Marriage in any culture is very sacred, whether it is between Americans or Lebanese. Women in America have increasingly become infatuated with weddings and in particular all the glamour of it. Lebanese women have also been following this trend. Weddings are a celebration of love and happiness, but do women in both cultures sometimes get carried away with weddings and marriage? To look into this it becomes necessary to understand marriage in these cultures.
Marriage in Lebanon has many traditions and some of these have faded into the past. For example, marriage into the lineage, or marrying first cousins or close paternal kin, was the rule. This was a rule to ensure the woman would be in good hands and continue a substantial inheritance. In the Muslim culture it was common for marriage to be among first cousins, while in Roman Catholic religion this was forbidden. Now in Lebanon you can obtain dispensation if you wish to marry your first cousin, but is very rare, as it is in America. Most of the time marrying into the family was to extend the families wealth, especially if the family was of wealthy lineage. Another misconception often placed on Muslim marriage traditions is polygamy. This is often frowned upon in Muslim culture because of the burden it places on family economically and the personal implications that it entails.
Marriage is considered a way to show adult status and of joining families interest in a romantic attachment. This is the same in America, oftentimes many women can marry for money, but it comes through it a romantic relationship. Yet, marriage age varies in both cultures, although in Lebanon the marriage age is slightly lower in the early twenties, whereas the marriage age in America is slowly rising from the late twenties to the early thirties. Another trend that is happening in America, but not as much in Lebanon, is that women and men will not live together and have children, but never marry. In Lebanon this can happen, but is much more rare which could be due to the culture or religion practiced by the individuals.
The video below shows a very extravagant Lebanese wedding, which although is rare, shows how this emphasis on glamour is becoming more important.
Before the weddings, as talked about earlier, women are continuing to appreciate more of the glamour and hone in on this. It is common now for Lebanese women to want American style wedding dresses and pay a lot of money for them. Also, the Lebanese wedding traditions are becoming more westernized. This means that more Lebanese weddings are drifting from religious frames and are starting to take places at beaches, resorts, and places of this nature. For the past two decades this trend has really seen growth in America, as far as drifting from religious values of marriage. More and more emphasis is being placed on location and the reception than ever before. Also whereas weddings in America used tor range from five thousand to ten thousand dollars, it is now common for that to be the wedding dress price alone. This concept is also increasingly more popular in Lebanon as well, where more traditional middle eastern clothing used to be worn, women are now spending thousands on wedding dresses from America.
Weddings are for celebrations and good times, but in both cultures it would be nice to step back and remember the reason for marriage. Marriage is the bond between a man and woman and in my opinion the value of the wedding is not in the glamour but in the bond the wife and husband share.