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How to Give a Toast at a Millennial Wedding

Alex and Vanessa are getting married. Quintessential New Copernicans both. How does one give a toast at a New Copernican wedding?

To answer this one needs to understand the cross pressured nature of modern relationships. In these relationships romantic idealism is fused with tragic realism. A single mother, divorced parents, pregnant friends, ex lovers, and a host of scarred lives sit quietly among the wedding guests. And of course there are the empty chairs of those who have passed on but whose presence continues to loom large—parents, siblings, and friends. Snarky humor masks the existential cross currents that flood through all the participants’ minds. The crashing waves on the beach are beautiful but also represent the dangerous undertows of life lived and hopes dashed. New Copernicans are too authentic to leave the wedding toasts to pious platitudes or romantic optimism. Humor is mixed with poignancy that reflects an overlay of wise gravitas.

No, the tears are genuine, authentic expressions of both joy and loss, of attraction and detachment, of what could have been and what is now. There is an old soul character to the ceremony... not that one knows more, but one feels more. Here one finds the fusion of and reality experienced of love and loss. It’s a wedding done in the shadows of a funeral, in the light of divorce. The psychic wounds are open to the inevitable messiness of life.

Weddings are kairos moments, when multiple family histories gather to remember and celebrate all the joys and pains of life lived, now compressed across multiple stories and numerous decades into one singular consciousness-raising instant of awareness. Is it surprising that alcohol flows so freely at weddings? Sometimes the reality of life is just too real.

Hallmark cards don’t capture the cross pressured nature of New Copernican relationships. For this one must turn to musicians, to the druid spiritualists of New Copernican youth.

Johnnyswim is a husband and wife singing duo out of Los Angeles. Amanda Sudano and Abner Ramirez, whose first full-length album Diamonds, celebrate the inevitable beauty that stems from life’s pressures.

In the wake of every heartache

In the depth of every fear

There were diamonds, diamonds

Waiting to break out of here.

If one only approaches these relationships from a moralist critique of the Tinder-based hook up scene, one will not comprehend the psychic crosscurrents in modern relationships. One hears this in their song, “Say Goodnight Instead.”

Don’t say goodbye love, just say goodnight

Though I know you’ll be gone by morning

I’ll wake up pretend, that we’re still alright

And next time I’ll heed all your warnings

Cause we got a beautiful thing

A thing that’s not easy to find

So don’t say goodbye love, say goodnight

And we’ll save goodbye for when it dies

Modern heartache does not happen with the sudden crushing of romantic idealism. No the heartache is baked into the romance from the first intimate encounter. Heartache is expected and the longing is less for love sustained as for loss delayed... just say goodnight instead.

So there is acknowledged fear fused into every love. When one is falling in love in a New Copernican romance, one is immediately warned about what one will get. Abner Ramirez sings,

Some may say I’m mad to chase a heart locked away

On its own soul-less enemy

There ain’t nothing in this world you’d like to be less than a wounded soul like me

That’s what you’ll get falling for me.

Religious platitudes, like “perfect love cast out fear,” don’t ring authentic to the modern ear. Here the messiness of life is expected. There is a tragic realism built into every romance. The beautiful thing is that diamonds still rise up out of the dust.

So how does one toast a newly married couple at their wedding, one can mention the diamonds of love but only in the context of the life pressures in which they are created. Authenticity requires that the messiness of life be acknowledged for love in the modern context is a cross pressured experience. This is actually a more honest and straightforward way to approach life. For this we can be grateful for the example of modern young people who are no longer willing to lie to themselves or others. Congratulations Alex and Vanessa!

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