What a wonderful, beautiful and crazy ride it has been!
So many people told us how beautiful everything was, how beautiful Emmy was, and what a great time they had and I know it was partly because it’s the polite things you say at such an event and I know the proper response from me would have been to nod graciously as I said thank you but AJ outdid herself on the flowers and decor, Emmy did make a beautiful bride, and the reception was just so fun that I had to agree. But I did follow up with a gracious thank you 😉
I took very few pictures myself because I wanted to focus on each moment and savor them as they happened but family and friends snapped and shared some with me. I can’t wait to see what the photography team captured!
Some things we learned along the way of wedding planning.
Hire a wedding planner.
A good planner is worth every dollar & cent and then some to help develop and guide the process, keep track of the details (so many details!) and check things off the list. I cannot adequately express what an amazing job Soiree by AJ did from start to finish. Having a planner also gives people a go to person to ask questions of leaving the bride and mother of the bride free from having to handle too many things in the days immediately leading up to the event. I feel like poor Elizabeth had much more to manage and more logistics to handle as the mother of the groom and we decided with her other two sons that she should hire a planner too. (I will say that she did a fabulous job working out her details and making sure so many of us were housed in the week prior to the wedding. Maybe she can start a side gig as a mother of the groom assistant? I would recommend her!)
Ya’ll this is a crucial yet somehow underappreciated piece of planning. I do henceforth, now and ever always, do solemnly swear to give either my yea or nay in a timely fashion for any and all events which require said response. And I offer my deep heartfelt apology to anyone that I ever neglected to do the same for in my poor uninformed ignorant youth. I am older and wiser now and get how hard it is to gauge numbers without that information. I do realize that part of the issue might be that things are done online more now which is nice because of the lack of expense in including a printed card with a self addressed and stamped envelope but does require finding time to sit at a computer and going to the website and clicking all the appropriate clicky spots. I guess there really is no good easy way to handle it but I will be much more on top of that in the future no matter the format.
Length of engagement.
When Emily and Hays got engaged we had six months to plan the wedding. It was about two months too long in our opinion. At some point you reach saturation and are just.so.over.it. No more questions please. No more decisions to make. Enough already. Can the day just get here? Someone else may do a better job in stretching it out but it’s a lot. And it tends to dominate life. The number of times we uttered the words, “After the wedding…” is ridiculous.
But here we are. It’s after the wedding and what a gloriously happy and lovely day it was. The fruit of so many hands graciously working on our behalf was humbling. There was generosity and hospitality shown in spades. Pastor Steve Wilkins gave an outstanding homily that articulated so much truth on a subject sorely disregarded in our world today.
Marriage matters. When Emily and Hays said I do it was a battle cry that echoed into the heavens. It was a declaration of war to the enemy who seeks to distort and destroy everything that glorifies and reveals the true Groom.
A Christian marriage should be radically different than even the most loving and committed of marriages that exists between two non believers because a Christian marriage should accurately and truthfully reflect the Gospel of the true Bridegroom laying His life down for His Bride.
God’s love changes us…makes us better and something other than what we are on our own that is glorious and impossible apart from Him. That is the love the world should see because as believers there is a man and a woman that are first His and then together, one flesh.
CS Lewis put it this way, “It is a deep unity, maintained by the will and deliberately strengthened by habit, reinforced by (in Christian marriages) the grace which both partners ask, and receive, from God…’Being in love’ first moved them to promise fidelity; this quieter love enables them to keep the promise. It is on this love that the engine of marriage is run. Being in love is the explosion that started it.”
May God now grant Emily and Hays to grow and abound in that deep steadfast quite love.