My wonderful friends, Pearl and Bryan (http://bryanyounger.wordpress.com/) are busily preparing for the marriage of their firstborn daughter, Audrey, to Ben – the man for whom she will "leave father and mother," and become a wife. I asked Audrey if I could "go public" with her joyous news and give her some for-all-the-world-to-see advice. She consented.
Two things about that: (1) Rest easy, Audrey. The whole world won't see it because I only have 7 or 8 readers! Ha! (2) These are really just general marriage thoughts and not for Audrey only.
Dear Audrey –
You're going to be a beautiful bride. Love fills us with hope and erases all doubts and makes our complexions fairly burst with the glow of life! If falling in love and making the decision to be together forever could be bottled, we'd finally have discovered the true fountain of youth. For the bloom of the intensity of the touches, the kisses, the discovery of "the one" energize in a way nothing else ever can.
Love is a beautiful thing, as Michael Bolton can attest.
First comes love…then comes marriage. But wait, no – then comes a wedding!
Weddings are big business. They are also physically, financially, and emotionally draining. No matter how small a wedding starts out to be, no matter how simple they are planned, our culture has catapulted this one-day thing/beast/machine into a commercial endevour.
So three things about that:
1. Keep the wedding in perspective and make the marriage your life. It's a one-day event. It's your coming-out party as husband and wife. It is the celebration of the vows you are making publicly, having already made them between the two of you. Have a wedding. Make it the wedding of your dreams, but always remember the marriage – the mystical union. That is what deserves the most energy, your planning, your commitment. The day after the wedding, you will have a marriage on your hands.
2. Make the wedding day sacred. You can have fun. It should be fun. It should be celebratory. But include somehow, your worship to God in the ceremony of it all. Invite Him in. Dave and Tara actually served communion to all the wedding guests, who took the time in the ceremony to remember the Lord and bless the betrothed. Make God central.
The crazy rock and roll dancing at the reception will fade from memory. Romance can be dissapated during tough times in life. But 2 people hanging on to God for all they're worth in the worst of circumstances will be held together by His hand. Then, arriving safely again on solid ground, the romance and the dancing return with full vigor.
3. Go easy on your parents. I have always had a love-hate relationship with the whole wedding process. I have been "doing weddings" now for over 20 years. It is such a dichotemy that at the same time a bride is madly in love and planning the extravaganza she has dreamed of since childhood, she is often also raging against her parents and their opinions, wanting more money for the wedding than they can afford and desiring to do it her own way without their love-motivated advice and suggestion.
Now, Audrey – I know I don't have to worry about that with you…right? But this is just a heads up.
From a parental perspective I can tell you – that while you are embarking on the adventure of your life, as you stand at the precipice of a lifetime of love with Ben, as your father walks you down the aisle and gives your hand to the man of your dreams – your parents are relenquishing their role, losing a little bit of their identity and are looking in to the gaping hole of the life they have willingly, sacrifically and enthusiastically been living for all the days of your life. You will always be their daughter. But it will never be the same.
So, you know – go easy on mom and dad.
We're celebrating with you, Audrey, on the upcoming nuptials and on your lifetime marriage to Ben. Blessings!…Jeanie
PICTURED: Audrey and Ben around the time of their engagement announcement. Some of Audrey's high school artwork. She is very creative and lovely. I am a fan.