Friday, January 29, 2010

Jeans, jeans, the magical fruit

I attended a wedding this weekend in which the groom wore jeans and an untucked shirt. 

The father-of-the-bride wore jeans too. And so did all if the guests except me, the bride, the mother-of-the-bride and a little girl in a black tu-tu.

Untucked, Cowboy thought to himself.
Jeans? I thought aloud.

I wasn't so much appalled as I was intrigued.

I've only attended three North Dakota weddings, so I can't say what a traditional one looks like. But much to my despair and all I thought was right in the world, I think more weddings should come dressed in jeans. Or untucked shirts. Or tu-tus. Whatever. 

Because while weddings are a formal occasion, a marriage is not. If anything, a marriage should be the most informal relationship a person has.

informal |inˈfôrməl|adjectivehaving a relaxed, friendly, or unofficial style, manner, or nature 
Formalities in marriage should be as unfamiliar as a Big Mac on a Hilton sister. You need to wear a retainer at night? Sexy. Your first kiss was with your cousin? Weird, but I love you anyway. You need to cuddle? Take my arms. 
This relationship, bound by law, expects devotion, honor and protection of another, until death parts. So even on PMS days, low-income days, rectum-spasm days and bad-hair days, two people, previously unrelated, make a promise to love and to hold, through good times and bad. It's a formal commitment in an informal relationship, to love a person for exactly who they are and how they may change, forever and ever. 
The person you marry should see you without makeup, and tell you you look better without it. She should accept your beer belly, but take you for walks and cook you steamed vegetables anyway. A marriage is a union between two people, who they are, who they were and who'll they'll become. 
Maybe we get over our marriage fears by dressing them up in things borrowed and blue. 
We grow up in a society where it seems "weddings" are not only synonymous with, but more important  than, the marriage itself. Like, we may spend our entire savings account, but I'm sooo having ice sculptures of fairies and lilly pads at my wedding. And I want orchid center pieces and a midget DJ too. They represent who we are as a couple. 
If a wedding is synonymous with marriage and who two people are as a couple, mine would come dressed in pointy toed shoes in mid-January, or... pajama pants when I get off work at nightfall. We'd listen to Christina Aguilera, dance the Cupid Shuffle and feast on mom's homemade peanut butter balls.
Now that's something to celebrate. 
To be clear, I'm not against weddings and I'm not against marriage. I'm just against the Hallmark-ization that comes with celebrating two people who chose to partner their parenting skills and checking accounts with each other. 
Everyone is entitled to the wedding of their dreams, and the day is, in fact, special. Celebrate the love, celebrate the forged family and celebrate the opportunity to visit with people you only hear from on Christmas cards. 
I'm not saying throw out your top hats and turtledoves, I'm just saying the celebration is a day. But the marriage is a lifetime. And if you're lifetime is dressed in jeans, why should your wedding be any different?


  1. Awwww, Katie, I totally agree! I couldn't have said it better myself:)

  2. Aghh, brilliant! I have this argument once a week with folks, and we all agree- it's not the ceremony but the love behind it that matters most! Why do so many people miss that? haha wonder what YOURS will be like?...


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