This is a repost from the archives for all my readers who will be spring or summer brides! Originally posted in September of 2016.
Here’s something that I was told when I was engaged that changed the way I thought about wedding planning: your wedding is just a moment in time.
Those eight hours in a white dress are but a blip on your life’s radar and the decisions you make with regards to your wedding are only a snapshot. In this age of Pinterest-perfect and Instagram-perfect and wedding magazine-perfect weddings, it’s nearly impossible not to get sucked into the wedding planning vortex.
But the reality is that the wedding planning decisions you make represent where you are during a very specific and short season of your life.
I loved our wedding dearly, but if I were to plan it again today, I know that it wouldn’t be exactly the same. That’s because the choices I made when I was engaged–from our wedding party to our guests to everything else–reflected my life two years ago. Things are different now, so our wedding would be different too. This isn’t positively or negatively charged, it’s just the truth.
When you think about wedding planning in these terms, the pressure’s off. You no longer have to spend hours and days and months obsessing over each decision because you know that if you’ve chosen the right partner, you can’t choose the wrong wedding. Pick a venue, colors, flowers, stationary, décor, wedding party, and guest list that reflect your style, relationships, and life at the time of your engagement. Enjoy choosing these things–this is meant to be fun! And then, let it be.
My husband and I had a short engagement–almost seven months on the dot–and our wedding was still an intimate, gorgeous, special affair that I will forever remember with abounding joy. I love to plan and craft and DIY, so I easily could’ve stretched out our engagement so that I could’ve planned every single minute detail to my exact specifications.
But I wanted a marriage more than I wanted a perfect wedding. (For the record, my wedding was perfect to me…because I married the love of my life…not because we got printed in magazines or featured on important websites or because every single detail was perfectly thought-out!)
When you have that perspective, that the health of your relationship is paramount, and your wedding will be gorgeous, but it’s only a moment in time, you can relax and plan your day without getting into a tizzy overthinking every. last. detail.
Your wedding is just a moment in time. It’s a hugely important moment in time, I’m not trying to belittle that, and I hope it’s lovely, but it’s a ceremony that marks the start of a journey much more complicated and important than the color of your bridesmaids’ dresses.
Don’t hold your wedding day up as an idol–it’s not the last time you’ll ever wear a beautiful dress or throw a party or eat delicious cake. When you allow decision paralysis to set it along with the anxiety that accompanies it, you’re deciding that your wedding day is more important than your marriage. But it’s not, and it never will be.
If you want to know my advice, it’s to spend more time in intensive two-on-two premarital counseling than you do choosing napkin colors, because investing in your relationship with your future spouse in a meaningful way will set a foundation for your marriage that navy blue cocktail napkins will not.
We did premarital counseling with a couple from our church and it changed everything for us. We felt so prepared and confident walking into marriage with truths written on our hearts and reality clearing our vision than we would’ve if we’d walked into marriage in our state of lovey-dovey engagement delusion.
A wedding, if you want to have one, is a beautiful moment in time when you’re surrounded by people you love, celebrating an exciting lifetime commitment. But it’s just a moment in time. Plenty of people have gorgeous weddings but ugly marriages. Plenty of people spend thousands of dollars on their wedding day but not a single minute investing in their relationship.
Care more about your marriage than your wedding and your wedding will be beautiful by default.
When I look back through photos of our wedding day now, certainly there are things I would’ve planned differently, people I would’ve invited or not invited, DIY projects that I wish I’d had the time to do. But guess what? I don’t care about all that. Our wedding signified the start to our marriage, and that’s what I cling to.
The Lord blessed us with each other and we cherish our marriage as a precious gift far more important than any detail. Our wedding was a finite moment in time, but our marriage lives on.
// If you’re married, how has your marriage proven to be more important than your wedding day?
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