My brother's eldest daughter is getting married this Saturday. It seems like such a short time ago that she was a baby and one of the three guests attending my own most recent wedding in 1983. That's right, there were only three guests. Her mom and dad were the other two. That's not counting, of course, the minister who came to my brother's home to conduct the formalities. Actually, the minister was there in body only, so let's not count him. His mind and spirit were elsewhere. He kept on telling us how much of a hurry he was in. He had to meet his wife to go shopping or some such thing, and kept on checking his watch every few seconds. He just wanted to get the thing over with, collect his fee and leave.
I have always been ambivalent about weddings. Does one really need official sanction from church and/or state to cement a relationship? Probably not. I think the commitment of the parties who have the most to gain (or lose) from the arrangement is what matters. They will either stick it out through thick and thin or not, depending on how much the relationship matters to them. Sometimes, the price that has to be paid to keep things together is simply too high and couples split up. In any event, while there is nothing wrong with sharing the wedding ceremony with friends and family, the ceremony, the reception and everything else should be for the benefit of the soon to be husband and wife. That means, I think, that some of the three ring circuses that pass as weddings sometimes, are a monumental waste of money. They might show the guests that mom and dad can afford to spend big bucks, but do nothing to start the couple off on a meaningful life's journey together.
My niece and her fiancé are having a fairly simple wedding. There will be quite a few people there (at least compared to my wedding) but after the church ceremony the reception will be held in a drive shed on my brother's farm. No pretensions here. Everything will be nicely decorated, of course, and there will even be a sound system so the bride's brother and father and I can perform some songs.
I think everyone is going to have a good time and I wish the young couple well. My niece is a doll, pretty, smart, musical and grounded in reality. She just graduated from university. Her fiancé is studying to be an architect and is a competent musician, playing violin and guitar. If any two people are likely to have a successful marriage, it would be these two.
Good luck, you two! We're all rooting for you.