you know how to walk down the aisle yourself before you enlist support. Practice in those beautiful and expensive shoes. Make sure you use your normal walk and not pretend to be a floating princess or a surly cowboy. Pictures will be taken. Video will be shot. Who do you want by your side?
Most people I know ask their fathers (if they are alive and able) because traditionally the man gives away his property…I mean, the father gives away his daughter. I’ve seen wonderful mothers take this responsibility, as well as brothers, cousins, uncles and step-parents.
But what if you don’t want any one to accompany you on your journey towards your life partner? In a traditional ceremony, the minister will ask “who gives this woman away (to be wed)?” and the responsible party says “I do” and sits down. I imagine, personally, that this individual is very close to the bride. To be “given away” to another family and a new life is pivotal.
Yet this still can fall under pomp and circumstance. Today our circumstances are so different and wide ranging that this pomp could really just be gone with the wind. And with multiple marriages, what meaning does it bring to be given away over and over.
The only reason I’d want someone to walk me down the aisle is for stability. Unless they’re the perfect pair, danger looms at every step. I have a phobia of falling face forward, usually down
stairs, but suffice it to say this will be avoided. The requisite daddy/daughter walk and subsequent dance is not on my menu. I know this will alleviate anxiety and the frustration that tradition for traditions sake can bring. Make this celebration your own. Create new traditions and consider the old ones that mean something to you and your soon-to-be spouse. Walk yourself down the aisle. Walk in strength, pride, and beauty as you take in the special moment: giving yourself to your partner.
I am pondering what it means to different people to be in the position of fiance or “the engaged”. My friends have made it clear, along with many other people who have been married for at least 5 years, that things change when your relationship status changes. Once you move from [insert gender] friend to fiance and then fiance to wife, husband or boo boo bear you take on more responsibility. So, then, I ask what more do you have to do? My answer might be follow through.
Hanna Rosin wrote an article titled “What do you call the person you’re probably never going to marry? Your Fiance!” She explains that it has become a part of our ever changing American culture, this struggle with tradition and freedom. Our tradition is seeking freedom and happiness, and those must be gained individually before they can be shared and learned communally. As Hanna reminds us, girlfriend or boyfriend used to mean you were “going steady”, steady meaning exclusive and not simply seeing someone frequently. Today those terms could refer to a “side” chick or dude who holds a marker for a little of your down time. Your BAE is suppose to be super important but I feel like that missing B is Hanna’s point (and the marker your lover gave the side piece). I’m not your babe because there are so many others to choose from, therefore we are using our endearing terms to rank the lovers in our life. Wifey is a woman who is committed but not married. What’s the term for a man?Could it be that responsibility really is holding us back?
Or is it consequences? Being viewed as stubborn because you haven’t married or had children. Linking yourself to someone your family doesn’t like or know. We must admit that closed doors keep private many critical aspects of a relationship from making love to suffering forms of abuse. But there are also people who never get divorced. What’s the difference between an unwed couple together for 20 years and a married couple together for the same amount of time? Most likely the truth. Money can break people up or keep them together even when they don’t have it. Can’t afford to be married, can’t afford the divorce. I surmise that it’s cheaper to get married than divorced, the license and county clerk cost less than a divorce lawyer’s retainer. And then your partner becomes an X. Ctrl alt delete.
Not so fast, or easy. Playing with terminology is dangerous and foolish. If you repeat something enough you and the person you’re telling it to will begin to believe it. We don’t require wishful thinking or hopeful expressions. We need to be as honest and present as we can. Oh, jelly beans, I almost forgot to mention forgiveness.
Forgive yourself for being who you are and where you’re at in life right now. Meaning, give yourself a break for not doing it like everyone else. When I close my eyes and imagine my family around me I see a lot of fractured relationships. The modeling of relationships is akin to a circus (sans animals)…looks good, nice smiles, great costumes, lots of laughs, great make-up and hair, tricks and high-flying acts. But the truth is there are many complicated layers beneath the surface. I return to the lessons of Getting Ready for Marriage.
The core is WORK. I blame no one person or pairing for the poor examples because I understand privacy, personal choices, and fear. Still, these are the people, the very traditions we come from that validate or invalidate the new world in which we live. The same new world the previous generation had to navigate by breaking and remodeling ideas that didn’t work for them.
And forgive the law for not being ready to face the natural partnerships and families we create. Everything costs us something. What are you willing to pay?
Take the time to peruse ideas gathered by thousands of individuals on the web. Pinterest is a great place to find and keep your ideas stored and organized. You can create public and “secret” boards that house the various knick knacks and do dads your heart desires. Sharing these boards will allow others to get to know you and your style. Developing these boards allows you to get to know yourself.
To sidestep budgetary issues, take the more creative and inexpensive route by locating all the accouterment you want, no matter the cost. It’s free to pin the images, color schemes and accents to a page that you can return to later and edit. The editing process is two fold: first you have to decide which ideas to keep, then you have to commit to bringing these high-end expressions to reality.
This is not an easy process either way. It’s not as simple as paying a wedding planner or buying an inclusive package. It’s also quite over-whelming to consider a DIY event when you and your partner are the main attraction. The wedding certificate is the most important item of the day in that it confirms the marriage is official. It must be signed by the officiant, those being wed and a witness (this should be done in black ink). The officiant should mail the certificate to the City Clerk as soon as possible. All the other stuff is extra.
So what is it worth? The celebration of celebrations…it is yours to do with what you will. Be inspired! Go out on a limb. Select a dress you’d never imagine having purpose to wear. Select a suit that shows edge and personal flare. Find party favors that commemorate the day and remind your guests of the fun they had. Make charming memories for you and your loved ones.