went to the King’s Hotel for lunch.
I could tell several stories about weddings that were similar in simplicity.
Over the years, the idea of weddings has changed dramatically. Some take months and months to plan and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Attendees frequently travel to other countries incurring the costs of flights, hotels and meals. The ceremonies are often the shortest part of the festivities which are supplemented by rehearsal dinners, photography shoots, banquets and dances.
A few years ago, I was invited to a wedding in Chicago which had three days of planned banquets and activities in two states!
Some people plan “destination weddings” and expect friends and family to join them in an expensive and exotic location. It’s interesting because often the couples are already living together and later find out that the ceremony performed is not legally recognized in Canada. The whole thing just ended up being a group vacation!
This year the pandemic has interfered with three engaged couples in our family who have had to postpone wedding plans due to self-isolation and government restrictions.
My response is “Just get married!”
Marriage is about two people who love and want to make commitments to each other. It is nice to have friends and family there but definitely not necessary.
We can use internet software to watch the ceremony, then send a gift and even receive a photo of the bride and groom to treasure.
I am not trying to be judgmental but those who wants to be together as a legally married couple for life do not need to wait until the restrictions are lifted for this to happen. They do not need to spend a lot of money to entertain guests who are spending a lot of money to attend.
All you really need is someone who has the authority to perform the ceremony, two witnesses and two people who have decided that this is what they want.
I am definitely supportive of marriage but think that over time, the focus has been clouded. Instead of the emphasis being on the union of two people it has been on extravagance and show.
If you are waiting for the right time or permission to marry the person you really love, quit waiting!
I can simplify my thoughts by just quoted the slogan for Nike “Just Do It!”