When I got engaged in August 2016 I was living in Los Angeles, CA and the first place I went to try on wedding dresses was Monique Lhuillier in Beverly Hills. My mother was with me and we found my dream dress, it was stunning. It was also over $6,000.
Let’s go back a minute.
I was living in Los Angeles at the time because I was doing volunteer work for a Pro-Life Organization called Volunteers for Life. Volunteering- meaning I made $0.00 per hour. Meaning I had just graduated from college the year before so its not like I had some secret dough stashed away. Meaning I was only able to live in L.A. because I lived with the sisters that ran the organization.
So here I am, broke, newly engaged, and in love with a designer dress I tried on in Beverly Hills.
Can you believe when we left the store I still thought, “You only get married once, I’m sure dad will buy me the dress.” L O L That thought lasted about a day until I realized how RIDICULOUS it was to drop six grand on a dress. I am writing this because weddings have gotten to the point of straight gluttony and pride. Brides are only preparing for a wedding not a marriage. (too harsh?) Well, the first five months of my engagement I didn’t care at all about spiritual preparation, it was all about planning the physical wedding. Dress, reception venue, decorations, color scheme, floral arrangements, bridal party. Thankfully the Catholic Church required my groom and I do prepare spiritually, but what if they didnt? Would we have actually taken the time to prepare on our own?
When my fiancé and I began our spiritual marriage prep in December it was such a burden. We were long distance so we had to take online classes while on the phone with one another. On top of having a full time job and planning the ceremony and reception, I now had to make time to prepare my heart… is that really necessary? Sadly enough my fiance and I both asked ourselves and each other this question more than once. We fought during a few of the classes because of our disagreements on certain issues. Apparently we didn’t know each other quite as well as we thought…
I started to spend more time in adoration, asking God to prepare me to be a holy wife. Once these prayers became daily, I started to care less and less about the physical wedding and reception. The last three months of planning I told our wedding planner to do whatever my mother wanted, I honestly didn’t care anymore. I just wanted to be married to the man of my dreams, in the Catholic Church surrounded by my loved ones. I just wanted a marriage.
I am so sure, along with the many other moral issues, that marriage has become meaningless to our culture. But weddings, weddings on the other hand are so very important, because this is when we get to show off, play dress up, and soak up all the attention, right? Do we not understand that the “wedding” part last one day but the “marriage” part lasts 80 years? I don’t think we do, because how does it make any sense to prepare months on end for the wedding but not give second thought to the marriage? It doesn’t. The town I am from and was getting married in has a local magazine that publishes pictures from only the most envious of weddings. Apparently its every local girls goal to be featured, when I heard about this I couldn’t help but laugh. Wait, why do you even care?! Why is the goal of our weddings to be the biggest, most expensive, most unique, most lavish? What about, I don’t know, having the goal of a beautiful, admirable marriage? Thank you Lord for those marriage preparation classes and thank you Lord for truth, truth that all that matters is my husband and I being united to You.
If you have continued reading this far you probably think I am full of negativity. I am not saying weddings are bad, you can’t have a marriage without a wedding. April 8th was the best day of my life, my husband and I wish we could live this day over again because it was so joyful. Weddings are beautiful and when the Lord is the center they are Holy. Our wedding day was not something “bad”. I am simply saying our MARRIAGE is far more worthy of the months we spent on stressing about the wedding. Because after the fancy to-do, after the gifts are all opened, after the honeymoon is over, after your Facebook friends are over liking your wedding photos, its just you and your husband. You and your marriage, and any married couple will tell you that this is much more important and worthy of preparation than that one special day.
May God give us all the grace and wisdom to let go of the meaningless, the desire to be envied, and may He bless not only your special day but your many, many special days united in marriage.