The Human Venture of a Wedding

Hiking sticks to symbolize the human venture for our wedding ceremony.
Hiking sticks to symbolize the human venture during our wedding ceremony.

Exiting the wedding bubble (also known as the period between entertaining family prior to the wedding and the honeymoon afterward) requires accepting the harsh reality that life has not been put on pause for you.

But being in the bubble was also a great opportunity to be present with your partner, to reflect on the experience of being married, and perhaps (but not too soon) to look ahead to the journey together.

Yet as much as the wedding really seemed on the surface all about us, the multitude of discussions, the project planning, the volunteer hours was a reminder that we couldn’t have done it alone and therefore we also could not celebrate it alone.

It’s hard to understand the Bridezilla who claims that this is “my day and I can do whatever I want”. We certainly had a personal vision of the wedding, but it was a vision of bringing together four cultures under the banner of “My Big Fat Trinidadian, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Canadian Wedding”. We wanted to honour our immigrant past.

My Big Fat Trinidadian, Sri Lankan, Chinese, Canadian WeddingThe immigrant story is a familiar one. My parents immigrated from Taiwan just before they were married, while my wife’s parents immigrated from Sri Lanka and Trinidad. Both of our parents gave up their familiar friends and family, learned a second language, gave up their old credentials, got reeducated, struggled with culture clash especially with their kids. For our parents, life really wasn’t about them. It was about the next generation. It’s only now after decades of hard work can they begin to reap the fruits of their labour and see their kids successfully adapt to life in Canada.

Isn’t that the human venture as well? It isn’t about this generation or even the next. Every material thing I have ever touched or used, every concept or idea that I have experienced was a contribution by some person somewhere in some time period. For that I am thankful. What the human story is and how we might pass on our best possible selves is a part of our responsibility in this moment, this journey.

At the wedding ceremony, my wife and I were given these lovely wood-carved hiking sticks by Ken, our ceremony guide. There was something immensely grounding about being supported by the soul of a tree. In addition to holding me up in my faint moments during the ceremony, it symbolized how life supports our hike together.

The wedding was and will remain a vivid and beautiful marker of the journey we both get to take.