The Registry or Religion Debate

Wedding CarOne of my colleagues from work has been proposed to very recently (and rather unwittingly after a monumental one-night stand, gossip, gossip) and so the topic of weddings has been prominent in the workplace this week.

All this wedding talk has got me to thinking about weddings and marriage. I am a young, romantic female and so I will admit to considering and maybe slightly planning my own wedding a little bit from time to time, however my plans have never included where the ceremony should take place. A and I were in discussion about this last night over a gorgeous curry, A retorted (in a way that was so adamant and passionate that it nearly made me inhale my Sagwalla) to my suggestion that I would be happy with a civil ceremony that he will only marry in a church.

The church debate is a tough one, I was raised to respect religion however I rarely went to church and when I did it was to enjoy a nativity play my brother was in or because my schools told me to go and so I never have felt that I could honestly marry in a church and undergo the religious ceremony when the only part of marrying that is relevant to me is the signing of the register. I would love to marry in a place where I could walk down the aisle towards my beloved and vow to him in front of my friends and relatives that I will love him forever and will protect him and care for him until we grow old and die – God doesn’t really come into it. A believes that as it is tradition and that every member of his family before him has only ever married in a church (I bit my tongue when his thrice wed aunty leapt to mind) hence he could only ever marry in a church also. Now the only similar theme between those two notions is that God is no priority.

I would marry in a church for the man I love. I love A and would marry in a church for him because thats what love is about but I resent to condone the matter if it is just because it is the done thing rather than for any particular spiritual reason. I am a spiritual person and I love churches, chapels and cathedrals – I love the smell, the peace, the history but in all honesty I am not religious and to me marriage is a legal contract that in this day and age is just as important for protecting any children that may crop up in a marriage and can be a tax benefit also!

I love the thought of marriage, the thought of being so devoted that you profess your love to somebody and promise never to wander and always to love them undividedly. I believe that marriage is a sacred and beautiful institution that is still relevant today but just not necessarily in a religious context, needless to say between two people that are not particularly religious.

The Registry Office has a bad rep for looking like a doctor’s waitingroom with beige wallpaper and a “no confetti” sign on the fire exit. Doubtless registry offices fitting the above description still exist but in my fantastical, girlish moments I have researched the most beautiful rooms that hotels and country clubs now dub “Ceremony Halls” that seat as many as a church and are annexed from the buffet/disco/debauchery that your common-or-garden wedding normally entails. Plus you get the music, the mood and the legalities sorted out without any of the worry about being a non-believer in a house of God. A bastard of the flock.

And so the wedding debate continues between myself and my stubborn, fair-weather-God-fearing boyfriend. I want the dress, the bouquet, the country-club and the honeymoon suite, just don’t give me the religious part but – if it is what my love wants then I will plaster the smile on my face and do it for him – that is if he ever proposes which is an ambition I certainly don’t seem to be encouraging from his point of view.

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