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I thought I'd bring some humor to this page by adding this picture. Clearly this picture highlights the fears of marriage and the humor often used to overcome these fears.
Paul Michael Hoza

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When I found this photo, I saw marriage's messages. The bride and groom are obviously happy with the choice they have made to commit themselves to one another when they smile towards each other. What is especially wonderful in this photo is the fact that they are in a puddle to show off their reflection. This emphasises that marriage has to always been reflected on, there will be hard times through marriage, but you remember that your partner is the one you love and have committed yourself to. Marriage is a beautiful way to declare one's love for another; its a promise to your partner and it is to be celebrated and be one of the happiest moments of your life.
- Lily Mottershead

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The picture symbolizes the union, compassion and affection pivotal to a marriage. It also depicts the exuberance associated with traditional Indian marriages. The tender image reflects mutual support and compassion… and love. A degree of affection and love is necessary for a tolerance of the other person’s faults and irritable qualities. The exuberance associated with the varied accessories and ‘mehndi’ (the designs on the hands) reflects the celebration and elation central to marriage and a successful union between two people. - Abhinav Sah

There are all sorts of different types of weddings varying by traditions and cultural backgrounds, but I decided to focus less on the ceremony and more on the purpose. As I am not too into the romantic moment of the wedding and all the sweet stuff, I used something symbolic for what I believe is the meaning of marriage. To me, it is something sacred, where two people unite to form a whole. In order for this to last, and for this "whole' to be complete, I believe it is important for the couple to understand each other and be able to compromise. There always has to be that connection between them, otherwise it might fall apart. The way the weddings take place is a matter of preference and traditions, but so far the weddings that I've been to, that left a good impression on me were the ones where I could see that the couples' relationship was built primarily on friendship. This picture of nature represents unity, patience and tranquility. Although numerous problems and conflicts might arise, it is essential to withhold those three things and attempt to overcome the obstacles for the sake of the family. This means sacrificing and putting yourself behind, but it is worth the price. The colored leaves represent the different ups and downs, as they vary from light to dark.
- Betty Yushvaev (Anglo-American School of Moscow)

Since my sister Josephine already added the one family wedding picture that we have that has been scanned, I decided to go looking for one of my parents. It proved rather difficult, as their wedding album was stashed at the bottom of a chest and took quite a while to find! In the end however, I found this picture of my parents on their wedding day in 1987 (note the fluorescent earrings in the background) and I thought that even though they're not even looking at each other, they both look so happy in their own right.
- Connie Rees (Anglo-American School of Moscow)

As I was looking at pictures of wedding, I found something that caught my attention. Well, in Indonesia, 4501 pairs from different cultural background and religion married together. This caught my attention because I could see that marriage is a happy moment for all people
regardless of their background
JuYong Lee (Anglo-American School of Moscow)
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I felt the urge to post something more personal, so I scavenged through one of the old picture boxes we have stored here, and found this picture of my parents right after their wedding. Obviously I wasn't quite present during this wedding, but it's great to see how happy and awkward my parents look in this picture. I'm sure they were just as nervous as we will be when our special day arrives.
Olivia Mitrovits (AAS Moscow, Student)

This is a picture from the only wedding I've ever been to, my cousin's wedding from a year ago. The thing I loved about their wedding was how unique it was - it was small, she didn't wear a big white dress, they had pie instead of cake, they had scheduled square dancing. They're the sweetest couple too... they dated for the first time in 8th grade! The best part is that they've always been best friends, and still are... it's the stereotypical, romantic image of what a wedding should be. I'm kind of a sucker for cliches.
Libby Solomon (AAS Moscow)
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This picture came across to me as I was looking for wedding photographs as a clear indication that, despite the many times we hear of unhappy couples, there are people who really see this as a joyous time in their life.
John Cannis (AAS Moscow)
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Mette Marit, Norway's Crown Princess. I was 7 when the royal wedding in Norway was aired on TV in 2001. She was my role model princess as a child! (Sophi Løge, AAS Moscow)

