It’s been 113 days since our wedding day; a day of joy, celebration, love and gratitude as well as stress, anxiety and fear. Well, this past weekend I was granted something I’d been craving ever since we got engaged: perspective.
Saturday night, Brad and I attended the wedding of two new-ish friends we’ve made here in Minneapolis. It was one of the most beautiful weddings I’ve ever had the honor of witnessing. It was raw. Real. Brimming with emotion. She wore orchids in her hair and he wore a smile like a crescent moon. A single Spanish guitar escorted her down the aisle as readers spoke passages from the Velveteen Rabbit. White paper lanterns swung in the wind above their heads as the trees rustled, saying “Amen” after each chilling statement in the ceremony.
They wrote their own vows, which read like joyful, love letters filled with promises and inside jokes. There was not a dry eye in the audience. You could have been the damn caterer and felt the raw, real love that these two people share; their romance, the stuff that the careers of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are based off of.
It was one of the most genuine, authentic, epically moving weddings I’ve ever seen.
An epiphany came the morning after the wedding. Brad had stirred early, eager for football, haunted by a mild hangover (a souvenir from the wedding). I lay in bed thinking about the previous evening; and I started wishing this wedding had been before ours. How it was the perfect antidote to all the drama and fear that swirled inside my stomach before our pressure-cooker of a day. How if we had spent a weekend at this wedding, and seen all the love and affection and authenticity that went into it; how I might have had a bit more perspective. How I would have been less obsessive over my hair. My weight. My earrings. My everything.
I managed to get so swept up in the details. In the escort cards, decorations, playlists—treating the wedding as one big branding assignment. What can I say? I loved it and despised it all at once.
This other wedding was so simple. By simple I don’t mean cheap or unplanned. Not at all! But it wasn’t some over-the-top affair with perfectly matching fonts, logos, color palettes…even the bridesmaid dresses were different colors. Heck one of the bridesmaids was a man! It was not about things being perfect. It was about things being real. Which would have been invaluable for Bride Elyse to have witnessed. To have seen first-hand, that when the emotion is real and the love is real and the support is real…that no one needs cotton candy or flash mobs or anything over-the-top. Those things are just toppings. Hype. Fluff. The authentic joy shared by two families coming together to celebrate love; that is what the best weddings are made of.
I came downstairs that morning to see Brad on the couch; already researching his fantasy football strategy for the day. I sat next to him and shared this new thought.
“I couldn’t help thinking how valuable it would have been to me to have gone to that wedding before ours. I think it would have really given me some much-needed perspective.” I said.
“That’s funny you said that, because I had the exact same thought this morning.”
And just like that, EVERYTHING was put into perspective in one of the most refreshing and unexpected ways.