Where to start? Before being united in the same pod our senior year of college, the slubs’ mutual appreciation for matrimonial bliss was more or less an undercover character quirk. No doubt Nora had heard her fair share of wedding talk before then, seeing as Laura was her roommate and friend from the beginning, but once the five of us realized just how crazed we are for weddings all bets were off. Laura began by showing us her towering stack of wedding magazines (which has now relocated to our bookshelf in the Uptown house), but once she became more comfortable with us as cherished friends, her deeply complex and entirely thoughtful plot to become a wedding planner was revealed. If the rest of us slubs have a say in it, this will be her future career – the girl has genuine talent.
From there, we allowed ourselves to flip out whenever we felt like indulging in a fantasy of white dresses, colored flowers and sparkling diamonds (which was pretty much all the time). Say Yes to the Dress episodes played semi-constantly in the pod. We assaulted our podmate Elaine almost daily for the latest information on the Ole wedding in which she was to play bridesmaid. We talked about our ideal day, arguing the relative virtues of a spring vs. summer vs. fall vs. winter wedding, of cake types and bouquet styles, of long vs. tea-length bridesmaids’ dresses. When we needed a good cry, we would watch wedding videos like these and sob hysterically into kleenexes about how beautiful true love is.
Our deep appreciation for weddings was incited to a fever pitch when the greatest thing ever happened on April 29th, 2011: Prince William and Kate Middleton were married. I’m going to say this with pride: in order to witness the event live we got up at 4 am and drove to The Cow (a pub in Northfield owned by an ex-pat). We wore casual dresses and beaded headbands (in place of a fascinator), and ate a breakfast of scones and hot tea. We were delighted when Kate stepped out of her car in the perfect dress, and we cheered when they were finally pronounced husband and wife. Out of genuine emotion (but probably due more to sleep deprivation), we cried a little over their kisses on the balcony. Anna immediately purchased the soundtrack to their wedding (which was available on iTunes approximately .3948 seconds after the event ended), and we smiled wistfully after listening to I Was Glad for the next few weeks. Our magazine rack in the slub house has a permanent copy of the TIME magazine dedicated to the royal wedding. The Duchess of Cambridge is our hero.
And then after we graduated, our world exploded with weddings. People our age were getting engaged left and right. The slubs went to many weddings over the summer, and always came back to Uptown with pictures and a thorough debriefing to share. For better or for worse (…Kat got a bright orange coozie as a party favor…) we evaluated everything with unfailing interest. We honestly love talking about weddings.
Where does our obsession stem from? Certainly, the stigma that ‘every girl dreams of her wedding from the time she can walk until The Big Day’ seems to hold true, in our case. But surely our feelings go beyond simply confirming a stereotype. If the slubs are anything, it’s feminist-leaning; we have been blessed with the type of education that lets us continually question traditional roles and boundaries, and to redefine our notion of the world as women of the 21st century. In that case, is it wrong to fantasize? Are we taking a giant step backwards in appreciating the royal wedding like we do? (No.) Are we just frivolous girls with silly notions about love and commitment?
I’d like to think not.
In their purest form, weddings are occasions for joy. They are a celebration of the affection between two individuals who love each other. They are a gathering for friends and family, who share in this love and freely give of their own. In a fickle and ever-changing world, weddings represent a declaration of commitment to another individual. I know many marriages don’t last, and commitment can be difficult – if not impossible – to maintain. But the hype surrounding those few beautiful hours of the wedding day does, I believe, convey sentiments of steadfast love and friendship. Look at the faces of the bride and groom on the day, radiant with delight (ideally, at least). Listen to the laughter of friends and family as they share stories about the couple and reminisce about their own relationships. Watch as tears of happiness come from nearly every wedding-goer as the newlyweds embrace for their first dance.
There’s enough pain in the world that we shouldn’t dare belittle those occasions that bring us true joy. The royal wedding did this for millions of women and men around the world. And local weddings bring those feelings to my roommates and me whenever we think about, discuss, or attend a wedding ourselves. It isn’t silly to love weddings – it’s a direct response to our natural human tendency to gravitate towards beauty.
So the wedding fantasy will continue to live on in the slub house. Laura and Nora got a much needed dose this weekend, and Shannon will be engrossed in the processional a little over a year from now as the co-maid of honor for her best friend (shout out to the soon-to-be Mrs. Caitlin Lyon). Until the next wedding, we will discuss, debate, and plan the best possible wedding for ourselves – and continue to sloppy cry at the happiness of the newly wed couples in our lives.