There is a tension when planning a wedding or any approximate ceremony. You want to have something ‘traditional,’ for without any nods to tradition it isn’t recognized as the sacrament that it is by the participants and those in attendance. The commonality of the ceremony with other weddings is the semiotic touchstone that makes it a wedding, and not a Bat Mitzvah, Quinceanera, or apple picking excursion.

Yet, Moonies aside, very few people want a cookie cutter wedding that is EXACTLY the same as everyone else’s wedding. The choices of those distinctions make OUR wedding different from THEIR wedding. This puts a great deal of pressure on the couple planning the wedding to make the inconsequential details such as music for the first dance, colors of ribbon on the ‘save the date’ cards, and the floral center pieces more than just flourishes, but instead weighty Statements of Personal Significance.

So, within narrowly defined parameters of acceptability, your choices of meaningless trifles must define you and invest your future relationship with dignity and significance.

No WONDER weddings stress people out.

Penny and I have found what we think is very good music for our first dance and processional. In an effort to prove that our relationship is a beautiful and unique snowflake the likes of which has never been seen before and will never be seen again, we googled the music and the phrase ‘wedding,’ hoping for no hits, hoping that we are the FIRST to think of it.

Not surprisingly, nothing doing.

In fact, in searching for our brilliant processional music arranged for strings, I found it on a CD of wedding music along with such chestnuts as Pachabel Canon and the Air on the G Strong.

Sigh.

But then I came across a figure in the book on weddings that I’m reading.

Three million weddings a year.

THREE MEELYUN! A YEAR!!!

Even when you throw out everyone who wants to enter to obscenities like REM’s “This one goes out to the one I love” or “Redneck Woman,” and the classics like Pachabel Canon, you’re looking at a LOT of people trying to come up with a unique personal statement for their wedding.

So, unless you want to promenade down the aisle to John Cage, or Prodigy’s “Smack My Bitch Up,” chances are that the perfect music you’ve found, the perfect color combination, and the oh so ironic yet playfully poignant reading from Dr. Suess you’ve picked out have all been done to death.

So, you can either chill out about having something that’s unique to you and your beloved and go with what ya like, or you can ditch that particular element and tell yourself that it’s “sooo bourgeois.” We intend to employ a mixture of these techniques.

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