I’ve been thinking alot about weddings lately. Our neice will be married this Saturday. Her fiancee’ has lived with us for the past year and a half. An old friend, Jan just announced her daughter’s engagement. (Thanks for sharing the proposal youtube. Such fun!) As most of you know our daughter has had two weddings, due to the death of her first husband from cancer. Our son was married, just a month before Amber’s 2nd wedding. We called 2009 the year of the weddings, 4 weddings of close family and friends within 4 months. Unfortunately today only 2 of those weddings are still intact. See marriages are not about the wedding. The wedding is a celebration of the marriage. There are just a few things on my heart I’d like to share about the importance of weddings.
Weddings are a declaration, a public announcemnt of a couples commitment to each other. I believe that commitment is to a covenant relationship, a relationship meant to last your lifetime. I know that marriages don’t always last but I believe that is the ultimate goal. I believe if you are getting married you should have the attitude that this is forever. So your wedding is a one time celebration of your relationship with the one you are marrying. That day is your day to celebrate your unique love for one another. My mom was great. She told me that they would do everything within their power to help me have what I wanted for my special day. I remember shopping for a dress with her sitting in the dressing room sketching the dresses we liked. We went to at least one store in Omaha, NE that we knew we couldn’t afford one thing in the store but that didn’t stop us from trying on a few dresses. Mom sketched away. She made my dress from those sketches. I will never forget that.
Weddings are for memories, to remember a starting point. Drawing a line in the sand. I was a single person. Now, as of today I am a couple, united with the person I am standing here with. And there are days after the wedding you need those memories. Your closest friends and family should be a part of that as your witnesses. My best friend of the first 20 years of my life stood up with me, along with my greatest “cheerleader” and encourager. It was fun to have my new sisters as a part of our wedding too. I remember being so surprised when a few of my college friends showed up from the Twin Cities. They helped us celebrate. We were so surprised to have Aunts and uncles from out of state come that we hadn’t seen in years. My parent’s added a dinner after the reception for the family to continue celebrating. It was so great!
There’s always a story to go with your wedding, nothing is ever your original idea of perfect. In ours, the wedding cake nearly didn’t come. That would have been bad as all we served was cake, mints and nuts! The elderly grandmother of a friend of mine made it. She decided that morning that her husband, who was also her driver as she didn’t have a license, needed to put each mint in a little paper cup. He didn’t want that job so while she was putting the finishing touches on the cake, he left! When the cake didn’t arrive a neighbor of ours called her, realized the problem, and went and got her and the cake. The two of them assembled the cake as the guests were arriving and then changed their clothes at the church to attend the wedding! I didn’t know any of this until after the wedding.
For Amber’s first wedding, we had to change the location 2 weeks before the wedding. Yes, the invitations were all out and no we didn’t stop the wedding. A couple of phone calls, creativity on Amber and her Dad’s part, help of many friends and a beautiful wedding happened. We all agreed after the fact that we should have planned it for the Tabernacle at the Okoboji Lakes Bible and Missionary Conference all along. That is where Amber and Mark, her first husband did most of their “dating” anyway!It didn’t matter that it was a place that seated 2000 and we had 300 or so. A few sails over seats, simple arches, candles, and balloons and we were ready to go. What? No restrooms or well lit rooms with mirrors to get ready in. No worries, great friends volunteered their beautiful motorhome and pulled it up right next to the building, complete with white rugs on the floors and flowers on the table.
Weddings are about 2 families releasing their children to become their own family. In this case we didn’t realize that our two families would become one, but they did. When Amber’s husband, Mark was diagnosed with incurrable cancer I remember his mother and I hugging and crying. She whispered in my ear she would not only lose a son but a daughter as well. She knew Amber was young and full of love. She knew she would remarry. And she did but this is how it worked…Amber’s Dad and her first father-in-law gave her away. See weddings are for the families and friends to witness the joining of two people. We the families and friends have to honor their desire to become one. By watching and/or participating in the ceremony we are honoring their decision and standing with them, declaring our support and blessing.
Speaking of friends, Amber’s friends stood with her. I love that even at the young age of 19 they realized the importance of what was about to happen and they prayed together.And again when she was 26, the imporatance of the day included prayer with friends.This time Amber knew much more about what hard work a marriage can be. She knew they needed God’s help, as we all do.
Weddings are for us Moms, to recognize our little girls have grown into women or sons into men. It’s our job to encourage them, celebrate with them and release them to be all that they can be. So I think what I’m really trying to say is, it’s not about how much money you spend, if your decorations or place is the most fashionable, or even if your hair and dress are perfect, (although it is important for the bride to feel like a princess for a day). It’s about two people becoming one with those they love surrounding them and supporting them. It’s a time to celebrate! No matter what happens or what was forgotten at the end of the day this is what counts…