Will you marry me? A look at marriage and weddings today
Wed Feb 3, 2021
Wedding Proposal with Engagement Ring

By Fairan Gill

This question is one that can change your life forever. Little girls dream of the day when their prince charming will get on one knee and ask it. But why marriage? Why do people want to live with one person for the rest of their lives? Why spend X amount of money on a one-day event?  With Valentine's Day around the corner, love and marriage are on everyone's mind.

The Institute of Marriage was practiced by the ancient Hebrews to secure land to stay in upcoming generation. Later it was to inherit money, become of a higher class, or simply because the dads of the two families were friends. Marriage was not about love in the slightest form. Arranged marriage between 11-year-old and a 30-year-old was a common practice.  

It was not until 1839 when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert that people realized love can play a role in marriage. With this wedding the idea of a white wedding dress came to be. Celebration after the wedding is now in the form of a reception, often costing tens of thousands of dollars.. So, if you want to know why you don’t have to marry a complete stranger possibly 20 year younger/older than you, thank Queen Victoria.  

Marriage is defined by Oxford Languages as:            

a legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions specifically a union between a man and a woman). 

My question is why do we have to show our love for another person? If we love them as much as we say we do, then why does it matter what others think? I know I have always wanted to have a big extravagant wedding, but the more time passes, the more I would like it to be a intimate time between my significant other and me. I do not want to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on an event that is one day and catering the needs of other people. I blame wedding shows such as "Four Weddings." To have people sit there and critique the dress, the food, the venue, the atmosphere is offensive at best.  

At the end of the day love is how you interpret it. If you want a big wedding, have one. If you do not believe marriage is the best fit for your relationship, then don’t do it. Love has no rules -  it's how it fits you.  

Religion is a often big key to marriage; certain religions emphasis the importance of marriage. Many Christians, like the community I was raised in, believe that you should marry your significant other with Christ in the middle. They believe that marriage is holy and when the couple joins together, they should be pure. Most religions believe that intercourse before marriage or living with your significant other are wrong. Most religions despise divorce; they believe you should work through issues even if one cheats or abuses the other. In West Virginia, many families believe that early marriage is the goal, especially for young women.  I know couples who got married because a child was conceived out of wedlock. Religion looks at marriage as the be all and end all, and with times changing, people are realizing that it's not.

With new visions of marriage and relationships, people are more free to choose their own paths, although it is hard for many to fight old traditions. Sharing the vision for a happy relationship - and a reasonable wedding - with your partner is the key. 

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