The great thing about attending weddings is witnessing the whole spectacle of it. There’s no feeling quite like attending a ceremony where the bride and groom profess their love for each other in front of loved ones. Simply put, it’s a celebration of love.
Weddings are an institution in a Catholic country like the Philippines. It’s a rite of passage that people plan months or even years ahead. Couples willingly go through the grueling process of booking the right church and reception venue because they know it’s a once-in-a-lifetime affair. They want it to be perfect. And you see that when you get invited to one. Weddings are a reflection of what a couple values in their life.
Some want a grand, huge wedding. It is tradition in our country to invite as many people as you can. Brothers, sisters, or best friends as your best man or maid of honor. Your closest friends and family as groomsmen and bridesmaids. Immediate families, aunts and uncles, cousins, friends from the bride’s side and the groom’s.
Everyone is invited to celebrate. Attending weddings is one of the greatest communal activities. See the bride and groom profess their love. Dress in your finest. Listen to parents, ninongs, and ninangs give advice. Look at embarrassing childhood photos of the couple. Laugh, cry, dance, cheer, eat, drink, and be merry.
Watching the promise of love through a screen
Weddings are occasions where we have permission to spend all this time together, with our new, larger families. No matter the simplicity or grandeur, the important thing is that we come together to see the complete intertwining of two lives.
It’s been tough since the pandemic hit, cancelling everything. However, as you may well know, people did get married in the time of the pandemic. Stories abound of couples pushing through with their weddings in probably the most ubiquitous, signs-of-the-times way possible – via Zoom.
Attending weddings was a completely different affair at the height of the pandemic. Mostly, the way to attend a wedding was to log into Zoom or whatever video calling service. Yes, you can still see the bride and groom profess their love, but it’s far from what we were used to and what we look forward to.
For those who were able to attend in person, it’s an even more shocking difference to what we were used to in the Old Normal. Huge entourages were replaced by a handful of people, following safety protocols. So if you were chosen to actually be with the bride and groom, you’d be there with just four other people. And a laptop, showing the other 100 or so people watching on the screen.
It’s actually amazing how in such a short time, the wedding industry has adapted to the New Normal. Of course it’s not the same as before. A lot of people in the industry really did lose their jobs. Some had to rethink how to do weddings altogether.
Needless to say, nothing gets in the way of people promising to commit to each other, ’til death do them part. Not even a pandemic.
A return to what really matters
As long as there are people, there will be weddings. The biggest trend, really, is that people are starting to choose to postpone the big, grand wedding plans to a later date. Right now, couples are just choosing to go back to the true essence of what a wedding is.
In 2021, it’s become quite common to have weddings where it’s just the bride, the groom, and the priest or the judge. More and more are inviting guests, but the numbers are capped.
At the heart of it, weddings are a public profession of a lifelong commitment. Although now, they’re not the grand ballroom or scenic destination affairs that were part and parcel of our Old Normal, they’re no less beautiful and meaningful.
The fact remains that if you are invited to a couple’s wedding, it means that you are special to them. Attending weddings may be done through a screen, but what we should always remember is that it is still a family affair, however big or small that family is – you are a part of it.
We are #LookingForward to a near future where more of us can come together in person again to laugh, cry, dance, cheer, eat, drink, and be merry once more. But for now, let’s try to stay home and stay safe.
#LookingForward is a series by Flying Ketchup, where we talk about things that we miss about the “Old Normal”. It’s both reminding us of the past, and getting us excited about the future. What are you #LookingForward to doing again? Let us know, and you might get featured in the next article!