Like most people, the wedding ring has always appeared (and appealed) to me to be the single greatest symbol of undying love and fidelity.
They have been around for at least 5000 years. But now new symbols of eternal love are fast emerging. I saw this first-hand recently when attending a wedding in Maroochydore as the guest of another celebrant.
The wonderful ceremony included love locks. This is a lovely idea to celebrate and commit to undying love. Here’s how it works: the happy couple carve their respective initials on small ‘his and her’ padlocks and either secure them to a fence rail on bridges and throw the keys into the river as a symbol of their eternal love. Or, as was the case in Maroochydore, throw the keys into the sea.
Now I see Noosa has got into the act. Young lovers have been etching their names on padlocks and securing them to the handrails on a bridge next to Noosa Yacht Club before throwing the keys into a canal.
The concept first appeared in Europe – appropriately enough in the Eternal City of Rome – but it has now apparently spread to Australia.The practice was fuelled by a 2006 novel, ‘I Want You’ by Italian writer Federico Moccia where a couple wrote their names on locks, attached them to the Ponte Milvio and threw the keys into the Tiber.
In another nod to romantic fiction, locks have been attached to the house in Verona from where Juliet supposedly called out to Romeo.
Inevitably, it hasn’t taken long for commercial interests to ‘lock’ into the phenomenon. Various products on the ‘love padlock’ theme have now appeared both on-line and in-store. From cheap, dollar store versions to expensive gold and silver creations.
The only problem now is that the fad has now taken a rather unromantic twist. Stony-faced officials in various European cities complain that the padlocks are causing bridge rails and lampposts to rust, thus making them unsightly. And their rather unlovely key to solving the problem? Boltcutters. Ugh.
Let’s hope that the boltcutters are not another symbol for bureaucracy cutting through a couple’s undying love. Noosa Council take note!