One of us is getting married this year. We are not the traditional type. We are more the renegade, the runaway, the non-stereotype. Now that the relocation and signing is nearing, there are more and more questions going through our heads. We are sure there isn't going to be a wedding ceremony involve because we believe that a marriage is between the two persons, throwing a big party to announce that and celebrate the union with everyone seems... well, impersonal.

Some might argue, saying it is a once in a lifetime, and you would be spending the rest of your lives together, what is wrong with celebrating with everyone else on that one day. But, should the celebration of a marriage be a lifetime? Why is it always phrased as 'once in a lifetime'?

One of the reasons why we don't see any point in a wedding is the whole hassle of it. Here are some observations we made from friends:
  • Living on a shoestring budget although he earns a fair amount because he needs to save for the wedding in the next year.
  • She went on a diet probably a year or 6 months before her wedding because she wants to look great for her wedding. She is not fat by the way, far from it. In the end, she looked really skinny and haggard, yes, the word is haggard in her wedding gown when we attended her banquet. Sunken eyes, checkbones and all. She has gained back the weight, but with a set of zombie pictures for remembrance on her wedding day.
  • He took up another mortgage because 'they' have decided they want to get married in a castle. And that the wedding should be grand and she would be a princess for a day. Only to be a pauper for the rest of her life, or at least until they finish paying off the loan.
  • The list goes on...
It is really necessary for all these? When we were engaged in an agency, we encountered a client who was preparing for her wedding. The other client said to her, "When I get married, I don't want a wedding." She replied in disgust, "Why would you want to get married then?" Wow, talk about airheads! Our heads almost crashed into the monitor when we heard that. She probably didn't mean that exactly, but there are many people out there who live for that wedding day.

The earliest weddings weren’t about love and wanting to spend the rest of your life with that special someone. Instead they were about politics and survival. In early days, the bigger a tribe, the better protected they all were against predators, other tribes and villages and the elements. In other words, there was safety in numbers.

In these early times, women would be kidnapped by the groom and some of his trusted friends or relatives. This group of men is now represented by the Best Man and grooms men that make up a modern day wedding party. Once the bride was kidnapped, she was considered the groom’s property and a member of his tribe. The couple would then stay away for as long as possible to avoid retaliation. This period of time has evolved to become what is now known as the honeymoon.

Politically, if a bride wasn’t being captured by her groom, she was being used as a tool to bring two tribes or high ranking families together. Brides were also bartered for money, livestock, land or other goods. Marriages were also used to elevate social status for one or both couples. In fact, a married couple might never have met prior to their wedding day!

During Medieval times, laws regarding marriage changed and women were no longer allowed to be bartered, sold or exchanged for goods of any kind. If a couple wanted to get married, a priestly blessing was required first. It was also illegal for secret wedding ceremonies to be held. A wedding was still arranged in many cases, and contracts were even drawn up listing the terms and rights of all parties involved. Weddings among royalty and aristocracy were often arranged when the bride and groom were only ten or twelve years old. These weddings were more about property and inheritance than love.

That isn’t to say marriages for love didn’t occur. This was mostly the case with the lower classes, for whom possessions and social standing wasn’t so important.

And yes, we belong to the lower classes.

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