The wedding is tomorrow. Let the panicking commence.
(For those of you who just tuned in, the tomorrow’s wedding is not mine. Believe me, if I were the one getting married tomorrow, this post would be shorter. And more frantic. And I would’ve mentioned the wedding in about every post for every day for about a year in advance. No, tomorrow’s wedding is my childhood friend’s. I’m playing the violin in her wedding. That is the extent of things.)
There’s a lot involved in weddings that’s awfully superfluous. I know that’s a strange thing to hear a woman say, but it’s true. A wedding is about two people vowing to love only each other for the rest of their lives. There’s more to it than signing a contract, but signing the contract and saying the vows in the presence of witnesses is all that’s legally and spiritually necessary.
But humans are humans, therefore there are traditions. Wedding cakes. Special wedding clothes. Catering. Decorations. Flowers. Long guest lists. Photographers. Bridal parties. Groomsmen. Flower girls. Ringbearers (you’d better believe mine will be barefoot and wearing trousers with suspenders). Toasts to the couple. Receiving lines. Musicians. Gifts for the bridal party. Guestbook attendants. Wedding favors. Tensions, tension, tension.
Believe me, I understand why all of the trapping exist. A wedding happens once. True love is a big, hairy deal that comes around once in a lifetime and deserves to be celebrated. I mean, think about it. Two people find each other—miraculously, considering the amount of humans on the planet. They get along. They overcome each other’s differences. They make each other better people. They have fun together. They know how to work as a team. They fit. Getting two people to fit is a supernatural occurrence. Getting two people to commit to each other, given the human aversion to commitment of any kind, is nothing short of miraculous. So the vows are a big deal. Love should be a celebrated thing, since there is so little of it in the world.
However, the trappings are frustrating. Lovely. Unique. Fun, even, once they’re done. But frustrating. And, because so much importance has been attached to the trimmings, they can be divisive as well.
I know my day will come, and I’ll want the trimmings. I’ll want unique decorations and special music and a pretty dress. I’ll want a cake (who doesn’t want cake?) and bridesmaids and a guestbook and most of the usual wedding things (though certainly not all of them). But I’d like the extra to serve the necessities: I want the guests to notice the God of love more than the wildflowers I’m holding or the way my hair is done. I want things to look nice and run well because I want people to know that God made love, that God is love, and that God gave me someone to love who loves me, too.
All you need is love, folks.
But a celebration is a celebration. And I’ve got a lot of celebrating to do over the next few days. My friend’s wedding is going to be beautiful. She’s beautiful, her groom is handsome, and their love is a beautiful, beautiful God-given thing. And in the end, that’s what will shine through.