The air is filled with yellow snow, trees are beginning to bud new life, yellow jonquils are waking after a winter nap. All this means one thing; weddings are around the corner.
Most valuable knowledge has escaped me. However, I know something about weddings. Well, the truth is that was an attempt at humility. The truth is I know everything about weddings. When I say “everything” I really mean it. I quit counting at 435 weddings I have performed. I quit because it was like counting the number of inches of scars you have. Fifty-three inches would be the answer to that question.
I have done weddings in barns, on horseback, in churches, homes, chapels, and every other venue imaginable. Therefore, I feel it incumbent upon me to help the uninitiated as they prepare for the blessed event.
Take a trip to a good book store and pore over the magazine section. You will find a dozen titles for brides and weddings. After 40 years of searching, I have yet to find a single publication called “Groom” magazine. From the start there is a difference in how we view the wedding.
When I lead a marriage retreat, I always ask the ladies to raise their hands if they bought a magazine about weddings. They all raise their hands. Then I ask if they bought them before they met their husband. Sheepishly, about half raise their hands. Another third won’t admit it.
The bride is planning this thing since birth. The groom never sees it coming. To the groom it really doesn’t matter. Tux, jeans, suit, boots, it just doesn’t matter to the groom. However, to the bride every detail is huge.
Once I walked by a bride on my way into the auditorium. She was having a full-blown meltdown and we were only minutes away from walking down the aisle. I asked if she was all right. Through bitter tears she sighed, “no!” Then she looked at me and said, “The flowers are the wrong shade of magenta!” I had to look that one up.
After offering comfort, I made my way to the room where the groomsmen were waiting. The groomsmen were all eating and talking football. The groom was stretched out with his feet propped up admiring his new cowboy boots. He asked what I thought. I just asked if his bride knew he was wearing snake skin boots. “Nope,” he said with a smirk, “I’m gonna surprise her!” I don’t think she noticed. Something about the color of the flowers still had her attention.
Every bride has an ideal wedding in mind. Many think an outdoor wedding is a good idea. Well, it isn’t. Never. The idea is beautiful weather, bare feet, daisies in the hair, and perfect weather. The groom just thinks of how hot it will be with full battle dress on in the sun in the south. I don’t do outdoor weddings any more. I sweat. Put a suit on me, cover me with my robe, put me in the sun, and make me stand there. Not a good picture for me. And you can NEVER count on the weather. This is just another thing to worry about.
I don’t do rehearsals any more. After meeting with the bride & groom, I know what I am supposed to do. They need to rehearse. I quit because of rehearsal conflict. Frequently, though not always, there are too many brides in the building. Sometimes the mothers of either bride or groom forget that the wedding is for their daughter. I gave up rehearsals because I got tired of being the bad guy and having to calm “Momzilla.” Mom, you have had your wedding. Let your kid have his or hers.
Here is my advice about your wedding: Get a good director, have it indoors, don’t stress about the little things. And most importantly, prepare more for the marriage than the wedding. A good wedding should last a few minutes. A good marriage should last a lifetime.
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