On weddings

August 7, 2008 at 9:23 am | Posted in Misc. | Leave a comment

After the vows & the confetti, the photos, speeches and toasts, we swarmed around a small dancefloor to gawp at the first dance. Our culture celebrates this clumsy, club-footed ritual for things that are rarely realised. Sure, when it’s immortalised in film it seems like a fully-clothed consummation of love, an act of devotion that satisfies the voyeurism of those watching. But in real life, it’s more a mock-up of private moments, acted-out falteringly, self-consciously, weighed-down by expectations and awkward footwork. Basically, it’s just like any other time you try to dance.

So when the bride & groom began theirs to the sound of Harvest Moon, it seemed the perfect choice. The song does the dancing for you; its swaying, swooning rhythm doesn’t require much movement at all – a slow shuffle will do – meaning you can get on with all the lovestruck stares into each other’s eyes that everyone watching came for. The lyrics are equally understated; they don’t speak of love as some grand eternal covenant, but as a series of moments that makes whatever else is complicating your life seem insignificant, or at least manageable. It was as fitting for the occasion as it was for the couple.

I’ve known Chris for just under six years, and his wife Rozzy for nearly five. They got together whilst we were at university, a time when our circle of friends practically lived in each others rooms; drinking, smoking, plotting, dreaming, copying each other’s notes, overcoming hangovers and over-analysing everything. In this environment friendships set like cement and in the years that followed we got to see them settle almost effortlessly from the first flush of love to the stability of the mundane routine. As we watched them scuff their feet across the dancefloor, it felt like we’d not only had a front row seat for the whole thing, but had been bit-part players who, if nothing else, hadn’t obstructed their journey to this day. It’s a hell of a thing to watch.

I don’t suppose there is such a thing as a perfect couple, and I wouldn’t blithely assume that the same things which keep them together in their early 20s will necessarily work when they reach their early 40s. But if they set about the next five years of their lives with the same compassion, togetherness and humble hopes as they have shown for the last five, they’ll do just fine.

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