I’ve learned over the past month or so that when planning a wedding, you must always expect the unexpected. Every bride hopes that her months of wedding preparation will be painless, that she will hit no major bumps in the road. Every bride hopes for this, and then is shocked when her hopes are dashed for the first time. Sometimes she’s even taken by surprise not once, but twice, when her plans get ruined yet again. At that point, she usually learns her lesson. Wedding planning rarely goes on without a hitch. Sometimes the bumps are small hills, like an extra attendee, and other times they are more like mountains, for instance, when a grandparent grows too ill to attend your big day. But for the most part, the obstacles that we face fall somewhere in between.
I made the mistake of believing that my wedding would not fall prey to these little bumps- or at least that I would not overreact in response to them. I knew better than to assume that the planning would go on without a hitch, but I thought that this knowledge would help me to better face these challenges when they arose. In the end, I realized that no amount of forewarning can prepare you for your first smack in the face.
I’m going to be completely honest. Over the past few months, I’ve shed my fair share of tears. I’ve had my hopes dashed repeatedly on some pretty sharp rocks. Dreams that I have held since I was a teenager have been shattered in the face of reality. On several occasions, I have been asked to make decisions that I never thought I would be faced with, and I have been asked to make sacrifices that seemed unimaginable when I first announced my impending nuptials. Despite the many choices that I have been asked to make, there have also been moments when I have never felt more powerless.
Despite the tears, trials, and tribulations, these experiences have been very variable. I have learned a lot about myself, my family and friends, my fiancé, and the meaning of marriage. I have learned that while some people might disappoint you, there are others who will come to the rescue when you least expect it. With every obstacle that I’ve faced, loved ones have supported me, and I have been constantly reminded that I am not alone in any of this. I have been constantly reminded that I am loved.
I have also realized that seemingly large mountains can turn out to be nothing but bunny hills, depending on perspective. This past weekend, when I was confronted with the fact that the color that I had chosen for my bridesmaids’ gowns had been retired, I thought it was the end of the world. When I realized that this meant that I would need to start from scratch, I honestly wanted to cry from frustration. My family and I had already been at the store for an hour at this point, and my sister and nieces had already tried on their fair share of dresses. The end of our appointment appeared to be near, and then she spoke those dreaded words. The past hour disappeared, as if it had never happened, though the clock had advanced by sixty minutes. We just didn’t have anything to show for it. But my sister and nieces, despite the unpleasant reality of the situation, persevered, and an hour later, they each had dresses. A crisis had been averted, and as I sat with my mother later that day, I realized how quickly the problem had been smoothed over. In hindsight, it didn’t seem like such a big deal. I had options, and we were able to put together an alternate plan with relative ease. There had never been anything to worry about. By the next morning, it had become a story to laugh about. As if it had never been a concern.
If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from the many obstacles of the past few months, it’s that the majority of the details don’t matter. No matter what happens now or on our wedding day, it won’t matter because it’ll still be the best day of my life. I will still be marrying my best friend and the love of my life. Even if the dresses are Clover instead of Kelly green. Even if some of my closest friends can’t come. Even if there’s an unexpected guest. Even if the food is sub-par or the weather is less than desirable. Even if I forget my something borrowed. No matter what happens, it will still be the best day of my life, and no obstacle, great or small, can change that. But someone might still need to remind me of that the next time something goes wrong. It’s easily forgotten in the moment, trust me.
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!