In the life of a woman, there are a handful of monumental moments. Their entire life, they will be able to, in detail, tell stories of their first kiss, first date, their first boyfriend. All of these stories, though, pale in comparison to the event they lead up to.
Dozens of times in my life, I have seen a child as young as three want to play “wedding.” This, mostly, entails the child dressing up and then declaring their undying love and devotion to another child they will forget all about literally minutes later. Even that young, all that child wanted was a gigantic wedding with a band, a giant 19 layer cake, and 36,000 roses in a variety of colors.
These children grow up and become young adult women. The love for a day devoted to their impractical dress continues. They have planned the day out over and over in their mind until every detail is etched into their memory next to the lyrics from that one song from high school and their Facebook password. You would be hard pressed to find a woman who does not know exactly what type of dress they want to wear. They know how they want their hair, how many bobby pins it will take to hold their hair in that position (at least 436), and the type of veil that will cover their face for some reason.
Their love for this day blinds them to a fact that no one seems willing to admit. Even typing it here is likely to get me an angry look or two from people I meet.
Weddings make no sense.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for marriage. I married a woman who I think is pretty great and who, surprisingly, is able to put up with my shenanigans, tomfoolery, and monkeyshines. That’s not to say a thing about all of my high jinks I seem to always be involved in.
While I am happy I married my wife, though, I am still confused about what exactly it was that happened that day in June. I am reminded of this every spring when wedding season comes around.
The ceremony usually gets off to a nice start. While I am slightly confused by the massive gathering of flowers/candles/flowers and candles that seem to be attacking the band as they butcher a song I once sort of enjoyed, I am able to forgive that. Flowers are beautiful and everyone loves an open flame. You can’t fault the wedding party for that.
The bride will come in. She always looks beautiful. There is something about wedding dresses that make a woman look significantly prettier than she ever has. I’m sure that women would wear wedding dresses all the time if not for the fact that most of these gowns require a gaggle of friends to help the girl walk.
In fact, the ceremony almost completely makes sense. The pastor will say a few nice, encouraging words, almost as if he is trying to convince the couple to go through with it. There is usually a song. Aside from the unity candle, a candle that signifies that the couple will love each other forever but, hilariously, can never be lit, everything seems to be a nice way to express love.
Then it gets weird.
As soon as the group watches the newlyweds press their mouths together, everyone is thrown into a land of the bizarre and awkward. First, everyone walks by the couple. Since most people only know either the bride or the groom, being forced into a handshake or hug with the unfamiliar party always leads to awkwardness. A lot of awkwardness.
No sooner have you made your way to the reception then you are suddenly forced to watch the couple cut their own cake. It seems like on their special day, they would get someone else to slice the food up. Instead, they are forced to dish out dessert for everyone who came to see them.
The next thing you know, the bride is throwing flowers at a bunch of single women. This nearly causes a riot as the women push each other over, creating a bouquet-receiving mosh pit. Once the blood is mopped up from this tradition and the trampled bodies have been dragged off to the side, it’s the men’s turn.
Instead of flowers, though, the men fight over a garter. After all, there is nothing more appropriate than trying to catch a sort of undergarment that has just been removed from a newlywed’s leg.
In the end, everyone lines up to pelt the newlyweds with flowers or food as they run to a car. While this would normally be considered some sort of assault, apparently it is more than okay if the people are headed off on their honeymoon.
Not all wedding traditions are strange, though. For instance, there is punch. I love punch. If I had my way, our entire wedding budget would have been spent on a variety of punches for me to savor. No dresses, no tuxedos, just punch.
Maybe cake, too, but the punch for sure. I guess while girls are dreaming of their wedding day, dreaming of starting their new life with their soul mate, boys are dreaming of food.
The wedding day is destined to be the most important day in a girl’s life whether it turns out exactly like that childhood fantasy or not. She will romanticize every detail, each near disaster turning into another fun story to tell. She will love to rehash the details whether they make sense or not.
The guy will still be talking about the punch. That is the drink of the gods.