Over the past two years, I have attended many traditional weddings. The bride always dresses in a white gown, her train flowing beautifully behind her as she walks down the aisle. The groom always stands at the alter, waiting anxiously for his girlfriend turned fiancé and soon-to-be wife. He wipes his brow whether it is a spring or fall or summer or winter wedding. In the bridal room, she giggles with excitement. Soon, her giddy emotions overflow as she wipes away a tear as to not ruin her professionally done makeup.
The ceremony is usually held at the beach, in a church, or on a plantation where the greenery from majestic oak trees serve as décor. Family and friends dance all night. Drinks are plentiful. And the bride and groom are exhausted (the bride more so than the groom as she is the one carrying the weight of the wedding dress). Then there’s the father-daughter dance, the mother-son dance, the Electric Slide, and the inevitable Chicken Dance.
Oh, how I hate the Chicken Dance!
But as traditional as these weddings are there is one thing that is unconventional: how the bride and groom met. They didn’t meet at work or through a friend. He didn’t pick her up at a bar after downing one-to-many Jagermeister shots and she didn’t flirt with him at a networking event for professional Latinos. The lovebirds turned man and wife met in the comfort of their own homes while participating in online dating.
Studies show that there is an increasing trend of people marrying after meeting online. In 2009, Match.com claimed that 1 in 1369 of dates who connected through Match led to marriages. During the same year, eHarmony claimed that the daily marriage and engagement rate for couples who met on their site is 118. The numbers keep increasing because many people find it difficult to meet someone in more traditional settings. There is a comfort with online dating as it is less about the superficial and much more about getting to know the person. Emails are usually exchanged before a phone call is made, and sometimes it takes months before a potential online couple meets face to face. Somehow it works. The proof is in the wedding cake! And though online dating is not for me (I have tried it twice and just cannot get into it!), I am happy to attend weddings and applaud couples as they walk down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs…
No matter how or where you find it, love is love. And so I am thrilled to celebrate unions that began via an IP address.