Solely In Black and White: Importance and Perspective of a Wedding

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Importance and Perspective of a Wedding

Wedding Cake
Come back here Weddings!

Being that Shavuos is over, that means its wedding season again. I don’t recall what I have written about weddings in the past, but I think I am growing less fond of them. Or let me properly quantify that; I am getting tired of attending inordinately long weddings. You know, the ones where you can’t personally leave, but almost everyone else in attendance can. On the bright side, once you get married you can use a plethora of excuses not to go to a wedding, especially those weddings that you really had no intention of going to in the first place. Some classic examples include “I would love to attend, but my wife doesn’t let” or you can just play the Shana Rishona card if applicable. 

That short quasi-rant aside, I am starting to think that after getting married, attending a wedding is somewhat less nostalgic and magical. You no longer stand by the chupah and wonder when will it be your turn to walk down the aisle while suppressing some minute feelings of sorrow and jealously. You no longer smile in exuberance as the couple walks down the aisle together after the chupah on their way towards eternal bliss. And finally, you no longer wonder, hey, what exactly is marriage really about… 

Call it what you may, but as the general advice goes, once you see how a sausage is made, life is never the same. Don’t get me wrong, I am a major advocate of marriage. Perhaps let me explain this in more practical terms, life is never all that simple and marriages (as well as many engagements) are typically filled with hard (yet happy) work. Instead of all those thoughts above, I now find myself wondering and worrying, will they make a good couple? Will they make each other happy? Will they care about each other and love each other unconditionally? At that point I just shrug and return to praying for the couple because ultimately no one can predict the future and prayer is really the safest option from an outsider’s perspective. 

Anyways, I realized another jarring thing about weddings. Contrary to popular belief, they are not the most important day of one’s life. Important, special, moving, and memorable, yes; the most important, no. Arguably, the most important day of one’s life is the day they’re born. :-P Sorry, I know this might come as a shock to many people. (My mother and mother-in-law would probably disagree with me on this, so perhaps I am wrong, but they have yet to convince me otherwise.) That being said, even if the flowers aren’t stunning, the food isn’t amazing, the music isn’t pleasing to the ear, the décor up to snuff, and everything is just lackluster, that doesn’t make the happy couple any less married or their future life together any less happy! Oh, and for what it’s worth, I think seeing a truly happy couple will never get old… :-)


  1. My mother (being married for quite some time) and I both share the chuppah as being the most favorite happening at a wedding.

    I don't consider weddings to be the most magical or important day of someone's life. My mother certainly doesn't. But there is still something sacred and beautiful about a chuppah, a binding of souls, if not personalities.

    Dancing on the other hand . . . not so touching.

    Many weddings start too late yet expect people who have to go to work in the morning to stay till the bitter end. If all weddings started at 3 p.m., maybe the "chuppah magic" would come back.

  2. I totally agree - well said. I actually have a half-written post about this exact subject somewhere (or maybe I posted it, I can't find it at the moment either way). It's such a different experience when your at at wedding, once you've been under the chupah.

    I won't say I'm cynical about the whole ordeal, because people should get married and be happy, but I do want to reach out more to others who are dating and engaged and try to fill them in more about the realities of how everything works so it becomes less of a bubble-bursting experience...

    Have you and your wife thought or tried that at all?

  3. Sun Inside Rain; Thanks, glad you enjoyed.

    Princess Lea; You have to understand that the whole the wedding is essentially special. You’d be surprised, but the badeking and yechud can both be more moving and magical than the chupah. Personally, I came to the realization that the chupah has become overly romanticized and dramatized arguably by the fact that the amount of tears shed during a chupah is more of a function of the ambiance and music than the actual moment when the chossan utters the requisite words.

    I do wholeheartedly agree with you about dancing though, although I don’t know if my wife would agree, she is a fan of dancing. I think that might be a personal preference.

    Shades of Grey; Essentially yes. My wife has told her engaged friends all about marriage, not just the fairytale stuff. Personally, I have told a select few of my single buddies a similar message as well. I’ve been debating posting about the topic for a while. Perhaps in the future I (or we) will post something.

  4. I'm actually a fan of dancing in general; I can tear up the dance floor. But when the kallah ends up all fashvitzed and red in the face, it kind of robs her of her "queenliness." Nor do I find today's shrieking and stomping to be particularly refined.

    Whenever the ancient texts speak of being misameach the chosson and kallah, I kind of visualized they sat up there while everyone else did shtick. King and queen for the day.

    As for the public badeking, that's a pretty recent animal - and I mean really recent. The Chuppah definitely predates that by quite a bit.


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