When I first got engaged, it was great and fun and I thought Weddings for everybody! Hooray for marriage! Then I learned that it is actually a lot of work to get married. With a couple weeks to go and final preparations happening, I have had plenty of time to think about weddings. I know lots of my peers and cousins are against weddings, and I want to go on record saying they are wrong to be so. I think a wedding is a very good thing, particularly inside of a faith tradition.
The first step in getting married in the Catholic Church is taking a course led by volunteers in the church dedicated to interpersonal conflict both small and large, and how to deal with conflict without losing sight of your love and affection for each other. They call it “Pre-Cana” and it’s sort of silly, but it is full of information culled from decades of research and personal experience from all sorts of folks. Conflict resolution, working together, running a budget, etc. Most religions have this sort of program, to my knowledge, and I recommend going through one because it is a nice refresher course for what comes next.
You see, next, there comes the wedding planning.
Events planning is a difficult thing, and particularly so for introverted writer-types accustomed to falling into a routine to making books that has little to do with dealing with about 100 friends and family members. Frankly, few can handle that kind of noise and confusion and struggle of managing the needs of 100 people day to day.
So, anyway, regardless of the intimidation factor, the training one acquires in “Pre-Cana” is immediately applied to events planning. We have to run a budget together. We have to disagree amicably about things and work towards compromise. We have to face the worst parts of ourselves, sometimes, when we realize we want something and we have to face the difficult discussions about family and friends who are coming or not or not invited at all. We have to face the facts. Also, we have to build the facade. Plan an event. Reserve a space. Handle paperwork, legal paperwork and otherwise. We have to do all the stupid little decisions that come from events planning. We have to disagree about things that are important to us, and work it out, and the theory is you apply what you learn in Pre-Cana, and you have your family and friends around to watch and observe and guide. Also, it’s a big thing that you do together, right at the beginning of your life together.
This is why I think weddings are a great idea, and probably a good thing to have at the beginning of your life together.
Also, it’s going to be really fun to get everybody together! With big, diffuse communities like we have these days, it’s rare that everybody gets together, celebrates something.
Weddings are a good thing. They are a very good thing. Weddings for everybody!
PS Please buy my books and help pay for my wedding?