Just when I thought that I had been to unique weddings in the last few years, it is seemingly ironic how even more plush weddings have become. The spate of celebrity weddings in the recent months has indeed redefined what dream weddings are about in this day and age.
To my mind, the celebrity nuptials of late mimic or even manage to outdo Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding add to that the princess Disney movie weddings to boot!
Decades ago, my peers and I would argue about what our preferences would be when we tie the knot—a garden or an indoor wedding. And that summed just about the decisions we thought we needed to make about our wedding plans. These days, the business of wedding coordinators, florists, stylists, photographers, and events people must be booming with these grand and opulent ceremonies.
So many variations of what were traditional rituals have left us quite enthralled at how weddings have become such well-orchestrated events. A priest candidly commented about how different Church ceremonies have become. For one, the traditional bridal march towards the altar with the bride’s father has recently been replaced with the bride now marching alone towards the altar and then met halfway, if at all, by her parents.
Then, there are now nuptials that begin with the entire entourage walking through the aisle first, without the bride in sight. After the Maid-of-Honor has marched on, the church doors are again closed and re-opened to reveal the bride basked in resplendent lighting as she marches alone while the orchestra plays her song. I guess if only the Church rituals could be tampered with, wedding planners would have done so too.
But in fact, the fanfare in Church is barely half of what guests are to be treated to. It’s the reception that will leave everyone completely awestruck at how a simple venue can be dressed up like a royal palace. From crystal centerpieces that stand as high as 6 feet tall on tables, flower canopies suspended from the ceiling, flowing drapes dotted with fresh flowers across tabletops, to inverted cakes dropped down from ceilings, dessert buffets of all sorts, some recent celebrity wedding receptions are as lavish and as luxurious as they can get.
Gone too are the formalities where the bride and groom stand at the reception line to welcome guests who hail from near and far. Decades ago, my friends and I would flippantly recall how brides would have to squeeze their white gowns and petticoats between tables as photos with their friends and family would be taken. The groom and Maid-of-Honor would have to stand beside the bride lugging the half-a-mile chiffon veil or train from one side of the room to the other.
Well, nowadays, guests welcome the newly wed couple into the reception hall instead. Often times, the guests are ushered into a cocktail area to enjoy some hors d’oeuvres first as the couple squeezes a photo and video shoot before the reception. As soon as the couple arrives, the emcee proudly introduces the couple who now dance their way into the hall.
However, it’s only when the guests have approached the groom and bride in their place, with the obligatory photo taken, that dinner is formally begun. In contrast, my husband and I remember feeling so famished after our reception as we barely had a bite as we went from table to table greeting our guests. And so, as a tip, if you’ve been invited to a wedding lately, note that you might just need to spend a whole day prepping yourself, attending the church ceremony, having dinner, and joining the reception after. Or better yet, have a bite to eat before heading off to your next invitation.
Perhaps, contemporary weddings reflect a changing outlook about what rituals are about or maybe signs of affluence among a few. Old folks often say: “A wedding is just one day of your life, but marriage is a lifetime together.” I guess for some young couples though, the wedding is worth a lifetime, and the marriage hopefully not forgotten after.