Just because I’m a hopeless romantic doesn’t mean I love weddings. I hate the fact that I’m forced to buy new clothes and shoes. I hate the fact that I’ve pressured myself to lose weight, not just to fit into the formal wear, but to look decently good for the photos. I hate the times when I have to switch into temporary-extrovert mode as I’m coerced into joining the games during reception.
And I hate that bittersweet melancholy as the celebration ends, as guests trickle away and empty the place, as the lovely couple finally leave with each other — to finally, truly live with each other — and all that’s left are the memory and inspiration of the moment, and a hopefulness brewing, stirring inside.
And I can’t help but sigh because, as much as my rational mind refutes it, I find myself at the end of each wedding believing in magic.
There has to be some magic. Because in a world where marriages tend to fall apart, where a lot of couples wear masks of happiness almost every day, where more promises are broken than made, why would people still want to get married?
There has to be some magic. Because in a time when traditions are being challenged, when logic and practicality exposes how trivial and frivolous a wedding can be, when what matters more than this now of such a ritual is the after — that ever after of timeless fairy tales, why would people still bother going through the arduous stress of a wedding?
There has to be some magic. Because when our doubts outnumber our trusts, when our frustrations outweigh our commitments, when our regrets outshine our hopes, why would you still believe that you can be together with someone: not just today, not just now, not just tomorrow. To be with them: for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, ’til death do you part.
Yet here we are: helpless spectators and participants of weddings. No matter the culture, no matter the belief, no matter where or why there’s one — there is something powerful in this celebration that draws people together. And we’re no longer there just because we’re invited. We’re no longer there because someone needs our signature on the marriage contract. We’re no longer there because there’s free food, or a possible chance of meeting someone. As soon as the groom stands before the altar, as soon as the bride glides beautifully towards his side, as soon as they both come together and the ceremony begins — we’re no longer there for our own petty, selfish reasons.
We are there because we believe in their love. And we’re cheering for them: a mortal crowd of witnesses reflecting the joyful audience of heaven. Because at that moment, when they exchanged vows, when they kiss, when the minister declares their new marital status — we see them as one. And that’s where the magic starts. A magic that touches everyone else who believes in it, even if they can barely, faintly recognize its eternal meaning.
But a good romance doesn’t end with a wedding. As the song goes: “It’s only just began.” Because it doesn’t really matter how people met; it’s why they stay together — when the honeymoon ends, when people stop commenting on photos and sharing posts, when the euphoria fades away and everyone has to face life again. The excitement dies away eventually, but that’s how we let passion, true passion, start growing.
And that’s why even if someday, death can do us part — we can still believe that there is a love quietly and patiently making us one.