I remember getting ready for my wedding day like it was yesterday. Almost every woman dreams of what this day will look like, and as the day approached, I found myself hoping that the day would stand still and that I would be able to savor every single minute of it.

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Things didn’t exactly go that way.

Though I was excited about marrying Joe, I woke up really tired.  I ended up having to stay up way later than planned because I forgot to take care of some important music details for the wedding. Late at night, I found myself scrambling to burn a cd (does that age me?) so that we’d have music when we arrived at our hall.  It was something big that went unnoticed, and I began stressing hard about what else I may have missed that would make the day derail from my plans.  Those little details continued piling up on me the morning of, and as I tried to balance them all while getting ready for my wedding, I found myself completely overwhelmed.

When I look back at my wedding day, I wish I could go back and tell myself that all those little details didn’t matter one bit.

When it comes to weddings these days, everyone seems to focus on the details. It’s like they believe that the beauty of these details are a direct reflection of the two getting people married. It’s why we see countless TV shows today which focus on finding the “perfect” dress, “perfect” venue, “perfect” dinner, and “perfect” everything else. (Cue the tears when things don’t go as planned!) With everyone’s obsession with having the “perfect” wedding, it can be easy to quickly obsess over things that don’t really matter that much in the end!

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I recently found myself on a plane overhearing a (very loud) discussion between two women about their upcoming weddings.  Their primary focus? Of course, the details. They had to have the perfect color for their bridesmaid’s dresses (you know, to match the Pantone “color of the year”!), they had to have the best flowers, band, and food. (One of them even said she would only accept filet mignon on her big day!) However, in all their discussion, I didn’t hear one word about their fiancés. I didn’t hear them mention anything about their character, or what they hoped for in their future. I didn’t even hear their names mentioned! (Though I did hear one of the girls nonchalantly mention how stressed her father was about it all.) I know that it would probably be much stranger to discuss these matters of the heart loudly on a plane, but I don’t think that’s the only reason such things went unspoken about.

When it comes to weddings these days, we focus so much more on the details that go into the day rather than the beauty of the Sacrament that God created. We forget that the wedding day is just the beginning…that it’s everything after the wedding that makes the day so exciting and wonderful!

Your wedding day should not be the “best” day of your life. We place so much pressure on the day, and hope for things to be picture perfect—a dream in every way. It shouldn’t be hoped for as the “best day” of your life, because it’s just the beginning! All of those details? They’ll fade in a matter of a minute. Sure, you’ll look back on happy to have had the day–after all, every Sacrament should indeed be celebrated– but what your left with in the here-and-now and in the future is the man that you’ve chosen to spend your life with and the family you’ve opened your heart to create with him.

Before your wedding day, keep your eyes on him.

Pray for your future together.

Talk about the hard stuff before your big day, and don’t wait to do that after.

Start building your relationship around prayer before you’re even married, so once you’re married it isn’t something foreign to the both of you.

Respect each other’s dignity–particularly the dignity of your sexuality.

Don’t forget the promises you are making to one another, and consider them seriously. Write them on your heart and remember that when you take your vows on your wedding day, you are doing so much more than throwing a big party.

Looking back on our day, the times when I felt most at peace and joyful was during the Mass. We didn’t have to decorate the altar, or push our idea of the perfect details into the Church. We just had to show up, ready and willing to make our vows to one another. We came before God and vowed to love one another freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully. It was the most peaceful part of the day, and the time that truly stands still in my mind.

Everything else was kind of a whirlwind. It was fun (don’t get me wrong), but it all went by so fast.

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Remember that the beauty is in the breadth of your life together, not the details of one single day. All the little things that people tend to focus on and fuss over when preparing for their wedding are usually the wrong ones. Don’t get caught up worrying about and fussing over all the little details that go into the celebration of your wedding, because they have very little–if nothing–to do with how your life with your future spouse will be.

If you’re approaching your wedding day, focus on what it means to graft yourself to your spouse–to become one with Him. Focus on what it means to truly love freely, totally, faithfully, and fruitfully. It’s not the details of your wedding that will make your life together beautiful, but your daily striving to love one another Christ loves His Church.

Don’t worry so much about saying yes to the dress, venue, band, flowers, or food…say yes to loving as Christ loves, and you will have the perfect start to a wonderful life together.

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“This one, at last, is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
this one shall be called ‘woman, ‘
for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother
and clings to his wife,
and the two of them become one flesh.

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