Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dancing at Weddings

A few weeks back when I was doing the anti-racism training, I accidentally blundered into a wedding reception that was going on in the same building. The building was a seminary with a chapel. And as tempting as it is to chase that white rabbit, so to speak, I'll ignore the possible comedic irony of a wedding and anti-racism training going on at the same time in the same building.

I remember commenting that there was dancing at this particular anti-racist wedding (sorry, I had to chase the white rabbit after all) to one of the other Seaburians. It came as quite a shock to her that I do not think I have ever been to a wedding where there was dancing afterwards. Her reaction was just the opposite. She thought I was joking because she had never been to a wedding that had not had dancing.

I did not really think much about that particular misadventure again until yesterday when another friend of mine was discussing upcoming nuptials. The same conversation ensued with the same reaction: "You've got to be kidding me! Why wouldn't you dance at a wedding?" I found that to be an interesting question really. I've been to dozens of weddings; I was even the best man at one of them back in December, but I have still never been to a wedding with dancing.

I got to thinking about that. Being the end of the term, thinking about anything other than papers and moving out boxes from my dormroom is a worthwhile usage of time. Why is it exactly I have never been to a wedding without dancing? Are my friends and family all Puritanical freaks? Are we too cheap to hire a DJ? I don't particularly think those are correct assumptions. The conclusion I finally came up with was that it must be a Southern cultural thing.

At Southern Fried Weddings, dancing ain't dignified...

I reckon...

and such.


J Hearne said...

I've only been to two weddings with dancing:

One that I was hired to sing at.
My own.

I agree that it's a cultural thing. I remember that my wife (a Michigan-der) could not imagine not dancing at a wedding. My family (all Kentuckians by the grace of God) enjoyed the dancing but was surprised by it I think. It was as if they were saying: Dancing at a wedding? How novel! Everybody should do this!

Stephen Newell said...

Same here, I've only been to two weddings with dancing -- my cousin's and the one I was recently involved in last weekend.

My cousin's, to be precise, was a Catholic wedding, so we can discount that one since we all know Catholics love them a good party. ;-)

The other one was from decidedly Protestant kids of the non-denominational persuasion. And it was a mixed Deaf/hearing wedding, so these sorts of things are not out of the norm.

Mine (incidentally on June 17, if you wanna make a quick trip to Louisville) will have dancing, but then again that's because Tricia's family are Catholics who love them a good party. ;-)

We Southern people aren't big on dancing at weddings, you know. At my cousin's wedding reception, you instantly knew who the Baptists and the Catholics were. The Catholics were out on the dance floor drunk as a skunk and dancing up a storm, while all the Baptists just sat at the tables with their arms crossed, shaking their heads with a disapproving look on their faces. :lol: