- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2012
I’ve seen some hugely judgmental responses on weddingbee telling women their public ceremonies are “lies” when they had excellent personal reasons to civilly marry beforehand and didn’t tell anyone. Was marriage during biblical times from Isaac’s marriage to Rebecca down to the time of Christ a lie, since the marriage contracts were drawn up a year in advance? Throughout history, people have been able to separate the different functions of the marriage contract from the public ritual, even today, most traditions don’t sign the contract at the same exact time as the ceremony itself. “Oh,” you say, “but people knew then that that’s what was up, so they weren’t misrepresenting themselves.” And when they told people what was up, they still came to the chuppah without being dweebs about not getting to see the bride price first-hand. Furthermore, to all you “perfectly represented” brides doing it all the same day, I’d like to know how many of you wore/will wear white. Is it a lie to wear white, representing yourself as a virgin and not announce to everyone present you’ve had intercourse already? How dare she use a significant cultural symbol representing herself one way when she’s had a different undisclosed life experience! Hmmm?
Our contractual arrangements, just like our sexual histories are nobody’s business, not even that of our families or friends. If you haven’t had to choose between an exchange of vows you each wrote with all your loved ones present vs. the simple right to be contacted should anything happen when the person you love most is deployed, the ability to come on base for five-minute video chats during the holidays, the contacts to enable you to plan a visit for one week out of the year apart, then girl don’t talk. Nearly every woman with a heart would choose to marry. And because she’s sacrificed so much already, she wouldn’t mind sacrificing something so small and meaningless as a wedding–the thing this entire site is built around, so I’m sure all of you wouldn’t mind. (Oh no, but what’s our anniversary going to be?! When he gets back, that’s the freaking celebration, and/or whenever we want, a.k.a. not your problem.)
People who want to get married at the courthouse only, great, that’s the degree of inclusion they’ve chosen. I respect that, because it’s how they consciously decided to celebrate their union. And if I decide to celebrate with a secret marriage, followed by a year of separation, and then a public marriage, walk a mile in my shoes, then show a little respect for what military families sacrifice for the 99% of civilian families. Military brides, you are welcome to choose both private and public, and you don’t need to tell one member of your family where your health insurance comes from, you don’t need to tell your mommy you got a tattoo or your congregants at your public ceremony that, despite the white, you’re not a virgin. In fact, get used to having secrets with your husband, because there’s a lot in marriage that nobody needs to hear about. And anyone who is offended to have attended a wedding of a member of the armed services because it’s not “real enough” for them is an ungrateful c-t who has completely missed the point of a public wedding (and stay away from the buffet and bar, because you’re costing us about $170, so what do you think you’re entitled to if you’re not here for love?). We gather to celebrate the deepest commitment between a man and a woman, is that not “real enough” after months of earnest, supportive commitment spent apart? And this ancient public ritual is more than a party–there’s a neuroscientific function where the group builds a surge of oxytocin around the couple, binding the community in supporting the couple, is that something you’re going to tell me I don’t deserve because of who I love and how he serves his country? I bet you wouldn’t to my face at least.
PS–virgins, no need to respond to the white question, the point was that its no one’s business, so we’re not actually interested in discussing anyone’s sexual history or lack thereof. And if you wear turquoise instead, choice in how you celebrate is respected here, it’s just not a fashion thread.