Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's Your Day!

My twin sister is getting married in June!  Check out her words of wisdom for a great wedding and a great marriage.

It’s not my wedding.

Everyone says it’s your wedding with the best of intentions—they want you, usually the bride, to be happy.  And they mean it sincerely, until they disagree with one of your decisions, and then it’s said more like this:  “Well, it’s your wedding,” probably following a question like one of these:  “You’re having a wedding of 20 people?  You’re not having dancing at the reception when you’re a dancer?  You’re walking yourself down the aisle?”  (People don’t know that yet, but I might as well throw it in here; surprise!)  Their promise to uphold your wishes for your day turns into their condescension and disapproval.  The real question then is not whether it’s your wedding or not (clearly it is, YOU are getting married).  Yes, it’s my wedding, but it’s not just my wedding.  It’s definitely his wedding, but it’s also their wedding.  Let me explain.

For example, if it were just my wedding, I would not send invitations.  The twenty people invited are in our phones.  I’d have made personal phone calls with all the details.  But the invitations matter to a family where this is the first wedding of any of their kids, so we have samples sprawled across the table that we move in and out of the yes and no piles.  It’s their wedding, too.

I would not have any kind of showers or registries.  I’ve been in my house for 10 years, and so I do not need much of anything.  But people want to show their happiness for us with gifts, and so we’ll register for a few things.  Likewise, I do not expect my friends to buy me gifts, but I would treasure a day with them, and so we’ll use my wedding as an excuse to enlist the husbands for kid duty so that we can be just girls again.  You see, we’ve done life together since we sang camp songs up and down mountain trails, curled up on beds together in Cairo and Danville for late-night talks, told each other the truth when we wanted to hear it and when we didn’t, and shared each other’s joy, grief, loss, and celebration.  It’s their wedding, too.

Sometimes it’s not a matter of foregoing my preference but of seeking and choosing theirs.  My little buddy wants “to be a stud,” and so he’ll wear a tie like the big guys.  It’s his wedding, too.  She wants a princess dress that twirls, so she’ll get the best spinning dress we can find.  It’s her wedding, too.  She tries on all of the dresses in that color to see which one best reflects her beauty, and that’s the dress she’ll wear.  It’s her wedding, too.

The little details, especially with food and decorations, matter as much to her as to me, and so she’ll accompany me to every tasting, to every shopping trip, and get a sneak peek at all of my plans.  And she’ll get the dress that makes her the envy of other mothers-of-the-bride.  She’ll be stunning, and so will the one who looks just like me, and her little girl will likely steal the show.  And I wouldn’t want it any other way.  It’s their wedding, too.

This doesn’t even include the people who’ve sacrificed more times than I know for my happiness, who love me more than I can fathom, and who are excited filet mignon is on the menu.  It’s definitely their wedding, too. 

And this leaves out the people who sat around a table at Eat ‘n Park after late nights at the Dairy Queen and a long-time roommate who shares, among other things, matching horse heads with him.  It’s their wedding, too.

We are getting married.  At the end of the day, we’ll embark on our life journey together, and it will matter very little which cake flavor we chose and if we danced at the reception.  What will matter are the vows we exchanged and the hearts they represent.  It will be our wedding—mine, his, theirs, ours, but most importantly, His.   
(As an English teacher might I note that it all comes down to pronouns in the end.)


So ladies, make it a day you love; I am.  I will wear bright green heels, they will wave program fans with games to play while they wait, we will leave for Europe the next day, and there will be details all throughout the weekend that will be exactly what I want.   It will be my day, and I will be honored to make it their day, too. Resist the lie society tells to make this the most selfish day of our lives.  Instead, honor the people who love you, honor each other, and honor God.  

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