So, with it being summer (apparently), it's 'wedding season'. I am hearing about them right, left and centre. Either, I am going to one, my friend is going to one, or another friend is actually taking the plunge...it's exciting stuff!
The topic of 'weddings' is no hotter than within our department at work. You see, we have a generational split going on - some colleagues are going to friends' weddings, whilst others' are helping their friends through divorces!
Mr O and I are just starting on this journey, we made a commitment - that's that. So, officially, the word 'divorce' is not present in our mental dictionaries! But don't all newlyweds say that? Who gets married thinking 'we may get divorced!'? Nobody, I hope!
One comment that my more life-experienced colleagues made, was that a marriage can be set up for failure if the 'wedding gets bigger than the marriage'! Ouch! This notion is something that we encountered on a personal level and in honesty, at times, we had to make a conscious effort to keep our impending marriage from being overtaken by our wedding.
A few things that worked for us were:
- Constantly asking ourselves, 'will this matter in 5 years time?'
This was possibly one of the best things that we did. This helped us to eliminate several unnecessary costs and saved us a lot of time in the process. Time that we could spend together, reconnecting and getting excited about our commitment. Certain things were important to us, other things weren't. It's a personal choice that each couple has to make, but asking this question was really helpful for us.
- Having a personalised marriage course
We did this with our Reverend. She is fantastic - through and through. We were able to discuss our personal concerns/hopes/fears about marriage and selected key Bible verses to guide us through. Of course 'love is patient, love is kind' was featured in there.
By sitting down and completing random tasks together it gave us 'us' time. We would sit chatting whilst making our invites and laugh whilst making sparkly gold twigs! In fact, some of the pre-marital conversations that I will always hold near to my heart, are those that we had, sitting on the floor, surrounded by pearlised card, glue mice and a guillotine! Sometimes we sat wordless - cutting and sticking, listening to music and exchanging lovey dovey eyes - how cute - how priceless.
- Banning 'wedding talk'.
Planning a wedding can be so consuming, especially if you're a girly girl-uber-excited-bargain hunting-control freak (like me) and you're constantly talking about it! We had several 'no wedding' nights, where we couldn't mention ANYTHING wedding-related and just did 'us' and not 'bride and groom'. Again, some of the best evenings of our pre-marital time.
Sure, we put all of our efforts and a lot of our money into our wedding BUT we only did that because we wanted to have a fun day, with the people we love most and to celebrate our marriage. It's basic maths, one day does not equal forever - if only it were that easy.
One facebook friend who seems to have an understanding of this (and who incidentally planted the seeds for this post) wrote:
"If people spent at least as much time preparing for their marriage as they do the wedding day, what a difference it would make. The wedding is just one day or several days in some cases, either way, it all comes and goes like every other day, but when all is back to 'normal', there has to be true substance to sustain the marriage. For us, only God will be our unshakable foundation."
Here's to a generation who is entering church with our eyes open!