With each generation, weddings have come to be seen more as a gathering of hoopla and hype than a holy ceremony to mark a couple’s new union. Yet the decision to spend thousands of dollars on a celebration usually comes down to just that — dollars — with people either seeing the cost of a wedding as money well spent or money poorly wasted. But recent comments from Future’s Huffington Post Live interview with Mark Lamont Hill have me questioning whether the real cost of a wedding isn’t monetary, but rather the detrimental effect it can have on a relationship.
I should preface this piece by saying Future isn’t exactly the pinnacle of relationship wisdom, but I am inclined to believe some of the concerns he brought up about jumping the broom aren’t specific to him and his bad habits, but universal ones many men share.
Discussing how their engagement came to an end, the Atlanta rapper said:
“I’m not getting married with all these different people in my wedding. My family have to be there. I’m from the hood, hood people going to be there. It might be people that you don’t like that’s going to be there. But I know they love me, they got my best interest. I don’t want nobody from the industry there, I don’t want the media there. You know how girls have their fairy tale weddings, this how they pick it.
“I was like we can do that and we can do it a year from now and then we can announce it like we’re just getting married. But we been together for a year, to get over that year hump. I didn’t want to get all the negative energy because I’m an artist. So soon as I get married and I go in the strip club, they’re going to be like ‘Ciara’s husband is in the strip club!’ They going always put something on it. They’re going to have a story to tell and I don’t want that headline story. So just to keep the people out our business and keep it personal, let’s just get married now and tell them a year from now. By the time we announce it and get married on TV, we done went past the hard part. We’re on our second year. We done worked on our marriage for a whole year and she probably didn’t understand that at that time.”
Now on one hand, we have typical wedding guest list BS most couples go through when they’re preparing to tie the knot. And my first reaction is if you can’t get past that, you probably don’t have any business getting married. But on the other is hand is a legitimate question about allowing so many people into your relationship – even if it is for a happy, bonding occasion. When people are dating, they’re always told to keep their relationship between them and we sputter off that same advice when those two people decide to go from dating to engaged to married. And yet, when it comes time to have an actual wedding, suddenly everyone’s opinion matters from the type of dress your mom wants you to wear, to whether or not your fiancé should be allowed to go to the strip club before you say “I do,” to every wannabe relationship expert at the reception who will tell you and your partner what you can no longer do now that you’re married. If that isn’t intrusive, I don’t know what is. And I’ve witnessed enough weddings among friends to know that being in the throes of that can be very stressful on a young couple.
Now, of course, a simple solution to what Future mentioned specifically could be “well then stay out of strip clubs!” But the point may very well be that he doesn’t have a problem with strip clubs and Ciara doesn’t have a problem with strip clubs, but when other people who aren’t Future and Ciara and have a problem with a married man being at a strip club start voicing that opinion, suddenly Future and Ciara have an issue with strip clubs. It’s undue, outside influence and that is a very hard reality to adjust to and block out when you’re still trying to come together as a cohesive unit.
The more I thought about Future’s perspective, the dilemma between Carrie and Big in the first “Sex & The City” movie came to mind. Big’s issue wasn’t marriage, it was a wedding and the idea that the two people vowing to love, honor, and cherish one another ‘til death due them part got lost in the overblown display of love and other people’s ideas of what they should and should not do.
Inherently, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to take the first step of becoming man and wife alone and once you’ve gotten over the hump, so to speak, you can then invite people to relish in that triumph. After all, at a wedding you’re really just celebrating the notion that you are going to try to live together happily ever after, you haven’t really proven you can yet – not that you necessarily will have after a year’s timing either. But you’ll at least have given your marriage a chance to stand on its own two feet and, hopefully, figured out the logistics of how being husband and wife works best for you, not according to tradition or what you’ve been taught by parents, friends, or society. As I look around at hectic couples preparing to take the plunge in front of hundreds this wedding season, I have to say I wouldn’t mind if delayed ceremonies became the way of the future.