Today is Valentine’s Day. A day for romancing, woo pitching, undying love pledging.
And for more than one excited girl, I’m sure, her knight in shining khakis will drop down on one knee, present her with a sparkler, and say the most anticipated four words – Will you marry me?
She will scream and probably cry, all from happiness to be sure, throw her arms around his neck, and say “yes.” At least he hopes she does. Otherwise, it’s grass-stained knees, embarrassment, and rejection for him – no kind of way to celebrate St. Valentine or anything else for that matter.
But assuming she answers in the affirmative, once that ring is on her finger, the march through the registry, the showers, the photos, and the fittings toward the altar begins. It is wedding mania until you both finally drag your exhausted, indebted carcasses home from the honeymoon and over the threshold to the real world.
It hasn’t always been that way though. As you may remember from my last post, Granny Mac and Grandpa Mac got married before a judge in Mississippi. Mama and Daddy got married in Granny’s living room just as Granny had married Baw in her mother’s living room. It has only been until the last, say, thirty or forty years that weddings have gone from sweet and simple to over-the-top industry affairs.
Nowadays most every couple shares every teeninecy detail of their wedding from the initial planning stages until the last tulle-wrapped sack of birdseed hits the pavement on their own website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. And that’s all fine and well and good for the family and friends who are included in the festivities, but, dear brides and grooms, you have forgotten an important segment of society – perfect strangers.
Once there were pages and pages of wedding bliss to peruse before church, but now they are few and far between. Where are the engagement announcements and wedding write-ups? Where are the fuzzy black and white pictures of glowing brides? How are we supposed to share in the happiness of myriad unknown couples when they don’t publish the details in the news?
We want to know that the bride wore a gown of ivory silk faille, highlighted with re-embroidered Alencon lace on the bodice and the flounce of her long fitted sleeves. We want to hear about the selections of nuptial music presented by soloists, harpists, and flautists. We want to know that the bride carried a cascading bouquet of roses, stephanotis, ivy and baby’s breath, even if we have no idea what stephanotis is.
Was the veil fingertip or cathedral length? How many tiers on the cake? What did the mothers wear? Is the honeymoon in Barbados or Pigeon Forge? For God’s sake were there mints served in silver compotes?
We need to know!
Now there will be those who will read through your carefully worded announcement and say things like, “Did she run an ad to find all those bridesmaids?” “They got married at the Episcopal church. I’ll bet there was some drinking done at that reception!” “Unchained Melody? Now that’s original.”
But that’s part of the fun too! Criticizing. Being catty. Serving up a heaping helping of sarcasm with a side of snark.
Don’t look down your nose at me. You know you’ve done it too!
So today, if you are one of the lucky ones now wearing a headlight on your third finger, congratulations! Shout it from the rooftops! Love is in the air and, hopefully soon, in the Sunday paper.