Wedding collateral damage: The domino effect that fuels the marital-industrial complex

 

It's wedding season, kid! And out there in the field of love there are going to be a lot of casualties. Well, casualties is perhaps a strong word but you'll see what I mean.

In the coming months, many will attend lovely weddings of lovely friends in lovely surroundings. You know how it goes down: a couple who have been dating since about the end of university get married in some pleasant countryside surroundings; all of their friends are there; the sun shines in between the rain; booze is taken. All told, it's a pretty damn nice weekend – for now it seems it must be an entire weekend – surrounded by love, happiness, joy and Facebook likes.

Among the attendees is another couple. Let's say they've been dating for five or six years. They're living together. All is rosy in their relationship, more or less. But there is a niggling snag about marriage. Sure, they've discussed it, but only vaguely once or twice. "It's never really come up," they say. Occasionally their parents make annoying noises about it. Things are dragging on. Then comes this wedding at this particular point. As mentioned, it's all pretty lovely. They're captured by the moment. Two weeks later, the deal is done. An engagement. There will be another wedding.

This is wedding collateral damage.

Sport, like love and war, is ripe for analogies, so let's throw another one in the pot. In rugby union, there's a moment where the attacking team are close to the opposition's try line, but instead of going for a try they decide to attempt for a drop goal.

Read more: Anatomy of Kate Moss's wedding dress
Kate Moss's dress takes centre stage at V&A
The first wedding dance arms race
Wedding collateral damage explained
The best make-up for brides
11.2 things I've learnt from filming 112 weddings
Busting the BritWedCom boom
Gay couples reflect on married life
Hen and stag-do strippers confess all

The forwards ruck or maul the ball within striking range of the goal posts; the outhalf (the one doing the kicking, your Jonny Wilkinsons) steps back to receive the ball, but goes deeper than he normally would so as to have more time to kick the ball before oncoming opposition attempt to block the kick. When the outhalf takes these steps back, the commentator sometimes describes it as the player having "dropped back into the pocket".

In the window – two weeks, a month, maybe – after a nice wedding, some surrounding unmarried couples are going to be feeling the twinge; they've dropped back into the pocket. That seemed nice, they think, maybe we should just go for it.

Ensuing engagement announcements then cause a further chain of events: other unmarried couples, who weren't at the first wedding but know the latter newly-engaged couples, start to have their own existential crises. More engagements! More wedding collateral damage.

Of course, it could all go the other way, too – the joy, then the self-questioning inspiring a break-up. But let's focus on the positive, here. 'Tis the season. Raise a glass to the bride and groom.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Polish Speaking Buying Assistant

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Superb opportunity for a BUYING...

    Recruitment Genius: Support Worker

    £14560 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers personalise...

    Recruitment Genius: Key Account Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A really exciting opportunity has arisen for a...

    Recruitment Genius: Multi Trade Operative

    £22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An established, family owned de...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project