HOW MUCH WEDDINGS HAVE CHANGED! by Rosa del Valle
Years ago you were invited to a wedding and everything was jack, horse and king. Rarely did the bride and groom manage to surprise you in any way. You would try to get to the church on time to get in before the bride. You would sit on a bench with a good view and enjoy the show. You would cry with emotion… or not and the “you can kiss the bride” would come. Then the rice and the photos with the guests at the exit of the church. Finally, the banquet, the shouts of: “Let them kiss each other”, the cutting of the cake with that sword that not even the Cid Campeador in the battle of Alcocer, the traditional dance to the rhythm of the Blue Danube, open bar and Paquito the chocolatier. That was all.
I WOULD SAY YES AGAIN A MILLION TIMES
Much has changed in recent years. Now, when you go to a wedding you never know what you will find and I have a feeling that as time goes by, all weddings will be like 2021, one surprise after another. Nowadays, the bride and groom, in an attempt to enter the Guinness book of the most original events, are trying more and more to surprise their guests. They usually manage to do so, sometimes in a spectacular way and other times in a spectacularly disastrous way.
You arrive at the place of the celebration and what used to be a church, cathedral or chapel, is now a barn, industrial warehouse or cliff. Before, you sat on chairs lined with colourful covers that matched the colours of the decoration and huge ribbons. Now you can only find alpacas, logs, upside-down fruit cages or vintage chairs where you have to balance to avoid killing yourself
The guests no longer notice what is going on. They simply raise their arms and record everything that happens with their mobile phones, trying to centre the image well. When they finish their work as videographers, they send it, hang it on the internet and days later, in some moment of boredom, they remember and watch the video to know what really happened while they were there.
“LOVE FORGIVES WITHOUT LIMITS, BELIEVES WITHOUT LIMITS, WAITS WITHOUT LIMITS, HOLDS WITHOUT LIMITS LOVE NEVER PASSES
Many years ago, a guest was reading from the first letter of the Apostle Paul to Corinthians 12:31-13:8 about love. Now people are preparing long tearful speeches that should be forbidden, as strictly forbidden as dancing Paquito el Chocolatero by letting people grab your waist with their sweaty hands. When the ceremony is over there is no more rice. That omen of great descent is no longer desired even by your worst enemy. It has been replaced by lavender seeds, olive leaves, rosemary or soap bubbles, which have no transcendental meaning, but look much more beautiful in the pictures.
When I was little, we all knew the menu in advance: hors d’oeuvres, salad, various fried foods, prawns, lamb and St. Mark’s cake with a slice of vanilla ice cream. Now, you arrive at the place of the treat, which is rarely a restaurant, and you have to locate yourself on a panel of wood, metal or any other recycled material. What used to be as simple as sitting at your table, has now become a treasure hunt to end up in the one place you probably didn’t want.
Once seated, you will be amazed by the decoration. Judging by the vegetation that decorates the table, you might think you are in a jungle. The dishes begin to arrive and you have no idea what you are putting in your mouth. Nobody shouts for kissing although people stand up and wave their napkins non-stop until the bride and groom kiss to the joy of the attendants. But now there’s every kiss… that, my goodness… That’s what past generations won at. The first thing I said when I saw Philip VI kiss Queen Leticia on the forehead was: Now everything is going to hell! And nothing was the same anymore, goodbye to Cary Grant’s kisses forever.
No more cutting the cake with a sword. Now the bride and groom choose the design with such care that they put it only as an ornament for the photographer to take the picture in which they don’t even appear. Afterwards, the waiters serve another one that has already been cut in the kitchen and they don’t even bother to make it look like the one in the photo to make it look good.
The dance is no longer what it used to be, now it’s not just a round and round of silly things that are totally arrhythmic to the rhythm of a waltz. From some time to here, the couple rehearse for months going to private classes to make choreographies with which they try to emulate Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. If you see that you’re not going to get to that level, don’t even try because you’ll be throwing your money away. Stick to what you’ve always done, that moving one foot to the right and then to the centre is a lot easier than spraining your hip three times in your attempt to do well in something you’ve never excelled at.
ALL ADVENTURES START WITH A YES
What really seems like a century has passed is everything related to wedding details. What about those silver plates with the inscription of the date and the names of the bride and groom? Or the little porcelain figures with the date written on them with permanent gold marker… those little cabinets that were bought in all the houses exclusively to put the wedding, baptism and communion souvenirs. Now typical products of the land are given away, donations for associations, gift vouchers … nothing to do with the cigar smoke that men smoked while the rest danced.
The only thing where the weddings of before and now still coincide is at the open bar. There, nothing innovative has been done. They give the go-ahead and people drink, like newly paid bricklayers.