Fall is a wonderful time of year. Change is in the air and in the beautiful Minnesota River Valley, everywhere you look is a brilliant palette of color. It’s also my favorite time of year for weddings like the one I attended yesterday.
A beautiful bride, a beaming groom, and smiling faces everywhere you look would lead one to believe it was a perfect day, but like every wedding before it, there were problems. For this couple it was a DJ who suddenly took ill and a frantic attempt to find someone to fill in. They were lucky enough to find a replacement and while there were certainly other little hiccups throughout the day, the guests experienced a seamless celebration of joy, happiness and love.
Having participated in any number of weddings over the years, I know that when you plan a party that big, something will always go wrong. A missing wedding ring (thankfully found as the bridal party was walking into the sanctuary); a wedding ring dropped during the ceremony that rolled rather unceremoniously down the uncarpeted center aisle with a metallic “clink, clink, clink”; a reception where they ran out of food before half the guests were served; a minister being more than a little drunk; a minister marrying a bride to herself rather than the groom; and my personal favorite…. a groom’s mother who burst into great heaving sobs as the bride walked down the aisle.
That last one deserves a bit more explanation. The groom’s mother burst into sobs when the soloist started singing. Full disclosure? That soloist was me and my heart broke thinking that somehow I had become a really bad singer overnight and ruined the couple’s special day. It took about halfway through the reception, with me hiding as well as I could in the corner to minimize my shame, before someone told me the woman had cried because the song was so moving for her. Whew! Shame erased and I could enjoy the rest of the reception.
Every bride worries about what will go wrong, but here is the thing that was told to me by a very wise minister a very long time ago. On the surface every wedding is the same and it’s those little things that go wrong that make each wedding special; those things are what the couple will tell stories about for years to come.
Those little things are what make each wedding ceremony unlike any other, but after the pomp and circumstance is over, when all the guests have gone home with tired feet and a belly full of cake, that couple begins to make their marriage unlike any other. Two individuals who became one on their wedding day will now create a lifetime together that is unlike any couple before them.
They will face individual and sometimes daunting challenges. They will make memories between them that no one else will ever know. They will decide when and how to start their family, where to live, how to spend their money, and maybe more importantly for their family, which of their in-laws they will visit on Thanksgiving!
Their journey together will be unlike anyone else because it is theirs together. Family and friends may offer advice, but in the end, the decisions the new Mr. and Mrs. make will lead them through a life that is as unique as their love story.
Ashley and John, the sweet couple who joined together yesterday, have only begun to carve their path in life, yet they share one thing with every other couple….the love of family and friends and I wish them a lifetime of love as they set out on this exciting road to discovering and creating their own marriage that is unlike any other.
May each of you be part of a marriage unlike any other. Until then, be well my friends…