Disclaimer: The following post is not directed to the many billionaires of Beirut. Feel safe and spend your money away. To the other segment of the population, the following is for you.
Summer is officially starting in less than a month yet the country dived in its spirit heads on a couple of weeks ago.
Rooftops and beaches officially opened.
The weather has gotten a few (many) notches up.
(I AM SUFFOCATING…)
To mens’ delight, women started showing skin and parading in summer dresses.
And most importantly, the long awaited and year-long prepared Lebanese wedding season launched itself a week or so ago.
Many of you are surely attending a couple of weddings this summer (as every summer) and have prepared yourself psychologically as well as financially to the sacred one in a life time (hopefully) event of the year of your friend.
A few years back I wrote a post on the “Fairytale” Lebanese Wedding. However as the years passed by I noticed that there has been a change in the aesthetics of the Lebanese- made weddings.
Before I start, please let’s shed light on the meaning of a wedding ceremony:
A wedding is the ceremony in which two people are united in marriage or a similar institution. Wedding traditions and customs vary greatly between cultures, ethnic groups, religions, countries, and social classes. Most wedding ceremonies involve an exchange of wedding vows by the couple, presentation of a gift (offering, ring(s), symbolic item, flowers, money), and a public proclamation of marriage by an authority figure or leader. Special wedding garments are often worn, and the ceremony is sometimes followed by a wedding reception. Music, poetry, prayers or readings from religious texts or literature are also commonly incorporated into the ceremony. (Wikipedia)
This definition, as any other definition or statement is embellished on the Lebanese scene.
I have noticed that in the Middle East, a wedding takes disproportionate forms and sometimes gets out of hand whether its the guest lists, the venue or/and the selection of entertainment & food. In Lebanon, particularly, weddings are no longer considered a sacred union blessing a couple to no longer live in sin but under the welcoming hospice of God. Weddings are a new form of entertainment outing, a crossroad between Broadway and a Circus show. It seems that couples think that the more you decorate the tables and ceilings, the more the years of marital bliss is secured. If this statement were true, the divorce rate would not have escalated alarmingly these past couple of years. Tough luck to this niche and its financial stability.
However, lets not deviate from the subject in question.
The last couple of years a new trend emerged. Lebanon is no longer considered a cool location for weddings. I understand that civil marriage is taboo and more people are flying away to tie the knot in neighboring countries, among them Cyprus & Turkey. However, more and more couples are flying their families and friends to remote islands and cities for their dream weddings. Whether its in Italy or France, competition is at its fierce as to which couple would boot the previous ‘most talked about’ venue of the season. So now guests are not only taking into account the ‘Liste de Mariage’ but the plane ticket, accommodation and many garments to wear (because you can’t be seen wearing the same outfit two days in a row, God forbid). Some invitees, more generous, at least secure the accommodation of air fare. But most do not. Dig in your saving accounts.
Further more, I have mentioned it before and I will mention it now; marriage is developing into a business. Smart couples would know how to plan it whether the rest would entangle themselves in debt. I am not talking about the ridiculous Wedding Loans many institutions are offering future brides & grooms (as lame and tempting as it seem). I am talking about the wedding planning institutions and some of the ridiculous services they offer. While I was attending a few years back a wedding themed venue that brings under one roof all the services available for the perfect wedding, one man approached my friend and explained of a one of a kind service his company has launched. The online wedding album (say what?). For a fee, they would prepare your wedding album and posted online for the world to see. The point of it? I don’t know yet some people would go for this novelty. More and more wedding planners are offering their services. Competition is fierce especially that these days the economical situation in the country is leading to future spouses to re-consider their budget. In the end, some would prefer to be caught dead than downsize their fairy tale wedding.
Ten years ago I dreamt of my fairy tale wedding. I wanted it to be in the poshest venue with a guest list exceeding three digits. I wanted it to be the most talked event of the year. Flash Forward five years ago, I realized that a wedding is a day whether a marriage is a lifetime. Details do no longer interest me. My dream wedding would be in Cyprus at the beach. I opt for civil marriage for personal reasons. My clique; my closest friends and family. My honeymoon spent with my friends having fun.
I would rather invest my time and energy in building my happiness and that of my future husband than taking into consideration society and its never ending gossip and nag.
Consider the following;
The more the flowers, the merrier the couple?
The bigger the venue, the more successful the wedding?
The more invitations sent left and right, the more liked the married couple?
The more mini- bridesmaids, the higher chance of fertility?
The more remote and exotic the location, the more chances of locked love for ever?
The more money spent, the more God will bless the couple a return on investment the following years?
I do not think so.
Next time you are at a wedding, look around you and tell me; the above mentioned points were they exaggerated or not? And if you just flew on a plane to attend your friend’s wedding, then just scratch the mentioned statement.
Enjoy the festivities and drink the night away…