Yesterday my cousin’s daughter got married. The bride was stunning, the setting was divine and overall the wedding was great fun.
It was such a contrast to the weddings that we went to as kids.
Wedding receptions were generally hosted at the bride’s or some other relative’s home. Rarely was a hall was rented.
Decorations were home made. I have spent many a night before a wedding, twirling streamers, blowing up balloons, folding bells and stuffing cake boxes. The morning of the wedding we would be hanging up streamers with the most creative of us giving directions about where to hang that, or to shift something down a notch or two.
While we were doing that, the aunts were cooking food to feed the guests and filling each other in on the latest events in the wider family.
The neighbours were also cooking. They often surprised the family with a food contribution at the reception. This could be any dish that had nothing to do with the planned menu.
The uncles would be off setting up the bar, with the groom’s family, and having some rums before the wedding started. Often they would be secretly bubbling a pot of something more exotic than what the aunts prepared. They would sneak this in later in the wedding reception, just before the party ended, much to everyone’s delight.
The mother of the bride or some of the aunts would miss the wedding ceremony at the church because they stayed at home finalizing the reception.
Yesterday, was a much more polished affair. Everything was catered and the wedding planner did a bang up job. The table settings were gorgeous and the decorations perfect.
As I sat contrasting I could not help but notice that some things did not change.
The same members of my family who always attended weddings were all present. The church ceremony, the tangible joy of the bride, the throwing of the bouquet and the garter, the sticking of the cake, the couple’s first dance, the bride’s dance with her father and the groom’s speech that begins “on behalf of my wife and I”, followed by thunderous applause, were all events that I witnessed as a child.
The dancing, the laughter and the joy. Nothing should ever change that.
How have weddings changed in your family? What remained the same?