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The Reality of Arranged Marriages
Arranged marriages have been a topic of interest for centuries. Authors across the ages have explored this theme at length, and it still surfaces in literary works today. What's the appeal? Is it the fascination with the lack of lust and desire we cultivate in North American society? We strive on the element of danger, of the forbidden, while an arranged marriage is usually a safe way to ensure a family's approval of a union.
And yet, many of today's romance novels deal with marriages of convenience. We've all read them: the heroine marries the hero because she needs him, whether for financial reasons, or because her children need a father -- there are as many reasons to marry as there are novels dealing with this subject. Yet although the marriage isn't initially based on love, there's always that sensual tension simmering beneath the surface, and as readers, we know it's inevitable that the two are going to fall deeply and irrevocably in love.
But what about real life, where things don't always work out so well? Arranged marriages are commonplace in a number of countries, such as Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan and India. They're more common than you'd think even in North America, where cultural diversity is cherished and encouraged.
Young people in countries where arranged marriages are commonplace are told from an early age that their spouse will be chosen for them. To deny an arranged marriage is seen as a sign of disrespect toward the family. But how are suitable spouses chosen? In Japan, for instance, "when a woman reaches the marriageable age of 25, she and her parents compile a packet of information about her, including a photograph of her in a kimono and descriptions of her family background, education, hobbies, accomplishments and interests. Her parents then inquire among their friends and acquaintances to see if anyone knows a man who would be a suitable husband for her" (the Asia Society's Video Letter from Japan: My Family, 1988). Usually, the most important aspect of choosing a suitable spouse is the bond between the two families, rather than the relationship between the couple being married. Property or land with the aim of securing social status sometimes seals marriage agreements.
Do arranged marriages work? Opinions tend to differ. Statistics place the divorce rate for arranged marriages much lower than those in the United States, where marriages out of love are the rule. However, research also shows that the pressure a married couple encounters from both society as a whole, and from the respective families, suggests that divorce is often not an option.
Can love grow out of an arranged marriage? Absolutely, and in the same way that love can grow in romance novels from a marriage of convenience. But there's more to love than finding a suitable match. Love can grow for many reasons, from lust at first sight to friendship that develops over a long period of time. It's impossible to predict whether a union will be successful. The only two people who can make it work are the bride and groom, the hero and heroine of their own story.
Lacey Savage is the author of a number of sensual romance short stories, novels and novellas. Her articles and works of fiction often focus on women's issues and relationships. Find out more about Lacey at http://www.laceysavage.com
Marriage Counseling: What Do Wives Really Want in a Husband? Part One
Numerous men have pondered the questions, "Why does my wife say she's unhappy? What does she want that I'm not doing?" Many of the men raising these questions have been blindsided by a wife's confession that she's not happy in the marriage and wants a separation or divorce. I've seen many examples of this dynamic in marriage counseling sessions that I've conducted.
Marriage Counseling: How to Keep Jealousy From Destroying Your Marriage
Jealousy has often been called the "green-eyed monster," and with good reason. The "monster" is fueled by envy and can over time devour the trust and harmony in a relationship.
Bridal Shower Games Are Extremely Fun!
Bridal shower games are a wonderful way to put your guests at ease and to get the party started! Ideally, bridal shower games should be easy to play and should provide guests with an interactive way to interact with one another in a casual and fun way. Fortunately, there are lots of games you can choose to play.
A Guide to Wedding Invitations
The wedding date and time has been set, the location for the special event has been finalized, and the decision for the wedding theme ? traditional and formal or fun and casual ? has been made. Now it's time to take the next step and create wedding invitations that reflect the celebration you've planned and provide the information needed for friends and family to have a pleasant experience as wedding guests.
A Wedding Shower Invitation Should Be Attractive And Stylish!
Wedding shower invitations should lay out all of the necessary information, yet still be attractive. One way to do this is to have a picture engraved on the invitation. Ask your engraver to add a small design on the inside of your invitation or wherever you have information about the reception. If, for example, an ice cream social is your theme see if there is an ice cream cone or Sundae dish they can emboss onto the paper without taking away from the main body of the invitation. Remember that subtlety is stylish; you don't want to come across as overpowering with your theme.
