I was obsessed.
The flowers have to be champaign pink with a hint of cherry, the bridesmaids have to be wearing flowy lilac gowns and my dress has to be the only one ever created— even if it costs me the car I could’ve bought.
The idea of a perfect wedding was a hazy picture that slowly came to focus as I started to open this new chapter of my life. Now that I was actually with the man I’m about to spend my entire life with, the 200mm wedding zoom lens instantly switched to a 10mm marriage wide lens. All I saw before was an extremely zoomed image of a wedding. Then, as I switched lenses and saw the bigger picture, there was so much more to see in my viewfinder. So much, much more.
I saw us holding the key to our new house after finally being able to save up for a down payment. I saw a home filled with children and weekend family gatherings. I saw being there for him when times got hard. I saw him picking me right up when I came tumbling down. I saw both good times and bad times. I saw life; I saw marriage.
At that moment, I realized that way too often, we confuse marriages with weddings. A marriage isn’t about flowers and matching dresses. It’s not about extravagant favors, limos or fireworks as you dance. Marriage is work— very hard work. But that feeling of peace and tranquility you get as you lay your head on the pillow each night, knowing you both are giving it all that you can, makes it all worth it. Is it the easiest thing to do? Absolutely not. But is it doable? Absolutely, yes. It’s not going to be rainbows and sunshine everyday; but it doesn’t have to be a thunderstorm either.
I’m not going to say I stopped caring about our wedding. I still wanted a beautiful celebration with my friends and family to celebrate what’s supposed to be the most magical day of my life. And did I get that? By the grace of God, yes. I had a BLAST at our wedding. Though I always imagined my wedding and my dress to be the most extravagant (as I pinned all that I’d like to see at my wedding on Pinterest like we all do…ehem…), I don’t regret not spending our entire life savings on a 5 hour party (that is what it is, right?). And besides, I’ve seen much humbler weddings. I’ve seen no weddings at all, actually.
It’s sad that some people think that the amount of money you spend on your wedding directly correlates with the amount of love you have for each other. (Or even worse, correlates with how successful your marriage will be).
When I got a compliment about our wedding, I was obviously ecstatic to hear it, but I had nothing to do with it. It was everyone’s presence that made it so memorable. It had nothing to do with my bouquet, the lighting or the half chocolate, half vanilla cake (okay, maybe the cake had something to do with it…). The details you spend weeks and months finalizing often go unnoticed. People are not there to see how much you spent; they’re there to join you in celebration.
If we spend the same amount of time perfecting and exploring the details of our relationships as we do for our weddings, imagine how low we can drag the divorce rate.
Instead of worrying about the perfect centrepiece, perfect the central piece of your marriage— love and respect.
A lot of us want to be married, but we just don’t seem to think beyond the ring. We need to open our eyes and see beyond the wedding— despite that shiny diamond getting in the way, often blinding our judgment.
Slowly, I came to a realization that a wedding is about being a princess for one night, but a marriage is about being a queen forever— and I’ d much rather the latter.
Weddings are given this holy sense of perfection. You must look the best you’ve ever looked (even if you look nothing like yourself); and it must be the most magical day of your life (even if you won a nobel prize). Like we all do, by God’s will, I hope to live a great life. I plan on having adventures and accomplishing great things. So was it the “most special and magical day of my life?” I certainly hope not.