It was the wedding of the year!
But when the couple split up five years later it was obvious that something must have gone wrong on the day. So, let’s see if we can find out what caused the failed wedding.
Harriett was sure the problem was money. Her daddy had promised her a hundred million dollar wedding, but the media analysts calculate that the whole show only came to eighty million. So she felt cheated by him not giving her what she wanted.
That could have been the problem, right there. Not enough money was spent on the wedding, so it could hardly be expected to last.
What do you think?
Now, you might protest that even one million dollars is a fortune to expend on a wedding. And you would probably point to many successful weddings with very modest budgets, much less than this extravaganza, so maybe money wasn’t the real problem.
Brandon wondered if it was the wedding program. He wanted the festivities to run for three weeks, like in the old country, but they cut short the festivities by two days, to fly off on their six month world honeymoon in time for the Grand Prix in Monte Carlo.
Maybe that was the problem. If they had stuck strictly to old village traditions they could have succeeded as a couple.
Yet, I hear you protest that hardly anyone follows old village traditions any more, but the marriages work out fine. So surely there is no demand for old village ways.
Everyone remembers how the main ceremony was disrupted by rain. Cavalry and carriages were held up by storms then intermittent showers doused the crowds lining the streets. The bad weather may have spoiled the marriage.
But how could anyone argue such a thing? Many people are wed on rainy miserable days, with storms and windy interruptions. Yet the marriages survive and thrive.
There was much talk about the bride’s outfits. Harriett wore seven gowns during the various festivities: all hand crafted designer outfits from the world’s leading creators. Were they too ostentatious? Should she have stuck with one designer? Were the colour choices wrong? Were the wrong materials chosen?
Could a mistake in choice of wedding dress account for the failure of the marriage?
No. People have been wed in royal robes and others in rags, without any impact on the outcome. New dresses don’t have a better result than borrowed ones.
A Bad Hair Day
We shouldn’t forget the bride’s hair. On two occasions, dramatised by photos in the papers, Harriett had trouble with her hair. It repeatedly blew in her face at one point and her annoyance was ably captured by the paparazzi. Another time her hair looked like a loaf of bread from some well published angles, and it looked a silly sight.
A woman’s hair is her glory so maybe hair issues caused the breakdown of the marriage.
But, once again, we have multitudes of other marriages to compare. Hair disasters, bad hair-dressing, wind-blown hair and many similar troubles have occurred, without the slightest impact on the long-term relationship.
Brandon had insisted on only eight groomsmen, even though Harriett had a dozen bridesmaids. So maybe that caused a problem. More likely it was Brandon’s choice of Darnsworth. Brandon insisted on his inclusion, as an old friend. Many people, however, had never forgiven his father’s business failures. And his behaviour during the festivities was at times deplorable.
Surely these issues brought clouds over this otherwise blissful wedding.
But then again, history is replete with diverse bridal parties and infamous groomsmen, where no lasting effect was seen in the marriage.
What about the fly-past by those military jets? Was it right to leave by helicopter? Did the venerable Holy Man preach the wrong sermon? Did they pick the wrong day? How about their age difference? What about his ethnic background? Was the motorcade too long? Did they choose the right hymns? Should they have flown-in a different choir? Were their vows deficient in some way?
And what about the various receptions? Who made those menu choices? Is it bad to have six separate fireworks displays? Should the orchestras have been string quartets, and should so many different international stars be included in the one gala performance?
Wedding or Marriage
Millions of people watched the wedding around the world. It was a lesson in event management. The glitz, the hype, the spectacle and the international appeal made this one of the most talked about weddings in dec ades.
However, the wedding is not the “marriage”. The wedding is a ceremony. The marriage is a living, life-long reality. You can use money to tizz-up a wedding ceremony, but you can’t use money to tizz-up a marriage. Weddings can be made of money. Marriages are built by two people.
The Failed Wedding
When a marriage fails it has next to nothing to do with the ‘wedding’. A failed wedding is a silly idea, unless the event simply failed to happen.
What will fail is the relationship, commitment and life-long union of the couple as man and wife. It is the ‘marriage’ that will fail.
The Wedding is Irrelevant
Sadly, no amount of money spent on the wedding can make a successful marriage. The viewing audience, fireworks display, gowns, choirs, rituals and traditions can’t make the marriage work. The extravagant honeymoon and the multi-million dollar estate for their first home can’t make the marriage work.
Nothing that happens on the wedding day, or that can be bought with daddy’s money, is going to make the marriage work. It is the couple themselves who will make the marriage work. Or the couple will make the marriage fail!
It’s Up to You
As you plan your big day, don’t think you have to get it perfect to be happy. The day can be a disaster yet your marriage be wonderfully blessed. You don’t need a perfect wedding. You are much better off with a blessed marriage!
Note then, that a successful marriage needs much more planning than the wedding day does.
All the dizzy notions of how this or that colour will look wonderful, and all those other arrangements for the day will be just memories and photos. What you must face, day after day, for the rest of your life, is the marriage you create on that day.
Enjoy the Day
I have no problem with a perfect wedding. That’s wonderful. Plan it as best you can. Enjoy it even when things go wrong. Get photographed laughing at the rain and the wind, and the flat tyre and the menu disaster. Make a real go of the day.
But don’t be distracted by the day. There are 364 more days ahead just to make it to your first anniversary. There are years and decades of married life awaiting you.
Make the Choice
If you had the choice of one glorious day, following by a life of misery and disappointment, or a completely mangled wedding day, followed by a life of unparalleled happiness, which would you choose?
If you go for the big wedding then I leave you to it. I have failed to prompt your thinking. And when your life turns out pear-shaped and all your hopes lie trampled on the ground, don’t blame the wedding day. It’s not a failed ‘wedding’ – it’s a failed Marriage!
What to Do
Decide right now to prepare yourself for “marriage”. There are many good courses and books to help you. If you are already married, then do a course, such as Married for Life, Marriage Alpha, or others.
Chris Field has written “Marriage Horizons” and “Mending Marriages” to help marriages succeed. Check them out at www.FamilyHorizons.net