Jewish Wedding Traditions - The Wedding Day in a Nutshell
Many of the Jewish wedding traditions are derived from ancient Jewish wedding customs dating back thousands of years.
Planning Your Outdoor Wedding Reception
An outdoor wedding reception can be host to an almost unlimited number of guests and has the aura of nature that can never be duplicated in an indoor ballroom. Some of the following outdoor wedding reception ideas should help to get you started with planning this special day, including avoiding some of the dangers involved with an outdoor setting.
Wedding Favors That Embrace Nature?s Beauty
A wedding planned in the spirit of nature provides the perfect opportunity for selecting wedding favors fashioned after elegant symbols consisting of, but not limited to maple leaves, butterflies, lavender buds, and roses. While there is certainly no shortage of wedding favors available today that are inspired by nature, those that are carefully designed with distinctive style and artistic detail remain popular choices.
A frustrating lack of permanence plagues modern relationships. Approximately one of every two marriages ends in divorce and the average length of a marriage before divorce is only five years. Many couples today chose cohabitation over traditional marriage. What happened to the idealized family depicted in Father Knows Best, Leave it To Beaver, The Donna Reed Show and Ozzie and Harriet?
Want to Get Married in Las Vegas?
Only in Las Vegas can you find everything for your wedding from the most lavish, private accommodations in the world to down and dirty Elvis impersonators, drag queens and scantily clad serving wenches sharing your wedding day. Choose from a church, a golf course, a casino, or any one of dozens of wild theme weddings, from the merely eclectic to the decidedly weird.
Whats in a Greek Wedding?
The wedding service in the Greek Orthodox faith is an ancient and beautiful ceremony, which has been celebrated in its current form for centuries. The wedding ceremony is full of symbolism and is a great experience if you have never attended one before, because it is likely to be quite different from other weddings you have attended in Western Europe. The service is also rather unique because the bride and groom do not make vows to each other ? their presence together in the church is taken to mean that they are serious about getting married. There are no wedding rehearsals and the ceremony usually has a very relaxed atmosphere - guests take photos whenever they want to and often chat quietly among themselves throughout the ceremony. The Beginning of the WeddingIn most cases the wedding guests will wait with the groom outside the church until the bride arrives (a few sneaky wedding pros will go into the church early to secure a good seat). In the Summer, when most weddings take place, it is not unusual for ceremonies to be arranged back to back, so the guests attending a marriage will often stand around with those who have just attended the previous wedding are ready to leave. Wedding dress commentators among the crowd will get to consider and discuss at least two brides and maybe even a third as they leave the church ? bargain! Meanwhile, the groom waits for the bride at the entrance to the church, often holding her floral bouquet. He hands it to her as they meet and they then go inside together followed by the guests. There is no separation of the guests into guests of the bride and guests of the groom ? everyone sits together and in the case of small churches, many people prefer to stand in a spot where they can get a good view of the proceedings. Service of BetrothalThe wedding ceremony itself is in two parts: the Service of Betrothal and the Ceremony of the Sacrament of Marriage. The exchanging of rings is the focus of the Service of Betrothal. The priest blesses the rings by holding them in his right hand and making the sign of the cross over the heads of the bride and groom. The rings are then placed on the third fingers of their right hands. The Koumbaro, the couple's religious sponsor, then swaps the rings over between the bride and groom's fingers, three times. A number of rituals in the ceremony are repeated three times and this symbolises the Holy Trinity: God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Ceremony of the Sacrament of MarriageThis Ceremony consists of several key parts. First, several prayers are said and then as they come to an end, the priest joins the right hands of the bride and groom. Their hands remain joined until the end of the wedding ceremony, which symbolises the couple's union.The Crowning The bride and groom are crowned with thin crowns, or stefana, which are joined by a white ribbon and have been blessed by the priest. The crowns symbolise the glory and honour that is being bestowed on them by God, and the the ribbon symbolises their unity. The koumbaro then exchanges the crowns between the heads of the couple, three times. The Common Cup The crowning is followed by a reading of the Gospel, which tells of the marriage of Cana at Galilee. It was at this wedding that Jesus performed his first miracle, changing water into wine, which was then given to the married couple. Wine is given to the couple and they each drink from it three times. The Ceremonial Walk The priest the leads the couple, who are still wearing their stefana, three times around the altar on their first steps as a married couple. The Koumbaro follows close behind the couple holding the stefana place. At this point the couple (and anyone standing nearby) is usually showered with rice, which was earlier handed out to the wedding guests. The priest will often make use of the bible he is holding to give himself some protection! The Removal of the Crowns When the Ceremonial Walk has ended, the priest blesses the couple, the crowns are removed and he then separates their previously joined hands with the bible, reminding them that only God can break the union which they have just entered into. Wedding traditions Unfortunately, a lot of the information available on Greek Orthodox wedding traditions is a little outdated and contains generalisations that give the impression that certain traditions are followed by everyone who gets married. Some of these traditions are set out below.
