I observed something interesting that day. Before the wedding the photographers wanted to take pictures of Carissa in various locations around the Hotel Del Coronado where the ceremony took place. Laurie and I accompanied Carissa as they took her to the different sites. As we walked around we were quite noticeable, as you can imagine. Most people at a beach resort are dressed very casually. Laurie and I were wearing wedding clothes and, obviously, Carissa had on her wedding gown. So as we maneuvered around the hotel grounds we drew some attention. What I noticed was that nearly every person we went by had a big smile and many would comment, “What a beautiful bride,” or “Congratulations.” After the wedding as the wedding party was walking back from the beach to the hotel we passed a swimming pool. The guests at the pool began clapping and cheering.
The institution of marriage is under attack in our society and has been for some time. Many are challenging its viability or necessity. More men and women than ever simply forego marriage and live together, at least for a period of time. More and more children are born and raised out of wedlock. Divorce, though declining slightly, is still rampant. But my experience Friday suggests that marriage is not going away. Somehow, as jaded and cynical about marriage as many are today, people still see the beauty of it and long for the potential of it to be fulfilled. Deep in their hearts they know the joy that a wedding day can and should represent, and they want it. Even if they are not experiencing it themselves they know how powerful it can and should be, and they want others to have it.
Perhaps we all need to attend a wedding now and then. We need to see the smiles on the faces of the bride and groom that are so constant and so big they threaten to break their faces. We need to hear those words spoken, the promises to love, to honor, to cherish, to be faithful as long as we both shall live. Maybe those reminders of the joy and power of the marriage relationship will remind us how precious it is and will spur us to do exactly what was promised on the wedding day, to love, to honor, to cherish and to be faithful to our spouses.