Recently one of my bridesmaids got engaged and started planning her wedding. We’ve been talking about wedding details and I’ve been giving my advice. Wow, it has reminded me how much work a one-day wedding takes.
Especially when an engagement is short (like 6 months), it’s easy to feel overloaded by pressure to find the perfect dress, select the perfect venue, choose the perfect color scheme for clothes, décor, and flowers, and of course, decide on the perfect food for the reception. And that’s just a mere fraction of the planning it takes to put on a wedding.
It’s exciting and wonderful to plan a wedding. It’s also horribly stressful. There are endless outside opinions about details and guests. Sometimes the bride and groom don’t even feel like they’re having a wedding for each other, but for their families. That’s why I want to remind my friend to let marriage preparation with her fiancé be her breath of fresh air when she feels like she’s drowning in wedding planning.
Planning just means making plans for something. Preparation means “being made ready.”
That’s why it’s called wedding planning and marriage preparation. A wedding is one day that we spend months planning out, and it’s still going to have a thing or two that doesn’t go the way you planned. But marriage is a lifetime commitment. Marriage does not follow a plan that can go wrong any hundred ways. Marriage is a continuous journey.
If you were to climb Mount Everest, you would train and pack and prepare for the climb, but would understand that no amount of preparation would guarantee a flawless performance on the day-of. While other mountains and weather conditions are similar, nothing is quite like Mount Everest itself. The same is true of marriage: absolutely nothing is quite like it.
So, marriage takes a lot of preparation. Engagement is the perfect time to fill ourselves up to be made ready to commit to the trials we will face as a husband and wife. Because those trials will certainly come. And beyond even this, we are preparing ourselves to become icons of Christ’s love in the world. To model His love for us, through our love for each other.
Not everyone gets to have the wedding they want to have for any number of reasons.
There are too many things that can interfere during the planning or just go wrong when the time comes. But the wedding lasts for one day. Your marriage will last a lifetime. And no matter what, marriage preparation is for YOU and your FIANCE and no one else! It is your time to communicate what kind of family you will start together and to contemplate the consent you will exchange on your wedding day.
Whenever you feel the burden of planning your wedding, for whatever reason you are feeling it, just remember that your marriage is what you are actually working toward. And no matter what, this is the part that you and your fiancé have complete and sole control over.