Love and marriage are supposed to go together like a horse and carriage according to the well-known song, but what does marriage mean? It is a word that has many definitions and the meaning differs from one person to the other.
Going back in history, marriage meant a state whereby a woman was given to a man almost as property, and often as part of a political, social, or business arrangement of some sort. In the middle ages, women were not allowed to own anything in their own right and the few who did had to hand it over to their husbands lock, stock, and barrel. If they were dispossessed for any reason, they lost everything.
For much of human history though, marriage has been a permanent institution and cannot be dissolved except by the death of one of the spouses. In the modern world, however, marriage is very different. It is more of a meeting of equals rather than subjugation of one to the other but has become disposable with separations and divorces commonplace.
Legally, marriage is a binding contract between two parties that join together their possessions, income, and lives. Marriage is recognised by the state, and the dissolving of the contract can only happen through the legal process of divorce, although this is not accepted in some religions for which marriage is a binding contract sworn before God and completely non-negotiable.
Most people consider marriage beyond the legal sense. Marriage is an agreement between partners. A husband and wife take vows, to love one another, to cherish one another, and to stay together through sickness and health, for better and for worse. In most cases, this agreement includes sexual and emotional fidelity, and a promise that each person will do what they can to make the other one happy. This agreement takes the form of a covenant between the couple and God within the rites of various churches and religious institutions.
From a sociological perspective, marriage is the channel by which children are born providing a mother and a father for the children and perpetuating the family unit relationship thus becoming a marriage of family.
Modern marriage is becoming more complex and an article on the BBC website explores these new kinds of partnerships and gives a fascinating history of the meaning of marriage throughout the ages in ten key facts. Well worth reading, this piece is educational, thought provoking and fun.
The meaning of marriage is evolving and changing through cultural evolution, legislation and less interest in religion. These changes may not necessarily be for the better in some cases but there are significant changes in the state of marriage.
One thing remains certain, whether it is a traditional marriage, civil partnership or an exchange of personal vows at Stonehenge, you will want to capture the moment. We at Wedding Video Solutions specialise in all kinds of different ceremonies and marriage styles and will be delighted to help you capture your special day by producing a unique and personal wedding video keepsake.