My baby brother, Peter, who is almost five years younger than me, is engaged to be married.
No, this isn’t one of those stories where I tell you it’s a miracle and that angels sang the “Hallelujah Chorus” the moment it happened. Yes, my family has been hoping and praying one day he would find someone with whom he would share his life, but with the understanding that each of us needs to find contentment in ourselves first.
Instead, I’d like to share the interesting news about the type of wedding they plan to have – a live-stream elopement.
You see, Pete lives in Oklahoma City, but his fiancé currently lives in Nebraska. On top of that, my mother, sister and her family live in Jackson, while we live here. My family kinda lives all over the map, going back to my parents’ families who mostly live out West in New Mexico, California and Washington. So logistically, it’s a challenge for us to visit each other. Mostly, we just see each other on holidays.
He called me a couple of days after he proposed to his future bride on Thanksgiving night (it made up for Ole Miss’s loss to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl). Pete told me they had been talking and were thinking it would be very difficult for everyone to come together for the wedding. Instead they were looking at this live-stream elopement. The way he described it, he and his fiancé would purchase a package through a wedding-planner, which included choosing a location for the ceremony and either having a videographer record it for future viewings on social media or live-stream it so we could watch from home.
Until recent years, elopement seems to have had a negative connotation to a majority of people. It has often been associated with shame, guilt or a sense of urgency on the part of the two parties getting married. But, as wedding traditions have changed, elopement has become much more popular because of the intimacy and affordability it can sometimes offer.
My wife Shannon chose a small, intimate setting as well. We were married in the Faulkner gardens at the Union County Heritage Museum here in New Albany with family and a few friends. It was perfect and I would never trade it for a large venue with hundreds of guests. In fact, I recommend it to anyone planning a wedding.
While the thought of not physically being at Pete’s wedding is odd, I’m reminded of what Shannon said to me when we were planning our wedding: “The wedding is just one day; marriage is a lifetime.”