Weddings and Hope

We went to a wedding on Saturday, at the Buddhist temple. It was 90-95% in Laotian, so we followed along as best we could, but it was absolutely beautiful. 

There was a parade with the groom and his family and then he had to answer questions from an elder family member of the bride to enter the gate, and then questions from a younger family member of the bride tho enter the temple for the ceremony. I felt nervous for him, because the questions were INTENSE and he isn't Laotian. He did great though, they let him in!

It's always bittersweet when weddings feature prominently the promise of children. When everyone is like, "bring us lots of children! Have many babies!" It seems like a constant no matter the religion. At first I bristled a bit. And then I thought, well, we had the Blessing of Hands at our (highly unreligious)  wedding and one part is "these are the hands that will hold your children." 

It's that hope thing. A part of me feels superstitious, though... That maybe it should be "we hope for children" instead of "there will be children," like it's a given. But for so many, it IS a given and I end up feeling like the dark cloud, Milificent at the christening. Yes yes, things are great now, but wait until that spindle comes for you!

I guess it's that edge that comes with losing that sense that things can ever be a given. But I do hope for this young couple, that if children are in their plans, that children they will have. 

I just wish the focus was less on future children and more on the happiness of the couple's lives together. 

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy!


  1. I had a student a couple of years ago who was Laotian. It was impossible to find a translator during interviews! (Luckily they had a family friend.)

    Sounds like a beautiful wedding! Children aren't guaranteed in marriage, though neither is happiness unfortunately. I think the subtext is usually hope and good intentions.

  2. Oh, this post made me think and feel things. I just got the good news that someone I love is getting married and I felt 90% happy and 10% weird about it, and that 10% really caught me off guard. I haven't shared that with anyone yet, but there ya go Jess and the internet! I think because when we think about marriage, our thoughts quickly go to babies. I never even realized that social conditioning until now. And my loved one that's engaged is young enough to have kids. She said she doesn't want to but there's always that possibility. Her news just stirred up my feelings a bit. Maybe that's also because this will be my first wedding as a divorced woman. Just lots of things here... I'm happy for her and I'm looking forward to the wedding. But yeah, this post came at a good time for me. Thank you.

  3. I went to a wedding for a good friend several years ago when we were in the midst of infertility treatments and I remember there being lots of emphasis being placed on the expectation of the couple having children. Including prayers to that effect. At the time I definitely cringed as there is no guarantee and it felt like a LOT of pressure. Just let them enjoy their special day!

  4. I love your thoughts on this, Jess. I have that inner Maleficent, too, and she comes out whenever I see people assuming their life will go blissfully as planned. I even feel her when I think back to my own wedding. I suppose we need both the young and naive and also the older and wiser. Sigh....

  5. I've been periodically having trouble commenting. But I HAVE been reading!
    Fortunately I haven't really been to weddings here that have focused on children. It didn't even enter our heads to include that in our wedding! I agree with you. There should be hope for happiness - whether that includes children or not, by choice or not. Anything else makes me uncomfortable - and did so even before I decided to try to conceive, let alone became childless.
    PS. Lao language is very similar to Thai. I can speak to Lao people in Thai, and we can make ourselves understood.

  6. Yep, sooooo many weddings I've been to include children in the vows & /or prayers -- some Protestant services as well as Catholic (there's a promise to welcome children as a gift from God, if I remember correctly). There was a prayer in our (Anglican/Episcopalian) service that included asking for the blessing of children -- although I do remember the minister asking if we wanted that included, which was pretty great of her in retrospect (especially considering that was almost 40 years ago...!). I also feel like the bad fairy at those points in the service these days. You sure hope they'll get the children they want, but we all know that, prayers or not, there are no guarantees...!