Weddings aren't Created on Pinterest
I have written quite a few posts about love, relationships, and the way our culture idolizes weddings rather than marriage. But today, I realized that I haven't posted anything about my own wedding and my experience with the day that too many people view as the end goal rather than the starting point. I've often chided my friends for being obsessed with futuristic wedding planning and dreaming of big diamond rings, and I'll admit that I can understand the romance after going through it myself. It's a blast, and I enjoyed every minute of the planning. My wedding day and the days leading up to it were truly some of the most wonderful days of my life, but I can say that with confidence because my wedding was about achieving a dream and growing a relationship, rather than playing dress up. One of my favorite memories of my wedding day happened around 6:00 am. After a long (and completely sleepless) night, I was literally wide awake in our hotel room, listening to my bridesmaids Emily and Erin snore contently before our Pure Barre class. I do believe that I woke Emily up around 2:00 am, and she proceeded to scream-whisper, "IT'S YOUR WEDDING DAY!" and roll back over into her coma. I however, was alive with excitement and already scrolling through my phone newsfeed at 6:00 am to pass the time. Natalie, one of my longest best friends, texted me from the other room, as she too was awake, and we decided to go to the lobby for breakfast. I will never forget walking into the hallway and Natalie and I looking at each other with faces of pure joy before (silent) screaming and jumping up and down. From that moment, to getting attacked with a hug in the middle of Pure Barre, to having nine of my closest friends pray over me before I walked down the aisle, to wearing my grandmother's jewelry, to watching Ross turn around and see me in my wedding dress, I have never experienced a celebration as wonderful as that day.
To quote one more time from the book I am reading this week, Daring Greatly, Brene' Brown discusses how she calls her true friends "stretch mark friends" because they have been with her through periods of growth and trial and they become somewhat of a second skin. The people who surround you on your wedding day (and any day, for that matter), should be stretch mark friends. Even more, they should have skin in the game, to say the least, or they can't be there for your highest highs and lowest lows. The revelation that I took away from my wedding day was not that being in love is wonderful or that getting dressed up and having your picture taken is fun, though both are true. I experienced firsthand that a wedding should be a celebration of two people achieving a dream and beginning to craft a life that is fueled by passion. It should be a celebration, led by those who have seen your accomplishments and failures as a couple, and who are thrilled that you have decided to make this commitment. A wedding is not the start of a relationship, nor is it the end. It is the middle - a time when those you love should rejoice that you've made it through and pray for what's to come.
As the female population, we have to stop focusing our attention on the superficial aspects of getting married. If you focus on the things that matter, center your ceremony on strong values, and surround yourself with stretch mark friends, then a wedding is truly something to be celebrated, and everyone in attendance will feel the difference. Yes, I am young to be married, but I believe the divorce rate in our culture would drastically diminish if we start focusing on relationships grounded in values and reality rather than weddings engulfed in fluff.
As with every monumental moment in your life, your wedding day should be a piece of the puzzle that you are trying to put together. Rarely will you get the chance to be surrounded by so many people who have loved you and invested in you on a single day, so listen to the wisdom of those around you. A wedding is about the creation of a new family and new goals. Just as we have accountability partners and workout buddies and goal setting meetings at work, we need people to surround us and promise to uphold us as we make the most important promises to our husband/wife. Design a day that can be honestly celebrated because it is about two people who are committing to be vulnerable with one another and work through the toughest parts of life in a partnership, rather than alone.
Let weddings encourage you to be authentic and live life invested in relationships. They should inspire more than your Pinterest boards.
Watch our wedding video here.