“Are we saying yes to the dress!?” The consultant gushed, her face rapt with ecstasy – feigned or genuine, it didn’t really matter.
“Yes, we’re saying yes to the dress.” I tiredly repeated her question back as a statement, exhausted by the forced enthusiasm.
Cheering from my entourage erupted. Truth be told, they seemed more excited than me. I was ready to make a run for it. Sweat was dripping off my back from heaving in and out of gowns; I felt anything but elegant. David’s Bridal, WalMart of the wedding world, wasn’t my cup of tea. The ceremonies weren’t quite finished, though. I had to ring a little brass bell adorned with a white ribbon announcing to the store that the billion dollar industry was still going strong. And so I did.
“Now, do we want to think about veils?” She asked, “This dress would be stunning with a veil.” Nice upsell.
To be honest, the corporate nature of wedding planning was tiring me. Wedding planning itself was tiring me. When did it all get so complicated? To veil or not to veil? Would you like a runner down the aisle? Do you know any children old enough to be flower girls? And you’re going to do a unity candle, right?
Now that I’m well into my first year as a married woman, I’ve found the distance has allowed me to reflect on the year prior. I remember being giddy at the idea of spending the rest of my life with Ben, but I don’t remember feeling a great amount of joy at the prospect of planning a wedding. I remember being grateful to everyone who brought our wedding day to life, but I also remember feeling overwhelmed by the swirl of activity that seemed out of my control.
“Out of my control.” Aye, there’s the rub. About this time last year I strongly remember having the realization that all those magazines are horribly wrong. Your wedding day isn’t about you. It’s not even about your future husband. It’s not about how pretty things look, who attended or what they were wearing. It’s about you and your future spouse covenanting to one another before God and witnesses to be a picture of Christ and His Church.
And you can paint that picture one of two ways.
Either you can start off your married life as the sort of person who demands what she wants and expects to get everything she demands, or you can be the sort of person who dies to themselves for the sake of others.
It wasn’t easy to prepare for my wedding. I lost my patience, lost my temper. I was bitter at genuine people who were honestly trying to help us out. I was upset that I couldn’t just barrel through and do it all my way. I lost sight of the real meaning of a wedding ceremony. Even while I railed against what I thought (and still think) to be superficial elements of weddings, my reaction was just as superficial and petty. Don’t think I’ve arrived at some great understanding, because I haven’t. It’s still difficult for me to watch brides-to-be gush over their big day. I wonder what I could have done differently to capture those feelings in my own experience. Sometimes I even begrudge their happiness. I’m quick to dispense judgement and not grace. It’s amazing how much wedding planning taught, and continues to teach, me about my own pride. Lord, help me.
Our wedding was beautiful, but I have to say my sweetest memories have come from the days after. The days when the Lord has been drawing me closer to Himself and so to my husband. The days when Jesus has taught me that He provides for my needs. The days when He has continued to heal my brokenness, to rout out my pride and conform me to His image.
Today’s post is carefully written, but honestly told. I may not have had particularly creative things to say, but these are thoughts that have been on my mind. I suppose you never know what will happen when you’re given a wild card.