Saturday, May 7, 2011

A Modern Marriage?

I don't want you thinking I'm completely down on the royal wedding, as I'm all for some pretty frocks and pomp and ceremony as much as the next person. However I did get very fed up with the sycophantic media proclaiming this to be a 'modern marriage'. This conclusion was reached because Kate Middleton wasn't going to 'obey' her future husband.

I still meet wedding couples who make it very clear they don't want to 'obey' one another. I always tell them that I'd never allow such a promise in a humanist wedding. Even the Church of England, purveyor of modern matrimony, did away with this eons ago.

Once aspect of the royal wedding that's been completely overlooked is the giving away of the bride. I'm not referring to the bride's father walking her down the aisle (99% of brides still do this and they and their dads like the experience). I'm talking about the part of the ceremony where Rowan Williams asks, "Who giveth this woman to be given to this man?" Kate's dad then says "I do", for she clearly belongs to him. He then gives his daughter's left hand to the Archbishop of Canterbury who gives it to Prince William. This is the point at which I asked myself how any marriage can be deemed modern when a woman is so publicly treated like chattel?

I can assure you now that this would never happen in a humanist wedding! Modern marriage is a partnership of two equals and most couples wouldn't have it any other way.