In the last two weeks I’ve been the best man at my best friend (and most social media inactive person in the world) Themba’s wedding and also had the honour of being MC at my amazing friends Matthew and Minette’s wedding. And it’s amazing how when you’re involved in weddings — rather than just being a guest — that your mind tends to drift back to your own. Or maybe it’s just me. Whatever.
I couldn’t help but think about what goes into a wedding — just for it all to fly by in what seems like seconds. Like a mist (to paraphrase the Biblical phrasing) it appears, just to vanish swiftly. It’s months and months of planning for what lasts but a few hours. But what amazing hours they are!
Themba and Noma’s wedding was so vastly different to Matt and Minette’s in so many ways. But they were indentical in one may way: the grooms adored their brides.
Every man should adore their parter. Winston Churchill said it perfectly: A man’s greatest achievement is convincing a girl he knows to be out of his league to be his wife. I know it was in my case, and Themba and Matt said as much in their respective speeches.
The key, though, is to keep adoring her. At these two weddings I came across people who had been married a year, two years, five years, 10, 15, 20, and even longer. Before my dad passed away, him and my mom were married 36 years (he used to joke that he could trade her in for two 18 year olds — and my mom told him he wouldn’t know what to do with two 18 year olds). Those marriages were all successful in their own ways but had a common truth: the husbands loved their wives.
And that’s just it, isn’t it. Love. Respect. Loyalty. If a man shows that to his wife, then marriage is about as good as it’s going to get.
I like the words of Audrey Hepburn: “If I get married, I want to be very married.” Very married. I like that. There’s no half-heartened marriage tomfoolery. It’s all in. Very married. Does it mean the husband won’t mess up and won’t do stupid stuff, that he won’t irritate his person and frustrate her, that the couple won’t fight and won’t go through though times? No. It doesn’t. Being being very married means that the two can get through the challenges — but only provided that the same gushing, sickeningly sweet, uber-cute love from that wedding day continues daily (and to quote the Matron of Honour, Anneke, on Saturday: Love each other, even when you don’t like each other all that much).
It’s great to know that all of this is worth it. Marriage is summed up perfectly right here: