I love weddings. I love how they bring out the best in people (and marvel how they also bring out the worst, though usually that's leading up to the big day).
I love to see what the bride is wearing, the bridesmaids, their flowers, hairstyles, accessories, shoes and most of all, the ring!
I must admit, I'm not quite as enthusiastic about eyeing the guys - unless of course they're outstandingly amusing, stylish or cheeky... or break into a dance as they head down the aisle (see video below, again if you've already seen it).
Aside from aesthetics and dances, I love how weddings bring out emotions and connect people. They often become mini reunions, which is a far more preferable than catching up with long lost loved ones at funerals.
I think weddings are often scoffed at, perceived as an obligation or inconvenience - and I think that's sad. Weddings are not only a celebration of the union between bride and groom (or bride and bride, groom and groom wherever applicable), but they celebrate love in general. Parents look at their children with pride, children return the gaze with gratitude and siblings, friends and family honour each other with nostalgia - it's just beautiful.
I remember thinking marriage was just a piece of paper until, of course, I went through it myself (for real). There's something potent about declaring the way you feel about your intended spouse in front of those you love. It's like shouting your feelings, dreams and promises from a mountain top for all to see and hear. It takes courage, and that in itself is worth celebrating.
Perhaps I'm getting all warm and fuzzy because Monday (12th April) marks seven years since Patrick and I shouted from our mountain top - though technically it was a hill - a lovely one at that, in Tasmania, and we stood under an enormous tree (pictured above). Apparently there's an itch associated with that (the 7 years not the tree), but so far so good.
There are two journeys associated with this union; the one leading up to declaration day, the wedding, and the other is what happens after - the marriage. While the aim of the wedding is attaining that piece of paper, I discovered that is not what marriage is about. Over time, the piece of paper fades into something like 'I've been there and have the Tshirt to prove it' - it becomes more a nostalgic reflection rather than a defining document.
I love both the wedding and the marriage. Just like any worthwhile journey, each takes focus and intention. It can be challenging hard work, but if you each push yourselves through the tough bits and get through the other side - the views are stunning.
To my cousin Peter and his bride to be, Angela - I wish you both a wonderful wedding and a fulfilling marriage.
Until tomorrow, may you never be afraid to shout your feelings from the rooftops... or hills, or mountains.