In 1995, after four years of living together, one couple married. They married mostly for the party and gifts, not really being invested in the institution itself.
The week before their outdoor wedding, it rained nonstop. They went to bed (in the same bed, apologies to the Pope) worried about the weather. This is Minnesota. The weather shapes everything. The sky was black and rain pouring. They were expecting 300 people for an outdoor wedding the next day.
The future husband involved is a big believer in special shades that shut out all light (so he can sleep). The morning of the wedding, after a solid week of rain, the couple in love opened the night shades to:
The most spectacular, sun-driven, blazing morning ever. The grass was vibrant green; the sky shone. Flowers sprout up overnight.
They both cried.
The wedding was spectacular. The 300 people all showed up -- and know when you have 90 first cousins between two people, the wedding will be large. The sun sparkled. Everyone was alive with the joy that comes with warmth and sunshine in a state largely defined by snow.
This union produced three amazing, successful, happy children. This union has defined the lives of two people, who still hold each other every night and talk about life, the universe, the family, meaning of the world.
So when a certain someone (ahem) reads about the 'marriage of the century' happening in England?
She knows that another marriage already made that marker, even if history won't record it.
And she's certain there are others out there, just like hers. Doesn't have to be marriage, but just a bond of love that anchors one's life, whether that bond is a child, friend, male, female, cousin, mother, etc. This knowledge gives her faith and makes her happy.
She's still going to watch that other big wedding on TV and probably cry a little. She's soggy that way. But soggier still for the real deal: the bonds that tie us that aren't legal, but love.