I have been married now for about 2 and a half years at the time of this writing. I was one of the first of my friend group to get married, so now as I’m walking through this exciting process with many of them I’ve found myself giving one piece of advice over and over again. The best wedding advice I got has stuck with me even two and a half years later and genuinely reframes my mindset regularly even now.
Wedding Planning is Stressful
As beautiful and incredible as weddings and wedding planning is, it’s also incredibly stressful. There are a million things to decide, and hundreds of things to book, and prepare. For me, the big decisions weren’t difficult. I picked out the dress on my first try, knew exactly what date and venue I wanted, and had my girls picked out months before I was even engaged. The things that was stressful to me were all the little tiny details that I hadn’t ever even thought to consider.
What decorations do you want on the stage? What songs do you want played as the family walks in? How do you want to decorate the doors of the church? What type of centerpieces do you want on tables in the reception hall? My answer to every single one of those questions as my sweet mom berated me with them was “I don’t know.” I had no idea that there were so many little tiny details that needed to be considered. It was incredibly easy to get overwhelmed and completely lose sight of the entire point of the day.
The Best Wedding Advice
One day as some church friends were asking how wedding planning was going, I was given the best wedding advice by my sweet friend Shayne Guttensohn who had gotten married the year before. She told me, “don’t let the details get you down. You can both show up to the church wearing pajamas and have four guests total and as long as you walk back up that aisle married to the love of your life nothing else matters.” I’ve held on to that advice ever since.
She was so right. Weddings are such a whirlwind of activity and excitement. Before you know it it’s over and you barely remember any of it. My goal on our wedding day was to slow down and enjoy the moments I had with the people I loved and not to sweat the little things.
There are a ton of things I don’t remember about our wedding day, but I do remember the way Chase looked at me during our first look. I remember him holding me as I cried because I wished more than anything in the world that my family and friends who had passed could be there. I remember our first dance. I remember sitting in the parking lot of Cook Out grabbing a bite to eat and enjoying our first time alone after everything was said and done.
Focus on the Marriage More than the Wedding
I’ve discovered that what’s important isn’t the wedding, but the marriage. Some days being married is hard. I fully believe that marriage is meant to sanctify us and that means that it stretches us and that’s typically uncomfortable. But on those difficult days, I often reflect back on the first day of our marriage and remember how thrilled I was to walk back down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Cumbie.
We made promises to each other and even on the hard days, or maybe especially on the hard days, I remember those promises and thank God for giving me the best partner to go through life with. I chose Chase, he chose me, and we continue to choose each other every day.
So yes, the wedding day is important. It’s the day so many of us have dreamed about our whole lives. Despite all the details and planning, the most important part of the day is that it’s the first day of the rest of your life with your best friend. Bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh. Weddings are great, but marriage is greater.