Wedding Bells are Ringing

The question has been asked, the glittering diamond ring has been presented and you have answered a resounding yes. Now comes the wedding, which is one of the most life-changing events people go through. It can be a dream come true or it can be a nightmare but whichever way you look at it, it has always been a moment in your life you will remember forever.

First and foremost, a wedding is a ceremony uniting two people, usually a man and a woman, in marriage. It is officiated by a leader or authority figure. Symbolic gifts are presented and exchanged. These gifts include rings, coins, candles and flowers. In the ceremony, vows between the couple are stated and special dresses and outfits are worn. A wedding reception almost always follows the ceremony to celebrate the union of the couple.

Having a wedding, however, is not easy. It takes meticulous planning to pull it off as well as fulfilling the legal requirements, lest the marriage will become null and void. Different countries, different cultures and different religions have different rules and laws regarding matrimony. In some countries, you can only get married after a certain age, otherwise you will have to get the consent of your parents or wait it out until you are older. Some religions prohibit marrying other people of different religion unless that person converts. Others have to get counseling from their pastor or priest to talk about the importance of God, family and raising children. Some people have the freedom to choose their life partner; some have to endure an arranged marriage. Many countries prohibit same-sex marriage.

And then there's the wedding planning. For example, in a traditional Christian wedding, there are a lot of things to consider. Will you have the ceremony on the beach or opt for a more traditional venue like a chapel or church. The venue of the church and the proximity of where the wedding reception will be held will be a big factor. Who will provide catering? What is your motif and the colors you will use? Will you import flowers or source them locally? Will the person who will design the wedding gown also be doing the dresses of the entourage? What time will the wedding be? Will you provide souvenirs for your wedding guests? Are you going to stay in a hotel before and after the ceremony? Will you opt for a Mercedes or a vintage car for the bridal car? These questions are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Are you ready to walk down the aisle yet?