Saturday, July 25, 2009

That Wedding Video

Ok, so let me join in the general shout-out to the "JK Wedding Entrance Dance"-- YouTube video.

I'll just wait here while you watch it, take your time...

Why is this so terrific? Because it says that a wedding is a joyous celebration. And because it's the most wholesome thing I've seen about weddings in a long time.

It's a curious thing, you have to admit: as the social mores about sexuality and family life have been "loosened," the "rules" about weddings, in a culture that sees its citizens as consumers, have become even more strict. Young adults who dismiss any suggestions that romance and marriage come with specific duties and obligations turn around and readily give themselves over to a precise and exacting set of "musts" for the wedding day itself, allowing the consumer logic of extravagant formal wear, catered sit-down dinners and exotic venues to dictate who will witness the marriage, who will be counted as "family" and, of course, how the bride will spend her months of engagement (on a treadmill). The result: an elaborately staged exercise in the procurement and management of people and things, expensively photographed

So, why I love this video is obvious, yes? Because there's nothing slick, or sexy or polished about it. Slick, sexy and polished is exactly what a real wedding -- not to mention a real marriage -- isn't.

Instead we have real friends, chosen not for whether they will look good in the clothes -- they do! -- or whether they can dance -- they can! -- but because they're friends who are boogie-ing down for the sheer joy of it.

We have a groom who's so happy he somersaults into the aisle, and bounces along, ready to greet his bride. We have a bride who sashays into the church, full of joy -- not full of herself -- who takes the arm of the groom and two-steps to the altar, delighted to greet the minister and then turn to beam at the assembly of friends and family.

It's a real church -- in Minnesota, where slightly above average is ok with us -- probably some semi-progressive Lutheran or Methodist something in St. Paul. These are serious folks, this ain't no "destination wedding" or "event space." It's probably "Our Savior's Lutheran" or "Grace Methodist" or whatever, with a little parlor down the hall from the vestibule and a parish hall with a decent kitchen for re-warming casseroles (we Minnesotans call it "hotdish") and a long serving counter that boasts cake and coffee on Sunday mornings.

Ok, so I'm Catholic, this kind of thing will probably NOT get a green light where I worship. But the sensibility is ABSOLUTELY what we need to foster -- I'd like to show this video to every couple who wants to get married...

and yes, my lovely teen children, I'm talking to you.