Last month, I bought Devyn a subscription to a bridal magazine. She's been having fun checking out the pictures of dresses and flowers, reading the advice and ideas of both experts and other brides. But we've also realized something that maybe we knew before--but that has now been brought into glaring focus.
No one wants an ordinary wedding.
At first glance, that sounds reasonable, doesn't it? After all, we've been told that the wedding is the biggest day in a girl's life. In some ways, that's true. In the best of all worlds, each young woman and young man has only one wedding day. It should be memorable.
But when the bride's goal is to throw a wedding that no guest will ever forget, she's missing the mark. And when she--or her mother--begin to obsess over every detail, they're setting themselves up for heartache, because I can assure you of this: the perfect wedding does not exist.
I've talked to brides over the years who understand this. "I'm not really worried about what the tables look like, but the food has got to be wonderful," one might say. Or "For me, if the music isn't exactly what I want, I'm going to be really disappointed." And that's okay, because it's not too difficult to make one aspect of the wedding just about perfect. Really, it's probably not impossible to have even two or three parts go amazingly well. It's only when you attempt to have everything exactly 100% right that you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.
I'd love to tell all brides that it's perfectly all right to have an ordinary wedding.
My sister is a midwife, and she sometimes encounters patients who have very high expectations for their births. Because nature is a funny thing, more than once those moms who go into labor and delivery envisioning a drug-free, intervention-free birth end up having some assistance or even a caesarean section. And sometimes after the fact, the moms are disappointed because the birth didn't go as they had pictured it. My sister reminds them that the successful outcome of a birth is a healthy baby and healthy mom; everything else is extraneous (nice, but not the goal). I feel the same way about weddings: as long as the bride and groom are man and wife at the end of the day, it's all good.
There are weddings where every detail is addressed with great scrutiny. At every turn, the guests are pampered and feted, amazed and delighted. From the flowers on the pews to the covers on the chairs to the croutons on the salads, all decisions are agonized over and debated.
And then there are weddings where the venue, the food and the flowers are great, where the guests have a good time and leave with happy high hopes for the new couple.
Neither of these weddings is better than the other, because the reality is that if the marriage is successful, the wedding day is not the pinnacle of the relationship, only the first in a string of happy memories.
Here's to weddings, both ordinary and extraordinary.