I have performed wedding ceremonies of just about every shape and variety. Early on, I officiated at my sister’s wedding in the sanctuary of the church in which we grew up. A couple of weeks ago the family and friends of a California couple climbed a New Hampshire hill to share in a ceremony surrounded by verdant meadows with an incredible view of the Connecticut River valley. One time I waited under trees with the groom while the bride rode up on a horse. Every once in a while a couple will come to our simple chapel and have the ceremony with just the three of us. And on and on.

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Each time is special, without a doubt. The public vows and the signing of the official license declare “We love each other and want the world to know”. Whether the ceremony is elaborate or simple matters not. For the two persons it is unique.

Having said that, I sometimes find myself a bit embarrassed to be a part of the so-called wedding industry. In Dave Barry’s very funny book, Insane City, a couple from DC plan an extravagant destination wedding in Miami. In spite of the woman’s social justice activism and since her parents are beyond wealthy, she becomes, in Barry’s words, a classic “bridezilla”. As you read and laugh out loud, you keep thinking there is no way this happens in real life. Well, I am here to tell you, his tale is so close to what actually happens that I caught myself thinking, “Wait a minute. Why am I laughing?”

The present average cost of a wedding is estimated to be $25,656 and, as one site so helpfully points out, this doesn’t include the honeymoon. (For most of us, trying to spend that kind of money makes for a very short honeymoon period indeed) How could this be? Who in the world needs such an exorbitant budget just to “tie the knot? These are rhetorical questions, of course, because as is true of many things in this “insane” society of ours, weddings will just become more and more elaborate while their cost escalates. So? Well, I will leave that up to you for now.

Meanwhile, it wasn’t too long ago that a bride with a reception booked at our most expensive venue, tried to negotiate my fee downward. But that’s another blog.

P.S. Then, when your team’s mascot shows up, you are supposed to laugh.