Most weddings have the same ebb and flow: get ready, get married, get dancin’! The majority include all the classic wedding traditions too: vows, cake cutting, first dance, etc.
At each wedding I wonder what the traditions mean. The funny thing is I have never looked or researched, which is so unlike me. I just keep shooting weddings and keep wondering why for centuries of time we have done the things we have done at each wedding. The other night I was editing and sorting through some very sweet first dance photographs. It got me thinking again about these wedding traditions. I really want to know how they started, why they started, and above all what they mean! They have to be symbolic of something! They have to mean something!!
While I was editing I looked up at my man, Jaren, and I started asking him questions about our wedding day. I was curious to know what he remembered about it, and how our memories compared; in true bride fashion: I remembered more! He remembers our food, and having fun taking photographs. He doesn’t even remember what I looked like! I had to prod to get that memory out of him!! “Big, white dress.” Was about the extend of his memories of me! 😉 Then I asked him what he thought all the commonalities found at weddings meant. Instead of going to the great Google God we, together, we came up with a few ideas about the wedding traditions that make me most curious!
Cutting the cake together!! What does this mean? Why cut a cake together? Jaren and I have cut ONE cake together in our life, that’s it. It’s not like we go around finding cakes to cut or like we make it a point to cut our children’s birthday cakes at their parties, together. Or like I make a cake out of nowhere, for no reason, and when it’s ready for slicing call up to him, “J, Darling, Dearest-Love, come down so we can cut this cake together, just as we did on our wedding day!!” What does it mean? Why cut the cake together??
Jaren and I decided it’s the first effort of doing things “hand in hand” and “side by side”: a major effort in marriage through every season of the life they have just committed to living together. The feeding each other the first piece of cake has always been enigmatic too. We figured that is representation of serving each other; I serve you, you serve me; I focus on you and not me, you focus on me and not you. Smashing cake, however, I am oblivious to that completely!
I love the first kiss as a married couple! I how many kisses have been shared previous to that kiss, innumerable ones: quick ones, silly ones, long ones, passionate ones, soft ones. Unless of course you are a member of the Duggar Family, and you wait for your first kiss for your wedding day when you are pronounced man and wife! We, Jaren and I, think this kiss, in front of all the people who love and support them the most, is a sign to them, a symbol of their romance, it’s a tender and open promise to everyone present that they will love, only the other, romantically, emotionally, and spiritually the rest of their days! I adore the first kiss as man and wife.
The next tradition and last one that J and I qualified is the first dance. When you attend weddings, stop what you are doing during the couple’s first dance and please watch them. Smile at their sweetness for each other. Listen to the words of the song they have selected as their song. Recomite yourself to love the person you love the most in this world on a deeper more emotional level, and, watch, watch how the couple dances together. Do they talk seriously? Do they talk at all? Do they look at each other and smile sweetly? Do they laugh? Do they wave at their guests and ignore each other? How to they move together to the beat of their song? The first dance, according to us, me and J, is seeing eye to eye, meeting in the middle, and still holding each other closer even if you don’t always agree or like the music the other one is playing, all while dancing to the ever changing rhythms of life. The couple’s first dance indicates to me, how they will take the staccatos and legatos that come after the happiest day ever!
Scott and Ashley’s wedding day was a symbol to me of true love and a perfect pairing of opposites made to be together. They fit perfectly. I was so happy to be there. I got emotional a couple of times being near their extraordinary respect and love for each other.
Their first dance was a tribute to them, a symbol of their mutual admiration for each other and their effort to keep in step with the other. They only looked at one another, and they way he looked at her, his wife, his one true person, would have made any heart melt. I know mine did, but I of course, was watching, like I always do- inspired by all love and the stories the accompany it!
To Ashley and Scott, thank you for sharing this time and this day with me! I was so happy to be there, so grateful for the experience! Thank you for touching my heart and for sharing your love!! May you continue to dance, regardless the beat, held on to the other and with much love!!
This one, the way he looks at her says it all, she is his, and he will forever smile the way he does here, because he is hers.
Ashley and Scott, Thank you again, for sharing this time with me!! Much love, KJ