Don't show this to your fiancee

What do the lace and the celadon green boutonnières, the damask tablecloths and finger food, and all those champagne bubbles have to do with marriage?”

In an article for The Cresset, Lauren Winner writes of the confused logic of the modern wedding. The problem with modern weddings is not the fact that they are celebrations. The problem is with how they are celebrated. Weddings are glamorous fantasies. But what marriage is glamorous? There is a serious disjuncture between weddings and the marriages they make. Winner writes that her marriage is complicated and hard, realities which weddings conveniently ignore.


Winner’s insight is not unique, nor are the characteristics of modern weddings. In fourth century Antioch, John Chrysostom wrote sermons chastising his flock for having weddings that were not windows into their marriages:


For marriage is a bond, a bond ordained by God. Why then do you celebrate weddings in a silly or immodest manner? Have you no idea what you are doing? You are marrying … for the procreation of children and for moderation of life; what is the meaning of these drunken parties with their lewd and disgraceful behaviors? You can enjoy a banquet with your friends to celebrate your marriage; I do not forbid this, but why must you introduce all these excesses? … Is marriage a comedy? It is a mystery, an image of something far greater.”