If you watch E!’s “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” you probably tuned in during season six to watch as Kim Kardashian and fiancé Kris Humphries planned a lavish, multi-million dollar wedding in front of the cameras. The much-anticipated ceremony—and the final moments leading up to it—was aired during a two-hour special that garnered global attention.
But just 72 days after saying “I do,” Kardashian filed for divorce.
The reality star made her first public statement a couple days later when she tweeted: “I got caught up with the hoopla and the filming of the TV show when I probably should have ended my relationship. I didn’t know how to and didn’t want to disappoint a lot of people.”
If you watch the show or read the headlines, it’s probably no surprise that the reality star got caught up in the moment—the public emphasis of her entire relationship was centered on her 20.5 karat engagement ring and not one, but three wedding gowns.
The fact of the matter is that we are all capable of getting more caught up in the wedding than the actual marriage it represents.
When attention is shifted from the marriage—the sacred bond two people make when they want to commit their lives to one another—and placed on trivialities like the color of the napkins at the reception or the flavor the groom’s cake, people begin to lose sight of the reasons they are getting married in the first place.
Perhaps that’s why nearly half of all first marriages end in divorce. Weddings are a beautiful symbol of marriage, but that’s it—a symbol. The flowers, the cake, the dress, the venue—it all means nothing if the marriage it represents isn’t rooted in shared values and beliefs.
No amount of planning or money spent on Kardashian’s “fairytale” wedding could have saved her marriage because it wasn’t built on fundamental principles to begin with.
The media portrays weddings as the pinnacle of a marriage (how many chick flicks end with a wedding?), and marriage as something built on appearances, common interests and attraction. It’s easy to get distracted by these unrealistic superficialities, but don’t be fooled.
Marriage readiness—which will build a bond to last much longer than 72 days—requires maturity, generosity and self-awareness, not a lavish wedding dictated by national publicity. It’s something marriage-minded singles can work toward, and it’s the kind of mindset that will create a real “happily ever after.”