We all know couples who have had to cancel, postpone, reschedule or otherwise drastically change their marriage plans this year. Indeed, the idea of being shoulder to shoulder with your nearest and dearest enjoying a ceremony before mingling with champagne on a sun-drenched terrace seems like a distant dream. It is hard to imagine these celebratory scenes having spent so much time isolated from others. Given the important financial protection marriage offers, it is not just a nice dress and delicious canapés couples are missing out on.
For couples who are already married, spending time together during three lockdowns may have led people to reflect on their relationship and their own roles within the family. Such a bizarre time has exposed both strengths and weaknesses. In a sense, our connections with others have never been so important to us or so challenging.
In an article for Christie's, art historian Andrew Graham-Dixoncurates a mini exhibition of his favourite images of marriage and considers how human bonds have been portrayed over the years. He concludes thoughtfully, "Times may change but people’s hopes for marriage — love, a long life together and a little one or two to bring up along the way — do not change so very much, after all."