De-Personalizing Weddings

Funerals are so formulaic; it's time weddings were as well. Enough of this solipsism and self-love, thunders Andrew Brown, echoing a splendid creed from Giles Fraser (at the 1 hr 48 minute mark here):

The great point about completely impersonal ceremonies, whose form is the same for everyone, whether these are religious or entirely civil, is that they remind us that the problems and difficulties of marriage are universal. They come from being human. They can't be dodged just by being our wonderful selves, even all dusted with unicorn sparkle.

On your wedding day you feel thoroughly special, and your guests will go along with this; so that is the moment when the ceremony should remind you that you're not all that. What you're doing isn't a step into fairyland. And if it does turn out to be the gateway to a new life, that is one that will have to be built over time and unglamorously with the unpromising materials of the old one.

I take the point; although we wrote our own vows. Marriage, I discover, is work; it requires patience and forgiveness and a willingness to go to only conventional war over toothpaste lids, sprinkled toilet seats, dog hair, and travel plans. The lower the expectations the greater the rewards.