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I've always liked this photograph. Taken sometime in April 1960 in The Netherlands, the image below shows my grandparents, Cornelia Verduin and Kees Magielsen, on their wedding day. One of the things I like most about this picture is that unlike many other wedding pictures, it isn't perfect — you can see my grandmother trying to casually place her hand over her veil to stop the wind from blowing it away. Despite this little obstacle, however, I think it's quite special to note the fact that my grandfather has a supporting arm around his wife, showing that from day 1 he is there by her side. Another interesting little fact is that the dress worn by my grandmother was kept in such good condition that another 3 of her 6 sisters wore it for their weddings in subsequent years. It's been over 50 years since this photograph was taken, but my grandparents are still happily married today!
(Josephine Rees, Anglo-American School of Moscow, Russia)


A video courtesy of Olivia .... the humour

Here is an image of the groomsmen at a friend's wedding just outside of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Their various personalities, interactions, and just the number of friends surrounding the quilted groom makes me think of the dynamics that surround, support and influence marriages. The humour of posing in dapper dress in the middle of a canola field reminds me of how we try to associate what is most meaninful and important in a couple's life and culture to the ceremony.
Aynsley O'Carroll (AAS Moscow, teacher)



Personally I think marriage is an outdated institute that in practice is romantic but not necessarily advantageous. In previous years marriage was practiced both for it’s usefulness and for it’s security. Women were not always treated equally to men and marriage was how a woman and her family could ensure she would be taken care of, financial speaking as well as physical safety. However, today, women have the same rights in the workforce as men and generate enough of their own financial success that it’s no longer necessary to rely on men for security. Women today are more educated, more capable and have more rights to chase after what they desire. The only real benefit left to marriage is being in a completely monogamous relationship but is it really necessary to be married to have monogamy? Being married doesn’t ensure faithfulness from a partner so what real benefit comes from it? Doesn’t it have all the same risks as being in a committed relationship? The photo above is a picture of my cousin Ericka and her husband Matt. They have been married for three years and were previously together ten years. They have a six year old daughter and I think their marriage is symbolic of all the real reasons to be married. They didn't have to do it, they married after being together for ten years simply to ensure their daughters future financial safety.
Rebecca Sommer

Part of me agrees with the notion that the tradition of marriage is outdated and I don't necessarily agree with it. I think that 'married' is a label and the objects associated with what, to my culture, is a traditional marriage (ie white dress, flowers, rings, etc.) are materialistic and don't mean very much. There are many ways to express love and commitment to another person that are more meaningful and less consumerist. I also think that the commitment of marriage is not true in so many cases because divorce rates are so high and there are so many unhappy couples and broken families out there- why put yourself and your family through all that trouble in the first place? My other part appreciates the cultural traditions of marriage and sees the beauty in the marital symbols of love and romance. It is a time for celebration of love and unity of families. That is what this world really needs... but so many of these unities end up broken... that is where I'm torn.
Tara Humphries (Yarmouth High School)

I think the Dutch royal wedding is a good example of how two people from diffrent cultures can come together and marry eachother and are still elligible to one day rule a country. The Dutch princess is from Argentina while the prince is from Holland. The Dutch people were very open to the idea of the two getting married and so far princess Maxima has been doing her best to learn the Dutch language and is still set to take over the posistion of Queen Beatrix. The fact that princess Maxima and prince Willem Alexander, two people from completley diffrent cultures, married and are still given all of the rights to become King and Queen shows that the world is a lot more open to the idea of multi culture marriages.
Ruben de Bruin - AAS Moscow

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Marriage, for me, was always a promise. I was watching my parents and knew that I wanted to get married. Now? I'm not so sure. When I think of marriage I instantly think of home and family - but it's hard to think of that now, far away from home, not knowing where I'll be in 10 years. I believe that in order to love someone fully, you have to provide support, but to do that, you have to be in harmony with yourself first. It is important to keep your marriage safe, pure and exciting. Also, fights are inevitable - hence the picture. I find it funny and also very true. We are different, and living as a couple does not mean that we lose our identity and individuality; it only means that we are continuing our journey together.
Franciska Éry

