Having being raised a Catholic we were taught that marriage was one of the seven sacraments and a wedding was a religious ceremony. So once I’d managed to free my mind from that indoctrination I pretty much lumped weddings in with all the other mumbo-jumbo ritual.
Of course believing in marriage doesn’t require you to believe in God. But without the religious angle it seems pretty much like nothing more than a legal thing. And a legal thing rooted in our feudal past when establishing property rights and inheritance was all-important.
And I know it is possible to be secular, and not wish to establish property rights, and still believe in marriage. Something 'romantic' along the lines of proclaiming your love for the world to see. But I’m dubious about that too.
One of my favourite Shakespearean characters, Brutus, sums it up when he says that honest men don’t need to take oaths. Or as Bob Dylan puts it - to live outside the law you have to be honest.
Then there is the actual horrific spectacle that is the wedding itself. Disparate groups of people with nothing in common thrown awkwardly together for an afternoon. The elderly relatives, the obscure relatives there only because of familial lobbying, the kids sipping their parents’ booze, the people from work, the old school friends – and all their reluctant partners dragged along out of politeness.
All encapsulated perfectly this weekend as the unlikely be-suited ensemble took to the dance floor for Motorhead. I made my excuses and left…