I’ve been pondering the question that reader Julianna asked quite a while ago, on this Reclaiming Wife post:
How, if at all, did your wedding day shape what came after? How did your wedding feed your marriage?
I’m not sure I fully know the answer, but I have some hints and whispers floating around my mind that I thought I’d share. And then, really, I want to know what the answer is for everyone else – how did your weddings feed your marriage? Or did they?
Yesterday, those hints and whispers became a little louder, thanks to Amanda. She, um, made me blush a little, talking about her Words To Read When You Wed series. She said, “I had the great honor of hearing a smattering of these pieces read at Meg’s own wedding. Full and lovely wishes, words uttered beneath the sun. I may or may not have cried two times.” And that suddenly made things clear. Our wedding day, that one beautiful and full day in August, under the unseasonably warm summer sun, was a day for speaking dreams and hopes and commitment, and day for promises and present-ness. A crystal clear moment of honesty, which seems as good a foundation for a lifetime as there can be.
In our program, I wrote this about our huppah, and I think the same could be said about our wedding day:
The huppah is raised, for most of us, once in a lifetime. It is not permanent, but it is the promise of a home. Friends and family stand and the corners, helping to anchor the fragile structure down, the roof is a tallit so the couple is covered in holiness and the memory of commandments. The huppah does not promise that love or hope or pledges will keep out weather or catastrophe, but its few lines are a sketch for what might be. The flimsiness of the huppah reminds us that the only thing that is real about a home is the people in it who love and choose to be a family. The huppah is the house of promises. It is the home of hope.
Married life is wonderful, but complicated. And in the midst of those twists and turns, I need that moment in the sun to look back on, to have those public sketches of hope, that moment of choosing. It’s critical to me to have that moment where we stood up and said, “this is who we are, and this is what we promise.” But more than that we had a moment where those around us could dream and hope and pray and wish for us.
When I get confused (and by confused I mean screaming my head off and then deciding I don’t even like my husband very much NO THANK YOU) I can look back to that moment and remember who we are. I remember the way we chose to change our relationship, and that we committed to that in front of a whole community of people who will hold us to it.
And, more simply, I know how happy we both were. I know how happy David was. It reminds me to be happy now, to be present now.
So, for those reasons, I’m glad we had the wedding we had. I’m glad that we walked through the fire, fought the hard fight, and let all the expectations burn off, leaving us with only who we really were. For me, it was worth it. It really was, cursing and screaming and crying included.
So now. What was it for you?
Side note: because I’m being a little la-la-la happy today, I’m going to FORCE you to go read P’s much more profane account of their wedding day on What Possessed Me. Because, f*ck yes, all that is equally as true as *this* lot of words that I’m spinning.
Huppah Description adapted from Celebrating Interfaith Marriages, a great Jewish/ Christian wedding book that was discussed earlier this week in the comments. It was the best liturgical wedding book I found, period.
Photo: One Love Photo of course.