One of the basic functions of a wedding is to root a marriage in time. It grounds the young lovers in reality and forces each party to live out their love right here in the time and space that God has allotted them. The wedding allows a man and woman to offer themselves and not some vague promise of togetherness which is wrought with conditions and bargaining. It wrestles the couple away from an endless world of possibilities and what ifs so that they fix their eyes on each other in the here and now. The wedding also becomes the recognizable and public beginning of their love which imbeds itself into the memory of the couple. It is the antidote and medicine for a failing marriage of few or countless years where Christ can speak to their failing hearts, ‘it was not so in the beginning.’ No, in the beginning they were in love, one flesh, and worth fighting for. On the wedding day, the couple creates a memory of the future as Pope Francis seems fond of saying. They create something so real that its future possibility seems as sure and secure as the present.
So you see; all earthly love needs a beginning. And marriage, which begins with a wedding, makes the love of a couple real.