A friend recently posted a link on Facebook that talks about the high cost of weddings in recent years. In fact, according to the article, the average cost is $35,000! That simply blows my mind. I'm pretty sure my hubby and I didn't even make that much money the first year we were married.
July 17, 1993
Almost 25 years ago we said 'I do.' We planned the wedding in two mere months. It was simple out of necessity since we were determined to be married and quickly! We didn't have time to create anything elaborate. Although, my fabulous mother-in-law did create my wedding dress. Yes, in two months I was crazy enough to ask my sweet mother-in-law to sew my wedding dress and she did. She'll tell you that she had nightmares the stitches would fall out and it would come apart at the wedding. I can tell you it's still hanging, in one piece, in my closet all these years later.
And not only was I crazy enough to have my dress made, but all four bridesmaids and the maid of honor had theirs sewn as well. My aunt made two of them and was sewing in zippers the night before. I was just too naive and in love to realize the task I was asking having never sewed a single article of clothing together in my life.
The wedding party - it started out much smaller...
We used all the connections we had to create our special day. We heard of a friend-of-a-friend who was just starting out doing photographer and we were able to book her for our wedding. A friend's dad had some video equipment and offered to do a video for us. My parents both worked part-time at the local YMCA so we were able to get their function room for free. We had a potluck meal for the reception asking close friends and family to make items to share. Some of my friends moms manned it so the food would stay replenished. My mother-in-law had a friend who made cakes and offered to do one for a very reasonable cost. I bought "fill-in-the-blank" wedding invitations and hand wrote all one hundred we sent out. My mother worked her regular job next to a florist who gave her an amazing deal on the flowers. The list could go on and on.
All told we spent about one thousand dollars on our small wedding which included the cost of our wedding rings. They were made by my hubby's uncle who is a jeweler. We had about seventy-five people who ended up being able to come on such short notice. We were wed by my childhood pastor in a small church in a town near where I had grown up. My uncle drove us to the reception in his convertible.
I never once regretted our low cost option. After all, the important thing to remember is that the ceremony doesn't make the wedding. It's what comes after. It's the hard work you put in daily to ensure that your marriage survives all the things life throws at you. Children. Work. Money conflict. Illness. Deaths. You name it.
When two imperfectly, sinful, selfish people get married (look deep, we all have these tendencies) and have the "perfect" wedding, what are they left with when it's all over? A divorce in less than ten years most likely.
It's what happens beyond the ceremony that counts. It's the ability to say "I'm sorry. Will you forgive me" readily and easily. It's the "I love yous" said with the utmost sincerity. It's picking up the socks left on the floor for the umpteenth time without saying anything sarcastic. It's praising your spouse, when they aren't there, to other people instead of complaining about the petty annoyances. And trust me, most of them are petty annoyances.
And the most important thing to remember? God. Remember the imperfectly, sinful, and selfish part we all have? The only way to overcome our innate sinful nature is to bring God into the mix.
Two are better than one,
If either of them falls down,
God is the one that makes the imperfect perfect, the selfish more giving, and the sinful forgiven. When God is first and foremost in your relationship, you begin to see things in a different light. A light that helps you to be all those things we strive for on a daily basis. It doesn't mean we won't mess up. Trust me, I can say after all these years that you will mess up, sometimes badly. However, you will find it easier and easier to make amends each time. And it's those hard times that shape us and grow our relationships. Don't shy away from them. Lean in and learn from them. Learn how to love each other better because in the end, it's not the ceremony that counts the most, it's all the years lived well after the event.