Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the marriage of my sister to her wife. Auntie and The Girl were wed today in a beautiful, personal morning ceremony, and I was honored and proud to stand as a witness to their public commitment. I wish them many more happy years.
Here, then, are ten things marriage.
1. The traditional gift for the 2nd anniversary is cotton. The modern gift is china.
2. According to Bloomberg, one year of legalized marriage equality netted the city of New York $259 million for the economy. Guess this guy was right:
3. Approximately $6 billion in revenue is lost by American businesses as a result of decreased worker productivity linked to marriage hardship. Employees in a happy marriage, in contrast, tend to increase a company’s bottom line.
4. Happily married people tend to be healthier,
5. Happily married men also tend to live longer; the data are more complex for women, but the general consensus is that happy marriages contribute to longer lives.
6. “Tying the knot” is a tradition from nearly every compass point of the globe. In Scotland, couples were “handfast;” Hindu Vedic weding ceremonies include the ritual of saptapadi, the tying of the groom’s scarf to the bride’s dress (or, alternately, one hand of each partner); in some Greek Orthodox ceremonies, crowns are tied together and placed on the bridal couple’s heads. Variations on this theme can be found in wedding rites in Africa, Mexico, and Asia.
7. Though rings have been a symbol of marriage for centuries, engagement or betrothal rings really became popular in the 1800’s, when pearls and diamonds were the adornment of choice.
8. In the U.S. before the 1940’s, it was generally just the bride who received a wedding ring. That tradition changed with World War II, when 80% of weddings were double-ring ceremonies.
9. It appears that endorsement for marriage equality will be a provision in the Democratic Party’s national platform.
10. Eleven countries practice marriage equality: The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Canada, and South Africa. Parts of Mexico and the US also allow equal marriage, and Scotland is looking to become the first country in the UK to extend marriage benefits to all its citizens by 2015.