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Marriage is a dedication which one applies to a partner, a special person, whom the person dedicating the marriage to has very special feelings towards. These feeling can either be love, family dedication, or financial reasons; this differs very much depending on the culture of the country (or countries) involved with the marriage. The partners, or at least one of them (again, depending on the culture), need to be prepared for marriage as well, in the sense that a stage needs to have been reached in his/her life which permits this marriage. This means that financially, but also mentally, the person needs to be ready for this dedication, as some young people might not be ready for such a responsibility in society yet. Marriage can either be applied to either, a man and a woman, or across two human beings of the same sexes. Unfortunately, however, some cultures strictly forbid this, due to minority statuses of these social groups. This is bound to change, however, due to the fact that our planet keeps evolving socially, globalizing, and modernizing in the sense that these social groups become more respected over a period of time.

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An Apple Store wedding. In memory of Steve Jobs; RIP.

- Paul Keller (Student at the Anglo-American School of Moscow)

I decided to take a different route and post a video exemplifying marriage. The pretty well known "JK Wedding Entrance Dance" video below has been seen by millions, as it was posted on YouTube. I especially love this video because of the great energy and happiness that it brings. Instead of the classic walking-down-the-aisle to the wedding song, this couple took a turn and made their wedding fun and special. Watching this brings a smile to my face, which is what I feel the couple intended to do for the viewers. Obviously, the guests are having just as much fun as the bridesmaids and best men dancing down the aisle. This video also shows the joy of marrying and produces that warm happy feeling, which I'm guessing is the same feeling you get when you marry the person you love. Overall, this video brings out the good in marriage and the fun personality of the couple, who decided to make their own wedding something to to remember.
Caelainn Costello (Yarmouth High School)

This is definitely one of the best you tube videos I have seen in a while. This is a great way for a couple to not only express their love for one another, but it also might get rid of all the nerves that comes with a marriage for some. I would like to think that culture of wedding ceremonies could be heading in this direction over the next couple decades.
Sam Landry (yarmouth High School

This is a picture my brother took at my aunt and uncle's wedding. The ceremony took place at the bottom of a valley on their property, so while everyone waited for it to begin, the bride and groom gracefully rode down to us on a four-wheeler ATV. I like this picture because it shows a new, non-traditional kind of wedding. This was not only a fun way to begin the wedding for my aunt and uncle, but pretty funny for the rest of us to watch, too.
David Waxman (Yarmouth High School)
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I would like to speak on the bond of marriage as an industry. According to Wolfram Alpha, there are 20.4 million marriages per year in the entire world, there are 2.279 million marriages in the united states, and 1.135 million of those marriages end in divorce (half). According to it costs US couples an average of $26,542 to get married, start to finish. That's a $60,489,216,000 / Year industry. When we factor in the cost of divorce (lawyers, doctrines etc.) tells us that it costs an average amount of $20,000 / Divorce for a post-couple in the US. That's a $22,700,000,000 / Year industry. From start to finish, that's a net total of $83,189,216,000 / Year, start to finish. (Devon @ YHS)*C.divorce-_*CountryData-

If I were ever going to get married, I think it would be cool to do something similar to what this couple did. They traveled around the world to have 75 weddings in different countries. Although having multiple weddings would be complicated, I think having a wedding somewhere very new is a great idea. Instead of sticking with the traditions of the place you live in, I think it is important to get to know as many other cultures as possible. The weddings of this couple show that it doesn't matter where or how you get married, or in what tradition, as long as you will remember it as unique...

