When I was one-and-twenty I heard a wise man say,
"Give crowns and pounds and guinea but not your heart away"
Give pearls away and rubies, but keep your fancy free."
But I was one-and-twenty; no use to talk to me.
Taking a wife is as old as man when God arranged the first marriage between Adam and Eve. Mormon founder Joseph Smith liked marriage so much that he is alleged to have "sealed" from 27 to 44 wives, of whom 11 were married at the time. (Google) Even Hitler married live-in Eva Braun the last thing before committing suicide. Two million couples marry each year, creating a $50 billion industry nationwide and $200 million in Oklahoma.
To wed derives from the term for making a wager or bet. (Makes sense to me.)
A "spouse" originally meant one who contracts or makes an agreement. Honeymoon relates to the month-long phases of the moon being associated with the fervor of newlyweds. (Warning: full moons diminish to darkness whatever the couple in separate bathtubs beside the lake claims.)
Everything begins with the all-important proposal by the guy at some special (romantic, memorable) place — like Theta pond on the OSU campus. Then or soon thereafter must come a ring way bigger than he can afford: it's something one can't afford not to do!
Fiance' and Mother then go into high gear planning the wedding, which today is often done online. Gifts are encouraged at specified stores having "registries" online indicating what to buy and whether it has already been purchased.
Wedding preparations center on the bride's dress. (Guys, don't try to understand this.)
Little girls are born with wedding dreams inherited from their mothers, and by the time they are graduated from kindergarten have just about completed plans for their wedding ceremony except for the guy to plug into their scenario.
Dresses for the bridesmaids vary in color, but not so the bride's dress: it must be white as dictated by tradition dating to Queen Victoria's wedding in 1840 to Prince Albert. (The tradition that white signifies virginity is now passe.')
Home weddings still occur in homes of the wealthy and British royalty still marry in Westminster Abbey, but the modal venue is the couple's church.
Though couples are waiting longer to marry, they are not waiting longer to have sex.
Two-thirds of couples who marry are already living together. In my youth we called that "shacking up" and it carried an onus, but now it is normative and done without shame. A white dress no longer connotes virginity.
Page 2 of 3 - Vows now seldom include the standard litany replaced by vows the couple write which never include the part about the bride promising to "obey." (Pity.) Weddings one TV are graded on the "uniqueness" of the overall experience. Venues have moved out of home to church with one-sixth held at some "destinations" like Hawaii.
Weddings increasingly are planned around "themes" such as black ties and tails this year because of the movie, "The Great Gatsby," and "horses" last year. (Makes sense. "Groom" is one who tends horses.)
Costs have soared from nationwide, price-adjusted $2,240 in 1946 to $25,730 in 2011.
Wedding planners serve the more affluent, clients of one OKC agency averaging $40,000.
Component averages are $4,000 for rings; cake $400; and, rehearsal dinner $1,100.
Published figures run higher than those of ordinary folks because they are calculated from clients of commercial firms and subscribers to trade magazines who tend to more lavish arrangements.
(News item in my email today reported on a couple in Scotland spent a total of $1.56 on their wedding. You'd understand if you had seen the bride's picture! She was worth the money.)
Help in planning is available from The Knot.Com, Brides of Oklahoma.Com, Brides.Com, and the Wedding Channel. There are professional Wedding Planners and Caterers for meals and receptions. A few churches have Wedding Coordinators.
Ordinary folks save money all the way down the line. One bride took her own pictures and created a handsome album online with Shutterfly.com for only $40, which included coupons that reduced considerably the cost of wedding pictures.
In the beginning, God created man and woman for each other and said that they would become "united" in marriage and physically. (Gen.2:24-5) This and the commandment about the exclusivity of the sexual dimension of marriage make clear the ideal of sex only within marriage.
Cohabitation is now normative prior to marriage in spite of the fact that only 36 percent of partners in the former report being "very satisfied" compared with 57 percent of the latter. *
This ideal has progressively deteriorated with far greater adverse consequences for the poor underclass than the few in higher classes. The economy and the deterioration of moral standards have worked in tandem to create a bimodal society of a few haves and many haven'ts.
Births out of wedlock are turning the poor from class to caste. Seventy one per cent of poor families in Oklahoma are unmarried and 37 percent of single-parent, female–headed families are poor. Sixty-five per cent of births are out of wedlock among women who are high school dropouts compared with only 8 percent of women having a college degree.
Page 3 of 3 - I agree with Ol Blue Eyes' Mother e.g., "love and marriage go together."
* Heritage foundation