Last week I wrote about wedding traditions. Many of them are merely a reenactment of some bizarre medieval ritual that has no relation to modern society.
While I still stand by my belief that many wedding traditions are bizarre reflections of a society that is thankfully long gone, upon reflection I must admit that there is one that I was wrong about. Let me just say, before I even get started that I guarantee you the reason why I was wrong was not because I believed in the tradition. Back in the day (of witches, astrology, and a lack of toilets and showering), the bride and groom were not allowed to see each other before the wedding. In case you didn't read last week's post, I'll remind you why. BridalGuide.com sums it up perfectly:
The wedding symbolized a business deal between two families (romantic, huh?), and a father would have been pleased for his daughter to marry a man from a rich, land-owning family. But he also feared that if the groom met the bride before the wedding and thought she wasn't attractive, he'd call off the wedding, casting shame onto the bride and her family. Therefore, it became tradition that the bride and groom were only allowed to meet at the wedding ceremony so that the groom did not have the opportunity to change his mind.Yes, that's right ladies. Women were once considered to be their father's property, like a horse or a cow. If her next male owner (husband) had the chance to see her before the wedding and didn't like what he saw, he may cancel the business deal because he thought she was ugly. That's why it was believed that the groom shouldn't see the bride before the wedding ceremony. That's just one of the disgusting and sexist stories behind most of the wedding traditions we all take for granted. Yet many couples participate in them, just because.
Because why? Because: "That's just what people do." I don't know about you, but personally, I think that is the worst reason to do anything.
One of the first things I said to Lisa when we were planning our wedding day was, "Come on, why can't I see you before the wedding? Why can't we just hang out and get ready together? That would be so fun, like all the guys and ladies together getting ready, having cocktails, and having fun and stuff." But she didn’t see it the same way; she insisted that we not see each other until she was walking down the aisle. She got ready at home with her bridesmaids and she made me book a hotel room for the night before/morning of the wedding.
"Yo that's wack!!" I remember yelling numerous times, but it's what Lisa wanted so I respected it ... even though I thought it was wack and it made no sense to me, just like why are pizza boxes square, the pies a circle, and the slices a triangle? C'mon man, pick a shape; this ain't geometry class.
But I forgot all about it in the ensuing chaos of the wedding morning -- my buddies, all of us in the hotel room, getting ready, laughing, drinking beers, dancing, yelling -- I know it probably sounds cliche or corny, but it's like I wasn't there, like I was outside of myself watching me, while my actual "me" was in shock and disbelief, lost in the amazement of it all, stunned, confused, thinking, "This can't be happening ... I can't believe I'm getting married ... this can't be real ... I didn't think this was in the cards for me ... I'm too much of a mess to be 'marry-able' ... I can't fathom that a woman like Lisa exists ... she saved my life ... "
Suddenly I was at the front of the church, facing forward, then the music started. Everyone stood up and looked towards the rear of the church. I did the same. But as I turned, everything slowed down, I felt weightless. I looked down the aisle, all the way towards the entrance and from my left I saw the most unbelievable and breathtaking sight of my life -- LISA, accompanied by her dad (a man I told Lisa is my idol). Then I wept ... in front of everyone ... I wept and I didn't care. I was flooded with hope and for what's to come, with inspiration, with confidence, with purpose, with direction, with visions of a life I never thought was possible for me.
And that is why I was wrong about this particular marriage tradition. I think this tradition should be completely redefined and modernized to reflect a more accurate and beautiful concept: a bride's beauty concealed and then unveiled at the perfect moment, reminding the groom just how lucky he is (and always was).
BRIDAL BABBLE: What do you think? Do you agree that the groom shouldn't see the bride before the wedding ceremony?