.. I have also always found the henna tradition from Indian weddings to be a gorgeous custom which I would love to take part in some day!
- Deanna Y. (Yarmouth High School)

I've always found marriage to be a stressful, outdated tradition. It would be much better in my opinion to live in civil union, where if you ever feel like leaving for any reason, you can. No lawyers need be involved, so you can just take your stuff and leave. As Devon pointed out, nearly $83 billion is spent on marriages and divorces a year. Thats $83 billion that could be spent on something more productive, such as schooling or solving the national debt. No marriage=no cost=happier people.
Thomas R.

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When the word "wedding" pops in my head I immediately start to think about ceremonies where just about everyone important in your life comes together to celebrate a marriage. In my case, I have the most diverse and amusing family and friends so at any type of gathering it is basically a set up for entertainment. You can expect to see the best and the worst. Either way, your with the people you care about. This photo isn't of any sentiment to me because it isn't my family, however it represents how friends and relatives will come together in consideration for the loving couple. - Sara C.

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My idea of marriage is a comparison of the two above images. I believe that marriage is an important step in order for a relationship to feel more bonded and official. Looking at the first image with the rings resting against each other, I think of to people who are very close and love each other very much. When I look at the second image with rings that interlock, I think of two people who are internally bonded and prepared to spend the rest of their lives together. When couples take their wedding vows, they are preparing themselves for a lifelong commitment, which I believe the second image of rings symbolizes. - Caroline M. YHS

There are so many different traditions and opinions around the world regarding marriage, and it's hard to define a certain part of the process that's symbolic or meaningful that relates to a wide span of people. I found this video about a record-breaking couple that has been married for 83 years (at least they were when this video was filmed). A universally meaningful aspect of marriage, it seems, is more about the symbol of commitment and less about the actual ceremony. I thought this video showed that universally, marriage can be important for the long-term dedication , even when there are difficulties along the way. It seems sort of amazing that a marriage could last 83 years. (Nina Prescott, Yarmouth High School)

Marriage is way overblown. People spend sometimes millions of dollars on a wedding, and some of the time these marriages end up in divorce, which means a huge waste of money. A funny story about people not overdoing a wedding is the Brooks couple from Normal, Illinois, (ironic, right?) who got married in a Taco Bell. The bride wore a $15 dress and the whole wedding cost less than $200. Even if this wedding ends in divorce, the couple didn't waste thousands of dollars on a wedding. I feel like weddings are irresponsible, and the whole concept of marriage is wrong. There are very few creatures in the animal kingdom who limit themselves to one mate, and even less (1) that celebrate committing to one mate. I know its about being with friends and family and celebrating love, but marriage, if you really think about it, makes no sense.
Griffin O'Rourke

Marriages are celebrated more than they should be. In our day and age weddings are just parties for people to come to. Roughly 50% of all marriages end up in a divorce so I don't think that these celebrations should be full out parties. With all these divorces it creates a rough childhood for the kids. Marriages are very overrated and should stop being so over-hyped in the world.
-Christian H. Yarmouth High School.
Your wedding is one of the most memorable moments of your life, so it makes sense to put plenty of time, effort, and money into it. It is reasonable to put 20 or 30 thousand, or maybe even more to make it a great experience. And than theres the celebrities who may need to put in a couple million dollars because of all the people in attendance and coverage. Not to mention they have the money to pull it off. But last night I was watching Kim Kardashian and her husband Kris Humphries get married... For about 20 million dollars. To me a wedding of that caliber is straight up irresponsible. With that money the things you could do and the people you could help on top of an amazing wedding would be substantial. Tom S. YHS

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I think that from what I know at a legal standpoint, marriages can be important. I've read that being married can often influence whether or not you have clearance to see your spouse if they're in critical condition at a hospital or if you want to include your spouse as you file your taxes. I think society today plays a role in pushing people into marriages and mocking people for not choosing to get married ("spinsters", "commitment-phobes") and that's possibly a reason for the high divorce rate in America. As for the ceremony, I feel it's important to gather your friends and family to celebrate the new life you're making for yourself and your spouse. The picture I chose represents a small wedding with only the people you are comfortable and willing to share the beginning of your marriage with. If sharing isn't really your thing, then you can always elope. The amount of money put into the ceremony is entirely up to the two people getting married. Personally, I'd rather spend money on a great, month-long honeymoon instead of a service that only lasts a couple hours. However, as the saying goes, to each their own. Jake S. Yarmouth High School

