However, I have to admit that during the ceremony, I wasn't quite sure when the rite of marriage actually took place.
In a Catholic ceremony, it's cut and dried. You know precisely when you've completed your vows and are husband and wife.
In my cousin's ceremony, however, I had absolutely no idea when the union actually took place. There were two sets of vows, there was a sand ceremony that "symbolically united" them (similar to unity candles), and there were two blessings offered. There was also the ring-exchange. My niece kept asking me "Are they married yet? Are they gonna kiss now?" and I had no idea what to tell her because I didn't know, myself!
Granted, that's not a huge deal in the scheme of things. It was a nice ceremony - much nicer than some others I've attended - but it made me appreciate my own Catholic ceremony so much more.
I knew precisely when our Sacrament was taking place. Though our vows weren't "super unique" or funny, or quirky, or any other number of extravagant things couples try to put forth to show everyone just how special their love for one another is, I now fully appreciate the timeless aspect of our simple (and deeply rich) vows. After all, these vows have been around for millennia. They've provided the basis for countless blessed unions. Our marriage, in effect, became a part of this tapestry. It's a comfort to know that our vows are the same ones made by the strong family lineages that produced us. They are like tethers to our ancestry.
Just a musing. Again, I thought my cousin's ceremony was nice, but it struck me as odd that I wasn't sure when the actual marriage took place given the amount of circumstantial "fluff" that's sole purpose was to give everyone the warm fuzzies. And I'm cool with warm-fuzzies, but I feel that for a marriage, you should KNOW when the rite is taking place. It's such an important step in your life (two becoming one and all) that there shouldn't be confusion as to when the moment comes to pass.
Ah well. Regardless, prayers of blessing for them, please - they're good people. :)