Some of us are fortunate enough to attend a few weddings a year. They’re undoubtedly always fun and exciting occasions but in the blur of the fun, it can be easy to overlook the details. Weddings are always parties and a chance to celebrate, but they are also symbolic and meaningful occasions. In the excitement of the moment, we might miss some of the deeper truths and messages of the special day and we should try not to. There are many things we can learn from weddings and we should embrace the opportunities they give us! With a bit of observation and thought, we can use the occasion to gain some real perspective and widen our experiences.
The Past and the Future Can Co-Exist
All of us have experienced painful things in our lives that we would rather forget. They might have been personal, professional, emotional or all three. A wedding gives us the chance to look to the future and building new bridges, but it also frames it in the context of our history. Family and lifelong friends show us that in spite of past difficulties, the past brought us the people who are still in our lives today. By letting go of the painful past and embracing the fact that people are still in our present, we can positively move into the future. Seeing a couple embarking on a new chapter in their lives together can fill us with thoughts of hope and possibility.
Different Cultures Can Be A Great Mix
If we’re lucky enough to be invited to a wedding in a culture that is not our own, we should embrace it! Weddings from all over the world have a wealth of tradition and history that surrounds them. It broadens our perspective to experience these and is also a lot of fun! Many traditions are very moving and powerful. In a Jewish wedding, for example, it is traditional to read ketubahs (wedding contracts) aloud. This can be an opportunity to hear a new language or just quietly rejoice in all the wonderful promises the couple make to one another. Many weddings involve two or more cultures as the families join together. This can be a particularly inspiring example of compromise and good humour. Each side decides which aspects of their culture to emphasise and how best it will work with the other culture.
“Family” Has Many Meanings
Weddings can give us a valuable opportunity to consider the true meaning of “family”. We are surrounded by the people we love including friends, relatives, colleagues, and more. This varied mix begins to teach us that family extends far beyond who we are merely born with. A wedding is a symbolic union of two distinct families into one new one, and teaches us the flexibility of family. Families should be valued for their skill at teaching us patience, compromise, and genuine love. These are all qualities of a great marriage too. By seeing all those around us as an extension of family, we can broaden our mind and our affection towards others as a whole.