What does a wedding mean to you?

posted 10 months ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
Member
727 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: London, UK

It’s hard for me to explain how I feel about our wedding without sounding really cold…but for me and my fiance, the ‘marriage’ is kind of by-the-by. We see that as a piece of paper and don’t believe it has any bearing on our actual relationship, and could have quite easily gone our whole lives without being married to eachother. The wedding however, to me is a special party and a great excuse to get everyone together for a celebration. I come from a big Jewish family and we are all very big on parties and gatherings, and we love a reason to go all out. So to us, this is what our wedding is! 

None of the traditions are very meaningful to us, however we have decided that we are going to have a Jew(ish) ceremony, as for me it is important to make a point of the fact that I am allowed to practise my culture (I’m not religious) safely, as it is not something my ancestors were able to do a lot of the time. So for that reason I don’t like to shun it during times like this. Whenever I feel cynical about this side of things I think about the progrom at the wedding in Fiddler on the Roof (sorry for the niche reference) and remember that this is why I want to have Jewish elements to the day.

The wedding traditions we are upholding are having bridesmaids/groomsmen and having the Jewish dancing. I am going to wear a white dress (mainly because I NEVER wear white because I am the clumsiest, messiest person ever, so this is really my only moment to do so 😂) and the general format of the day.

The traditions we are forgoing are a first dance (to me this is the ultimate PDA, not up our street), we will probably spend the night before the wedding together and I will make a speech either on behalf of us both, or with my fiance. We are both going double-barrelled rather than just me changing my name.

Post # 3
Member
905 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2019

Marriage is incredibly important to me, but only because of where I live (the US). Without marriage, partners have essentially no legal protection. You can spend thousands with a lawyer to try and replicate some of those benefits, but it’s easier to just get married. If I lived in a socialist country with health insurance/retirement/parental leave/a good social safety net, I can see myself not caring about getting married at all. 

My Fiance is largely the same. We’re atheists, so there’s no religious component. We already feel very committed, so I don’t anticipate that will change much beyond the general “commitment deepens as time passes” aspect. 

All that said, we’re excited to get married. It’ll be really special having our loved ones together to celebrate with us. Nothing about it will be too traditional. It’ll be a small (28 people) ceremony at a vineyard with some decidedly non-religious readings (I anticipate my religious grandparents/aunt will be scandalized), followed by a really nice dinner/night out on the town. No wedding party/dancing/anything like that. In terms of marriage itself, the only tradition we’re following is that I’m changing my name (adding his on to mine, and only because I love it, otherwise I wouldn’t bother). We don’t follow any sort of traditional gender/relationship roles in our day-to-day lives. 

Post # 4
Member
787 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

The vows were the critical thing for me. Saying these words which generations have said before me, and promising to each other for better, for worse etc. I do believe in God and so it is a moral part of a committed relationship  

Everything else was lovely but not a necessity. 

Post # 5
Member
799 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2016 - Wedgewood Las Vegas

The most important part of our wedding was the actual ceremony. We had a Jewish wedding, and incorporated many of the traditions. It was important to both of us that we were joined not only legally, but spiritually as well because we believe that marriage is something larger than just a certificate from the government. We also signed a traditional Ketubah, and it now hangs proudly in our home.

Afterwards, we had a nice reception with good food, open bar, and good music. We didn’t bother with a lot of the ‘normal’ activities like bouquet toss or any of the games. We did do the traditional first dance, and the Father-Daughter dance as  it was really important to my dad, who ended up singing “I Loved Her First” to me during it. Made me cry and super glad we did it even though I was on the fence. We also did a “Generations” dance because my hubby’s grandparents were celebrating 69 years together and made the trek across the country to be with us on our special day. Otherwise, we served cake and just let people have a good time.

Post # 6
Member
345 posts
Helper bee

I’m not married yet but am planning at the moment. For me our wedding day will be our day to show our commitment to the one we love unconditionally and celebrate that with our friends and family. Aside from all the things which are more like lovely perks really (wear a beautiful wedding dress, get completely glammed up with hair and make up, eat a tonne of lovely food and dance the night away) the most important thing to me is sharing the day with my partner. I’m excited to walk down the aisle and see his face, share the vows we have written, take photos that will bring back memories that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. I’m the type of person who puts a lot of weight behind the small moments and I know that when I look back at our wedding day, they are the moment that will make me smile the most. 

Post # 7
Member
6900 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

For me, our wedding was a ceremony to celebrate all of what we had done to grow together as a couple, it was a formal way of acknowledging our intention to continue being together and to officially becoming family. It was also a way to thank our friends and family for all of their support thus far in our relationship.

We didn’t particularly care about the other parties or traditional aspects of a wedding so we skipped a lot of them.

I think it’s a great idea that you’re exploring what a wedding means for you- that helps to be clear about what is a priority and what is not.

Post # 8
Member
95 posts
Worker bee

As soon as my partner and I got to the place where we felt marriage was the next step for us, my first instinct was – GREAT! We can save some money for a couple of months, go to city hall, have a nice dinner at a restaurant with family and close friends and it’s done! 

Little did I know that my partner was little Mr. Groomzilla over here! He wants to do things ” the traditional way”, including getting permission from parents, bachelor parties, engagement parties… etc. This is important to him, and something he’s thought about since young ( I was surprised that little girls aren’t the only dreaming about a wedding). 

