I recently attended my niece’s wedding, and it made me think how the nature of weddings has changed in modern times.
This wedding wasn’t held in a church but a beautiful semi-tropical rainforest outside of Brisbane.
It was a fabulous location as the owners of the property had set it up as a wedding venue in an amphitheatre style with a pond covered with water lily.
The whole affair was very informal, and the only concession to tradition was the bride’s gown, a traditional white.
The groom and his groomsmen turned up in white shirts, beige trousers and braces and entered the wedding space to the theme music from Star Wars.
The bride and her bridesmaids arrived in a VW Kombi specially fitted out for wedding parties. The bridesmaids wore the same fabric, but each girl had her own designed dress.
In my day, back in the ‘good old’ days, weddings were about everyone being the same. The groom and his entourage all dressed the same as did the bridesmaids. You married in a church of your choice, or you went to the Registry Office. If in a church your pastor or priest told you what might be said, it was all set out for you.
But at this wedding, the bride and groom and written their wedding vows and needed the marriage celebrant to go through what was legally needed to be done.
I find it all refreshing as three of my children have chosen non-church venues for their weddings. One at Flemington Race Course in the rose garden, one on a headland above Valla Beach and one in a beautiful park not far from where we live.
For me, the informality of the occasion was what made it all so special. The venue was cool and relaxing; the reception was held some 200 meters from where the vows were exchanged and was as informal as you could imagine. There was no sitting at tables with name tags, we stood around or sat on chairs scattered about the space. Food was served throughout the night from serving trays/platters and the only ‘formal’ part of all that was stopping to make a few speeches.
It was a very happy and joyous occasion, and I wondered how readers react to seeing weddings taking place in parks and gardens and so many couples doing away with the traditional church wedding.