I love weddings! I love how they make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Weddings make me feel so sentimental, so maudlin! Partly because it’s wonderful to witness two people who are in love, declaring publicly and before God, that they want to be together forever and ever, but also because it always reminds me of my own special day, and it evokes all the emotions I felt on that day, how surreal everything felt, how I felt like I was positively going to float away because I was so light with happiness! My husband is way less emotional (about EVERYTHING) than I am, so he poo-poos my syrupy gushings about how wonderful weddings are and complains about having to wear a tie on a Saturday. Anyway, we attended a wedding of a dear friend last week, it was a beautiful wedding and hit my wedding-junkie sweet spot good and proper!
We tied the knot on a crisp June afternoon in Durban, it was a huge affair with 300 guests – half of whom my husband and I didn’t know or hadn’t seen for years – but a wedding is more than just the bride and the groom in the Coloured community, it’s a family affair. Nevertheless, it was the happiest day of my pre-kids life, although my memory may be a bit hazy (kinda like how you only remember the good parts of childbirth and forget the bad and the plain down ugly bits). I do remember looking at certain things and thinking “when did I ok that?” but on the whole, our wedding was perfect.
I loved my dress from the moment I laid eyes on it and in fact, I still have it in a box in our garage – purely because I can’t find anyone who wants to buy it off me, and not because I have developed some sort of emotional attachment to it. But when Hannah was born, I did have this weird wistful notion that she would one day want to wear my dress, but let’s be honest, if fashion is anything to go by, in 20 odd years my daughter will not want to be caught dead in my dress, no matter how classic and timeless I think the style is. I had a blast choosing the décor, invitations and party favours, the husband-to-be had very little involvement other than handing over his credit card and nodding yes in agreement to everything I said. In fact it was more like MY party than OUR wedding, he was like my fabulous accessory of sorts (I’ll probably have to pay severely for that comment, sorry babe!!). All the same, he showed up on time and looked dashing in his suit and made an endearing speech that almost caused my very expensive mascara to run off my very fake eye lashes.
The thing about weddings is that, after funerals, it’s the next biggest event that brings a family together. And I think it is this, more than the glitz and glamour, that I really love about weddings. It’s a chance to see cousins and grand-aunts and uncles that you hadn’t seen in years. It’s a chance to meet the next generation (who are only invited to the church, because you do pay per head at the reception!) and it’s a chance to reminisce about the past. I always cheekily say that if I could do it again, I’d have a small affair and splash out on a fabulous month long honeymoon instead; because let’s face it, the two would cost about the same! But truthfully, I believe a wedding should be as grand an affair as your budget allows, with all the bells and whistles – and this doesn’t mean expensive and Top Billing-ish, it means it should be everything spectacular that you’ve always dreamed about, surrounded by the people you love.
It’s an auspicious event, and the start of your life long journey with your life long partner, and it’s something that indeed needs to be celebrated in these times where love, relationships and family ties have become more like fast moving consumable products, rather than like the “cast in stone” relic it should be. Call me a sentimental dreamer and a hopeless romantic if you will, but I do still believe in happily ever after.