Ten minutes before our wedding started, I found myself on the verge of a panic attack. Our portrait session had been completed with just enough time for me to finish my to-do list. So I quickly slid the last cake into place, re-straightened the chairs and made final adjustments to every detail within reach. Everything for our wedding was completed to the level of perfection I had hoped for, yet with just ten minutes to go before the wedding, I began to panic.
Before we got married, we didn’t have very many people telling us how awesome marriage was going to be, and what an amazing part of life we were going to experience. Instead, we had people asking us if we were “sure” we wanted to do this. This question was quickly followed with dooming statements like ‘the first year will be the worst’ and ‘marriage is the hardest thing in life.’ I was too busy making Jamie’s wedding dress, designing the flowers and organizing the seating chart to really take all of the discouraging comments to heart… until ten minutes before the ceremony.
And so I panicked and became overwhelmed. What if marriage was as horrible and difficult as people had described? What if I woke up the next morning to find Jamie waiting with a long list of unattainable expectations and changes? What if she told me I could never eat dessert anymore? What if I couldn’t be a good leader in marriage? What if I realized on our honeymoon I was too selfish to be married? What if I just didn’t like it?
Luckily for me, I had an amazing best man who prayed with me, and reminded me of how lucky and blessed I was. I pulled myself together and walked towards my ceremony. My panic quickly faded the moment I saw Jamie walking down the aisle towards me, and our wedding day was the best day of my life.
I learned a few things from our wedding day:
*I learned that no wedding planner should be allowed to plan their own wedding. Actually- wedding planner or not- I don’t think anyone should do their own wedding. Trust me, you don’t want to be running around the day of your wedding taking care of any details like I was.
*I learned I should have also been planning our marriage while planning the wedding. We did pre-marrital counseling and read some books, but I was certainly more consumed and concerned with the details of the wedding day, and didn’t think too much about the lifetime that would start the morning after.
*I learned that there needs to be more encouragement of healthy marriages. I wish we had received more affirmation from others about how awesome marriage can be. Jamie and I decided it’s time for married people to step it up and be more positive. Marriage should be seen as an adventure rather than a nightmare.
As we develop this blog, we want this to be so much more than just a place to post beautiful pictures of events and projects we have worked on. So instead of just focusing on weddings, we also want to talk about marriage. Our series “After the Wedding” will be a journal of marriage where we share some of the lessons we’ve learned and things we have discovered to keep our marriage new and exciting. Our hope is that people will love marriage as much as we do, and see it as the gift that it is.
People who talked to us about marriage before our wedding were right about one thing: It changes everything. It really does. For us, it changed everything for the better and we couldn’t be happier.
photo credit: Matthew Land Studios