Today marks 7 years of marriage for David and I! We celebrated over the weekend so today is going to be more low-key, though I will attempt to make a nice dinner, and we’ll celebrate with the kids, probably using my Grandma’s china.
As a single person, I went to a TON of weddings, and was in 4 weddings before my own (my limit was 5). All of my friends got married long before I did. David was the opposite–hardly going to any weddings. It was interesting when we came together and started to plan our own wedding. I had these grand ideas floating around in my head, and to me it was hard to find a middle ground between going crazy grandiose and crazy simple. I think we managed to find something in the middle. Because we got married in January, and didn’t know what the weather would be like, we opted to have our reception at the church we had the ceremony. We didn’t want people (1/2 the guests were from out of state) trying to find their way to a hall in a blizzard–turns out it was in the 50s on our wedding day, but nevertheless! The church was simply decorated, we had two attendants on each side of us, no flower girl or ring bearer, and our vows were just the traditional ones–neither of us were fond of the idea of coming up with our own words to speak to each other! Our ceremony lasted all of 20 minutes, and that did include a communion service between the two of us. We quickly got our photos done while the guests went downstairs. A family friend had offered to decorate and run our reception for us as a wedding gift. They did a fantastic job decorating a very out-dated church basement and really did a great job making it look pretty. We had decided we didn’t care a wit about having a sit down dinner and had told our parents that NO ONE was to go into debt over this one day. If it couldn’t be paid for with cash it wasn’t needed. We meant it, not sure they adhered, but we certainly meant it. We had a very small cake because David’s not a huge cake fan. What we DID have was a dessert reception. We both love pie so most of what we had was pie, added to it were cookies, brownies, a veggie and cheese tray and chocolate covered strawberries–my one absolute must have as I love them so much, and they doubled as our favors. There was no dancing, no tossing of garter or bouquet, in fact I gave a little bouquet of flowers to the woman who had been married the longest, David’s grandma. We had fun, and I think our guests did too.
With all that said, we have often talked about how we wish it had been even simpler. The favorite part of our wedding was the rehearsal dinner the night before. Since we had such a small wedding party we invited our grandparents and aunts/uncles to participate in the rehearsal dinner. We went to a really nice restaurant that sat on a lake where we (David, his mom and I) had prearranged with the banquet person what kind of menu we wanted. Everyone got a few choices of salad, entrees and sides that they could order. We had sparkling grape juice on the tables and really yummy desserts. It was so intimate, relaxed and just plain fun. We have looked back on that evening and said we should’ve just had the pastors do the ceremony then, had our “reception” and been done with the whole thing. And, I think if we were to do it again that’s just what we would do.
Why do we feel we have to have this big show to get married? I am not for a second saying it’s wrong to have a large wedding with all the trimmings. You have to do what you and your future mate are comfortable with and can afford. However, I think we go way overboard. Yes, it’s fun to have everyone you ever knew come together for a day of celebrating your love with your spouse. But, I have to wonder, have we found the pomp and circumstance so important that we allow it to override the sanctity of marriage? I think in a lot of cases, yes, that happens. Thankfully, my friends who were married before me are still married and seem to be happily so. However, this is not the case in 50% of marriages in the USA. It’s very sad to me. Maybe rather than obsessing over color and type of flowers and flavor of cake we should be taking more time discussing what we expect of each other in our marriage, and how we’re going to deal with finances and child-raising, etc.
If you’re not yet married let me encourage you to remember this: the wedding day is simply that, a day. Yes, it’s the start of the rest of your life and yes, it’s an important day, but it is just a day. It’s NOT your marriage. Whether you have everything done perfectly is not going to determine whether or not your marriage will work. It’s what happens on the days after your wedding that matter the most. Those are the important days. The days you wake up and realize you just don’t want to be married, or the days your kids are driving you insane and you wonder what on earth you’re supposed to do. Those are the important days that make or break your marriage. How you react to your spouse in those hard moments (and even in the good moments) are what make the marriage, not your wedding day. I encourage you to spend more time thinking beyond your big day and think about what it will be like when reality hits, when all the glitz and glamour of your wedding day is gone, that’s when the hard work starts. Marriage is hard, and your wedding day is just a blip on the radar to the rest of it. I encourage you not to get stressed about the bridesmaid dresses, or the tuxes, and remember the person you’re marrying is the important focus and not the other “silly” details.
I love my husband and am so thankful for him. It’s been a great 7 years, not perfect, but great nonetheless! Happy Anniversary David! I love you more today than I did 7 years ago!