Last week I attended my nephew’s wedding. It was the first wedding I’ve attended in at least a decade, and also the first I’ve attended since my husband left. I was apprehensive about seeing family members I’ve been estranged from as well as keeping my marital cynicism under wraps.
The ceremony, a fundamentalist Christian affair, was tough to take. A lot of talk about what God brings together in a covenant cannot be torn apart by man. Maybe not a man, but some chick named Tina can nuke that covenant in a heartbeat. There was also reference to that “wives submit to their husbands” bible verse which set my teeth on edge.
But the ringer bearer was a tiny toddler (foster child of one of the bride’s sisters) and he was absolutely precious. The recessional music was the Monkees “I’m A Believer.” I loved the sense of humor and personality that showed. Happy and fun.
At the reception, I saw some women I’d known when my older kids were in early elementary school (friends of my sister-in-law). Two of the three were divorced. They were fine; they reassured me that I would be fine. And I felt so much better. The reception was elegant and casual, simple and family friendly. The bride has a huge extended family (apparently her parents are divorced and both remarried, plus more kids from those second marriages) and she created an event that was fun for adults and kids alike.
I couldn’t help but notice the contrast to my wedding 25 years ago. Gone were the poufy hair, big petticoat enhanced dress, receiving line, and head table. And the wedding was better for it! When I got married, there was a sense of checking off the boxes without thought to whether I really wanted a bar or buffet or whatever. It was expected and I did what was expected.
All those yes to the dress, down with the gown, win a honeymoon wedding competition reality shows have created incredibly unrealistic demands for outrageously lavish wedding bashes. This wedding was done on a budget, in fact the bride paid for much of it herself and she’s a 23 year old graduate student. Toward the end, just the newlyweds’ families were left and we all pitched in to help clean up the venue. And it was not only quick work, it was fun.
The whole event was a lot more fun than I could have imagined. And I went with a gift card and wooden salad set as gifts to the happy couple. I wish them many years of salad-filled happiness!