Facebook mench Mark Zuckerberg and his long-term lady friend Priscilla Chan surprised backyard party-goers Saturday with an unannounced wedding. Apparently guests thought they were there for a graduation party but -lo!- out marches Zuck in a tux and the bridal music starts. (I'm sure those who ignored that Evite are kicking themselves. Had something better to do, did ya?) The result was a wedding that made a statement about marriage.
The ring was a simple ruby, the gown designer wasn't even mentioned and they feasted on sliders or something in their backyard with a handful of guests. In direct contrast to the Kardashianification of American weddings, the billionaire Zuckerbergs don't have anything to prove. No pomp, little circumstance. No butt implants or diamond forehead bands. Why? Perhaps they're sending a message that marriage is between the people involved and the validation of which is impervious to the criticisms of the outside world.
I might be extrapolating here, but roll with it! I think the Zuckerbergs demonstrated that marriage not about what we think of their relationship (genuine, if a bit frigid) their lives (remarkable, if a little boring). What we think doesn't matter. That goes for a couple of billionaires as much as every other couple who wishes to commit themselves in matrimony. Marriage is about the two people who are married to each other.
We got married in a Catholic church by a little white haired man who reminded me of a kitten. I think he weighed 90 pounds. I was a little out of my element and somehow had gotten the idea that the priest might say no. After all, we had to take a bunch of tests and go through a seminar. It was like wedding boot camp and who knew if we would pass the final? The Kitten Priest must have sensed my fear because he informed me that it wasn't up to him if we got married. He said, "the Church isn't granting you some special thing. The marriage is between you two, and it's only as important as you make it." It stuck with me because it was true.
So much of the defense of marriage argument has to do with how the "defenders" feel. But it's not about us or our feelings, as the wise little priest said to us before our wedding, it's about how the people feel who are getting married.
Marriage between two people has nothing to do with how icked out the conservative camp feels about homosexual activity or how racists feel about interracial marriage. In short, marriage is none of anyone's business but the bride and groom. Or the groom and groom. Or the brides!
This dismissal of outsider opinions of marriage was demonstrated perfectly by Mr. and Mrs. Facebook. Congrats!