I was looking to not go into debt for one night – but I slowly realized that, yes, this party (wedding) is for us, but it is also for our families. I didn’t realize how excited our families were when it came to talking/planning, or anything about the wedding. Our grandparents will also be there, and since we are second-generation from different cultures ( I am European, he is Asian), it will be special, especially for them to see their culture and traditions being passed on. We didn’t realize how cute and different some of the traditions are, and how it will be special to bring some of them to the usual “North American” weddings.  That being said, we are not following all traditions, just a few here and there to help represent our cultures.  As well, I realized that it is also the little things in life that keep you excited – planning engagement dinners, bridal showers, pre-wedding spa dates with friends. 

I wasn’t too crazy for a big wedding before (or any wedding with over 20 guests), however, now it is all I think about! It can be really exciting and fun, and the fact that our families are so excited makes all the $$$$ worth it. We planned it for June 2021, trying to be financially smart – but now I wish it would come sooner! 

I think a wedding is something you will remember 50+ years from now as a celebration of your love and the people you love. As long as you don’t spend an amount you will still feel 50 years from now..

Post # 10
Member
1816 posts
Buzzing bee

I’ve told my family for years that I refuse to plan a wedding and I’m just going to get married in an exotic location somewhere. And here I am, planning a wedding – albeit a small and non-traditional one. I’ve struggled a lot with this because it doesn’t feel like ME. I want to get married in a crumbling medieval ruin in Europe, in an island cave lagoon in Thailand, under the stars in the deserts surrounding Al Ain. I want it to be just my fiance and I in an incredible, intimate moment.

But on the other hand…my immediate family is tremendously important to me and I think I would regret not having them there. My fiance’s family can’t really travel and so in order to have both sets of family members I’ve had to compromise. So, I’m planning a wedding, and I hate it. But I am trying to make this wedding unique and as much ‘us’ as possible. We are getting married at a gorgeous waterfall in the woods, and our reception dinner will be overlooking wine country at sunset. I’m adding certain Japanese traditions as our meeting and much of our relationship took place in Japan. I’ll give myself away and aside from a first dance, I’m not sure we will do any dancing at all. I’m most looking forward to seeing his face when I walk ‘down the aisle’, our vows, and just being married. I can’t really articulate what it means to me. The wedding doesn’t mean much, but being married means everything.

Post # 11
Member
325 posts
Helper bee

It’s a good question and I’m not sure what my answer is (even though I have been married for almost a year.) 

I think it was a combination of:

– practicality (we had combined finances basically from day one and had financially supported one another at various points so it made sense)

– the fact that he has no family on this half of the planet so I wanted him to feel part of mine (plus be legal next of kin) 

– the principle of comitting to one partner for life seems kind of romantic

It wasn’t something I’d ever put much thought into (in fact, I spent a long time saying I didn’t want to get married) but it just felt like the right step at the time. Darling Husband would probably not ever have considered getting married if I hadn’t brought it up and that’s fine too. 

The ceremony was definitely the most important part for me, I didn’t want (m)any people there or a big party and ditched almost all of the usual traditions. 

That being said, I don’t really remember much of the ceremony but the whole wedding day was incredibly lovely and perfect. 

Post # 13
Member
1527 posts
Bumble bee

 Whatever your wedding means to you, or doesn’t,  is all that matters. I would never judge. 

For me, the paper is only the practical part. 

It is important to me to take the time and solemn thought to have a real unity ceremony. I am not religious, but I hold marriage sacred. So it is a complete committment and validation. 

For that reason I could not just have a legal ceremony. 

However. I am ok with eloping, the first time was basically that. We have tossed eloping around, but a small wedding is important to include his family. Mine is far away and spread out so unlikely I will have many guests. 

This second time is totally more meaningful than my first. Because I know he really does want to marry me. 

The only things we are doing is having a formal attire ceremony, and I want us to sped the night before apart until the altar.he’s never been married and I want him to have that anticipation.  No limos no bridal party, no dancing. We are having an early evening banquet dinner basically alcohol-free (cocktail n appy hour n punch before dinner). No garter no speaches, no favours. 

My first was after 19 years, 2 kids, and I had to basically bribe him with a free trip to do it. It was only for legal purposes really, all the essence was lost. 

 

Post # 13
Member
593 posts
Busy bee

To me, it is about committing to more than just loving eachother for the rest of our lifetime, it is about committing to that person even when the love isnt there. Making that life long commitment to all the good and bad times, and being the one person they can rely on to stick by them. 

Post # 14
Member
40 posts
Newbee

View original reply
beeword :  This question really hits home – my Darling Husband and I were talking about this last week. For us our wedding is not about us, it is for our families.

Having been born and raised in North America, Darling Husband and I have a very pragmatic view on marriage and weddings: when you get married, you sign the papers, throw a wedding and party the night away. The most important lesson that we’ve learned from our wedding celebrations is that the marriage is for us and us alone while the wedding is for our families.

For our wedding in China, we went two temples one of which was my DH’s 250 year old ancestral temple. The elders shared over 200 year old history of the family – it was very interesting to hear. At the end of it all, my Darling Husband received a copy of the key of their ancestral house. The elders said that they hoped that no matter which part of the world we are in, a part of us will still remain there and come back with the with next generation (lol). They’ve also reminded us to learn the lessons of the past as we need to look back (to the past) in order to move forward.

For our wedding in Philippines, we had a very Catholic wedding. While neither Darling Husband and I are particularly religious, it was very very important to my family that our union was blessed in the church and that they witness our vows. Our wedding was attended by 5 clans (including my DH’s). It was very interesting to see people figure out that they are related and to which branch of the family. Apparently, according to my mother, there are only two instances when all branches of the family get together 1.)wedding and 2.) funeral. We’re happy that we’ve given them a reason to get together and celebrate.

 

So to answer the question: What does a wedding mean to you? To us, a wedding is a celebration of not only the unity of two individuals but also a celebration of the unity of families.

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