Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting Married at Home, 1

Home weddings are my favorite. They range from simple to absolutely splendid, but to me they all share a common feature -- they feel "real."

I have never walked back to my car after a home wedding and felt that the newly joined couple waving goodbye in the doorway didn't understand what had just transformed their existence. I have tipped a valet and left many a quasi-coronation and wondered if the newlyweds at the reception in the grand ballroom had a clue in the world.

Disasters seem smaller at home weddings, and schedules are more relaxed and fluid. There is a hospitality factor possible that can't be duplicated at an outside venue, and a coziness (even at the fanciest of at home celebrations) that is impossible to match.

I will write often about home weddings, because they are being rediscovered and deserve their rightful place on a couple's list of options.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Why Get Married?

I hear myself say quite often, "Nobody has to get married these days."

Almost any of us can name at least one couple who has been happily together for years without the assistance of paperwork declaring them "married." this does ot necessarily mean that the companions do not rely on other forms of documentation to maintain their lives -- living wills, durable power of attorneys, guardianships, etc.

However, because nobody has to get married, I think that almost any two people who want to be married to each other, should be. There are exceptions, of course. I also believe that love, however it is defined by the couple involved, should be the centerpiece of the marriage. And I always hope that the strength of a committed relationship is measured in trust and genuine affection.

Why get married? Everybody's reasons are different. However, one young man summed up his decision by saying, "I just want her to know every day that I am really serious about being there for her always. And I want everybody else to know it, too."

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weddings In a Recession, Part 1

Much like Valentine's Day, the contemporary wedding has been hijacked by retail establishments intent on cashing in on somebody's magic moment. Fueled by reality shows and bridal expos, the madness reached a crescendo with nuptials resembling a cross between a coronation and a prom on steroids.

As a long-time wedding officiant, I am secretly grateful for the reality check that has come calling on the wedding industry. I am also relieved that the average bride is beginning to understand that one can go down the aisle in a dress that costs less than thousands and still be legally married at the end of the process.

Budget-sensitive does not have to mean cheap, and economical does not have to equal tacky. A wedding can be everything a bride has ever hoped for, and still be affordable.