The Most Important Day of Our Lives… Or not

In the weeks leading up to my own wedding I said something that caused a bit of an argument with my soon to be wife.

“The wedding day is not the most important day of our lives” 

In retrospect... it probably wasn’t the best time to say such a thing. But I did... and from there the discussion that followed changed our wedding day and maybe the rest of our lives. 

May 9, 2015. That was going to be the big day and by big I mean, BIG. Well over 200 people in a tent, on my grandparents farm property, live band, shuttle buses, an amazing menu, rustic decorations galore; everything needed for what was going to be a stunning event. 

Kate and I one night sat down after a couple of stressful weeks of putting together a few solid plans for May 9th. We were in love with what was coming together, however there was something wrong. There was this feeling. I still can’t put a finger on it. Something that I can only describe as hollow. 

What could possibly be wrong? All of our friends and family gathered to celebrate along with us. We had everything needed to be an event fitting of any wedding magazine. But still something was definitely missing. 

Priorities. That’s what was missing. Goals. That’s what was missing. Living out the values that we had set up for our lives. This gigantic wedding wasn’t “us”.

“The wedding day is not the most important day of our lives”

We ended up planning and executing a wedding on November 9, 2014 just a little over a month after completely blowing up our original plans. No we weren’t pregnant. No we didn’t have a scare. No we didn’t have any other excuses or reasons other than we really wanted to be married to each other. 

What a typical modern day North American wedding is, has become very different than simply getting married. A wedding and getting married somehow, to us, felt like two different things. 

The day we got married had many of the same things a typical wedding would have. A dress, a suit, a wedding party, beautiful flowers, photographers, a video crew, a minister, a delicious meal, and even a candy table!

Our wedding day was not however a destination. There was build up (and some heroic efforts by Kate, friends and family to pull it off) but it wasn’t everything to us. Our goals and priorities for our wedding day shifted. It was another step in our lives. Not an achievement. 

And yes maybe our wedding day was the most important day in our lives... up until the next day when we drove up north for a mini-honeymoon, or Kate’s first day as a working nurse, or our first Christmas as husband and wife, or that movie night in, or me not closing a kitchen cupboard door again, or that date night out when we won $7.75 at the casino. 

Our marriage mentors sat down with us and told us just a few days before our wedding that “marriage is a daily choice to love your spouse and say yes to them again” Challenging, provocative, and probably something that will feel impossible somedays. 

If marriage is a daily choice to say “yes” than really everyday is a wedding day. Everyday is more important than the last. 

Maybe “The wedding day is the most important day of our lives” is actually false if you think about a daily pair of “I do’s”. 

Our actual wedding day was completely different than what we would have ever expected. We kept it small (less than 90 guests), not all of our friends could be there. It was in a different season than what we would have thought to originally be “ideal” (yes we had an outdoor ceremony in November in Canada). The day didn’t go “perfectly”. 

What didn’t change was that Kate and I were married and that is all that was really important to us. 

I work in the wedding industry and some of this probably stands in direct opposition to the bigger, better mentality that occurs around the business. I’m ok with that. 

Everyday is a new opportunity. Everyday is another chance to say “I do”. Your wedding day won’t be perfect, no day is. Your wedding isn’t everything, the sun rises the next day no matter what. Relax (easier said than done as I was a bag of nerves on our wedding day), take a deep breath and choose to live out love everyday. 

 

-Joel