Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Traditional weddings not the way to go?


Marriage ceremony being held at the San Augustin Church in the Intramuros Heritage Area, Metro Manila, Philippines, 2004.

My cousin, Meng Meng is getting married. Well I say married as by the fact that they will be signing the marriage papers. On the second day of CNY they were flying off to Italy for their honeymoon together. What’s missing you say? If you guessed the wedding ceremony then you’re spot on. The couple has decided that the traditional wedding ceremonies will take a back seat and thus doing away with all the pomp and ceremonies and just plain get hitched, no fuss, no hassle, just two people in love coming together.

Many people nowadays are opting to take this road. The days when planning for a wedding involves a year of discussions, bookings, fittings, invitations and fanfare are going the way of the Dodo. Simple is the new catch word. Her wedding was so much a contrast to that of her sister who wed 3 years ago. Then, Han Han and her husband went through the course; with the tea serving ceremony, sequestering the bride in the room and nosy cousins asking the groom's entourage to pay 'bribes' before letting him in, invitations of family and guests to bear witness of their matrimony, large feasting for days, the exchanging of rings, photo studio session and prayers ceremony as well as the obligatory wedding dinner with the extended family and all so familiar yam seng session. Now all you need is to go through the formalities of the registration and the rest is history, just come out of the registars and get on with life.

In a way it makes sense, the money spent in conducting extravagant ceremonies can well be put to setting up the new household, with finances already tight for setting up a home and family, it goes a long way. Some families pool their entire finances and end up broke just to ensure that the couples are given a face lifting ceremony that is the envy of the other relations. Planning for the elaborate ceremonies also consume time and may cause tempers to flare and many an engagement have been broken by bickering couples who can’t decide on certain matters or the meddling of parents and ‘helpful’ relations. As for the dinner, I’m often perplexed that it is a must to invite every single relation in order not to offend anyone, even those that you have never met in your life, long lost cousins would pop out from the woodworks to come congratulate you and to pig out. After all that the couple would most probably be too tired out to even enjoy the perks of getting married during their honeymoon.

All in all is the ceremony really needed or is it just a symbolic luxury that we can do without? Some would argue that this is a special day where both of you celebrate your love for each other and to proclaim it out loud to the world. Some would say it is a once in a lifetime thing that every girl has dreamed about through her lifetime leading up to it and should not be missed (considering the rate of divorce and remarriage this might not always hold true nowadays). Yet if both are truly in love, it would not matter much, there is no need to flaunt the news about is there? It's all a commercial allusion that makes us believe that diamonds are forever (DeBeers) and that we need to celebrate the union within the confines of commercial trappings. A ceremony is not the only way to proclaim your union you know.

Weddings can take many form even then, you can go all out for broke and spend every penny to pose out the most extravagant function ever since the Sultan of Brunei's son got married or you can have something more low key like getting on the plane and heading to Las Vegas to be married at the Little White Chapel. There are the out in the open garden patio weddings with the minister present; the booking a function at an exclusive club or resort type; the sneak away to elope and get hitched across the border variety; the shotgun wedding after the guy accidentaly produce offsprings with the girl wedding; the missing groom leaving the bride at the altar incident; the get kidnapped by an Arabian Sheikh and be whisked away to be wife number (X) and many more.

Me, many of you would ask, what would I want? I may be sentimental but I would still like a wedding, one on a smaller scale and more private and intimate. I would like to be able to propose to the one I love, hand her a token of my love and commitment to her in the form of a ring, to step into the church with her and there in the eyes of God and everyone present exchange wows. Relations I would limit to those of the second degree from both sides and friends, well only those I know well would be in attendance. The large dinner we can do without, a more private affair of both our immediate families with a few close relations would be good. Of course we can’t miss out on the honeymoon can we? ;) That's one of the perks one wouldn't miss out in getting married in the first place right?. I would love to visit somewhere old and romantic, Rome and Florence would be nice or the very least Paris. We all have our dream weddings, but in times we need to temper those dreams with the reality of costs in starting a living together. Many happy wishes to you two and I hope married life will do you both well.


mwt said...

Yes your cousin is echoing the famous singer Sam Hui's words in his canton. song:-

"Why must you have a wedding reception, wasting money for no reason?"

Silencers said...

Hmm... I think that would be more practical, though I doubt most parents would want to miss out on the grandeur, hehehe.

Kervin said...

mwt: Scrooge or practicality? Our choice :D So is face saving or moolah saving haha

silencers: Parents will be proud no matter what, its their daughter/son that is wedding if a parent can't share the joy of the occasion no matter how frugal then they can't be said to be good parents can they? :D

Karen said...

hey, nice blog article there. Didn't know that u actually wrote about me and my out of ordinary way of getting married. Well, it's was a really nice and romantic honeymoon in Italy. At least we get to spend the money just FOR OURSELVES and not spending all the money on grand dinner and grand ceremony, which is more like for the enjoyment of other people instead of the us, the couple.
Yes, it's every girls dream to have a grand wedding and traditionally every parent will one want. But it's really up to each individual.

As for my advise, if u really want to skip the ceremony and dinner, MAKE SURE that u have the agreement from both parents. Not many parents will approve of that but I am very thankful for both our parents for approving that.