Non-royal weddings are just as joyous

April 28, 2011|Lisa Prejean

There has been much discussion in our household this week about weddings. We were anticipating a very joyous occasion and had spoken about it for several days leading up to the event.

My 12-year-old daughter couldn't wait to see the dresses — on the bride, the bridesmaids and the other female guests.

My 16-year-old son wondered what food would be served at the reception.

My husband just wanted to be reminded what day the wedding was and what time we needed to be there.

I couldn't wait to hug my friend, the bride, and tell her how beautiful she is.

While our friends' names aren't William and Kate, their wedding was just as special to us as today's Royal Wedding is to most of the civilized world.

You may be a little weary of the "news" being generated by the nuptial celebration taking place across the Atlantic. That's understandable, considering there has been a nonstop stream of information being "released" about the event.

Perhaps we as parents should use this opportunity as a springboard for discussion about weddings and marriage.

I enjoyed having my children with me at our friends' recent wedding. In today's society, teenagers don't often have an opportunity to attend a wedding, so they might not know what to expect.

We discussed various aspects of the day before, during and after the event.

For starters, I told my kids we need to arrive about 20 minutes ahead of time. This allows the groomsmen to seat the guests and allows the guests to enjoy any preliminary music that is being performed.

When we arrived at the church, I signed the guest book for our family and we waited for a groomsman.

"He will ask if we are friends of the bride or groom. We're friends of both, so we can tell him that and he can seat us on either side of the church," I explained, noting that the bride's family and friends sit on one side and the groom's family and friends sit on the other side.

The grandparents and parents of the couple — except for the father of the bride — are seated just before the ceremony starts.

Then the processional begins. The groomsmen come out at the front of the church and the bridesmaids and flower girl walk from the back of the church to the front.

The bride comes down the aisle next, and is traditionally escorted by her father. Vows and rings are exchanged, prayers are offered, songs are sung and the new couple is pronounced husband and wife.

After our friends' ceremony, my daughter had several questions. My favorite one was: "Is it hard to stand and stare at each other while someone sings a whole song to you?"

That was a concern I had when we were planning our wedding, so I had suggested that we stare at each other's foreheads. Did it work? No. I kept getting lost in his eyes. I still do.

Weddings are a reminder of the pledges we have made to each other as husband and wife. They are also a promise of things to come.

May the future be bright for William and Kate or for other couples who plan to marry this weekend.

Lisa Tedrick Prejean writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail's Family page. Send email to her at

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