Since I have The Exponent as a Mormon blogging outlet, I haven't needed to do much here. (Self-promotion: if you teach YWs, The Exponent now does YW lesson plans as well as RS lesson plans and I posted this one last week for an October lesson.)
But I read the Slate article, Sorry Your Friends Can't Come to Your Mormon Wedding and had lots of thoughts.
First, let me give some background. I got married ridiculously young (20) and got extremely lucky in the craps game of finding a spouse. Really lucky.
Also, I grew up Mormon (still am!) and the thing about Mormons... well, we really get ourselves involved in "marriage." See exhibits: that polygamy thing we try to ignore and Prop 8 (which the Church is also doing a pretty good "ignore" on).
Anyway, I grew up with lessons that emphasized getting married in the temple over not. Which is funny because my own parents did the "get married civilly, then a temple sealing a year later" route themselves.
Mormons like to tout the "families are forever" message as one of the most important aspects of the religion, and to be able to have an "eternal family" you need to be "sealed" in the temple. This typically revolves around the marriage relationship: couples are sealed together at marriage (or afterwards) and then children are sealed to the parents, thus keeping the family "together forever." The Slate article above demonstrates that in places in the world where weddings must be public, a Mormon couple can be married civilly then sealed not long afterwards. In places where governments don't require that, there is huge pressure to be married in the temple first and not have to wait a year for the sealing. One drawback: only other adult temple-worthy Mormons (temple worthy means you are baptized and pass an interview with 2 local leaders), so that leaves out a lot of people- even younger siblings (my sister was my 1 bridesmaid and she couldn't attend our sealing).
|My family who came. Four of them (McKay and I and my parents) saw the sealing. Four out of nine is a failing grade.|
Another thing I never gave much thought to was vows. The sealing is specific and the ceremony has to be said exactly how it is said, but no one talks about what is said. I didn't know my vows ahead a time and it would have been impossible for me to know. Of course, I was practical about vows and it really didn't matter to me. In fact, I didn't get why people cared to write their own vows: no matter what you say, marriage is the same on paper. I could write my vows to say that every night after dinner we'd play laser tag, but once the marriage certificate is signed, I would get the same legal results of any other marriage: visitation rights in hospitals, legal requirement to support subsequent children, tax benefits of filing jointly, etc. So really, who cares about what the vows say? As shallow as it sounds, it wasn't until the "Royal Wedding" and hearing that they wrote their own vows that I finally "got it" and realized: oh! it's supposed to be a way to confess your love to the other person in front of your friends and family. The whole purpose of weddings just went right over my head. I probably should have just gotten married at the courthouse.
Not totally related to Mormon-ness, but sort of... When it came to the other aspects of getting married: wedding colors, bridal party, venue, photographer, etc., I felt like I had to prove that I wasn't a bridezilla. Except for the colors (purple and light blue), everything else was done so that I wasn't a burden on my parents. The photographer was a NASCAR photographer, so no experience with weddings, but he was cheap!
|Look! The temple is sideways! That's because you have to pretend we're racing around in circles at ridiculously high speeds.|
|I look like a cupcake and I rock the cupcake look. Poofy!|
|See the wood behind me? Yeah... that's not supposed to show. Yay construction. Yay "cultural hall."|
|My worried look is seen here, but you can see it in pretty much all the pictures from the California reception.|
And I think this leads me to another thing I've decided. I want us to have a vow renewal. Probably at our 10 year. This past August was our 7th anniversary, so we've got 3 more years to save and plan. "Save" because I'm thinking that if I want my extended family there, we're probably going to have to pay their way- after all, they already came out for the first one. Or maybe it'll just be a small thing with McKay and me. But I'd like to do things on my own terms without pressure for anything. And I want a party- an actual party where I'm actually happy and not stressed about periods and hair that doesn't do anything because it's too humid in August in Illinois. Basically, this is a long post saying I want to actually celebrate the awesome thing McKay and I have and have the small people we've welcomed in to our family present. And I'm a little vain. And I think Mormon weddings need to change. I'm happy I'm married and that we have a life together, but we probably could have started it off with a little less NASCAR and a little more fun. I need a party.