The modern world blasts away jaded customs constantly, but you might never have expected one of the most sacred of traditions, marriage, to be in the firing line. If you aren’t hitched yet current indicators suggest wedded bliss isn’t completely out of your reach, however.
You can go solo.
The idea sprung out of Japan, where it’s not unusual for brides to get married minus a groom. Japanese people are super-busy, and they have little time for relationships. Long work hours mean they don’t meet new people, so they rarely come into contact with potential partners. The solution, they discovered, is to get married anyway, whether you’ve found someone to walk down the aisle with you or not.
Features editor, for the magazine Cosmopolitan, Catriona Harvey-Jenner says “who needs another actual person to declare their undying love and eternal unity with you, when you’ve got yourself? This really does take ‘me, myself and I’ to the absolute extreme, doesn’t it?”
Harvey-Jenner refers to Cerca Travel, a Japanese travel agent that offers a wedding trip for singletons, no groom required, and quotes their services:
“Are you starting 2015 single and dreaming of your big day, but lacking the all-important ring or groom to get you there? Or is it the case that you simply dream of being dressed in a stunning traditional Japanese kimono but have never had the chance? … Cerca Travel is offering wannabe brides the chance to create the picture perfect Japanese wedding without the need to officially tie the knot.”
Fresh worldwide data suggests the travel agent is onto a good thing, since traditional marriage is set to decline big time.
I haven’t got the actual data to hand, but wedding statistics could fall to an all-time low. Maybe plummeting, let’s say, 90% by August next year. That’s not such bad news for wedding suppliers because, if solo weddings take off in America and the UK, not to mention other countries, no one will lose out financially.
Indeed, many people, the bride’s parents, for instance, will be better off. Solo weddings are much cheaper than traditional ones, and you don’t even need guests — a big financial saving.
Plenty of couples, too, will find they start unmarried bliss together in a superior financial position. Although the bride’s mother and father often traditionally pay for nuptial fees, some don’t, and the couples bear the brunt of shelling out for their big day.
I interviewed one young couple, Marsha and Ludwig, to see what they think about the potential loss of weddings.
Ludwig: “I’m all for it. Initially I worried how Marsh would take the idea. I mean, women sometimes dream about wearing a beautiful gown on their big day, and saying ‘I do’ in front of their friends and family.
Now I know she can have a solo wedding, I’ve dropped my concerns. She can still wear a lovely dress and go through some sort of ceremony. So she’ll be happy with that.”
Marsha: “I have to admit the thought of getting together without declaring our love on paper doesn’t bother me. As long as we can still get legal papers to show who will take the dishwasher and hot tub if we split up, and that’s always been an option anyway, I’m fine with not marrying Ludwig.”
Marsha’s mother Lois, however, isn’t as happy about the concept.
Lois: “I always thought I’d get to see my baby girl walk down the aisle with someone. It will be a lonely experience by herself. Also, how will she get her divorce?
You can’t breakup with yourself. Every married woman looks forward to wearing her divorce outfit. She pictures herself walking out of the divorce court in a smart designer dress, heels, and a matching hat. Marsha will never get to enjoy that experience like I did. It’s such a shame.”
Marsha: “It’s all right mom. If Ludwig and I split, we can have a breakup party, can’t we Ludwig?”
Ludwig: “Yes, anything you want my love.”
And I must say the couple appear to be happy, despite the lack of wedding bells for the two of them to share.
Marriage may soon be a thing of the past, but romance still exists. I watch Ludwig pull something from beneath his coat and hand it to Marsha.
Marsha: “Ooh! Thank you Ludwig.”
Looking closely, I see it’s a ticket for one to the Maldives.
Ludwig: “It’s for your honeymoon darling. I’ll wait for you. Be sure to take a few photos for your album dear.”
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