this is all by way of explanation as to my stumbling upon this post at Manolo for the Brides earlier today. the post talks about second-time-around brides, and the author has some thoughts about common ideas of etiquette for people doing wedding 2.0.
I can understand second-time brides and grooms being concerned about how their old Uncle Erwin will feel about their getting hitched in a church or how Grandma Martha will feel about the bride wearing this or that type of veil. But I can also understand how a second-time spouse might want to hold a big shindig that totally eclipses their first (failed) marriage. To blot it out, perhaps. So my advice to any second-timers out there is that you have whatever kind of wedding you darn well please.
i read this particular piece with the same level of interest as the rest of the posts i saw there, but about thirty minutes later, as i stood in the kitchen waiting for my little Trader Joe’s lunch to finish heating up in the microwave, i realized that i was still thinking about it. and it was bugging me. and i didn’t know why.
after about five or ten more minutes of introspection over my curry rice bowl, i realized what was bothering me. it hinges on this particular sentiment:
how a second-time spouse might want to hold a big shindig that totally eclipses their first (failed) marriage. To blot it out, perhaps.
i’m certain that in some cases this is true, some it’s not, and some it’s true to a degree. every re-marriage is unique in its characteristics and its nuances. there are obviously a vast array of reasons that one or both of the participants are not married to his/her first spouse anymore – death, infidelity, abuse, disagreement, lack of passion, a crippling aversion to the other’s ragged cuticles, whatever.
but. but. what bothers me about the assumption that it’s totally cool for a couple having a blowout affair the second time around is this: there is no level of critical thinking around the phenomenon of the wedding itself. the idea of throwing a bigger party than the last time around in the hopes that it will somehow be a harbinger of a better marriage? seems a little dubious to me.
i guess this all stems from my sense that our culture’s obsession with weddings is ultimately detrimental to marriage. i mean, how else do you explain the estimate that "one in ten new brides is so disturbed by the anticlimax of married life that they end up clinically depressed"? grandiose weddings can sometimes to create unrealistic expectations for people heading into married life. in that light, it seems to me that advocating a “second verse, same as the first” mentality for a couples’ second wedding isn’t the best idea.