My daughter did get married on last Saturday. It was a very casual service. The actual service, including the musical prelude, lasted about 20 minutes. It was a secular (non-religious) wedding so there wasn’t much to say. You know, do you so-and-so take so-and-so to be your husband/wife. Also, there were some brief vows and a short ring exchange. I was asked ahead of time to give a blessing but we never got around to it. It was in his family’s backyard and the food was chips and salsa, BBQ ribs and chicken. Simple. Right? It still cost several thousands of dollars.
We’ve had family here all weekend. The last relative, not counting my son and daughter-in-law, is having dinner with us tonight and then leaving tomorrow. Even so, we didn’t have very many of our side of relatives attend. We were requested to be modest in our guest list because it was being held in the groom’s backyard. My son and daughter-in-law are flying out for Alaska on the fourth of July. It will be really tough to get them to the airport on time and then to get home. Traffic will be difficult.
We are thinking of having a reception for our side of the family in days to come. There are first cousins, aunts and uncles, and others who simply were not invited but who do have a desire to see the couple and meet the groom. My cousin has a beautiful place in a small rural town south of Portland (OR). It’ll be a best place to have the reception, except that everyone will require some form of gps to find it!
Weddings are huge cultural and social events. I’m not talking about huge in terms of size and cost. I am talking about the importance to the society and the culture we have all inherited. Think about it. We either “have a wedding” or “we don’t have a wedding” but the wedding is the subject, both in the affirmative or in the negative. If a couple is together for a certain period of time, we typically ask them, if not out loud then to ourselves or to another mutual friend, if they’re married or going to get married. Marriage is still a big cultural and social event. No doubt about it. It is so important to us as a society that we are willing to engage in a bit of cultural revolution as we seek rights for same-sex marriage.