We've had the vote for a while now, burned our bras, and joined the workforce as equals - so why, in this modern age, do we wed?
At Silk & Honey we love all things bride and beautiful, and yet, when beginning this journey into celebrating weddings, romance and events, we wanted to understand and explore marriage and the modern woman.
We don't need to get married anymore, we're not sold off or bartered by our family, and we're not bargaining chips in land grabs - so why do we do it?
Well, ladies, the verdict is in - good news for all you romantics...
...it's all about LOVE!
I mean, it has to be. Surely. It must be love. Love. Love. Thanks Madness! Anyone else find that ironic?
Let’s be blatantly frank, there’s no ‘good reason’ anymore. The new Commonwealth law of 2010 changed the laws for de facto couples giving them the same rights as married couples. So why marry?
Religion, society, family, have all been historically valid, definitively convincing reasons to marry – but how much sway do these institutions have these days? Surprisingly, still quite a lot. Both New Zealand and Australia are progressive nations with forward-thinking ideals. New Zealand legalised same sex marriage in 2013. And yet, within our diversely cultured countries there are still arranged marriages, polygamy, and forced marriages.
I’ll be honest, writing this is hard for me. Don’t get me wrong, I love Love. I’d love to be in love, love to know what real, true, mind-melting, heart-rending love feels like. I want to be swept into the arms of Ryan Gosling in the pouring rain and have him growl, “It’s not over, it’s never been over.” You’re so right, Ryan, wanting you will never be over!
It’s hard because I’m a romantic soul trapped in a body with a pragmatic mind. I immediately jump to wanting to document the historical and cultural impact of marriage on woman over the centuries and give a well thought out, logical report on why we, as powerful, intelligent, beautiful beings, should refrain from promising to ‘love, cherish, and obey till death do us part.’ I’m inclined to jump and down, screaming, ‘don’t do it’, at the same time as daydreaming about what I’d look like in a Rue de Seine dress. I have been engaged. Once. Actually, truth be told, twice. But neither gentleman felt right. I just couldn’t see myself walking down the aisle toward a happy ever after with them.
I started to wonder if I simply wasn't the marrying type. My ideas about marriage became more and more cynical.
So, I asked my married friends, ‘why did you get married’?
The answers had me laughing - I seem to have surrounded myself with cynics - and I felt validated in my pragmatism and logic, congratulating myself on my enlightened and forward-thinking stance on love, marriage and relationships in general.
But then I read and listened to some answers that gave me a traitorous little tingle, an unexpected or wanted fizzle in my nose. A warm wee glow that started in my heart and heated up all the way to the top of my head. Good lord there's some fire in the old girl yet!
Yes, I admit - I got gushy. And swooney. And just a wee bit teary over some of my friends obvious love, respect, and total, unabashed, I-don't-care-if-you-think-I'm-a-sap adoration for their wife or husband.
I began to imagine what that might feel like - that moment when the music starts, you take your first step toward the person you are about to promise to love forever - truly believing you mean it. You look at him or her and in them you see so much of what makes you you. What makes you happy and alive and free.
Suddenly the institution of marriage no longer matters. The history, with all its patriarchal and religious tradition, means nothing. You're not part of any of that. You're not being bought or sold, or saved, or bartered. You're giving a gift of yourself, of your heart and your future, to a person who is standing waiting to give themselves to you.
And you smile, and the Universe smiles with you, filling your heart and those around you with light and love, because the why no longer matters a fig. There is no why.
There is only US.