An American Wedding 美国的婚礼

        在美国,婚礼的形式基本取决于各人的宗教背景和文化习惯。其实,大部分婚礼形式都是从其他地方传到美国的。近百年以来,美国的婚礼已经改变了很多。以前的婚礼只是家人一起来庆祝的小小欢聚,但是现在的婚礼都是经过精心安排。有的人甚至专门到一个享有盛名的南方海岛上去举办婚礼,被称为“特殊地点的婚礼”。在十九世纪初,无论如何人们是不可能想象坐飞机到巴哈马群岛去举办婚礼的盛况。


        可以想象,以后的婚礼还会有变化,但是有一些婚礼的形式在美国还是很常见的。当一对情人订婚了以后,就开始他们漫长的婚礼计划和准备,也可以请一位专业的婚礼策划者来为你策划婚礼的所有细节。对于婚礼,有许多事情是需要考虑的,比如:婚礼的地点、客人名单、食物和饮料、欢庆节目、场地装饰、还有很多很多。现在,在美国每年约有二百万次婚礼,所以办婚礼是一项又大、又有利润的事业。虽然有很多人愿意聘请专业的婚礼策划者来策划自己的婚礼,但是也有不少人选择自己动手来策划,这就省了不少费用。


        现代婚礼时的服装习惯是新娘穿白纱,以示纯洁;而新郎则是穿燕尾服,虽然有的人选择不那么正规的服装也不是不可以。按照惯例,在婚礼上有新娘由伴娘(又称女宾相)陪伴,新郎由伴郎(又称男宾相)陪伴。伴娘都是由新娘挑选,而且在所有的伴娘中新娘会选出一位主傧相;同样的,伴郎都是由新郎挑选,而且也在伴郎中选一位最佳朋友。通常,伴娘会在婚礼前,为新娘举办一次新娘婚前的礼品派对和“结束单身派对”。伴郎们也会为新郎在婚礼前举办“结束单身汉派对”。这种结束单身的派对很特殊,以至于好莱坞为之拍摄了好几部电影。


        在婚礼的那一天,新郎和新娘可能会先选择不见面,直到在婚礼时才再一次见面。这样的习惯是因为有一些新郎和新娘要在各自打扮好了以后,让摄影师捕捉“第一眼”的神态。另外还有一项传统,就是为新娘预备一些她以前的一些东西和现在的东西、一些她借来的和一些她个人的用品。在婚礼上,通常新娘是由她的父亲搀着走进结婚礼堂,同时也表示他迎接新郎并对婚礼的祝贺。一般来说,婚礼由一位宗教人员来主持,比如由牧师主持。按照传统,在婚礼上新郎新娘互换誓言、互赠结婚戒子。一般婚礼以新婚夫妇接吻为高潮。


        婚礼后一般都有招待会,也就是一个大派对。在招待会里也有一些传统的项目。新婚夫妇一起切结婚蛋糕,而且相互喂对方这个结婚蛋糕。新郎和新娘首先进入舞池,跳婚礼后的第一首舞曲。新娘还会把她婚宴的花扔给单身的女子们,哪一位抢到了这一束花的,据说下一次婚礼就是她的了。虽然美国式的婚礼需要花很多的辛勤劳动,但也是非常有趣的。


思考问题:

  1. 你是否参加过美国人的婚礼?请告诉我们那婚礼时怎样进行的。

  2. 这样的婚礼与你在电影里或者在电视剧里看到的有什么不同和相像的地方?

  3. 美国的婚礼与你那里的婚礼有什么不同?

  4. 如果你已经结婚了,请诉说一下你的婚礼是怎样的。如果你还没有结婚,你希望您的婚姻是怎么样的?

Wedding customs in the United States vary depending on a person’s religious and cultural background. In fact, most wedding customs followed in America come from other cultures. Many aspects of weddings have changed in the past several centuries in America. Whereas weddings used to be small family gatherings at home, many weddings today are very elaborate. Some people even fly to a tropical island, which is called a “destination wedding.” Certainly people in the early 19th century couldn’t imagine flying to the Bahamas just to have a wedding.

While things are sure to change again in the future, there are certain aspects of American weddings that are quite common these days. Once a couple gets engaged, they begin the long process of wedding planning. You can even hire a wedding planner to do everything for you. There’s a lot to think about when planning a wedding, such as location, guest list, food and drink, entertainment, decorations, and much more. With more than two million weddings in the USA every year, the wedding industry is very big and quite profitable. Although many people are happy to hire a wedding planner, some choose to take a do-it-yourself (or DIY) approach to save money.

One modern wedding tradition is for the bride to wear a white dress, which symbolizes purity. It’s common for the groom to wear a tuxedo, although some choose more informal attire. It is customary to have a wedding party in weddings to accompany the bride and groom. The bride will choose her bridesmaids and will designate one the maid of honor, while the groom chooses his groomsmen and appoints one the best man. Typically, the bridesmaids will throw a bridal shower and bachelorette party for the bride prior to the wedding. The groomsmen will also have a bachelor party for the groom. Bachelor parties in America can be a bit crazy, and Hollywood movies have even been made about them.

On the day of the wedding, the bride and groom may choose not to see each other until the ceremony. These days, some couples forego this tradition in order to take “first look” photos, where the photographer captures the moment they see each other for the first time after getting ready. Another interesting tradition is for the bride to have “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue” with her. In the ceremony, the bride’s father will often walk her down the aisle. This is a symbol of his acceptance for the groom and the marriage. Usually a wedding ceremony is conducted by a religious official, such as a priest. Other traditions include exchanging vows, putting on the wedding rings, and a giving each other a kiss to seal the marriage.

Next is the reception, which is basically a big party. There are a few traditions associated with the reception. Couples will cut the wedding cake and feed it to each other, the bride and groom will have a first dance, and the bride will throw her bouquet of flowers to the single women in attendance. Whoever gets the flowers will be the next to marry. American weddings are a lot of work, but they sure are lots of fun!
Source: http://blogs.transparent.com/english/american-wedding/


Discussion Questions:

  1. Have you ever been to an American wedding? Please let us know how it went.

  2. How are they different from the ones you see in movies and TV shows? How are they similar?

  3. What is different about weddings in your culture?

  4. What was your wedding like, if you are married? If not, what do you want your wedding to be like?

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