Up & Coming Weekly

May 06, 2014

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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MAY 7-13, 2014 UCW 5 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM June is just around the corner which means 'tis almost the high season for weddings. I am already looking forward to two such happy occasions in June, one in September, and another two in October, with fall being another favorite time for nuptials. I am not puzzling about what to wear yet, but it probably does not matter anyway since there seem to be few, if any rules about weddings anymore. Remember when folks fell in love, announced their engagement, and took the marital plunge a few weeks or months later? Today's couples take a much longer and more festive path to the altar, one which may last a year or more and include bachelor and bachelorette weekends in fancy locales along the way. Remember when wearing white to a wedding was one step down from a capital crime? Heaven forbid that any wedding guest should steal one ounce of thunder from the entitled wearer of white, the bride! And never, ever wear black, which, it was reasoned, could be a unwelcome downer at the beginning of what everyone hopes is a long and happy union. Remember when women wore gloves to church services, including weddings, and guests wore formal attire—gowns and tuxedoes — to night weddings? There was a cutoff hour when formal wear became mandatory, but I have long since forgotten what that was. Remember when a father, grandfather, brother, or some other manly person walked the bride down the aisle and the officiant inquired, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" and the manly person responded, "I do?" Recent weddings I have attended have featured less traditional versions of this hand-off with the bride being "given away" by her entire family, including her dog who might also be a bridesmaid or groomsman. I do cross my fingers nowadays that when the "who gives" question is posed, that no one pipes up with "I do, but her mother and big brother, Buddy, want nothing to do with this." I am also waiting to hear, "Who gives this man to be married to this woman?" but that is fodder for a different column. Remember receiving lines in which guests stood, sometimes for hours, to congratulate the happy couple? The bride and groom often looked like a couple of deer in the headlights after pledging their lives to each other and then shaking hands with hundreds of people they hardly knew. Remember when punch, cookies, and finger sandwiches in the church parlor or fellowship hall were de rigueur for post-ceremony receptions? I have a cousin who once declared that no one was ever really married until she had eaten ten chicken salad finger sandwiches, crusts off, of course. In case you have been on Mars for the last several decades, those wedding traditions have — shall we say — evolved? Guests now wear what they please to weddings, both day and night. Many have never heard of receiving lines, must less been through one. Wedding guests have generally been munching and quaffing for some time before the wedding party arrived, welcomed by applause as if they were movie stars on the red carpet. Receptions offer chocolate fountains, cupcake towers, and signature happy couple martinis. Finger sandwiches and salted nuts are at the far end of the table if they appear at all. The evolution has been pricey. Today's average wedding in the United States costs somewhere in the $27,000 range, which is about half our nation's median income. North Carolinians manage to keep our wedding costs down a bit, in the lower $22,000-23,000 range, but Hawaii and New Jersey go all out, reaching $33,000 or so. That is a lot of crust-less chicken salad sandwiches! Even with such innovations as lacy white lingerie with the word "Bride" emblazoned on the backside in rhinestones, weddings remain at heart the formalized and public wish of two people who want to walk through life hand-in-hand, both literally and figuratively. It matters little what they or anyone else wear, eat, or say beyond the heartfelt and legal commitment the two make to each other and their shared future. That has been true since society began sanctioning such unions, and it will be true for the couples whose weddings I will attend next month and into the summer and fall. They include a casual occasion with mostly family, one in which one partner is expressing hope for the future by marrying for a second time, and at least one will be a fancy do of the signature martini style. I wish them all much love and will keep my fingers crossed for them as they begin their journeys together. I am also beginning to wonder what on earth I will wear…..? Here Come the Brides, the Grooms and All Their Guests by MARGARET DICKSON MARGARET DICKSON, Contributing Writer, COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com.. 910.484.6200. THIS WEEK WITH MARGARET Contest&RequestLine: 910-764-1073 www.christian107.com KeepingtheMainThing...theMainThing. visitusonline FocusontheFamily 20Countdown Magazine Adventures in Odyssey Serving Fayetteville Over 50 Years! 484-0261 1304 Morganton Rd. Mon-Sat: 6am-10pm Sun: 7am-2:30pm Celebrate Mother's Day Sirloin Steak with Salad and Baked Potato $11.95 Banquet rooms available up to 100 guests Like many things, wedding etiquette has changed a lot in recent years.

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