February 6, 2018

Religion, Shakespeare and a Wedding Dress

Doesn’t every young girl dream about her wedding day?  For me, the planning started at a young age, the style and theme would change as I grew older but the dream never fizzled.

I’ll be honest. I was in a foul mood when I returned home after navigating chaotic roads. Especially highway driving, it makes me crazy! Bursting through the door, still wrestling with my coat, announcing, “I need a BIG glass of wine.” Dry January? Well, that went out the window. Thankfully, I was just in time for one of my favourite shows, “Say yes to the dress.”   I know what you’re thinking – yes, I’m one of those women who can’t seem to get enough of  bride’s shopping for wedding dresses; it’s my guilty pleasure!

However, this time was different; I was watching it from a not-so-great headspace. I blurted out, “This is ridiculous! These women think a wedding dress is going to give them a happily ever after, what a farce!”  Before you all come at me with pitchforks, you’ll have to admit, the entire concept of the white dress and the pomp and circumstance surrounding the ceremony is a tad bit archaic.  How did we get here?  My son, attempting to choose his words wisely, chimed in, “Religion and Shakespeare, Mom”.  After pondering for a moment, I realized his insight was quite brilliant.

Religion often plays a role in most wedding ceremonies, though I’m not religious. In fact, I had a beach, wedding with no references to God or the Holy Spirit in our vows.  Still, I wore a white dress – was it tradition or just a fashion choice?  I think it’s safe to say most of us hold onto traditions, sometimes influenced (guilted) by an older generation. I respect how religion plays a traditional role in a wedding, whether you are religious or not. Ultimately, it comes down to the ceremony and surrounding yourself with loved ones. However, with more and more couples jetting off to exotic destinations and personalizing their vows, the religious aspect of the ceremony may be evolving. Is this indicative of the changing times?

Now, where does Shakespeare come into play?  Well, enter the romance; without Shakespeare, we wouldn’t have the timeless story of two star crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.  This iconic love story has paved the way for all of our own tales of love – we all yearn for our Romeo or Juliet, n’est-ce pas?

And then there’s the dress…

Satin, silk, charmeuse, chiffon, tulle, organza, and lace – these are just a handful of fabric choices for a wedding dress. Brides journey far and wide, often to the bridal Mecca of Kleinfelds in NYC. It’s a daunting task, trying on dress after dress after dress. Each bride comes in with a vision; some carry ripped-out magazine pages or Pinterest boards loaded with every imaginable version of the white dress. Eventually, it’s that poignant moment, the tear, and the unanimous agreement from the entourage – “It’s the one!” Only then can you truly say, “Yes to the dress.”

So, despite my rant about the seeming absurdity of it all, I should probably remember my own vision of the white dress; it didn’t seem so ridiculous at the time.

A Shakespeare love story, all for a beautiful white dress.


The comments +

  1. michele says:

    No not every young girl dreams of their wedding day or dress. I never wanted a white fluffy dress or had one, rather I wore a borrowed floral dress – cue gasp!. There were five people at my wedding and I was one of them. No regrets. “What was I Thinking?”
    Probably that the pomp and circumstance over a wedding is ridiculous especially when fifty per cent end in divorce. Ask me how I feel about Christmas -lol

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