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Saturday brought two exciting events – DD’s graduation and the wedding of DD’s roommate. Watching DD walk the stage to receive her diploma in the afternoon and walk the aisle as her roommate’s bridesmaid in the evening made for an exciting day.
This wedding reception was the best I’ve been to in years. Let me try to explain what I mean by best. I am deeply concerned about what weddings and wedding receptions have become in our culture. I enjoy the pageantry of a “royal wedding” and the food at a gourmet reception as much as anyone. My concerns are in two areas.
The first is what could be called the princess attitude – or less kindly bridezilla. It is the expectation that the wedding day is all about the bride and her desires and glory. That is the antithesis of what I believe about what a wedding ought to be. A wedding is a couple saying vows before God and their friends. It takes seriously “What God has joined together, let not man separate.” It is the beginning of covenant relationship – not self glorification for a day.
My second objection comes from my deep conviction that debt is dangerous. I understand from friends that a rather ordinary wedding today can cost from $30,000 up. I have had friends tell me their frustration at still paying off credit card bills from a child’s wedding long after the marriage has ended in divorce. Elaborate meals served at fancy receptions make up a large part of the high price of a modern wedding. While I enjoy every bite of prime rib served at wedding receptions, I cringe at the expense that the new couple or their family incurs. If they have the money and want to spend it that way, it is their right and privilege. But all too often they are spending money they don’t have to impress family and friends or to live up to some cultural standard.
DD’s roommate did not fall into either cultural trap. The wedding ceremony focused on their commitment to God and to each other from the first song to the exit of the wedding party. The reception was held in the fellowship hall of the church. To my delight, the food was simple and healthy. They had two serving tables filled with fruit, nuts, cheese and crackers. There was a delicious apple salad made with chopped nuts. There were fresh blueberries, strawberries, and pineapple. There were dates that were the largest and juiciest I have ever tasted. There were bowls of almonds and pistachios as well as platters of cheese. I stayed away from the aged yellow cheeses, but I did taste and enjoy several white cheeses.
On each of the serving tables were several drink choices in large clear jugs. There was cucumber water, orange water, lemon water, and tea. There were wedding cake and little tarts. The food was healthy, delicious, and friendly on the budget.
It was a beautiful and happy occasion not because of all the money they spent or because the bride got to be princess for a day, but because their marriage is getting off to a good start.
And as for the ceremony it was definitely a celebration of friends and family before God.
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