After my post on the WIC last week, such an interesting discussion broke out. Two comments in particular really stood out for me.
This post reminds me to ask you if you’re going to write more about weddings of our parents’ and grandparents’ generation, you know, pre-WIC. I know you’ve featured home weddings, backyard weddings, courthouse weddings, and written snippets about weddings of earlier generations. I for one would love to see these weddings of earlier generations featured here as a kind of WIC-antidote.
To which the answer is a huge yes. I would love to write about weddings of earlier generations, and I would adore it if you all had family weddings that you would like to submit, whether they come in the form of old newspaper clippings, remembrances, stories, or just simple pictures. My request is that if the wedding couple is living, make sure you have their permission to submit the wedding. I’m more than willing to change names, if that will make older generations more comfortable. If the couple is no longer alive, please make sure that you have the permission of the next living relation (parents, if it is your grandparents, etc.)
I think we all have a lot to learn from weddings in years gone by. At the same time, while looking at how weddings were thrown a generation or two ago, I think it’s important to keep in mind that life has changed over the years, and that is a wonderful thing. It may have been easier for our grandparents to get married at home, but it was much harder to marry if you were interfaith, or interracial, and impossible to marry if you were gay. And those changes that we’ve seen over the years are wonderful things.Dalilou commented:
I find this post really, really interesting. I definitely began wedding planning with the idea of, “We’ll keep it small- we’ll have it pot-luck.Traditionally, that’s what people used to do.” (My family is Congolese and Haitian). But the reality of people flying in from all over the country and the world to attend our wedding has completely changed that. We have cut and cut as far as we feel is comfortable and our wedding is still over the top- mostly, because, as it turns out, we are hosting a family reunion that we are footing the bill for. Yes, I know that standards have changed and certain items have become a must-have but the reality is, is that our lives have changed drastically from the 1960’s. People weren’t hopping into airplanes to crisscross the globe so casually and people’s social circles tended to be smaller. Also, people get married 10 years older than they used to. This means that they probably didn’t have work friends + college friends+ high school friends. Maybe many of us are trying to hard to thread together the disparate parts of our lives. Or maybe one day we will get back to the idea that a wedding had more to do with building a home for the couple, rather than pretending as though we’re richer than we really are.
And she’s exactly right. Our lives are more complicated now. Our social circles are more spread out. We’re marrying later, which means we’re generally a bit more affluent and know a lot more people. So for me, this whole blog is about trying to find a way to embrace the complexity of modern life, and still have a wedding that’s about building a new home and a new life together, not about creating an elaborate theatrical production. It’s about balancing the demands of extended social circles and people flying in from all over the world, and still having a celebration that would and will make my grandmothers proud. It’s about being a thoroughly modern woman, but still keeping a meaningful connection to the past – a connection I choose, not one that I’m sold.
So, please send in weddings from generations gone by. We’d all love to hear those stories.