What a funny coincidence that, just as I have a new novel out about weddings, I've got a son getting married! Needless to say, I'm excited. Yes, about the book, of course, but even more so about the fact that our son has found a lovely woman to spend the rest of his life with.
When it comes to marriage, cynics have all kinds of comments. "What's the point when half the marriages in America end in divorce?" ... "It's just a piece of paper."... "Weddings are too expensive."
Well, I must say, I concur with that last observation. When Gerhardt and I married we were the tail end of the old-fashioned reception in the church basement with cake, punch, nuts and mints. Suddenly, everyone was booking glamorous venues and feeding the multitudes. So, yes, weddings these days are big business and a big expense. But a wedding can also be inexpensive - held in a park with friends bringing various dishes. Held in someone's home. Held at the church with cake and punch and nuts and mints. (And okay, bring in some salads and cold cuts!) As for wedding dresses, I've seen gorgeous ones at Goodwill and in consignment stores. You can even rent a wedding dress these days. So, to the newly engaged couple stressing over finances - don't listen to the cynics. You can find a way to have your wedding cake and eat it, too. We can't all have a royal wedding but we can all celebrate.
And weddings are worth celebrating. Yes, many weddings end in divorce but they all begin with hope. And hope is worth celebrating. And yes, that marriage license is just a piece of paper, but it symbolizes something important, the joining together of two people who (at least in theory) will go through life sharing the ups and downs, the highs and the lows, the sickness and health. A wedding celebrates the fact that two people want to spend their lives together, helping each other become all that God wants them to be. A wedding is about even more than the couple saying "I do" - it's about the community coming together to say, "We love you and we'll support you." It's about new love starting out and old love remembering. It's a party, guys!
So, for all of you who have gotten married this summer, to all of you with sons or daughters saying those two important words, I wish you all a happy wedding. Love is worth celebrating so get out there and celebrate for all you're worth!