Last week while checking the mail, I found one of those large, bulky envelopes that can only mean one thing — a wedding invitation.
The bold stylized font and floral designs confirmed my suspicion. A few days later, I was surprised to find another such envelope, and it occurred to me that summer wedding season must be off to a roaring start.
There are even recent rumors of a summer wedding for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, so you know there must be something in the summer breeze.
Couples wedded in June more than any other month in 2011 according to a national survey of 19,000 U. S. brides by The Knot. Based on the contents of my mailbox of late, I’d say we’re on track to repeat that trend.
I was pleased to accept both of these invites, and I’ll likely accept one or two more for this summer. I love attending weddings. I often wonder why more people don’t accept invitations to them.
I find it difficult to understand why some adults of my generation groan when wedding invitations roll in. Maybe they’re thinking of driving miles out of town, spending money on wedding gifts and taking time off from summer vacations. Perhaps they don’t share a positive view of marriage based on their own experiences.
In other words, it’s all about them at times.
It should be known that, unlike the more selfish or cynical members of my generation, I believe it’s a privilege to be invited to see a friend or family member make the most important vow of his or her life. If they thought to invite me, then I feel it’s incumbent upon me to be there. I take it seriously.
This attitude, I believe, comes from having a mother and father that have been married for more than 35 years. When I think about weddings and marriage, I think about the relationship of the two married people I know best of all.
I’ve watched them support each other during difficult times and share in each other’s successes. I’ve also watched them compromise and manage conflicts. When I see how happy my parents are today, I have great hope for the newlyweds I’ll be seeing this summer.
I’m a big supporter of marriage as an institution generally, not to mention the fact that I love a good reception.
And summer weddings are my favorite, especially when they’re held outdoors. Weddings of the outdoor, scenic variety were up 10 percent last year. I like them because they often are more informal than fall or winter weddings, and receptions have an even more carefree mood given the fine weather. Guests can spend a little more time dancing and laughing with each other.
The best part of any wedding is spending time with family and friends, and during the summer it’s much easier to stay late when there are no classes to attend in the coming weeks. It’s easier for college students to be in a good mood at a wedding without school stress in the background.
This was certainly the case at my brother’s wedding last summer. Most of our family attended, and many of my brother’s college friends were there, too. The reception lasted well into the night. People enjoyed walking the lighted gardens outside or dancing until the DJ spun the last track. It was an evening I won’t soon forget.
I hope that when others receive their invitations to summer weddings, they decide to go.
It may cost some money to drive out of town, and there may be other plans that have to change, but attending is worth it. Being a part of someone’s special day shows how much you support that person. And once you get to the fun at the reception, you may just forget all the reasons you considered not going in the first place.