Weddings are here to stay, so long as love is love, and love is life. – Photo supplied by the writer.
By EMMA P VALENCIA, MD
LAST WEEK, I attended the wedding of a former student of mine.
I was one of the principal sponsors. It was held in the church located within the vicinity of SM’s Mall of Asia and reception followed at a hotel near the Cultural Center of the Philippines.
Talk about convenience. Guests can go malling after the reception, or walk by the bay, and the wedding couple can hie off to the airport under 30 minutes for the honeymoon destination. Weddings are sure nifty these days.
But really, even if the wedding was held in a patio, or in a gymnasium, as in mass weddings or “kasalan ng bayan”, I would have come, if invited.
Because I like to attend weddings - in whatever shape or form and circumstance.
Weddings are high drama – and given the humdrum of everyday living, they offer free minutes/hours of watching something akin to a tele-novela.
Every wedding is a visual feat.
Every wedding is a visual feat.
The guests are dressed to the nines, and the bride and the groom are at their prettiest and handsomest.
The wedding gown may have been brought from Divisoria, or rented from a bridal gown store.
Or it may be the work of art of an esteemed and known designer.
Doesn’t matter. When the bride wears it, it magically turns into the most wonderful dress on earth.
The wedding dress of the bride whose wedding I recently attended had a billowing skirt, and a beaded bodice, strapless but the neck and arms are covered in lace with floral designs on the shoulder and wrists.
The skirt had a long train and the lace veil just cascaded down her back and onto the length of the red-carpeted granite floor of the church.
Move over, Kate Middleton.
The young designer of the dress, son of the bride’s friend, was all eyes on how his creation would perform in the day’s drama - will the billow of the skirt hold?
Would the train spread out as the bride walks and not be bunched together?
Oh, but everything went smoothly, and the gown performed perfectly. This young designer is going places, I tell you.
He just created a work of art. Move over, Alexander McQueen!
The high drama was accentuated when the big wooden panel doors of the church, heretofore closed, was opened at the start of Handel’s wedding march, and there stood at the patio, the bride, with the sun at her back (it was an early morning wedding) with its rays bathing her and suffusing the foyer of the church with luminous light and warmth.
After the ceremony, there’s picture-taking, one of the fun highlights of the event.
First, the parents of the bride and groom.
Then the sponsors. Then the bridal entourage. Then relatives. Then friends. That’s supposed to be the pecking order.
The seriousness and order that was the formal ceremony - from the march to the altar to the solemnity of the mass - was instantly broken and informality and spontaneity became the order .
The wedding coordinator shouted - relatives muna, then friends.
Then someone asked - what if I’m a relative and a friend, ho?
Each one jockeying to a position near to the newly-wedded couple.
Serious poses, then heads closer, closer, then wacky poses. Saya!
Ang saya! And that what makes weddings a most wonderful event.
The exuberance of the guests - the couple’s friends, the loving presence of the couple’s parents and relatives - from the oldest to the youngest, and the couple’s manifest love for each other (kiss ! kiss!) that hopefully, would stand the test of time.
In every wedding I attended, it was not uncommon to see the bride’s father stand so composed in the beginning, only to flick way a tear threatening to fall when the bride says “I do”, and the mother just letting the tears fall - what the heck.
Most often friends ribbed each other as to who were the ‘bridge’ that made possible the couple’s meeting, and making the rest history.
Finger pointing as to who would be next in line to be a bride, or a groom would elicit demure smiles as well as ringing laughter, and denials as to being pointed, a guy would say bakla po ako!!!
Days, months, years after, the marriage may stumble and crumble. But I’m sure, for the bride, and also the groom, it was all worth it.
In our lives, we always endeavor to experience a life-enhancing moment, when it feels soo good to be alive, to be free and be able to make choices .
I have a friend who has walked the aisle twice, and she told me she felt like the young bride that she had been before the second time around: giddy with excitement, and most of all, loved by friends and relations, and by another person whom she chose to be with for the rest of her remaining days.
Yes, no matter what the aftermath, a wedding – if entered into freely, is “one shining moment” – a Camelot, in one’s life. It is not easy to give up one’s freedom to accommodate another person in our lives.
It is not easy to jump into unknown waters.
And to think that the wedding bond is not so easy to break, once forged, and even with that thought hanging on one’s head, a person still makes the plunge, pikit mata.
That is courage, man.
And so to all brides and grooms, may your cup runneth over with love, and hope and faith in one another, and in a loving God .
Weddings are here to stay, so long as love is love , and love is life.