I believe that marriage is an important component in a relationship when the time is right. Marriage seems almost like a job- it's not an easy thing, and you have to work at it to keep it. Therefore, I think that marriage is necessary, but only when the couple decides to put aside all their differences and agree to unconditional love for each other always. Some couples get married for the sake of not wanting to live alone forever, but if it isn't true love, it will not be worthwhile in the long run. However, I do think that some marriages are blown way out of proportion. I don't understand why some people pay millions of dollars on their wedding, when really the love between the two and support of friends and family should be the only thing needed. When a couple is ready to wear the rings and agree to a lifelong partnership, that's when marriage is necessary. Lindsay T., Yarmouth High School

This past spring, people turned to their televisions to see the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton (now Duchess of Cambridge). Even though the marriage took place across the Atlantic Ocean, it still was an incredibly publicized event in the United States. Another recent wedding was that of reality TV star Kim Kardashian- her wedding was featured on the cover of Us Weekly Magazine and was made into a three-part TV extravaganza. In the United States, marriage has become a huge event that is very publicized. This weekend, I watched a movie called Bridesmaids// about another crazy marriage. Marriage is part of the American culture, and we are obsessed with it. My question is - why not? Weddings are beautiful, and although they can make people go broke and end in divorce, they make people happy. Why not? - Carrie Adams (Yarmouth)

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In my opinion, marriage is immensely overrated and is a bond that's usually broken. Someone may be getting married for the right reasons to the right partner, but in the end, the entitlements that come with marriage and weddings shouldn't exist. In America, weddings are often used as an excuse to blow large quantities of money in order to show how much your partner is worth to you. For a woman, her wedding day is supposed to be "the happiest day of her life"- expressed through the expensive wedding dress, the expensive caterers, the number of party members attending, etc. I realize what marriage is supposed to symbolize, but in this country and in this era, I'm not so sure what marriage really means to anyone anymore. It's obviously used as a way to bond two people for however long they love each other, but besides the privledges acquired from being married, I see no point or any advantages in promising yourself to someone through marriage.
Danielle e. Yarmouth High School

I also don't believe, as a general rule, in the concept of marriage. In many cases, marriages fail, and I personally don't believe that it is worth the effort put into weddings and keeping it together in general. If two people are in love, they can stay together for as long as they want, but I don't see what is so necessary about declaring it legally. Why spend thousands of dollars to go through an expensive ceremony so that you can prove how much you love someone? To show that you will always be together, and never part? Those are empty promises. People lie and cheat and learning to deal with that is part of being in love or falling out of it, and being legally joined just makes it that much more difficult and that much larger of a lie. I find marriage to be extravagant and unnecessary tradition.
Becca R. Yarmouth High School

In agreement with most students, I believe that marriage is slightly outdated. As long as a couple is happy and knows that one another is dedicated for life, then marriage is slightly pointless. The only benefits of marriage would be the legal parts (tax differences and child support issues?), but I think that our country should take this into consideration and try to arrange a plan that would be appropriate for unwed couples. Also, this is an expensive ordeal, and not many young couples have this money available.
Maddie Loomis, Yarmouth High School

