Marriage and A Ring
At some point we have all considered the possibility of marriage. Many of us have already engaged ourselves legally to the institution of the wedded, as it were. The idea of marriage transcends culture and history as a necessary organization of a successful society. Although marriage is interpreted in different ways across the globe, it is usually defined as a union to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. Marriage is advertised as being the foundation of family and crucial to the healthy nurturing of our future generations. This is all well and good as marriage is not only morally advantageous to society but financially beneficial as well.
Marriage, however, is also an industry. The feature event, of course, is the wedding ceremony. Every tradition involved from the clothing, the bouquets, the cake and the jewelry can end up costing a small fortune. ‘Spare no expense’ seems to be the attitude of the parties involved as they begin their trek down the road of matrimony. But is the traditional part really important? After all, the ceremony itself is not required in the eyes of the law and certainly all of the pomp and circumstance is not necessarily required by the religious institutions. So why don’t we just pile into a church, temple or masque, say our ‘I do’s’ and get on with our lives? Opinions vary, from the idea that the ceremony is a symbol of the start of a presumably lasting bond and deserves to be celebrated as such, to the stricter view of an automated adherence to precedent in an attempt to honor and carry on the traditions of our ancestors. But there is another less intrinsic reason based solely on the financial health of the wedding industry.
Consider the engagement ring It will put a dent in your wallet. Whatever you have to do, sell some of your belongings, get a loan, you’re going to get that ring. Why? Because it is as traditional as the recurring commercials for engagement rings reminding you both that a diamond ring is the very symbol of your marriage. Diamonds have cornered the market in the billion dollar wedding industry as far as engagement rings go. The diamond industry has created an atmosphere of pressure with their slick ads promoting the idea that a diamond ring is the means by which the true expression of love and sacrifice are delivered, materially. To be sure, the rise in the value of diamonds can be directly related to the commercialization of marriage. As divorce rates rise, the frivolousness with which marriage is being treated can be directly related to a grand marketing campaign which really should say, ‘Get married! So YOU can have a wedding too.’