Last week, CB’s mom very nicely put together a little relaxing kit for me and included a copy of Martha Stewart Weddings. Inside I saw a full-page ad sponsored by the World Gold Council that says:
Gold Makes a Marriage. Honor your love with the metal that’s meant marriage since marriage began.
Immediately I thought of the fact that we will not be having gold wedding bands for our marriage. In fact, our budget means that our rings, for now, will likely be stainless steel (CB thinks I’m half-joking… but… I’m not).
I am obviously not against precious metals, as I have a platinum engagement ring. I am also not offended or outraged, because it’s just an advertisement, and because many other materials (among them, diamonds, white dresses, flowers, cakes, etc.) have come to be advertised as the symbol of love, marriage, destiny, forevermore amen.
But the first thing I thought when I saw the advertisement was that marriage started as an socio-economic contract (and in many ways one can argue it retains those characteristics), and that gold was a very important aspect of a marriage. It had less to do with honoring one’s “love” and everything to do with securing a dowry or melding two family’s fortunes.
I don’t know if gold makes a marriage, but gold has certainly made marriages.
Image credit: Alexandre Breveglieri via Flickr