J and I got married over 9 years ago when I was 23 and he 26. It wasn’t a fancy wedding. My dress cost less than $100 and we served pizza at our reception.
We didn’t have a big dance or party afterwards. In fact by 7pm we were out of our wedding clothes helping to take down the tables and clean-up the aftermath. By 7:30 we were at our local Walmart getting our wedding photos (which my cousin and uncle graciously took for us took) developed. And by 9pm we were sitting in our car having A&W Root Beer Floats looking at our pictures. Our day was wonderful. Our decorations and cake were lovely, and to this day I am very happy with how everything came together.
Our wedding certainly doesn’t fall into the mould for the fairy tale weddings you see on TV, in movies or books. And yet, the comment we have heard most frequently about that day is how happy it was. Many have said it was one of the happiest weddings they’d ever attended.
As I sit here thinking about the hoopla surrounding most modern weddings, and I try to think of an eloquent way to tell people that those are the things that don’t matter, I think of another story and feel this quote says it best…
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.” ― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Weddings and Christmas aren’t really that dissimilar. Most people fret over the unimportant and forget the important. They focus on the material aspects and forget about the true reason for the celebration.
Your wedding should be about the story of the love between two people. Not about how much you spent on a dress or tuxedo. How much the flowers cost (I made my bridesmaids bouquets out of artificial flowers I bought at Dollarama!) or how many tiers you have on your cake.
It should be about celebrating your love, the happiness you feel about getting to spend the rest of your life with someone you adore. About the excitement of your new life together, and the possibilities that might come. Those are the things that truly make a wedding memorable.
And I’ll give you a hint – if you’re not excited about those things, you probably shouldn’t be getting married in the first place.
Because when the excitement of the wedding day is behind you, and you move into everyday life, it’s your love that will get your through any tough times you have ahead (because there are always tough times). That $5000 wedding dress isn’t going to be the one you are counting on when you are sick in the hospital, scared about what might happen to you. Your fancy reception hall isn’t going to come bail you out when the company you work for has massive lay-offs and you lose your job. And your 1 carat engagement ring certainly isn’t going to be there to support you when you have to make a tough decision that will change the course of your family’s future.
In today’s world we get too caught up with status and “stuff”. But when you peel it all away, at our core we are all nothing more than the sum of our hard work and relationships (which often go hand in hand). Personally, I’d rather be remembered for the later anyway.