The fun and excitement of a wedding day is so fun to document. It is a precious time in the life of a couple. It is a celebrated hallmark of the institution of love.
While some doubt the validity of the institution that is designed to nourish the love that binds two, there is something to be said about a good positive send off into the matrimonial bliss called marriage.
Before our very guests
Birthdays and special holidays are ways to help people remember and celebrate something special. It’s also a way to rally a bit of accountability from a community to help support a noble and challenging goal.
Think of all the various Independence Days being celebrated around the world. When a society celebrates an event, it is to stamp a bit of authority on the importance of the success of such a moment. The society is saying that this landmark moment is vital to be remembered, supported, protected, cheered, honored, and respected.
Today, marriage is starting to fall out of favor because we’re forgetting what it symbolizes. It’s not the subjugation of a person. It’s not the economic limitations of another. It’s not a checks and balance.
The whole point of a celebratory send off is to have the social support set in place in an official capacity to ensure the success of the couple.
It’s like the way villages got together to ensure that children grew up safely into productive adults. Or how certain companies celebrate key milestones in an employee’s career to ensure maximal retention. The wedding ceremony is a means by which a community honors the love that cemented two people together and agreeing to support them through all the challenges that might threaten that bond’s existence.
So, before our very guests… the declaration of love is an actual call for unity of support to ensure that love works. All the witnesses who have experience are given the OK to be available for advice whenever the couple needs help. That’s one of the reasons why who was selected to be the matron of honor and best man was so critical. Selected wisdom.
Today, these values are all but lost. Ceremonies are more about showing off the abilities of one couple over another. Some prefer to skip the show and just do something private. The value of the day is lost because it’s become a commercial event. People are now focusing more on their relationships, which was the whole point of the celebration to begin with.
We Declare Our Love
The declaration of love is powerful in a number of ways. For starters, it affirms to the loved… that they’re loved. Making a profound public comment is like telling your whole village the secret they already knew… that you two love each other deeply and dearly.
The less obvious declaration is of trust. We, through our vows, let others know that the relationship is built on trust. We expect the relationship to last, we expect it to be strong, we expect it to be fun as well as work. We also expect our partners to uphold and value the relationship as we do. Trust is the foundational component that holds love together.
Without that trust factor, speaking out about love is risky. Love can’t always blossom where there is no trust. Reputations are on the line. For women, sadly, the risk appears greater. They can get labeled, they can be taken advantaged of, they can be outcast for being “too easy” when they make too many public declarations of love that ends in a break up. That’s why some old school thoughts encouraged women to be silent about their relationship status until an official proclamation… such as an engagement.
For the fellas, we appear to have a free pass here. However, some old timers have said there is a serious emotional cost for taking women for granted and disposing of them recklessly. Several men have commented, in private conversations, of struggling with depression and confidence issues about the number of women they’ve treated like disposable dressings. Some are haunted in their sleep by the memories of their shame, others can’t commit to new love due to ghosts from the past.
We don’t encourage men, these days, to be mindful of the damage they inflict, because it’s not popular to restrict a man’s mobility. This privileged mindset is dangerous and is causing ripples across the very fiber of civilization.
As the prospects of stable long relationships go by the way of yesterday’s news, the way we raise children in a stable environment will have to change. Generations and generations of know-how will need to be redone. If humans are wired to build communities with the unit of stable families, our throw away lifestyle is going to have to grapple with the definition of humanity in the modern selfish individualistic society we are creating.
The declaration of love… will it continue to be important? Will it be necessary? And how do we continue the legacy of values we hold dear if the algorithms is now responsible for raising our children?
The wedding vows is not just about two becoming one. It’s one unit working with it’s community with hopes of adding more humans to that network. When seen this way, the wedding day is just one of many landmarks a person will face as they continue their journey of passing on a legacy forward in time.
In the business world, your network is your net-worth. (pour paraphrasing). In love, your circle of friends and family greatly influences the options of success you have. The same way we care to select our wedding party and our wedding guests carefully, don’t waste that opportunity to engage in nurturing your circle so that it can support you and your dreams of being happily-ever-after married.
Even if you don’t believe in the institution of marriage, the network effect still impacts your long term relationship goals. Your tribe has an impact on how much support you’ll have towards your success. Pick them wisely.
Furthermore, if you opt not to have a wedding day, do have a special type of celebration for the milestones you have. It’s good to have the support and assistance from those who love you and want you to succeed. That is the original benefit of having a wedding day ceremony… and why every single culture has a variant of this celebration. It is human nature to want love to win.
Standing before your guests, when declaring your love, you’re entering a social contract where you’re inviting others to be supportive of your efforts to create your own slice of heaven on earth.
this invitation is not an open call for people to barge in and give unsolicited advice… no… it is an invitation to be available for advice should such advice be wanted
Attached below is a link to a short poem inspired by some photos taken at a wedding ceremony this blogger photographed. Hopefully it will cause some smiles and inspire a reader to keep pressing for their slice of heaven on earth.
Here is the link to “On This Day” – a poetry inspired set of musings about vows… and bonus photos (with a mention of a prior post on vows as a bonus as well)
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