The Time Traveler's Wife
How we cite our quotes:
[Henry to Clare:] "Let's elope." [Clare:] "My parents would disown me." (1.12.11-13)
As much as Clare wants to be independent, she's still very much concerned about family tradition.
[Henry to Ben:] "So her parents have planned this huge wedding. […] I need to be there. I need to get through about eight hours of huge mind-boggling stress, without disappearing." (1.12.110.)
Henry fears that he won't be able to handle the pressures of the wedding because, to him, the whole thing is an ordeal. He only does it for Clare. How many couples consider their wedding an ordeal that only serves to please their families, you think?
[Clare:] In one part of this dream I was swimming in the ocean, I was a mermaid. [...] There was a boat on the surface of the ocean, […] and my mother was on it, all by herself. I swam up to her and she was surprised to see me there, she said, Why Clare, I thought you were getting married today, and I suddenly realized, the way you do in dreams, that I couldn't get married to Henry if I was a mermaid. (1.13.2)
Although their marriage is set by time, Clare still fears that obstacles will manage to prevent her from being with Henry. The water might represent the intangible nature of her relationship with Henry – she'll never be fully secure in his presence by her side.