So, naturally, after arguing about marriage for a couple of days, I went to a wedding this weekend and now I’m totally suffering from Wedding Lust.
Unlike a lot of other little girls (or so I’m told), I didn’t dream about my wedding growing up. For starters, although it took me a while to realize I was into the ladies, I definitely wasn’t into boys. Sorta hard to picture yourself at the altar with some dude in a tux when prince charming doesn’t do anything for you. From a pretty young age I somehow knew that a traditional wedding wasn’t for me.
Now that I’m a little older, though, I know that a wedding–even a straight one–doesn’t have to be the plastic cake-topper I always envisioned it as in my youth. The one I attended yesterday is a perfect example: casual dress, no veils, vows written by the bride and groom, the bride’s young daughter as flower girl, a woman performing the ceremony in a beautiful roundhouse instead of a church, and a big emphasis on the folks actually getting married rather than the religious authority supposedly giving a big ol’ thumbs up to the union.
Ignoring the arguments about whether queer folks should want to get married, I think it’s interesting to think about how we get married. While the aforementioned ceremony stressed me out a little because it got me thinking about which family members I would and wouldn’t feel comfortable inviting to my hypothetical future wedding, it also really made me think about the way a ceremony can leave everybody feeling good. How can a ceremony encourage participation from the audience without asking them to go through the motions of a religious tradition they don’t share? How can a ceremony joining a man and a woman keep from alienating the members of the audience who don’t have the legal luxury of such a union? How can a wedding inspire, rather than alienate?
Then, of course, there’s the other side of the coin: how do you have a same-sex marriage without alienating the traditionalists in the audience? Are there aspects of the traditional marriage ceremony that can carry over for the union of a non-traditional couple?
I realize that a wedding ceremony is, of course, more for the folks gettin’ hitched (or, as is often the case, their parents) than for the folks in the cheap seats, so the happy couple shouldn’t bend over backward to cater to the masses. But I do think there’s something to be said for an inclusive ceremony, and for making The Happiest Day Of Your Life something that can be a positive experience for everyone in attendance.