Real to reality TV love

By  Beatriz Jereza, Youth Speak News
  • November 9, 2012

“Please come to the altar to renew your vows with your wedding rings,” said our parish priest.

My parents looked at each other, and then to the rest of our extended family, with a mix of horror and amusement. It was their 20th wedding anniversary ceremony, and they forgot to bring their wedding rings.

In a flash, my aunt found an impromptu ring to fit my dad’s pinky finger, while I handed my mom my diamond gold ring. And like two teenagers up to no good, my mom and dad scurried up to the front of the church, laughing at the situation as they joined other couples from our parish.

Some of the couples celebrated their 10th anniversary, while one couple celebrated their 80th. The renewal of the vows ceremony was simple and beautiful. The couples posed for pictures and then celebrated with a delightful potluck lunch of sandwiches, a delicious wedding sheet cake and other desserts.

This heart-warming image is a stark contrast to the very popular world of reality TV weddings. The bride spends hours at a designer store trying to find the perfect princess dress for $10,000. This is followed by a trip to Cartier for the most ostentatious necklace to match the bedazzled 24-karat engagement ring. The bride and groom argue over the wedding cake, but the bride chooses the most lavish one. Then scenes of the reception hall filled with ice sculptures and martini bars transition back and forth with that of dancing guests. For the grand finale, a dollar sign with six or seven figures usually pops up. The unspoken rule: the higher the price tag, the more successful the wedding.

I learned more about celebrating love in the span of a two-hour renewal ceremony than the countless hours I have spent guiltily watching reality wedding shows. My mom glowed through the entire renewal ceremony, despite forgetting her wedding band. This completely contrasted with a reality TV bride who refused to walk into the church for two hours because the florist sent the wrong bouquet.

I love waking up in the morning and finding my parents sitting at the breakfast table casually talking and laughing. When they have an argument, they are eventually willing to forgive one another. Even with hectic schedules, they attend Mass every Sunday to celebrate and reflect on the life they share together.

Marriage is not perfect and it is definitely not simple. But they are committed to each other and to the vows they shared in front of God and their family 20 years ago. And their wedding cost only a fraction of the average reality TV wedding.

My mom can’t recall the location of her wedding dress. My dad’s wedding ring no longer fits. But the night my mom’s car had a flat tire in the pouring rain during Hurricane Sandy, my dad immediately stopped cooking dinner and drove to the rescue. He gave her a hand to hold, an umbrella to shield her from the storm and piece of mind that she would never be alone through any test God might send their way. 

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