Last weekend, I was the Maid of Honor in my friend Ali’s wedding. Her wedding was as different from mine as could be. She got married in a synagogue. The wedding was black tie invited. It was beautiful, elegant and classic. I even got my hair and makeup done! It was an evening wedding, with a DJ and sit down meal. The bridesmaids all wore matching dresses.
The thing is, her wedding was also exactly the same as mine (at least, what I hope ours will be). She was surrounded by her family and friends. People came from near and far to celebrate with her and her new husband, Jeremy. Everyone had fun. I had a great time hanging out with the other bridesmaids, even though I know most of them only through Ali. The ceremony was emotional and beautiful. Everyone felt the love in the room.
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? We all get so caught up on the external trappings of a wedding. The photography. The music. The food. The flowers. I mean, that’s what at least half this blog is about. But those things don’t really matter in the end. The wedding is about the internal stuff. It’s about getting married, no matter how you choose to do it.
Ali’s wedding really made me realize what weddings are all about. They’re a celebration, not just of love but of much more than that. People can be in love and have a great relationship without ever getting married, and they usually don’t get a party to celebrate it. I think weddings are really a celebration of partnership. A celebration of a life lived together, of a joining of two people. Weddings are a celebration of the family you come from (both biological and chosen) and the family you are creating.
Throwing your lot in with someone, saying out loud that you’ll stand by them in good times and bad is a really brave thing to do. And so we celebrate that bravery. We cheer the couple on and reflect on the love we have in our own lives, no matter where that love comes from. We hold a little tighter to our friends and family and remember what’s really important. And the truth is, it doesn’t matter if you do that in a tuxedo or a bathing suit. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 guests or 1000. All weddings are, at their core, exactly the same, no matter how different they may look.