- Large wedding party
- Outdoor venue
- Small venue
- Jump the broom
- Pour sand
- Exchange handwritten vows
- Light unity candles
- Formal engagement party or no engagement party?
- Destination wedding or domestic nuptials?
- Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall Ceremony?
How important are these things to you as you ponder your wedding day to your future spouse?
If none of the things on your “list” happened would your wedding day still be one of the most beautiful days of your life?
I found myself asking these questions a few weeks ago after standing beside one of my closest and dearest friends as a bridesmaid on her wedding day. Her wedding didn’t include any special or elaborate wedding traditions like jumping the broom or lighting unity candles but it was one of the most fun, beautiful, endearing and sweetest ceremonies that I’ve ever witnessed. From the rehearsal dinner to the actual ceremony and to the reception, everything was the epitome of short and sweet, and a fragrance of joy seemed to fill the air that evening.
As I accepted the request to be a bridesmaid, I had so many ideas of what would be expected of me but in the end, I learned that the bride’s only desire was to look to her left and see her girls standing at her side. There were no strict rules regarding hair designs, no stressing over make-up or shoes and there were no long, tedious wedding rehearsals. The only things that were there were those that mattered: friends, family and a groom who was excited to commit to a covenant partnership of lifelong love. It was all so simple and sweet.
Could love really be this simple and sweet? I expected so much more to be required of me. I expected to stress over how, where, why, when and what was going to happen with my hair. I expected long rehearsals. I expected to have a crazy, hectic schedule on the week of the wedding. I expected a loooong ceremony. I expected a loooooong reception. I expected a looooooong sermon by the minister but everything was so simple, beautiful and sweet. Things were simple yet I walked away having felt and experienced so much more.
When I woke up the day after the wedding, I couldn’t help but to count the many ways that less had given me more.
Sometimes we think we need so many things to enjoy life and to experience love but we really don’t. We think we need a wife or husband with high-ranking accolades to have a successful and enjoyable marriage. We think we need to be more beautiful or thinner to “catch a man.” We think we need the best cars and the perfect families to be accepted and respected by others, but we truly don’t. We think we need the best clothing and jewelry to sparkle above everyone else, but it’s not even necessary.
Deep down, below the reoccurring thoughts that prod us to keep up with society’s ideals of happiness and love, is a heart that was formed from the most simple element–dust. It was formed from the seemingly simple but was made to feel deep, wonderful and mind-blowing things. The struggle we face is not allowing the mind-blowing to become life-altering. It’s the challenge to keep life’s pleasures in balance with life’s necessities—especially when it comes to love and happiness, which is why we exchange vows to stay committed for better or worse. Because in the moment when the worst hits us (our marriage), God wants our hearts to remember that simple dusty foundation that formed them and commit to loving one another a little longer, once more.
I believe that love is the beat that will keep our hearts pumping, singing and dancing even in the midst of life’s roughest seasons. I believe that love is what will shine brighter than even life’s happiest and glamorous of occasions. Though us girls have a mile-long list of lists, I believe we’ll be blown away when that special day comes. I think we’ll be astonished by the splendor of our marriage when our bank accounts are low and our cars are used. I think we’ll be amazed at how simple it will be for God to make our dreams come true.
To my dearest, sweet sister-friend Nikki, thank you for allowing me to be part of such a special day.
I’m so thankful to have witnessed one of the most beautiful wedding ceremonies. It was short, sweet, beautiful and elegant. You required so little of me as your bridesmaid yet your special day gave me more love, happiness and joy than I ever bargained for. Thank you for allowing me to stand by your side. I love you to the moon and back.