“The Happiest Day of Our Lives”
A WEDDING is a joyful occasion. Many couples have said: “It was the happiest day of our lives.” But it can also be one of the most demanding. The stress and fatigue experienced by the bride and groom and their families may be intense because of all the decisions and preparations required, as well as the many people the bride and groom will meet on that day.
The wedding marks the beginning of a new way of life for the couple. But they will not be the only ones affected. Since the marriage of a daughter, a son, a sister, or a brother often means that a loved one is setting up a separate household, the family will often experience mixed feelings.
Wedding practices differ from one country to another, and it is not possible to discuss them all here. These articles will focus on what has become traditional in Western and similar lands. There, getting married can be very expensive. Some spend a small fortune on the wedding day, including renting a hall or restaurant for the reception and having a meal catered. It is estimated that in Italy the average wedding costs over $10,000. In Japan, as elsewhere, the figure can be higher. Usually the bride and groom do not pay the bill. Their parents do.
Weddings are big business. Many firms promote the image of the “perfect” wedding, where nothing is lacking. After all, they imply, “this is the happiest day of your life!” They thus offer a host of products and services “essential” to making your big day “perfect.” There may be personalized invitations, your “dream” gown, gowns for the bridesmaids, and tuxedos or similar suits for the men in the wedding party. Then, too, there are flowers, limousines, perhaps a restaurant where a banquet will be served, a photographer, a band, and other items. The list of all that a bride and groom could possibly desire, as well as the accompanying list of expenses, can make many fathers shudder.
In various societies great importance is placed on the observance of tradition. There is a set way in which a whole series of gestures should be performed, and it is expected that the bride and groom will conform. Yes, there are many things to remember, but there is only a limited period of time in which to organize them all.
An exciting prospect or a daunting one? Whatever your reply, contemplating all that a wedding may involve raises a number of questions. What does getting married mean nowadays? Is all of this really necessary in order to wed “properly”? How can the various practical and emotional difficulties be overcome?
Despite all the stress, many have successfully dealt with the wedding details and have enjoyed the occasion. Their experiences may help others who are preparing to face the same event. Also, there are Bible principles that can help when wedding plans are made, so that the day will turn out to be pleasant, happy, and upbuilding for all.