All that Glitters?Something Old, Something New...
Brides through the ages have accessorized with wedding jewelry to add a finishing touch to their bridal attire; however, many brides who don't wear jewelry in everyday life jump at the chance to wear it on their wedding day. Is it the special occasion or the chance to play dress-up that prompts these brides to don the unthinkable-jewelry?
Building Your Marriage: Some Thoughts From St. Paul
These verses of Scripture from St. Paul are commonly used in Christian marriage ceremonies. They speak of the relationship between Christ and the Church in terms of the relationship between a husband and his wife. As beautiful as they are, they are also very misunderstood and misinterpreted. Look closely and see their wisdom for your marriage.
Wedding Dresses - How to Select the Best One for You
Every bride would agree that her wedding dress should be perfect - not only does she want to look her best, on her special day, but her wedding dress also is the center of everybody's attention. But how would you select the best one for you? Here is advice about selecting the best dress for your wedding.
3 Steps to Marrying the Right Person
Marrying for love, financial security and/or companionship does not guarantee long lasting happiness. While legitimate reasons for entering into a marriage, they can blind a person to the signs of a doomed relationship.
Florida Beach Weddings
There is nothing more romantic than a wedding by water especially at dusk.The sound of the waves lapping to shore provide music to a resplendent sunset creating an unequalled backdrop of constantly changing reddish orange gold hues dancing above the ocean's horizon.
The Enigma of Daytime Bachelor Party Activities
As most of you know the evening festivities for a bachelor party are already pre-determined. They usually involve some combination of limos, nightclubs, and gentlemen's clubs. But, the difficult question that always remains is: what are we going to do during the day? There are a plethora of options for the guys to choose from and I am sure this list will help:
Wedding Favors - How to Graciously Thank Your Wedding Guests
Thank You, Merci, Arigatou, Gracias, Xie-Xie?
How to Make Your Wedding Vows Something You?ll Remember Forever
If you're going the increasingly popular route of personalizing your own wedding vows, you're probably looking for some tips to make your vows as special, meaningful, and eloquent as you can. This is something that will take time beforehand so that you can prepare yourself and become completely comfortable with what you're saying. Remember, you're not just saying pretty words, you're stating your wedding vows -- words from the heart that aim to express if only a fraction of how important this bond of love is to you.
Bridal Hair Stylist Goes Above and Beyond the Call of Duty
You are locked in your seat on the most famous roller coaster in the world, the Cyclone in Brooklyn, New York. Your fiancé is right next to you, both of you dressed in wedding attire. As you go up the steep climb the preacher, who is seated behind you, begins reading your vows. At the pinnacle of the climb, you are pronounced Mr. and Mrs., only to let out a loud scream as you plummet almost 60 miles per hour at a 60 degree incline. On the second time around, your hair stylist, who is seated next to the preacher, reaches over and fixes a few hairs that have fallen out of place in your fancy bridal updo?
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