Rituals are common everyday events. We do them every day, often without thinking about them. Some rituals are important to us, others less so. So rituals are common throughout a region or country; others are unique to us and personal. Think about your life and what rituals it contains.
Greeting rituals: When we meet someone for the first time, we shake hands. If business people meet, they exchange business cards. In Japan, they bow instead of shaking hands. In France, it is common for the two people to kiss cheeks – even for two men.
Classroom rituals: Students raise their hand when they want to speak and stand when talking to the teacher.
Lucky rituals: English people cross their fingers for good luck when playing games. They also cross their fingers behind their backs to ward off bad luck when telling lies.
Probably the biggest single ritual you will do is your wedding ceremony. It is certainly the most expensive day of your life.
Q. What is the cost of an average wedding today? I’ve heard it’s around $20,000. Is this off base?
A. Though it depends on where you live, that figure’s really not that far off — it’s actually a little low. In a recent survey conducted by The Knot, it was revealed that the average wedding is now about $27,800. However, bear in mind that weddings cost more in large urban areas. This figure also includes those lucky brides and grooms who get $40,000-and-up weddings thrown for them, so that does slightly bring up the average.
Another site, costofwedding.com, says that on average, US couples spend $19,581 for their wedding. However, the majority of couples spend between $14,686 and $24,476. This does not include the cost of the honeymoon or engagement ring. Understanding wedding costs now can help you with your wedding budget later.
In the UK, the average cost of a wedding is £15,244, including the reception (£5,000) and the honeymoon (£4,500). It is not cheap for the guests either, with the average cost of travel, accommodation, gift and new outfit totting up to about £300.
The following items are included in the total average wedding cost:
Attire & Accessories
Beauty, Health & Spa
Flowers & Decorations
Gifts & Favors
Photography & Video
Venue & Catering
Talk about a typical wedding ceremony in your country. What do people do? How long does it last? Who pays for the ceremony? What preparation is required?
Let us look in detail at an English wedding ceremony.
In England, the boy is supposed to ask the girls father before he asks the girl. If the father agrees, he will take the girl to a romantic setting. Here he will ask her the big question and give her a diamond ring. If the many are romantic, he will get down on one knee when asking. The girl will answer with a simple, “Yes.”
Before the wedding, the boy and the girl have many things to prepare. Traditionally, the girls family paid for the wedding ceremony. Today the costs may be shared by the boy and the girl together.
In England, friends and family give presents rather than money. Usually, these are household items like TV, washing machine, dinner sets or cutlery. To avoid receiving many identical things, the boy and girl will make a gift list. This is left at a large department store. Their friends and relatives can visit the store and pay for an item on the list. The store will record who bought what and deliver the items at the wedding time.
The girl, known as the bride, will have to get a dress made. Girls in England usually buy their wedding dress rather than rent. The will also get dresses made for the bridesmaid (the girl’s best friend) and the flower girls (a younger sister or cousin).
The boy, known as the groom, may buy a new suite but often will just rent. In England, the boy will wear a morning suite – light grey or white – as will the Best man (the boy’s best friend). If the boy is from another area, he will wear his homeland’s traditional clothes. For example, in Scotland, the boy will wear a kilt (the Scottish skirt for men).
Other people coming to the wedding will wear their best closes. Many will buy new clothes, especially for that day. Women will usually wear a new hat.