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In response to some of the comments above, regarding marriage being an outdated practice, I'd like to point out that religion is an important factor. While I agree that marriage holds less meaning today, I think that the religious aspect remains important. Even if you don't believe some characteristics of religion (be it Catholicism or any other faith) are valid ideas, there are those that do. I think marriage, as a religious practice, is a important today as it ever has beed. It serves to remind people of the ethics and moral standards that are important to society. But for those who don't practice any particular faith, I agree with many other students, that its an outdated and somewhat obsolete legal gesture.
Daniel Keliher (Yarmouth High School)
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I completely agree with what Daniel just stated. Marriage is a ritual that has been practiced within religions for many years. For instance, in the Catholic faith, marriage is one of the seven sacraments that is completed during life. It is not essential to be done, but many people go through with it. It has beed said that when a couple gets married, they are making a covenant to God, to love each other for the rest of their lives. It makes the bond between them stronger, and ensures that they will be together for eternity. It is true that sometimes people make mistakes, and marry someone who turned out not being his or her true love. When a Catholic couple wants to get divorced, they have to go through a long process called annulment. It literally erases the matrimony that was created on their wedding day. This process lets the two of them be able to marry someone else, without committing a mortal sin. Since I am Catholic, I believe in this process and hope to go through with it one day. Although, those who do not practice any faith, probably have a hard time realizing that special importance of marriage. If they don't believe in God, what's the point in making a covenant to him? I do not understand why marriage is in legal basis because it is only through love, not law. (Carlene Shaw, Yarmouth High School)

I thought I would take some time to write about how people tend to make a much bigger deal out of marriages than I believe that they should. For instance, William and Kate's wedding attracted an estimated one billion viewers world-wide. Really? Do one billion people have nothing better to do with their time than to watch a wedding that holds absolutely no significance to them? The royal family doesn't even have any real political power anymore. I understand that a wedding is a big occasion for a couple, their extended family, their friends, and so on, but the fact that so many people would tune in to watch the wedding of two people they don't even know is somewhat perplexing to me... and a bit creepy too for that matter. (Red DeSmith, Yarmouth)

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While I do think it's strange for people to flock to celebrity weddings which, let's be honest, crash and burn most of the time, I can understand the popularity on the part of William and Kate. While it might seem absurd to us, their wedding is more than just two people getting married because they love each other. Whether he likes it or not, William's marriage was destined to be special for both him, and anyone who is interested in observing the tradition of the British royal family, regardless of what little power it may hold today. On that note, I thought it would be interesting to explore the mystery that is the Amish man's beard (note the above picture). After a tiring treck across google, I have found an answer to this puzzle. Once a man is married, he no longer fully shaves his beard, but wears it as a symbol of dedication. Unlike a ring which you can take off, a beard is always clinging to your face, reminding you of your commitment. This is a very unique way to acknowledge one's commitment to significant other, and something that I believe many people in our society might see as quite sacred, and a rare example of true dedication in our modern age. (Izik Dery, Yarmouth)

Most girls start thinking about marriage when they are very young. They daydream about their dress, what they will look like, and especially who they will marry. Some think they'll marry a beautiful prince, some would just like a man who will love and cherish them. One thing they all hope for is to live with that man happily ever after...Now let's be realistic, maybe only 40% of those girls will really live with the man they married and probably they will be happy, but the remaining 60% will divorce and have to deal with all the consequences of divorce including settlements, lawyers and relationships with mutual friends and family.
I personally think that marriage is not necessary. It's only something that ties you with another person, but why should you need something like that? If you really love someone you don't need the church or the law to tell you that you can be with the person you love.
My name is Sophia and I'm from Venice, Italy. I haven't been to a lot of weddings but I'm pretty sure I know how they work. In Italy you can have two types of ceremonies: you can get married in a church (only if you are catholic) or in the municipality. The church ceremony is very classic, you need a dress that is appropriate for the atmosphere, it is usually a couple of hours long (if you wanted you could ask the priest to recite the rituals in latin), and to be able to get married in a church you have to make donations. On the other hand the ceremonies that happen in the municipality are quicker, you need two witnesses and a judge that signs the papers. You have to pay 11 Euros and you are set.
Most people chose to get married in a church, mostly because it's the “ritual”.
My parents for example are both catholic and got married in a little church in Illinois. I was just born and it was my first trip in the United States (I was born in Venice). This is a picture I found of us

Kate Middleton dress