Marriage as ritual
Marriage is very much a ritual, with all the dramatic symbolism that goes with it. In the past especially, marriage underlined certain fundamental institutional values, such as monogamy and the conviction that heterosexuality is the norm. Rituals thus generate collective sentiments too: they encourage people to conform to dominant standards and values.
Marriage as fairytale
Marriage can be a Disney fairytale too, or at least it can look like one. On 2 February 2002, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands tied the knot with Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti. The wedding was broadcast live, with six million viewers glued to their televisions. The media meticulously recorded every moment of the ritual, memorably zooming in as Máxima shed a tear. The pictures played perfectly on the audience’s emotions, inspiring us to get married too.
Marriage as status symbol
Besides being one of the greatest love clichés, weddings are also a significant status symbol. We’re a couple and everyone should know it! Marriage as the ultimate way of announcing and crowning your love by throwing a party for all your loved ones. A wedding also lets you show that you have plenty of time, space and money – that you’ve successfully completed this level in life.